Food in Cape Town is generally of high quality. The wines are much celebrated, but the surrounding region is also a major fruit producer, and the Karoo lamb is widely regarded. Seafood caught locally is superlative, but ironically much of it goes internationally (e.g., tuna for sushi) because of the prices that can be achieved. Ask about the local linefish—yellowtail, cape salmon, kingklip, kabeljou and others are great eating. Oysters in season are also exceptional, farmed and wild from Knysna or wild flown in from Namibia.
As one of the main tourist spots is the V&A Waterfront, you will find a broad range of restaurants, but they are often crowded and expensive. The area around Kloof St has many cafés and restaurants, as well as Long Street (frequented by a multi-ethnic clientèle), while the trendy area of De Waterkant between Bo Kaap and Green Point above Somerset Road also boasts good food and a great vibe. Dine with supermodels and other beautiful people in Camps Bay, which has many hip eateries and nightspots overlooking the beach along Victoria Road.
Farther afield, Hout Bay on the west side of the Cape Peninsula is very good for fresh crayfish (lobsters - they have become quite expensive, around R300, though). Kalk Bay on the east side of the peninsula offers a big variety of fresh fish, do check out The Brass Bell. The restaurants in nearby Simon's Town are also good.
Do not neglect the Cape Winelands for food if you have a car. In Stellenbosch, Spier has several restaurants, including the fun, afro-chic Moyo, and many wine estates offer food of different types and quality. The village of Franschhoek is the culinary navel of the wine region, with Le Quartier Francais a perennial five-star winner, but only one of many excellent restaurants. In the Constantia Valley there are number of great restaurants including Pastis Brasserie, Wasabi, The River Cafe, La Colombe and the Constantia Uitsig Restaurant.
NB: Make sure you know what the price is before you order rare delicacies in restaurants as there have been a few rare but high-profile cases of heinous overcharging where the price is not on the menu, particularly for perlemoen (abalone) and crayfish (similar to lobster).
Table Mountain RestaurantOn top of Table Mountain, close to the Upper Cable StationHours: Open 08:30 to 18:30, with extended hours during December and JanuaryPrice: From R20 for a simple breakfastA 120 seat, self-service restaurant. No booking required. Quality is variable.
The Charles137 Waterkant Street, De WaterkantHours: Open 07:00 to 17:00Price: From R35 Small English Breakfast(served with toasted white or whole wheat bread) 1 Egg, rasher bacon, sausage, fried tomato and saut mushroomsThe Charles can accommodate 2530 people seated.
Bayfront BluTwo Oceans AquariumPhone: +27 (0)21 419-9086Offers breakfast and coffee all day and also serves good seafood, like Swahili prawn curry. Tables offer view on water and Table Mountain. BiesmiellahCorner Upper Wale/Pentz StreetPhone: +27 (0)21 423-0850One of the oldest restaurants around, known for its Malay kitchen. No alcoholic drinks are available. Five Flies14-16 Keerom StreetEnjoy a wonderful, multi-course meal in a stylish restaurant housed in one of Cape Town's oldest still-standing buildings. Favourite of local diplomats. Menu changes regularly; book reservations online.
HildebrandsV&A WaterfrontOffering standard Italian fare of pizzas and pastas, but the quality is not up to par.
Jewel Tavern101 St Georges Mall Street, City BowlPhone: +27 (0)21 422-4041Increasingly popular Chinese restaurant. Preferred destinations for Cape Town's bon viveurs. Guest can watch how their meals are prepared. Note this is a local spot for fisherman/boat workers coming in and spending a few days into the harbour. It is a very authentic spot with no frills. Most of the staff do not speak English, but the food is delicious.
95 Keerom95 Keerom StreetA top class Italian restaurant with modern dcor and a trendy atmosphere.
LolasVegetarian food with local colour and great karma. Good conversation and even better meals. Mingle with dreadlocks, artsy types and brooding poets.
Long Street Caf259 Long StreetVery popular, European kitchen, which serves up tasty drinks.
Mama Africa178 Long StreetPhone: +27 (0)21 426-1017Hours: Open Monday to Saturday. Restaurant is open 7PM till late, the bar is open 4:30PM till lateAfrican style tourist restaurant offering local and African meals, like Bobotie and Potjiekos, but also springbok, kudu and crocodile steak. Good range of wines at affordable prices. Live marimba music some nights. Renaissance CafeMainstream Centre, Main Road, Hout Bay (next door to the Post Office)Phone: +27 (0)21 790-7202Best coffee in Hout Bay, set in a stunning courtyard. Open 8:30AM-6PM every day. Well worth a visit! Rhodes Memorial RestaurantRhodes MemorialEmail: email@example.comPhone: +27 (0)21 689-9151Situated in the Table Mountain National Park directly behind the famous Rhodes Memorial. The restaurant has stunning views over the northern and eastern Cape Town suburbs and the Hottentots Holland mountain range. The menu is diverse and caters to all tastes, but its the desserts that really rate a mention, be sure to tuck into some scones! The Ritz Hotelcnr. Camberwell and Main Roads, Sea PointPhone: +27 (0)21 439-6010Has a revolving restaurant on the top floor of the hotel. Good food, good views, soft background live piano. A bar and smoking room is available one floor below the restaurant. You do not have to be a resident at the hotel to get a booking at the restaurant. NB(The floor has a small non revolving ledge next to the wall. Do not put your valuables on it as your table will be half way around the building before you realize that you have been separated from your belongings.)
Sunflower Health Caf111 Long StreetVegetarian restaurant, with a limited range of satisfying warm meals.
Tasca de BelemVictoria Wharf, shop 154, Piazza Level, V&A WaterfrontA very good Portuguese restaurant that offers some exquisite meals.
Tong Lok10 Link Rd Parklands, Parklands CentreThe best Chinese restaurant and take-away that serves anything from vegetables, to seafood, sushi and other Japanese foods.
Willoughby'sVictoria Wharf, V&A WaterfrontHas some of the best seafood including excellent sushi at very good prices.
Blue Danube102 New Church Street Tamboerskloof 8001Phone: 021-423-3624Hours: Mo-Fr 12PM-11PM, Sa-Su 6PM-11PMServing French/Austrian cuisine modernised with dishes inspired by more exotic flavors.
Thai Cafe in Hout Bay, Claremont and Tokai serves fresh authentic thai food cooked by 5 star thai chefs
Ashton's Restaurant at Greenways1 Torquay Avenue Upper ClaremontPhone: 021-761-1792Hours: Mo-Su 7AM-10PMWorld class fine dining restaurant that offers international cuisine with a South African twist. Stardust Theatrical Dining165 Main Road RondeboschPhone: +27216866280Fax: +27216860674Hours: Tu-Sa 4PM-LatePrice: R80-R150While eating delicious Mediterranean cuisine, customers are entertained by their talented waitrons who perform throughout the evening between serving tables. Greek FishermanPhone: +27 (0)21 418 5411Choose from authentic Mediterranean tapas and a wide range of seafood and meat from the open flame grill. or www.greekfisherman.co.za City Grill SteakhousePhone: +27 (0)21 421 9820Enjoy delicious selection of traditional South African steaks, grills and venison. or www.citygrill.co.za MeloncinoPhone: +27 (0)21 419 5558Choose from a variety of homemade pastas, wood-fired pizzas and various other authentic dishes. or www.meloncino.co.za La ColombeConstantia Uitsig, Spaanschemat River Road, Constantia, Cape TownEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone: + 27 (0) 21 794 2390Hours: Lunch: 12h30-14h00 Dinner: 19h00-20h45La Colombe, one of Cape Town's most well-loved and awarded restaurants, achieved an impressive 12th place in the San Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurants of the World Awards 2010. Having moved up 26 places and into the hallowed Top 20, this bastion of contemporary French-meets-Asian fine dining thereby also clinched the Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in Africa and Middle East Award. Winner of both Chef of the Year and Restaurant of the Year in the Prudential Eat Out Awards 2008, and again honoured with the prestigious Restaurant of the Year title in 2009, La Colombe has also achieved the highest three star rating in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 issue of the acclaimed Rossouws Restaurants guide. Book months in advance! The Test KitchenThe Old Biscuit Mill 375 Albert Road WoodstockEmail: email@example.comPhone: +27 (0) 21 447 2337Hours: Lunch: 12:30-14:00 Dinner: 19:00-21:00Luke Dale-Roberts The Test Kitchen, which opened in November 2010, has the celebrated chef cooking at his most creative in a distinctive contemporary space. At the prestigious Worlds 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2013, The Test Kitchen made an impressive leap to No. 61 on the list, climbing up 13 places from no.74 in 2012. More significantly, The Test Kitchen was singled out as the winner of the Cacao Barry One To Watch Award 2013, indicating momentum that may well secure a place in the Top 50 next year. Book months in advance!