If you’re planning a Valentine’s meal (there, we said the V word!), cities don’t come any more romantic than Cape Town. We’ve handpicked the most swoonsome restaurants in the Mother City for every loved-up occasion. (And, if we’ve overlooked any lovey-dovey locations, please let us know in the comments below.)
Restaurants with a sea view
1. Harbour House, Kalk Bay
With a focus on seafood, the food at Harbour House is simple, delicious and beautifully presented, and the decor is chic, pared-down and contemporary.
Romance factor Boasting arguably the best sea views on the entire peninsula, Harbour House Restaurant towers over Kalk Bay’s bustling fishing pier. The floor-to-ceiling windows give an uninterrupted view of the waves crashing into the rocks below, and of the beautiful mountains beyond. Window seats are subject to availability, so book early to avoid disappointment.
Contact 021 788 4133, email@example.com
Where to find it Harbour House, Kalk Bay
2. Azure at The Twelve Apostles
Chef Christo Pretorius has developed contemporary, fine-dining tasting menus (Taste of the Sea and Taste of the Earth) that celebrate South African flavours.
Romance factor The terrace overlooking the ocean is Azure’s most prized possession. Located at the foot of Table Mountain, it looks down to the ocean and horizon beyond. In winter, the indoor fireplace creates a cosy and intimate vibe, with large windows yielding stunning ocean views.
Contact 021 437 9029, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Azure Restaurant at The Twelve Apostles Hotel
3. Thorfynns Restaurant, Noordhoek
Expect a variety of culinary styles on the menu, including South African potjies, wood-baked pizza, sushi, seafood and vegetarian dishes, all prepared using the fresh, locally sourced, free-range and organic produce, wherever possible.
Romance factor Though decidedly casual, the rustic setting is romantic in a homely way. The sea-facing deck (that boasts amazing sunset views) blends into the surrounding trees and vegetation, so you feel like you’re at one with nature. And as for the dreadful southeaster, don’t fret, the deck is sheltered.
Contact 021 789 8006, email@example.com
Where to find it Mountain Road (off Beach Road), Noordhoek
4. Rumbullion at the Roundhouse
Home to Rumbullion restaurant, the Roundhouse, has a history of warm hospitality, luxury and world-class cuisine that goes back 200 years. The heartwarming dishes on the menu have a strong Cape flavour: Malay curries, Bo-Kaap biryani and Saldanha Bay mussels, to name a few.
Romance factor The restaurant’s setting, lush gardens with views of the Twelve Apostles and the Atlantic Ocean, is one of the most breathtaking on the Atlantic seaboard. The Rumbullion’s summer sundowner special is a lovely way to spend Valentine’s eve.
Contact 021 438 4347, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it The Roundhouse Restaurant
5. The Bungalow
One of the coolest restaurants along Victoria Road on the Clifton-Camps Bay strip, The Bungalow does cool elegance with aplomb. On the menu, you’ll find everything from burgers and salads to sushi and seafood, and the bar menu is just as varied: rare spirits, South African wines, freshly prepared cocktails and digestifs and aperitifs.
Romance factor The uninterrupted panoramic view of the Atlantic is sure to set your hearts aflutter. Order a glass of French Champagne and cuddle up to your loved one as you watch the sunset over the ocean and enjoy a satisfying meal.
Contact 021 438 2018, email@example.com
Where to find it The Bungalow
Restaurants under the stars
1. Makaron Restaurant at Majeka House
Majeka House is a beautiful five-star boutique hotel in Stellenbosch, and home to Makaron Restaurant. The culinary team’s award-winning menu is dotted with innovative dishes that are heartwarming and exciting.
Romance factor The terrace, housed in a glass conservatory, offers a clear view of the night sky. For a special occasion, book The Kitchen Table, and sit in the heart of the kitchen, while the chefs whip up an unforgettable experience five-course meal.
Contact 021 880 1549, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Makaron Restaurant at Majeka House
2. La Colombe
EatOut’s Chef of the Year 2015, Scot Kirton, heads the kitchen at this elegant eatery. All his unique French-inspired dishes are made with fresh, seasonal ingredients – our favourite is the La Colombe Tuna (Lilliputian-seared tuna tataki) served in a little tin can.
Romance factor Perched on the side of the mountain and surrounded by greenery, the restaurant has a romantic-getaway feel. Add exquisitely plated food, and all resistance crumbles…
Contact 021 795 0125, email@example.com
Where to find it La Colombe
3. La Mouette
Image credit: Dobber Nation Loves
Located in Sea Point, La Mouette serves modern French cuisine with a hint of Mediterranean flavours. It was on Eat Out’s 2014 list of nominees for the Top 10 restaurants in South Africa.
Romance factor The outside courtyard, with a central fountain, is cosy yet sophisticated, while the excellent food, superb service and meticulous wine list add to the flutter factor.
Contact 021 433 0856, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it La Mouette Restaurant
It’s one of our Best Restaurants in Stellenbosch and has been in EatOut’s Top 10 Restaurants list for eight years. Head chef Michael Broughton concocts simple, bold dishes that change with the seasons.
Romance factor Located on the beautiful Kleine Zalze wine estate, the restaurant offers spectacular views of the golf course during the day. And, come evening, the starlit sky creates an enchanting space.
Contact 021 880 8167, email@example.com
Where to find it Terroir
5. The Delaire Graff Restaurant
Despite its fine-dining credentials, this restaurant is elegantly laidback. The fresh and vibrant food, prepared using herbs and vegetables from the estate’s garden, is a joy for the eyes and the taste buds.
Romance factor The open terrace “floats” above the vineyards and olive groves, while offering majestic views of the surrounding mountains that stretch to Banghoek Valley. After dinner, enjoy a leisurely walk around the immaculately landscaped gardens, admiring Dylan Lewis’ life-sized sculptures along the way.
Contact 021 885 8160, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Helshoogte Pass, Stellenbosch
Up close and personal
1. Kitima Restaurant
Located in the historic Kronendal Manor, Kitima specialises in Thai, sushi and other Asian cuisine. Start your meal with the dim sum, then share a fragrant curry, the homemade noodles, a traditional roti, the China Town Roast Duck or the Szechaun Ku Po Prawn, to name a few options. That way, you’ll get to experience the kaleidoscope of flavours that deemed Kitima EatOut’s Best Asian Restaurant in 2013.
Romance factor With private dining rooms, each with a fireplace, high ceilings and beautiful lighting, Kitima has to be one of the most romantic restaurants in Cape Town.
Contact 021 790 8004
Where to find it 140 Main Rd, Hout Bay, Cape Town
2. Kloof Street House
Located on one of Cape Town’s famed culinary strips, Kloof Street House is housed in a Victorian building and serves a variety of cuisines.
Romance factor You’ll feel like you’ve just stepped onto the set of The Great Gatsby… A show-stopping chandelier hangs in the centre of the dining area, while huge arched windows, cushioned wicker chairs and heavy, draped curtains separating the various dining areas add to the mystique.
Contact 021 423 4413, email@example.com
Where to find it Kloof Street House
One of the Hottest New Restaurants in Cape Town, Dalliance is a cool tapas bar at the V&A Waterfront. But once you step inside, the chic décor, perfect lighting, cool beats and cosmopolitan crowd makes you feel like you’re in another city, let alone a mall.
Romance factor The small-plates-to-share concept is perfect for any stage of your relationship, whether you’re looking for a first-date ice-breaker, reigniting an old flame, or having an intimate meal with your life partner. The gorgeous ocean views up the swoonalicious setting.
Contact 021 418 1037, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Dalliance, V&A Waterfront
4. Charcoal Dining
Co-owners Roy van Litsenborgh and arty creative Bettina Scheffler have created a chic, European-style eatery with a menu made with seasonal and sustainably sourced produce.
Romance factor This intimate, dimly lit restaurant, surrounded by a beautiful collection of photographic art on the walls, is perfect for a romantic date night.
Contact 021 422 3232, email@example.com
Where to find it Charcoal Dining