Power up at one of these cool, affordable and comfortable lunch spots in Cape Town.
Like a phoenix from the Acunto pizza oven, Bocca is back on the Bree Street block – with a brand-new menu, new owners (one of whom is a Milanese chef), and mod interiors! And, dare we say, it’s better than ever. The scrumptious Neapolitan-style pizzas made in the super-snazzy Italian-imported oven now come in a smaller half-size – all the better for sharing!
And there are five other sections on chef Guido Brambilla’s mouthwatering menu, namely Bites, Crispy, Grains (pasta), Pizzette (small pizza), Arrosti (slow roasts), and Last Stop (dessert).
We suggest you order at least one dish from each, and get stuck in.
This is good food, cooked well, and made with the finest local ingredients! “We only import the Rummo pasta from Italy,” explains Guido, “but the olive oils and cheeses we use are sourced locally, and are excellent.”
Stand-out dishes The yellow-fin tuna carpaccio, topped with finely chopped olives, tomato, oregano, spring onions and Cape micro herbs is revelatory in its simplicity; The Ital Chips (twice-cooked potato wedges with Parmesan, rosemary and truffle drizzle) are dangerously moreish; and the tiramisu will make all your worries disappear.
Opened November 2018
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 10pm
Contact 021 422 0188, email@example.com
Where to find it The Block, Corner of Bree and Wale Streets, Cape Town
Reviewer Nikki Benatar
For all-day breakfast, Clarke’s is a great place to indulge in a spot of eggs and bacon at lunchtime with no judgement. Also available are salads, soups, sandwiches and burgers.
Price range R20 to R85.
X factor The hint of greenery courtesy of the potted plants along the walls, together with the natural-wood palette, makes for a refreshing way to spend your lunch in the city centre.
Contact 021 424 7648, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find Clarke’s Bar and Dining Room, Bree Street
3. Olami – previously Sababa Kitchen & Deli
Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours are highlighted in the various freshly made salads (featured in our Best Salads in Cape Town), meat dishes and homemade pastries presented on a giant buffet table.
Price range R55 (1 main and 3 salads) to R80 (large salad box)
X factor We love that it’s right next door to Kirsten Goss and Missibaba, should you feel like a spot of retail therapy.
Contact 021 424 7480
Where to find Olami Cape Town, Olami Sea Point
Modelled on Pret A Manger in London, this self-service lunch bar has an open fridge stocked with ready-made sandwiches, wraps, smoothies and salads, taking “immediate gratification” to new heights. Or, order a freshly made sandwich, wrap, salad, burger, pizza or curry and rice – which are available for takeaway and sit-down.
Price range R26 (egg and mayo sandwich) to R68 (gourmet beef burger with egg, bacon and lays chips).
X factor Immediate gratification!
Contact 021 424 6171
Where to find 54 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town
5. Bread, Milk and Honey
The menu ranges from ready-made wraps and sandwiches to a lunch buffet featuring fresh salads, pies, curries, pasta and baked goodies, so there’s sure to be something that tickles your fancy.
Price range R13/100g (for takeaway buffet); R15/100g (for sit-down).
X factor The coffee is expertly made by trained baristas! And the freshly squeezed juices – carrot, apple and ginger; apple, celery and mint; and spinach, carrot, ginger and lemon – are healthy and delicious.
Contact 021 461 8425
Where to find 10 Spin Street, Cape Town
6. Eastern Food Bazaar
Image credit: Andrew Harvard
As the name suggests, get your fix of mainly Indian (but also Middle Eastern and Asian) here. We’re talking curries, tandoori, stir-fries, biryanis, shawarmas, kebabs, and more. The food is incredibly budget friendly and comes in very generous portions (enough for two people if you’re not a big eater).
Price range R20 to R45
X factor We love the “downtown Delhi” vibe. It’s bursting with atmosphere, and attracts a motley crew of office workers, families, trendoids and tourists.
Contact 021 461 2458
Where to find 96 Longmarket St, Cape Town
7. Food Lover’s Market
Help yourself to the generous ready-made sandwiches, pizza slices, hot and cold salads, fish, pastas, stews and casseroles, all priced very reasonably. It’s presented in a buffet, which means you are in control of your portions, and you can pick and choose what you want. Or sit at the stir-fry bar, and custom-order your own combination. There’s also a sushi conveyor belt, but it’s quite pricey. So get there at 3pm, when it’s half-price. Or help yourself to the soup of the day, which is served in a big tureen.
Price range R9.30/100g (buffet)
X factor There are so many options – you can eat there every day of the week and never have the same thing!
Contact 021 424 0294
Where to find 122 St Georges Mall Street, Cape Town
Daily chalkboard specials as well as soups, salads and burgers mean you are spoilt for choice. All items are also available for takeaway and deliveries. If you don’t feel like waiting for your food to be made, grab a ready-made sandwich, wrap or salad from the open fridge.
X factor Whenever possible, organic and free-range products are used, such as the organic coffee and free-range beef, chicken and eggs, which means you can tuck in with an eco conscience.
Contact 021 4183118
Where to find 20-22 Waterkant St, City Bowl, Cape Town
9. Jason Bakery
Known for its exquisite freshly baked croissants, breads and other indulgent sweet and savoury pastries, Jason does to-die-for gourmet sandwiches and salads. We love the peppered Marie brisket (with brisket shavings, coleslaw, gherkins and mustard on a peppered brioche roll) for R75 and the curried chickpea salad for R55.
X factor The Salvador certified organic single-estate coffee imported from Nicaragua, featured in our Best Coffee in Cape Town will have you coming back for more.
Contact 021 424 5644, email@example.com
Where to find Jason Bakery, Bree Street
10. Black Sheep
Like the other bars, coffee shops and restaurants on trendy Kloof Street, Black Sheep is cool, contemporary space where foodies, hipsters and CBD office workers congregate. The street-level floor (with a cosy fireplace in winter and drenched in sunlight on summer days) is the main restaurant, and there’s also a mezzanine for private parties, and a street-facing bar for the after-work set.
Price range R45 to R165
X factor Chef Jonathan Japha does comfort dishes that are adventurous, flavourful and utterly satisfying. It’s also fabulous for after-work drinks (read our Best Sundowner Spots in Cape Town).
Contact 021 426 2661, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 104 Kloof Street, Cape Town
Subscribe to our newsletter for your Inside Guide to the Cape.