Driving over Suikerbossie Pass into this bustling beachside suburb, you’ll find yourself enchanted by Hout Bay’s serene, fairytale-kingdom appeal.
Named after the wood from its once-lush forest, Hout Bay is a popular tourist attraction that also happens to be a residential suburb, a mere 20 kilometres from Cape Town’s CBD. It boasts a beautiful white-sand beach where locals surf and walk their dogs, a bustling marina, art galleries, restaurants, and a working harbour that serves its thriving tuna, snoek and crayfish industry. We’ve rounded up the best things to do in the suburb that calls itself a republic.
Do you know of any wonderful things to do in Hout Bay? Let us know in the comments below.
Your essential guide to Hout Bay
Bars and restaurants in Hout Bay
Fusion tapas at Cheyne’s
If you’re looking for mouthwatering modern Asian cuisine, then look no further. Chef-owner Cheyne Morrisby treats visitors to a yum cha dining experience, where you get to choose from four delectable dishes off the Pacific Rim-inspired menu, divided into Sea, Land, Earth and Happy Endings. Yum cha is designed as a sharing experience but can also be eaten as a four-course option.
Stand out dishes include the tuna tataki taco with pickled daikon from the Sea section, roasted pork belly with a pear teriyaki, Thai corn cream and puffed black rice from the Land section, and the potato and coconut dumplings with panang sauce (from the Earth section).
Happy Endings are just as they say… Try the vanilla creme brûlée with banana bread toast and miso ice cream!
Opening times Monday – Wednesday, 6pm – 10pm
Thursday – Saturday, 12pm – 3pm; 6pm – 1opm
Contact 079 067 4919, firstname.lastname@example.org
Book through DinePlan
Where to find it 1 Pam Arlene Place, Main Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Seafood at Chapman’s Peak Hotel
This established landmark on the scenic Chapman’s Peak Drive has a covered outdoor patio that’s perfect for long, lazy Sunday lunches with sweeping views of the bay, harbour and the Hout Bay Sentinel. In winter or on one of Cape Town’s chilly between-season days, a crackling fire indoors sets the scene.
The fried calamari is a favourite among locals and visitors, but there are loads of other fish and seafood dishes to choose from. After your meal, take a stroll along the beach, and watch the surfers, kiters and sea creatures at play.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 9.30pm
Sunday, 12pm – 9pm
Contact 021 790 1036, email@example.com
Where to find it Chapmans Peak Drive, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Asian street food at Lucky Bao
Chef-owner Cheyne Morrisby of the ever-popular Cheyne’s next has a knack for creating deep and delicious Asian flavours, which is why this cool 25-seater Asian Street Food Bar on the Hout Bay strip is one of the Mother City’s most sought-after dining experiences. What started as a bao bar (fluffy steamed buns crammed with flavourful meat and veg fillings), now also serves a selection of Asian street food favourites, so good you’d be forgiven in thinking you’d crossed continents! And the menu doesn’t stop at Bao – try the award-winning Lucky Wagyu Burger with kimchi and crispy bacon on a Japanese milk bun! Or, if you’re a Ramen fan, try the Pork Shio and the Duck Shoyu.
Opening times Monday – Wednesday, 5pm – 10pm
Thursday – Saturday, 12pm – 3pm; 5pm – 10pm
Contact 064 661 4415, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 35 Main Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Italian (and vegan) at Massimo’s
Owned by Italian-born Massimo Orione and his British wife Tracy, this Hout Bay hangout is known for its family-friendly atmosphere and, of course, delicious home-cooked Italian food. Situated among the shops at Oakhurst Farm Park, the restaurant offers a cosy setting for grown-ups to enjoy mouthwatering Italian dishes, while the kids build up an appetite in the outside playground.
The extensive menu offers a wide selection of gluten-free and vegan options that taste just as good as the “real thing”.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 9pm
Contact 021 790 5648, email@example.com
Where to find it Oakhurst Farm Park, Main Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Brunch at Deli Delish
This eclectically decorated restaurant in the heart of Hout Bay offers wholesome all-day breakfasts and delicious lunches in a warm and wonderful family-friendly atmosphere. Choose from a range of menu items including Smoked Salmon, Smash Avo, French Toast, Pancakes and Twisted Eggs Benedict for breakfast; loaded salads, sandwiches, burgers and hearty mains for lunch; and a wide selection of teas, coffees, smoothies and freshly squeezed juices.
In summer, bring the whole family (pooches included), and pull up a chair in the courtyard, while the kids take on the play area. The cosy interior is perfect for wintery days.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 5pm
Contact 021 790 5324, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 8 Beach Crescent, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Greek food at Spiro’s
Owner Spiro Ragavelas has been serving authentic Greek cuisine to the bay with his popular eatery since it opened in 2009. A team of friendly, smiling staff enhance the welcoming atmosphere of the cosy interior, outside patio and buzzy covered courtyard. The outdoor kiddies’ area is an arm’s length away from the patio, so you can tuck into souvlaki and spanakopita while they play.
Good to know Spiro and his wife Julie are launching an exciting new concept mid-June. Greek Street will offer the same delicious Greek food we know and love, but with an exciting contemporary street-food twist on classic favourites. In addition to a large in-house grill, the new venture will feature family and group sharing options, as well as a full -stocked new bar brimming with local distillery. Subscribe to our newsletter for up-to-the-minute details.
Opening times Monday, 3pm – 10pm
Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm – 10pm
Sunday, 12pm – 8pm
Contact 021 791 3897, email@example.com
Where to find it 30 Main Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Italian ice cream at IceDream
All the ice cream at this authentic Italian gelateria is made on location, originally by sibling-owners Liana and Luigi, and now by Liana’s son Fabrizio. There are a variety of flavours to choose from, whose names are presented in Italian (with the English translation below). These gelati, served in a cup or sugar cone, are available from the store as well as the Bay Harbour Market.
Good to know The Vanilla ice cream, made with pods from Zanzibar, is pure joy, and the fruit sorbets in Raspberry, Sour Cherry, Pink Grapefruit and a whole host of other divine flavours are darn good, too.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm
Contact 021 790 2496, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Homeleigh Place, Main Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Sunday buffet at Suikerbossie
Perched at the top of Suikerbossie hill on the road towards Llandundo, this scenic guest house, wedding venue and restaurant has been attracting tourists and locals alike with its sweeping valley views and generous Sunday buffets by chef Brian Smit. Gather your friends and family and tuck into a help-yourself spread for breakfast or lunch, before snapping some scenic shots from one of the many breathtaking view points.
Good to know The restaurant also has a kosher kitchen, and is halaal-friendly.
Opening times Breakfast buffet: Sunday, 9am – 11.30am
Lunch buffet: Sunday, 1pm – 4pm
Cost Breakfast buffet: R168 per person
Lunch buffet: R349 per person
Contact 021 790 1450, email@example.com
Where to find it 1 Victoria Drive, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Harbourside seafood at Wharfside Grill Restaurant
This unique precinct, which houses a famous seafood restaurant, various marine and maritime-themed shops, and a fish-and-chips outlet, was built around the hull of the Kingfisher, an original 1940s trawler. Known as the most popular seafood restaurant in Hout Bay, Wharfside Grill boasts a picture-perfect view of the ocean, and an authentic harbourside atmosphere that continues to attract thousands of locals and tourists alike each month. Choose from mussels, prawns, sole, calamari or catch of the day, as you watch the antics of the seagulls swooping and snapping at the leftovers – or collect your order to enjoy alfresco on the beach, just a stone’s throw away.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 9.30pm
Contact 021 790 1100, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Mariner’s Wharf, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Breakfast at La Cuccina
This deli-style restaurant in the heart of Hout Bay offers a lovely selection of lovingly homemade à la carte and buffet breakfasts, lunches, and sweet treats. Whether you pop in for a hot cuppa and a slice of freshly baked carrot cake, or settle in for a hearty eggs benedict and French toast breakfast, this neighbourhood favourite is sure to do the trick.
Good to know Don’t have time to sit down? La Cuccina makes fresh-from-the-kitchen meals to go for hungry visitors on the move. They also have a number of vegan and vegetarian options on offer.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 7.30am – 5pm
Sunday, 7.30am – 4pm
Contact 021 790 8008, email@example.com
Where to find it Victoria Mall, Corner of Victoria and Empire roads, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Sundowners at The Lookout Deck
This casual harbourside restaurant, with lovely views of the surrounding mountains and the bustling Hout Bay fishing fleet is a great meeting place for sundowners with friends. Sit at the edge of the deck, and watch the boats returning with their catch while the seals splash around in the water below.
Opening times Monday, 10am – 4pm
Tuesday – Thursday, 10am – 10pm
Friday – Saturday, 9am – 10pm
Sunday, 9am – 7pm
Contact 021 790 0900, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Lot 65, Quayside Hout Bay Harbour, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Seafood at Fish on The Rocks
This order-and-eat fish restaurant on the harbour’s edge has become somewhat of a Hout Bay landmark for its unpretentious, tasty, get-your-hands-dirty food. With over 30 years in the making, it still has queues of hungry visitors lining up to get a bite. Reminiscent of a traditional fish shop, it offers diners hake, snoek, calamari, linefish and prawns – all served with chips – in newspaper to go. Or, if you’d prefer to eat “in”, soak up the scene on the lively stoep, lined with umbrellas and wooden benches. Just mind the seagulls – they’re fans of the food too!
Good to know Once you’re done with your lunch or dinner, have a browse through the Bay Harbour Market, a stone’s throw away.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 8pm
Contact 021 790 0001, 021 790 1153, email@example.com
Where to find it Far End Harbour Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Live music at Pakalolo
This Mexicana-inspired restaurant-come-dive-bar is a firm favourite among locals looking to wind down the week (and welcome the weekend) in a buzzy spot. Just a stone’s throw from The Chapman’s Peak Hotel, Pakalolo’s dried fern-leaf canopy and boisterous balcony make it impossible to miss. Order a vacation-inspired cocktail, while toe-tapping to live local beats from a variety of artists, or enjoy a comedy shows while the sun sets over the ocean.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 2am
Contact 021 790 0700, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 10 Main Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Drinks at Dunes Beach Restaurant and Bar
When in Hout Bay, do as the locals do – which means, have a beer at Dunes! Perched on the sand dunes (hence its name) right above Hout Bay Beach, the casual locale is the ideal spot for sundowners, while the kiddies let off steam. White-painted wooden benches and tables surround the play area, which is essentially a patch of beach with a playground and old tugboat in the centre. The views are pretty good, too.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 11am – 9pm
Saturday – Sunday, 9am – 9pm
Contact 021 790 1876, email@example.com
Where to find it 1 Beach Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Shopping and exploring in Hout Bay
Stay at Tintswalo Atlantic
This exclusive five-star boutique hotel, hidden away on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean off Chapman’s Peak Drive, lies within the Table Mountain National Park – one of South Africa’s eight World Heritage Sites. Its awe-inspiring shore-hugging location make it an ideal spot for any occasion.
Good to know If you’re looking to just pop in for a visit and a scenic bite to eat, the ocean-facing dining room serves lunch to non-residents on Wednesdays only. After your meal enjoy sundowners on the shore-hugging deck.
Please note Tintswalo Atlantic is currently under renovation, following a devastating fire to its main building earlier this year, but is set to reopen in October 2019.
Popping in for a peek is not possible, so phone ahead if you want to view the place. A courtesy car will pick you up from the dedicated parking area and drive you down the steep road to the water’s edge.
Contact 021 201 0025, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 1 Chapmans Peak Drive, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Hout Bay Gallery
Lovers of fine art, design, photography and sculpture will be in their element at this famed local gallery founded in 1984. The contemporary brick-and-glass building, situated just above the bustling town centre, provides a sneak peek at what visitors will find inside. Bright colours, modern style, and eclectic art pieces line the walls, while sculptures and furniture items take pride of place in every nook. The gallery focuses on promoting local artists, and is currently exhibiting the works (all of which are available for purchase) of David Kuijers, Anastasia Sarantinou, Sarah Danes Jarrett, Koos De Wet, Bastiaan Van Stenis, Richard Scott, Russell Travers, Schalk Van Der Merwe, Sam Allerton, Claude Chandler, and many more.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm
Saturday – Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Contact 021 790 3618, email@example.com
Where to find it 71 Victoria Avenue, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Creativity and recreation are what make this fun spot a favourite among children and adults alike. Here you’re given unfired bisque and colourful paints to create your own masterpieces, and once done with the painting, you can explore the garden and let the little ones enjoy playground, while you relax with a cup of tea and a bite to eat from the café.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Please note Items need to be left at Clay Café after painting, so they can be fired and glazed, which normally takes around three and a half weeks.
Cost Studio fee: R40 (includes facilities, x3 paints, firing and glazing)
Bisque item: R25 – R350 (depending on shape and size)
Contact 076 810 5120, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Clay Cafe Hout Bay, 177 Main Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Bay Harbour Market
One of the most popular markets in the Cape, this vibrant space brings together local craftsmen, artists and musicians, and is housed in a disused old fish factory at the end of Harbour Road opposite Fish On the Rocks. It sits under the Sentinel, Hout Bay’s iconic mountain, and is a popular weekend destination for the whole family.
Browse over 100 stalls – from fashion and footwear to jewellery and decor – before sitting down to enjoy some of the tasty food and drinks on offer. In summer, enjoy the refreshing ocean air on the outside patio; and when the temperatures start to plummet, sit inside next to the cosy fire.
Opening times Friday, 5pm – 9pm
Saturday & Sunday, 9.30am – 4pm
Contact 083 275 5586, email@example.com
Where to find it 31 Harbour Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town
World of Birds
Africa’s largest bird park, with over 3 000 birds (400 different species) and small animals, is a veritable Eden for nature lovers and children. More than 100 walks through landscaped aviaries allow you to get close to the birds – and because they are used to humans, you will get to see some species that you would not normally see in the wild. We recommend arriving in time for the various feedings – penguins at 11.30am, through to birds of prey at 4.15pm. Pack a picnic and enjoy it at the Flamingo Terrace. This park takes in ill and injured birds and depends on donations to survive – a good reason to visit!
Opening times Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm (last entry at 4pm)
Cost R120 (adults)
R75 (pensioners and students with student cards)
Contact 021 790 2730, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary, Valley Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Cooking classes at Stir Crazy Cooking School
These hands-on short cooking courses are a fun, social and interactive way to learn to cook with like-minded people who share a passion for food and cooking. Ideal for groups and individuals wanting to learn new culinary skills, the classes are hosted by seasoned chefs who know the ins and outs of the Cape Town culinary scene, and share their extensive skills and knowledge. Classes range from training courses to single sessions, and include food prepared on the day.
Date View the course schedule.
Opening times 9am – 1pm
1pm – 5pm
6pm – 9.30pm
Cost From R650 – R2 850
Contact 021 790 7165, email@example.com
Where to find it 3 Woodcutters, Grove Estate, Peterhof Close, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Earthworx Garden World
We could call this one a nursery, but doing that would be an unforgivable understatement! In addition to being a paradise for those with green fingers, Earthworx Garden World is an outing for the whole family. Shop everything from plants to pots, trellises and poles, and even herbs and vegetables, before enjoying a light breakfast or lunch at Nutmeg Café. There’s even an Enchanted Forest and Play Park for the little ones (good for birthday parties), and a gift shop should you feel like a browse.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 8.30am – 4.30pm
Sunday, 8.30am – 5pm
Contact 021 790 3033, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Corner of Valley and Victoria Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Calling all magpies, and crystal lovers, this one has your name on it! Founded over 10 years ago, this eclectic shop features a selection of gemstones and beads sourced from all over the world – including India, Arizona, Mexico, South Africa, Madagascar and Afghanistan. Whether you’re looking for a precious gift, treat-yourself necklace, or a crystal to align your chakras, this spot is definitely worth the visit.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9.30am – 5.30pm
Contact 021 791 4162, email@example.com
Where to find it 35 Main Road, Hout Bay, Western Cape
Outdoor and adventure activities in Hout Bay
Take a cruise to view a shipwreck
Sail from Hout Bay Harbour past the seals at Duiker Island (affectionately known as Seal Island) to spooky Maori Bay along the Karbonkelberg mountain range, famous for its shipwrecks. This one-hour trip focuses on the Bos 400, an old crane barge that ran aground during the Cape storm of 1994. You’ll probably recognise it from diving-junkie videos or panoramic YouTube shots, but this tour from Drumbeat Charters will get you up close and personal for a real-life look at the sunken star.
Please note The boat is currently undergoing maintenance, but will be open for business again in the first week of June. Due to the current windy and cold season, trips are strictly weather-dependent and will mainly take place on weekends before 12.15pm.
Duration 1 hour
Cost R100 (adults)
Free (children 0 – 2 years)
Where to find it Hout Bay Harbour, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Kayak towards Chapman’s Peak
Explore one of Cape Town’s most iconic (and bustling) shorelines during a fun-filled tour with Kayak Adventures. Eager adventurers should meet at Cape Town Bucket List (easily found on Google Maps) inside the Hout Bay Harbour, where you’ll be given a short training session, lifejacket and a dry bag for small items you’d like to take with you.
Once on the water, kayakers will be taken past the seal sanctuary and towards Chapman’s Peak. You might encounter seals, penguins, dolphins, whales and sunfish, so keep your eyes peeled!
Duration 2 hours
Cost R300 (weekend special)
R200 (weekday special)
Where to find it Cape Town Bucket List, Hout Bay Harbour, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Explore Hout Bay on horseback
From her Whispering Pines Riding Studio in the Oranjekloof Nature Reserve, experienced rider Nola Muller and her passionate team of instructors will take you on a scenic ride through Oranjekloof, Cecilia Forest or to Disa River, teaching you the best techniques and providing personal attention along the way.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 4.30pm
Contact 082 409 9699, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Whispering Pines, Boskykloof Road, Longkloof, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Go for a walk along Hout Bay Beach
Whether it’s blowing a gale, or the sun is shining, Hout Bay Beach is a great place to stretch the legs with the little ones and/or pooches in tow. We recommend making a morning coffee flask before taking a slow stroll along the beach – from just outside Chapman’s Peak Hotel right down to the harbour pier and Mariner’s Wharf – alongside the crashing waves.
Where to find it Hout Bay Beach, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Picnic on Chapman’s Peak Drive
There are numerous spellbinding viewpoints along this world-famous pass, all of which make perfect pit stops. Throw in a picnic, courtesy of Dial-a-Picnic, and all you need to do is choose your preferred hamper, and they’ll do the rest!
Dial-a-Picnic even offers a “surprise setup” package, where your picnic is delivered to a venue of your choice, and laid out before your arrival, along with blankets, cushions and themed accessories. Where else in the world can you enjoy a hassle-free alfresco lunch with scenery like this?
Opening times Daily
Cost From R130 per person
Please note Surprise picnic setups are charged differently.
Contact 082 789 5478, email@example.com
Where to find it Chapman’s Peak Drive, Cape Town, Western Cape
Ride a vintage World War II sidecar along Chapman’s Peak
Seeing the sights from a bus or car is all well and good, but there’s something special about feeling the cool wind in your hair, as you navigate the open road. We’d go as far as saying: you haven’t truly immersed yourself in the Cape’s majesty until you’ve explored the Chapman’s Peak peninsula in a sidecar.
And if you want to ride one with panache, why not make like the motorcyclists of yore, and take a ride in a super-cool vintage sidecar? Cape Sidecar Adventures have brought sidecars back in a big way, with their fleet of 30 vintage World War II sidecars, available for tours, team-building events and special celebrations. Participants have the option of chauffeur-driven (two-hour experiences) or self-drive guided tours (for multi-day trips only).
Please note Cape Sidecar Adventures allows a 30-minute leeway with pick-up times you’ve agreed to. Should your group exceed this leeway: Cape Sidecar Adventures can choose to either withdraw the sidecars and terminate the tour at full cost, or choose to wait with an additional charge of R300 per sidecar per 30 minutes.
Good to know Tours are available daily, but must be booked in advance
Cost R2 500 (two-hour tour)
R4 600 (four-hour tour)
R5 100 (eight-hour tour)
Rates for multi-day tours are available on request.
Where to find it Prearranged meeting point (depending on package)
Researched by Kent Cloete, Nikki Benatar, Michelle de Bruin, Jackie Lange, and Alicia Chamaillé
Keen to discover more of the Cape’s suburbs? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for an inside look.