Breakfast diners, colourful cafés, superb dining and buzzy nightspots.
Kloof Street has always been a hot dining destination; its long, sloping eight-block strip dotted with buzzy restaurants, cafés and bars since way before even Bree Street got fancy. The buzz has increased of late, with a slew of exciting new openings adding to the scene.
And it is a scene… you’ll find locals breakfasting and chatting over working lunches, trendy nightspots, simple good food, and superb dining.
Do you have any Kloof Street favourites you think we should know about? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
“Indian. With Attitude” is their slogan and it sums up the vibe at this bright and welcoming new Kloof Street restaurant. In the space that used to be Manna Epicure, co-owners and friends Jason and Tim alongside manager Kevin reinvent the modern Indian idiom: sage and terracotta walls, jungle wallpaper featuring tigers and tropical birds, pistachio banquettes, pale-wood chairs and tables (and gorgeous Mervyn Gers tableware).
Chef Jai studied in Tamil Nadu (the southernmost state of India) and has a deft hand with streetfood snacks, such as the potato masala dosa (with coconut chutney and aubergine curry dip). Authentic Southern Indian dishes (and a Durban curry or two) make up the mains menu – a divine prawn coconut curry, aloo gobi, and lamb tikka masala, mopped up with crispy parathas. And the short winelist is well chosen to play nicely with spices (with lots of options by the glass). It’s hospitable, generous (we took home leftovers) and already bustling and busy on any night of the week.
Good to know There’s an excellent selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 10pm
Contact 021 300 5777, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 151 Kloof Street, Gardens
Book through DinePlan
The name is Old Norse for “moose”; the aesthetic is forest-inspired, with a palette of charcoal, black, wood and sage green. The food is seasonal, earthy, authentic and beautiful… Swedish-born Jesper Nilsson is a cheffy chef at heart, but his sharing-plates menu is made “to put people at ease”. Superb house-made charcuterie, unexpected but sublime vegetable dishes, crunchy baby gem salads, and heart-warming meat dishes change frequently with the seasons. Different hubs suit different moods: there’s a streetside, light-filled front room with leather banquettes; the moodier heart of the restaurant; and a plant-filled courtyard, complete with a bar, sofa, café tables and pizza oven. It’s a place you can come for drinks with snacks or the chef’s choice menu paired with excellent wine.
Opening times Wednesday – Saturday, 6pm – 11pm
Contact 021 422 0384, email@example.com
Where to find it 75 Kloof Street, Gardens
Book through DinePlan
A revamped Victorian house decorated with a lavish helping of eastern promise, this buzzy restaurant is set around a 150-year-old olive tree strung with fairy lights, just the start of the quirky ambience. Tuesday jazz nights, when Mr Keys & The Funky Munks take to the stage for a two-hour set, are sold-out affairs (as the newly launched Sundays Live sessions promise to be), and the resident DJs take it from there with live sets Thursday to Saturday. Chef Dean Seddon’s punchy Asian-style sharing plates vie for diners’ affections with a delicious cocktail menu, where purées are made fresh each day by expert mixologists. Another bonus is that the kitchen stays open until midnight – a rare occurrence in Cape Town! It’s easy to understand why this atmospheric locale has been upholding its reputation as a Kloof Street gem for over a decade.
Good to know The Hungry Mondays special menus is a steal at R265 for 3 courses
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 5.30pm – 2am
Sunday, 5.30pm – 12am
Contact 021 422 0909, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 68 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Kloof Street House
Housed in an old Victorian building, 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, brunch, 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!).
Good to know Don’t miss the Sunday lunchtime jazz sessions.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 2am (kitchen closes at 11.30pm)
Monday, 12pm – 2am
Contact 021 423 4413, email@example.com
Where to find it 39 Kloof Street, Gardens
A wonderfully eclectic space converted from an old mechanics workshop, it’s hard to tell at first if you’ve wandered into an antique store, plant nursery or café. The answer is it’s all three. Tuck into a wholesome breakfast, lunch or dinner and if you fall in love with your table, a neighbouring plant or vintage knick-knack, it’s probably for sale. The long table is divided by piles of books and plants into smaller nooks, or cleared for long-table dinners and private functions. From hearty burgers and toasties, to pasta limone, shakshuka and scrumptious salads, the flavours sing clear and true. It’s simple, generous food made with love.
Good to know There’s a glass-walled private dining room adjoining the space.
Opening times Sunday – Wednesday, 8am – 3.30pm
Thursday – Saturday, 8am – 11pm
Contact 064 642 5004, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 117 Kloof Street, Gardens
What could be more therapeutic than sitting around a table enjoying good conversation and good food, a glass of excellent wine or a cocktail or two? That’s what legendary Cape Town-born and Khayelitsha-bred DJs and creatives Loyiso Mdebuka and Vincent Mvelase Manzini (aka DJ Loyd and Sir Vincent) had in mind for their upmarket new eatery just off Kloof Street. “More than just a restaurant we wanted a space where we join as a community,” says Vincent, “a place that speaks to the kind of people we are. Conversations that are meaningful happen in such spaces.” Consultant chef Paolo Santo of Gemelli in Joburg has devised a winning combination of heart-warming flavours presented as generous small plates and well-portioned mains: share the sticky lamb ribs on couscous salad with pistachios, and buttermilk fried chicken thighs with apple slaw, a spicy bowl of chorizo and harissa pasta, or a whole plate of sole with fennel salad. And leave room for dessert – a rather gorgeous baked cheesecake and a panna cotta liberally topped with candied hazelnuts.
Opening times Sunday – Wednesday, 12pm – 10pm
Thursday – Saturday, 12pm – 11pm
Contact 021 109 0112
Where to find it 5 Park Road, Gardens
Book through DinePlan
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. A collection of Japanese whisky and authentic cocktails (make mine the Dirty Ninja Saketini), adds the final touch to a sophisticated experience. It’s pricier than some, but worth every single cent.
Opening times Tuesday – Friday, 12pm – 11pm
Saturday, 5.30pm – 11pm
Contact 021 422 2001, email@example.com
Where to find it 11 Kloof Nek Road, Gardens
Book through DinePlan
Carne on Kloof
Uncompromising on quality, with very definite ideas on the right way to do things, Giorgio Nava sees no reason to change a winning recipe. You can rely on finding your old favourites at his two Carne restaurants (Kloof Street and Keerom). Classic Milanese cooking with a focus on meat (carne is after all Italian for meat), Giorgio offers the finest cuts of pasture-raised beef, Dorper lamb and game, and encourages you to try lesser-known cuts such as the spider, hanger and flat-iron steaks. Start with old-school classics such as lamb (or butternut) ravioli, gnocchi alla gorgonzola, or pan-fried sweetbreads in white wine, butter and sage. And save room after your meat dish for a fondente al cioccolato, the classic chocolate dessert with liquid chocolate centre that Giorgio made popular in Cape Town when he brought it here 20 years ago.
Good to know Carne on Kloof and Carne on Keerom share the same classic menu.
Opening times Monday – Thursday, 6pm – 10pm
Friday + Saturday, 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm
Contact 021 426 5566, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 153 Kloof Street, Gardens
Book through DinePlan
Lobster-red walls, burnt-orange banquettes, a lemon-yellow Amalfi-esque bar in the back courtyard… bold colour is the signature of this vibey Kloof Street eatery and bar. Club Kloof comes from chef Shayne Shutte and Michael Carter, the duo behind Kloof Street favourite Our Local. They modestly call their cuisine “Italian-ish”, focussing on simple but excellent ingredients in small-plate-sharing format. Working in their on-site bakery with an 103-year-old Italian starter from Bergamo, their side-plate-sized puffy pizzas have exciting toppings, like meatballs with salsa verde or much-loved Mortadella with pistachio and green olive butter. Add a few salads (we recommend the heirloom tomato and stone fruit with goat’s cheese), a plate of grilled prawns on skewers, beef fillet and triple-fried wedges, plus a cocktail or two, and you’re all set for an afternoon or evening of retro 70s-style Italian(-ish) dolce vita.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm –11.30pm
Sunday, 12pm – 6pm
Contact 072 415 3752, email@example.com
Where to find it 84 Kloof Street, Gardens
Book through DinePlan
Black Sheep Restaurant
This casual eatery with an ever-changing chalkboard menu has been a fixture for locals ever since it opened in 2013. Chefs Jonathan and Sherry Japha serve honest, unpretentious comfort-food dishes devised from the freshest produce available that day (you might see them changing up the chalkboard mid-meal) so you could, theoretically, eat here every day of the week and never have the same thing.
At lunch, the windows open wide onto Kloof Street (with Table Mountain filling the backdrop) and locals and international visitors stop by for a quick plate or a laidback three-course meal. Dinner service is always busy, the music turns up a notch and it can get loud, but if you want great food and a lively atmosphere, The Black Sheep is it.
Good to know Just over the road is Dark Horse, its sister spot for buzzy drinks and a bar menu.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm – 11pm
Monday, 6pm – 11pm
Contact 021 426 2661, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 104 Kloof Street, Gardens
Quirky on the minimalist side is Blondie, the hippest hangout on Kloof Street. Oozing laidback vibes, luring you closer long before you’ve crossed the road (parking is best in the Lifestyle Centre on the opposite side), the food here is as much a marvel as the place itself. Think small plates of affordable, Mediterranean-type eats (like a whole charred cauliflower head!) and colourful cocktails, served inside at large wooden tables, or outside in the shade of bright yellow umbrellas. If you go for the food, try the whole fish (there is a medium and large option) in white wine, onion and tomato sauce, or the stacked tomato, cucumber and herb Acid salad – yes, it’s really like the drug. The music gets loud and fun (we’re sure we heard a remix of a Blondie hit from way back in the 80s). Whether you’re after food, cocktails, music or a party, you’ll get what you came for.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm – 12am
Sunday, 12pm – 10pm
Contact 072 169 8671, email@example.com
Where to find it 71 Kloof Street, Gardens
A gorgeously renovated heritage building, stylish and evocative with Victorian fireplaces and features, Upper Union has quickly settled into place as a stalwart of the Kloof Street landscape. Silwood-trained chef Amori Burger has created an appealing and soul-warming menu of large and small plates to share, with punchy flavours and pot-luck conviviality that fits perfectly into the neighbourhood’s eclectic culinary scene. A cocktail menu designed by Just Short, and a winelist featuring small scale local producers, sets the seal on what has quickly become a neighbourhood favourite.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 11.30am – 10pm
Contact 021 891 0360, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 3 Upper Union Street, off Kloof Street, Gardens
Book through DinePlan
Opened by Liam Tomlin (head honcho of the Chefs Warehouse group of restaurants) in 2016, 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 Nate Coe, comprises eight dishes, served in three courses. Including sambals, poppadoms and tandoor, the spice levels gradually increase as you progress, so the flavours keep popping, culminating in the most heavenly curries that, combined with the exotic interior decor and lighting, will transport you to the fragrant streets of Delhi.
Good to know No bookings. There are vegetarian tapas for 2 and vegan tapas for 1 options.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 5pm – 9.30pm
Contact 021 286 2110, email@example.com
Where to find it 3 Park Road, Gardens
El Burro Taqueria
The sister restaurant to the original Green Point branch, pocket-sized El Burro Taqueria dishes up the same mouth-popping Mexican flavours, but with a bite-sized twist. There are tons of tapas dishes, where the more items you order, the more tastes and textures you’ll experience. Hand-pressed corn tortillas, fresh salsas, margaritas on tap… it may be smaller than its Green Point sibling, but it’s just as big on flavour.
Good to know No reservations
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 10.30pm
Sunday, 12pm – 9pm
Contact 021 422 3554, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Corner 1 New Church Street and Kloof Nek Road, Tamboerskloof
Rick’s Café Americain
Taking inspiration from the piano bar of the same name that featured in the classic movie Casablanca, this popular spot is known and loved for its top-notch tipples (there are 500+ beverages on the menu, including more than 100 tequilas and 100 gins), tasty grub and awesome atmosphere. We’re talking a vibey roofdeck (wind- and weatherproof with foldaway windows), adorned with couches and a scattering of tables overlooking views of Table Mountain, while a scenic wrap-around balcony surrounds the indoor dining area and moody piano lounge, with a stylish downstairs bar to boot. Order a selection of mouthwatering tapas, salads, steak, seafood or vegetarian fare, as you sip on an ice-cold beer, a glass of vino, or crisp cocktail in a relaxed, yet vibey atmosphere.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 11am – 2am
Contact 021 822 1100, email@example.com
Where to find it 103 Kloof Street, Gardens
Book through DinePlan
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