The 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Cape Town

The 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Cape Town

Splash out on delicious offerings from our seas.

Seafood is Nature’s ultimate fast food, and a nautical gateway to finger-licking deliciousness all year round. Whether you’re after fish and chips with ocean views, a tasting menu with sustainably-sourced credentials at a stylish innercity eatery, or sensitively seared scallops with harbour and Table Mountain views, put these top Cape Town restaurants on your fish list.

And for more gastronomic maritime adventures (in Cape Town and further afield) don’t miss our list of The Top 12 Seafood Experiences in Cape Town.

Baia Seafood Restaurant

Best Seafood Restaurants: Baia

When you put special occasion and seafood in the same Cape Town sentence, Baia is the first place that comes to mind. Upstairs at the V&A Waterfront, it’s got picture-perfect harbour and Table Mountain views, white tablecloths, comfortable chairs, polished service, and an upmarket ambience. Known for its top-quality fish and seafood dishes, there’s an almost overwhelming choice on the menu: fresh oysters, abalone, linefish sashimi, prawn and langoustine ceviche, char-grilled sardines, whole baby kingklip, Portuguese-inspired platters of prawns, calamari and langoustines, Norwegian salmon and West Coast rock lobster. One of our favourites has to be the Black Mussels in Riesling – surely one of the tastiest mussel dishes in Cape Town.
Good to know It’s a large restaurant spread over several dining nooks and rooms. Ask for a table in one of the glass-walled terrace sections with the best views.
Opening times Monday – Thursday, 6pm – 10.15pm
Friday – Sunday, 12pm – 3.15pm, 6pm – 10.15pm
Contact 021 421 0935, baiarestaurant@wol.co.za
Where to find it Shop 6262, Victoria Wharf, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
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Kyoto Garden Sushi

Best Seafood Restaurants: Kyoto Garden
Claire Gunn

This pared-down Japanese eatery in the heart of buzzy Tamboerskloof has long been the go-to spot for top-notch sushi and elevated Japanese cuisine with a contemporary spin. Inside, a Zen-like reprieve from the outside busyness awaits, with dimly lit low tables, bamboo screens and wooden blinds. US-born owner Scott Wood has a penchant for provenance and is fastidious about unusual ingredients – think farmed abalone, Mozambican conch, eel, sea urchin and Alaskan king crab. And genuine wasabi root, grated on a traditional sharkskin grater in front of you at the table. Other hot faves on the wide-ranging and meticulously executed menu include miso soup with tempura scallops, wagyu beef ramen, and grilled squid with lemon squid ink.
Opening times Tuesday – Friday, 12pm – 11pm
Saturday, 5.30pm – 11pm
Contact  021 422 2001, booking@kyotogarden.co.za
Where to find it 11 Kloof Nek Road, Gardens
Book through DinePlan

Galjoen

Best Seafood Restaurants: Galjoen

Sustainable seafood by the boatload is the core philosophy behind Galjoen, a semi industrial dining space in the heart of the city. “Our approach is to serve only what is responsibly caught locally. If it’s not from South Africa, it’s not going on the menu,” says co-owner Neil Swart. He and Anouchka Horn continue the winning formula that wowed Cape Town foodies at Belly of the Beast: a set tasting menu, a limited number of seats and reservations only, plus of course fabulous local ingredients. Chef Isca Stoltz rolls out a delicious series of dishes on the frequently changing menu, including stunners such as the Rockpool: farmed abalone, seaweed broth, klipkombers and pickled kelp, or the braaied aged yellowtail with apricot and tamarind.
Good to know  Bookings open on the first day of each month at 10am for the following month.
Opening times Dinner seating: Monday – Saturday 6.45pm
Lunch seating: Thursday – Saturday, 12:30pm
Contact 079 093 0559, eat@galjoencpt.co.za
Where to find it 99 Harrington Street, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan

Nobu

Best Seafood Restaurants: Nobu

Everything from the sleek, double-volume interiors and swanky backlit bar to the highly skilled chefs and efficient and friendly staff is top-drawer at Nobu, One&Only Cape Town’s flagship restaurant. Gastronomically speaking, the Japanese-Peruvian dishes will send your tastebuds to Osaka and back, and the black cod miso is legendary (if you’re in the mood to splurge). Up for a culinary adventure? Go for the omakase (chef’s choice) tasting menu (there are vegan and vegetarian options too) and linger through multiple delectable courses, or take a seat at the sushi counter for signature classics such as the scallop and smelt egg hand roll, the eel and cucumber maki and yellowtail sashimi. Nobu is an impressive destination for a special occasion.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 6pm – 10pm
Contact 021 431 5888, reservations@oneandonlycapetown.com
Where to find it One&Only Cape Town, Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan

Riva Italian Fish Restaurant

Best Seafood Restaurants: Riva

If you love your seafood packed with Mediterranean flavours, and served by warm, passionate hosts, then Riva is a must. Opened in July 2018 by Italian chefs and friends, Nico Rovarini and Federico Rocca, it’s a popular informal haunt in the buzzy De Waterkant neighbourhood. The short menu changes weekly, according to the catch available, and majors on fresh and excellent ingredients and homemade pastas. Try the risotto mare (seafood risotto) or the polpo (slow-cooked octopus), the tuna carpaccio, or the pasta scoglio (fresh paccheri with clams, mussels and prawns) if they’re on the menu. And look out for the fish of the day, which also stars in the bouillabaisse alongside crayfish, prawns, mussels and clams.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 6pm – 10pm
Contact 021 418 0657, rivacapetown@gmail.com
Where to find it 24/4 Napier Street, De Waterkant, Cape Town
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Live Bait

Best Seafood Restaurants: Live Bait

This sea-scraping spot right on the breakwater in Kalk Bay harbour (downstairs from Harbour House) specialises in seafood, sushi and open-fire grilled meat and fish (if you love a good surf and turf, then look no further). Simple, no frills decor is all you need when the views are this good (False Bay, lighthouse, fishermen, seals, fishing boats, crashing waves, with whale-sightings an extra excitement in winter). The food is fresh and generously portioned with everything from fish and chips to seafood linguine, sardines and linefish. Or go for a sushi platter and an Aperol spritz or mojito from the cocktail menu.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 10pm
Contact 021 788 4133, kalkbay@livebait.co.za
Where to find it Kalk Bay Harbour, Main Road, Kalk Bay
Book through DinePlan

Café Orca

Best Seafood Restaurants: Cafe Orca

Ease into a relaxed West Coast vibe, with Melkbos beach views and a cottage-style family-run seafood restaurant. Fish is the only thing on the menu: there are two or three different linefish options daily (maybe tuna or swordfish), cooked to perfection and beautifully plated with a choice of sauces, plus roast vegetables, as well as chips or rice. Or go for one of several platters loaded with calamari, prawns, mussels or crayfish. Whether you get an outside table on the covered verandah or indoors in one of several small rooms, there are sea views and a welcoming atmosphere.
Good to know They cannot accommodate groups of more than 6 people.
Opening times Wednesday – Saturday, 12pm – 3pm; 6pm – 8.30pm
Sunday, 12pm – 3pm
Contact 021 553 4120
Where to find it 88 Beach Road, Melkbosstrand

Harbour House Kalk Bay

Best Seafood Restaurants: Harbour House

Perched high above the bustling fishing pier like a ship run aground, Harbour House is known for its seafood (fresh, delicious, not cheap), but you’re here for the luxury of lifting a glass to the ultimate knock-out view… False Bay in all its glory. Seafood is, naturally, the primary focus: sushi, grilled crayfish, scallops, tuna tartare and oysters, as well as the popular seafood platter for a little taste of everything – langoustines, prawns, chardonnay mussels, linefish, calamari tubes, and more. The creative chef’s pairings with swordfish, kingklip and seabass head towards the finer side of dining, and there are meat options too. Be sure to enquire about the daily specials – you never know what the trawlers may have hauled in that morning.
Good to know If luck is on your side, ask to sit at table 40, the only outside table on a tiny balcony facing the sea with the waves crashing directly beneath you.
Harbour House has a second branch at the V&A Waterfront.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 12am
Contact 021 788 4136, kalkbay@harbourhouse.co.za
Where to find it Kalk Bay Harbour, Main Road, Kalk Bay
Book through DinePlan

The Lighthouse Café

Best Seafood Restaurants: Lighthouse Cafe

Simon’s Town’s whitewashed walls and charming streets are full of history and memories, a place where change comes slowly. Its popular The Lighthouse Café, however, has seen subtle changes since the arrival of owner Mike Israel in 2021. There is now a warm Thai seafood salad on the menu as well as pan-grilled locally caught fish with a coconut cream sauce with fresh ginger, coriander and lemongrass. But Mike has stayed true to the bistro-style dishes that locals and tourists have come to love at this relaxed eatery, including the famous beer-battered fish and chips.
Good to know There’s a breakfast menu and plenty of non-seafood options too.
Pets are welcome and bowls of fresh water are always available for thirsty furries!
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 8.30am – 10pm
Sunday + Monday, 8.30am – 4pm
Contact 087 700 6421, admin@thelighthousecafe.co.za
Where to find it 90 St Georges Street, Simon’s Town
Enquire Now

Willoughby & Co

Best Seafood Restaurants: Willoughby

You’ll always find a queue of hungry diners waiting to be seated at Willoughby & Co at the V&A Waterfront. And for good reason – the sushi here is consistently delicious. Their extensive menu offers a variety of beautifully made Japanese and traditional seafood dishes prepared by experienced chefs under the eagle eye of owner Jens Tibshraeny and his head chef Sam.
With everything so scrumptious, it’s hard to choose, but one of our favourites is their signature 4×4 dish (four pieces of creamy rock-shrimp maki and four pieces of Rainbow Reloaded rolls topped with deep-fried prawns tossed in a spicy chilli-bean mayonnaise). You’ll also be tempted by sardines, calamari and the rock shrimp tempura, plus seafood platters and more.
Though you’re in a mall, the pale-wood furniture and comfortable padded booths give it its own personality. If you’re popping in for a quick bite, perch at the counter and watch the chefs at work As bookings are not accepted, service is quick and efficient, so waiting for a table isn’t a big deal.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 10pm
Contact 021 418 6115
Where to find it Shop 6132, V&A Waterfront

Which are your favourite seafood spots? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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Disclaimer:

The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 13 March 2024

Add new comment

5 Responses to “The 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Cape Town”

  1. Plups

    What about Millers Thumb? Excellent seafood.

    Reply
  2. CC

    Best seafood: Miller’s Thumb, Koof Nek Rd, Tamboerskloof.

    Reply
  3. Peter Baumann

    Mary-Ann,

    Tell us the “finest fish places in Cape Town”

    Reply
  4. Mary-Ann

    Hi
    Who selects these restaurants? Does the person who writes these go to the places, eat the food? This is not a selection of the finest fish places in Cape Town. A lot of this is premised on where they are and what they look like.

    Reply
    • Inside Guide

      Hi Mary-Ann
      We have a team of restaurant-goers and a trusted bunch of contributors who eat out regularly.
      We’d love to know which your favourite seafood restaurants are.

      Reply