A long, long time ago, even before Bree Street and Woodstock got all fancy and gentrified, Kloof Street was a hot culinary destination. In the 90s, places such as Rozenhof (and even Café Paradiso and Yindee’s) created a stir, because there was nothing else around!
Things have changed since then, with a slew of restaurants opening (and closing) on this busy eight-block strip. The street itself, and its neighbouring precinct, Kloof Nek Corner, remains a dining powerhouse, despite staunch competition in close proximity. Here are our picks on Kloof Street and Kloof Nek Road.
Do you have any Kloof Street favourites you think we should know about? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
From Liam Tomlin (head honcho of the Chefs Warehouse group of restaurants) and Dimo Papachristodoulou (Fat Cactus and Long Street Café), this exciting Indian tapas-style eatery is a case of the more (dishes you share), the merrier. The popular Tapas for Two, curated by head chef JP van der Haar, comprises eight dishes, including sambals, poppadoms and tandoor, culminating in the most heavenly curries that, combined with the exotic interior decor and lighting, will transport you to the fragrant streets of Delhi.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 5pm – 9.30pm; Friday & Saturday, 12pm – 2.30pm
Contact 021 286 2110, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 3 Park Road, Gardens, Cape Town
2. Kyoto Garden Sushi
From USA-born Scott Wood comes this serene and sophisticated Japanese dining experience, where classic sushi favourites are plentiful, but the option to try some of the menu’s exotic offerings is hard to resist. We’re talking salmon from Alaska, lobster from Maine, and deep-sea scallops from Japan, to name a few – all of which are sensitively and respectively prepared by a zealous team of chefs.
Or sink your hooks into a comforting bowl of ramen or grease-free tempura, as you take in the serene, Zen-inspired surrounds. It’s pricier than some, but worth every single cent.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 5.30pm – 11pm
Contact 021 422 2001
Where to find it 11 Lower Kloof Nek Road, Gardens, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan
3. Black Sheep Restaurant
This cool, contemporary space is where chef Jonathan Japha serves comfort dishes that change daily, so you could, theoretically, eat here every day of the week and never have the same thing!
If you’re not in the mood for a hearty meal, grab a seat at the street-facing bar, and enjoy a sundowner with a naturally lit view of Table Mountain, or pop over the road to Dark Horse, its sister spot for a buzzy drink.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm – 3pm; 6.30pm – 10pm / Monday, 6.30pm – 10.30pm
Contact 021 426 2661, email@example.com
Where to find it 104 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town
4. Janse & Co
The brainchild of chef Arno Janse van Rensburg and his with pastry-chef wife Liezl Odendaal, Janse & Co is ideal for those looking for a spot of unpretentious haute cuisine.
As he did for six delicious years at Maison in Franschhoek, Arno has created a menu of boundary-pushing yet perfectly pared-down dishes that diners can enjoy in a super-stylish innercity environment.
His starting point, as always: the best ingredients, prepared with passion, with a strong focus on provenance and seasonality, of course. The 20-item menu changes according to seasonal availability, and as Janse & Co’s delightfully affable restaurant manager, Lerephaan Absalom says: “Don’t get too attached to anything on the menu because Arno changes them regularly!”.
An amazing wine-pairing menu is available, too, featuring wines from boutique, local wineries. Good to know The esteemed eatery has recently added a vibey outdoor bar. Situated in the shaded courtyard, under a leafy canopy, the bar lends itself perfectly to pre-dinner drinks, post-work tipples and weekend catch-ups in a relaxed yet vibey atmosphere.
Opening times Friday – Saturday, 12pm (lunch) – 11.30pm / Monday – Saturday, 6pm (dinner) – 11.30pm
Contact 021 422 0384, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 75 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan
5. Nourish’d Café & Juicery
Tucked away in an old garage on the corner of Hof and Kloof Streets in Gardens, and hidden behind lush granadilla creepers and a bounty of hanging plants, this laidback café is the kind of place where everyone is welcome – whether you’re strolling in barefoot from the beach, or popping in for a bite between meetings. Furry friends are welcome too, and nobody seems to be in a rush. The simple menu speaks to owner Natasha Napoli’s mantra that health is a state of harmony between body, mind and spirit. On offer is a selection of fresh cold-pressed juices, shots, smoothie boards served in Instagrammable coconut dishes, breakfast bowls and tasty toasts, all packed with fresh, locally-grown ingredients.
Good to know Nourish’d has a second branch in Observatory.
Opening times Monday – Thursday, 7am – 5pm; Friday, 7am – 4pm; Saturday, 8am – 2pm; Sunday, 8am – 12pm
Contact 064 755 2431, email@example.com
Where to find it Corner Kloof and Hof Streets, Cape Town
6. The Poké Co
First there was one, then there were two, and now we have a trio of poké parlours dishing up the most delicious bowls this side of Honolulu! Founded by 32-year-old Andrew Flanagan, the Kloof Street branch, like its sisters on Loop Street and in Sea Point, serves fresh, utterly delicious bowls of goodness, in a serene, well-put-together space, with friendly passionate staff rounding off the experience.
And, if you’re not partial to poké, there are all sorts of other items on the menu: smoothie bowls, healthy breakfast bowls, homemade cold-pressed juices, hot beverages, soft-serve ice cream and even sushi-rittos (burrito-sized sushi creations).
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 10pm
Contact 021 286 9597 / 066 0472731, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 47 Kloof Street, Cape Town
Set under the eaves of a revamped Victorian house, this ambient restaurant is set around the trunk of a 150-year-old olive tree strung with fairy lights – it almost feels as if you’ve stepped into the pages of a medieval fairytale book.
Tuesday and Sunday jazz nights, when Mr Keys & The Funky Munks take to the stage for a two-hour set, are sold-out affairs, and on other nights the Asian-style sharing plates vie with the delicious cocktail menu for diners’ affections. Cocktail purées are made fresh each day, and drinks mixed by trained mixologists. Another bonus is that the kitchen stays open until 12pm each night – a rare occurrence in Cape Town! It’s easy to understand why this Arabian Nights-inspired locale has been upholding its reputation as a Kloof Street gem for over a decade.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 6pm – 2am
Contact 021 422 0909, email@example.com
Where to find it 68 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town
8. Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant and Sushi Bar
When it rather presciently opened 23 years ago (in 1997), Saigon set the gold standard in Asian cuisine, with Vietnamese Thipert Van My at the assured helm. Over the intervening years, the restaurant has gained a vast and devoted following. Standards have remained rock-solid. It’s almost always full (booking essential, especially in season) and we have never had so much as a morsel that was not delectable: aromatic, evocative, and with a generous and respectful treatment of fresh and vibrant ingredients. The management and wait-staff welcome you as if to their own homes and the room, which is gorgeous, has one of those aching panoramic views of Table Mountain that during a summer sunset is epiphanic.
Opening times Sunday – Friday, 12pm – 9.30pm / Saturday, 5pm – 9.30pm
Contact 021 424 7670, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Corner Kloof and Camp Streets, Gardens, Cape Town
9. Kloof Street House
Housed in a 20th-century Victorian house, this cool courtyard restaurant, set back from the busy high street, is like stepping into the pages of The Great Gatsby. Hidden behind thick shrubs, you might miss it but, once inside, you’ll be happy you didn’t. The twinkling fairy lights and velvet cushions that line the garden seating area, together with the warmly lit, cosy interiors, make this one of Kloof Street’s most romantic haunts for a special occasion, date night or a no-excuses-needed meal with family and friends.
Relax under the trees outside with a cool cocktail and a tapas platter to share, or settle into a plush chair inside one of the perfectly curated dining rooms for a brasserie-style meal (and the famous popcorn cheesecake dessert!).
Opening times Monday, 5pm – 11.30pm / Tuesday – Sunday, 12pm – 4.45pm; 5pm – 11.30pm
Contact 021 423 4413, email@example.com
Where to find it Kloof Street House, 39 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town
10. Stacked Diner
You might fall off your chair in disbelief when you clock the prices of the burgers at this cool diner on Kloof Street – R55 for a classic 100% free-range, grass-fed beef burger, which just so happens to be bloody delicious. (Consider that a factory-farmed patty from a big nationwide chain – no names mentioned – costs almost double!)
But, wait, there’s more… included in that paltry amount are as many toppings as you desire including caramelised onions, chipotle mayo, gherkins, jalapeños, grilled mushrooms, among many more.
The menu also features hot dogs, salads, all-day breakfasts, waffles, real buttermilk flapjacks, desserts and real dairy ice-cream, handspun shakes. Sit at a street-facing table and shlurp on a cloyingly decadent shake, while gazing at unfettered views of Table Mountain through the large sliding windows.
Opening times Sunday – Thursday, 7.30am – 10pm / Friday & Saturday, 7.30am – 11pm
Contact 021 422 1572, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 60B Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town
11. El Burro Taqueria
The sister restaurant to the original Green Point branch, El Burro Taqueria dishes up the same mouth-popping Mexican flavours, but with a bite-sized twist. Tons of tapas, where the more items your order, the more tastes and textures you’ll experience. It’s a much smaller space than its Green Point sibling, but just as big on flavour.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 11am – 10pm
Contact 021 422 3554, email@example.com
Where to find it 1 New Church Street and Kloof Nek Road, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town
What looks like an inconspicuous house from the outside is actually an award-winning Kloof Street eatery, where irresistible aromas, warm service and fragrant flavours have been luring lovers of authentic Thai for close on 20 years.
Traditional Thai artefacts create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, making it the ideal space to dive into some deep-fried spring rolls, savour a steamy curry and nibble on some noodles.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm – 3pm; 5.30pm – 10.30pm / Sunday, 5.30pm – 10.30pm
Contact 021 422 1012, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 22 Camp Street, Gardens, Cape Town
13. The Bombay Bicycle Club
Part of the fantastical Madame Zingara franchise, the BBC (as it’s known to locals) is a dining experience worth trying at least once! Bohemian, eclectic decor and moody red and gold lighting evoke a fantasy world, where lively staff enhance the buzzy atmosphere. Enjoy a cocktail at the bar, then slip off to a secluded swing-seat table at the back for a romantic dinner.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 4pm – 12pm (bar); 6pm – 11pm (kitchen)
Contact 021 423 6805, email@example.com
Where to find it 158 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan
14. Our Local / 117 Kloof
This all-in-one antique shop, nursery and café is housed in an old workshop that’s been converted into a lush oasis of greenery. The wonderfully eclectic space invites guests to enjoy a wholesome breakfast or lunch at the restaurant before or after browsing the shop for plants, furniture, and everything in between.
Good to know The pièce de résistance is a 10-metre-long banquet table, where several times a week, guests can enjoy a three-course dinner (booking required).
Opening times Coffee Hatch: Monday – Sunday, 6am – 3pm / Our Local: Tuesday – Sunday, 9am – 3pm / 117 Kloof: Tuesday – Friday, 8am – 5pm; Saturday – Sunday 8am – 3pm
Contact 064 642 5004, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 117 Kloof Street, Cape Town
15. Manna Epicure
Owned by Agnès and Jonny van der Westhuizen (she’s French-Corsican and he’s a boereseuntjie from Citrusdal), Manna Epicure combines French flair and homegrown hospitality. It’s a popular all-day breakfast spot, offering a delicious assortment of gluten-free options, too – we recommend the scrumptious coconut bread. The contemporary all-white interiors make it a lovely choice to enjoy a modern bistro-style lunch or dinner.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday, 8am – 10pm
Contact 021 426 2413, email@example.com
Where to find it 151 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town
16. The Moveable Feast
This popular spot has seen at least three changes of ownership in the past three years, which doesn’t detract from what’s on offer: a bistro-bar, with some dancing thrown in for good measure. With two bars, DJs from Thursday to Sunday, and happy hour specials all week long, you know where to go if you’re looking for a party.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 3pm until late
Contact 087 897 9749, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 13 Kloof Nek Road, Cape Town
17. Three Wise Monkeys
This izakaya (informal Japanese gastropub) and ramen bar has just opened a second shop on Kloof Street! After the roaring success of its Sea Point branch, it was just a matter of time before the Asian eatery opened in the city bowl. And with it’s fabulous fare and laid-back vibe it’s sure to fit right in. Pop in day or night for a bowl of their famous ramen, or tuck into delicious fresh sushi and poke bowls sure to keep you coming back for more.
Opening times Monday, 3pm – 11pm / Tuesday – Sunday, 11pm – 11pm
Where to find it 108 Kloof Street, Cape Town
18. Café Paradiso
Flanked by hedges off upper Kloof Street, this popular Mediterannean-inspired eatery serves a variety of dishes that suit most tastes and occasions. Pull up a seat under the trees in the outdoor courtyard during summer for wonderful views of Table Mountain, or cosy up next to the fireplaces in the restaurant or bar when it’s chilly. Whether you pop in for a substantial breakfast, laidback lunch, or romantic dinner, you’re sure to get what you came for.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 8am – 10pm / Sunday, 9am – 10pm
Contact 021 422 0403, email@example.com
Where to find it 110 Kloof Street, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town
You may recognize this Kloof Street stalwart from its playful yellow walls with lashings of blue, but it’s the mouthwatering Mozambican and Portuguese dishes that have locals coming back for more. We’re talking: beef trinchado, espetadas, Mozambican curry, peri-peri chicken, Patagonian calamari, and more, all served by friendly staff. Passionate owner Toni Silva (who grew up in Mozambique to Portuguese parents) pours love into every dish, and has created a warm space for regulars and newcomers alike.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 3pm; 6pm – 11pm
Contact 021 423 7617, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 88 Kloof Street, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town
20. Miller’s Thumb
This converted home on bustling Kloof Nek corner is an institution among local seafood lovers. Brightly painted orange and green walls – inside and out – imbue it with a sense of casual festivity. You’ll do well to order a smack-of-the-sea piece of grilled fish, or try a Cajun-, Moroccan-, Malay- or Creole-flavoured dish.
Opening times Tuesday – Friday, 12.30pm – 2pm; 6.30pm – 10pm / Saturday & Monday, 6.30pm – 10pm
Contact 021 424 3838, email@example.com
Where to find it 10B Kloof Nek Road, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town
We also rate
Olive Branch Deli for a mouth-watering array of delicious local produce.
The Power & The Glory for a vibey, sidewalk drinks.
Big Dog Café for good coffee and delicious smashed avo on toast.
Eatstanbul for fully halaal falafel, flatbreads and flaming kebabs.
Today & Tomorrow for a relaxed, darn delicious bite – and the Friday and Saturday live DJ sessions.
Prashad for an assortment of utterly delicious vegetarian (and meat) curries.
Life Unframed for the best ice cream in Cape Town (even if the vibe is slightly sterile).
Researched by Kent Cloete, Nikki Benatar, Michelle de Bruin
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