26 March 2013

The OK Guide to Cape Town: Restaurants, Part 1

After spending a year in Cape Town, I am proud to present a hand-made list of favorites in food, wine, and beyond:
The OK Guide to Cape Town

There is a lot of good food in Cape Town. There is a lot of terrible/regrettable/overpriced food in Cape Town. Choose wisely. It is often advisable to book ahead, especially on weekends or in high season. Do not expect world-class service in the less-expensive restaurants.

[ Restaurants are listed by neighborhood and then from cheapest to most expensive. Highlighted restaurants are still memorable years later.] 

In Town:
·      Eastern Food Bazaar (96 Longmarket St) - cheap and cheerful "food court" downtown with Middle Eastern, Indian, and Asian food. Great Indian ice cream. Huge, ridiculous portions. Cool, diverse crowd. Lines at lunch can be epic.
·      Ou Meul Bakery (14 Long St) - great stop for fresh pies.
·      Clarke's (133 Bree St) - burgers and milkshakes are hip in Cape Town. Clarkes is the best of several crowded "American food" restaurants; better than Hudson's or Royale Eatery.
·      Bird's Cafe (127 Bree St) - lovely spot for breakfast and lunch. Tall ceilings, wood tables. Delicious food with stunning presentation. Dont miss the chicken pie.
·      Fork (84 Long Street) - small plates with South African / international flair. Great ambiance.
·      Masala Dosa (167 Long St) - solid Indian café with some vibe. Great lassis and solid vegetarian options. Thalis and dosas are highly recommended.
·      Addis in Cape (41 Church St) - solid Ethiopian place off of Long Street. Loud but atmospheric. Come with a large group and share something spicy.
·      Savoy Cabbage (101 Hout St) - some of the best fine dining in town: seasonal/organic + great atmosphere + game meats done perfectly.

Kloof St / Gardens:
·      Societi Bistro (50 Orange St) - classy Italian joint. Great vibe, especially in the bar.
·      Rick's Cafe Americain (2 Park Rd) - Casablanca-inspired Moroccan spot. Hearty portions. Can get noisy at dinner but is generally quiet at lunch. The deck upstairs is perfect for drinks after work.
·      Arnold's (60 Kloof St) - reliable Gardens spot for breakfast, WiFi, and delicious Modern South African game-meat dinners. Skip the fish dishes.
·      Takumi (3 Park Road) - respectable sushi.
·      Mount Nelson Hotel (76 Orange St) - afternoon tea plus buffet is legendary and delicious. Waste all afternoon eating sandwiches, pastries, and macarons. A fully colonial experience. Book ahead.

Tamboerskloof / Oranjezicht / Vredehoek
·      Toni's (88 Kloof St) - Portuguese and Mozambican place in Tamboerskloof. Best peri-peri chicken in town. Seafood curries are incredible.
·      Manna Epicure (151 Kloof St) - great lunch/brunch spot in Tamboerskloof. Delectable eggs benedict and other treats. Try the eggs with smoked salmon and coconut bread.
·      Cafe Paradiso (110 Kloof St) - pleasant Italian food in a house that is lovely inside and out. In winter they run a glorious lunch buffet that is a great deal (R55 for a big plate of goodies).
·      Sidewalk Cafe (33 Derry St) - delightful Vredehoek neighborhood spot. Modern South African food and a mean Pimms Cup. Dine on grilled linefish or fillet medallions. Book ahead.
·      Miller's Thumb (10B Kloof Nek Rd) - some of the best fish in town. Menu does not change, but they offer creative sauces, fresh seafood, and amazing springbok carpaccio. For dessert, try the poached pear with blue cheese ice cream. No corkage on your first bottle of wine; genuine good service in Cape Town. One of our favorite spots.
·      Bombay Bicycle Club (156 Kloof St) - wacky, weird, and delicious Modern South African food in Oranjezicht. Terrible service though. Funny hats and whimsical seating available/encouraged. Book ahead.
·      The Roundhouse (off of Kloof Rd) - there are few better places for a sundowner. Bottles of wine and tapas available on the lawn outside during summer. The restaurant itself features modern fine dining with South African touches. Book ahead.

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