When it comes to fine dining in Cape Town, the Mother City ranks among the top culinary capitals in the world. The city’s foodscape continues to grow with new eateries and fine dining restaurants popping up faster than you can say bon appetit!
Cape Town’s culinary scene is influenced by South Africa’s melting pot of cultures while incorporating a variety of local produce and ingredients. World-renowned chefs are taking inspiration from the city’s land and sea, as well as a myriad of indigenous plants and herbs.
Cape Town is well-known for its incredible local produce. The city’s proximity to the ocean means that the seafood is always abundant and fresh. There is a massive meat industry that includes various wild game such as, kudu, springbok, zebra and warthog. Hundreds of farms around Cape Town produce fresh fruits and vegetables, not to mention the multi-award winning wines.
If you’re looking for exceptional dining experiences in Cape Town, you’re spoilt for choice! From exquisite fine-dining eateries overlooking the winelands to experimental kitchens in the city, Cape Town’s foodie scene will satisfy all your cravings!
We’ve done the hard work for you and selected some of our favourite restaurants in Cape Town.
The Test Kitchen
Since Chef Luke Dale-Roberts opened this inventive kitchen in 2010, it has been showered with awards from around the globe, including The World’s 50 Best Restaurant list.
The Test Kitchen is a 40-seater experimental establishment that offers bold, boundary-pushing food that packs a flavour punch! It is not only known for their remarkable food but also for it’s buzzing atmosphere and contemporary plating. Once you’ve dined here, you’ll understand why seats are booked up many months in advance.
Situated on the lush slopes of the Constantiaberg mountains, La Colombe is one of Cape Town’s most iconic fine dining restaurants. Headed by award-winning chef Scot Kirton and executive chef James Gaag, the establishment was crowned South Africa’s top restaurant in 2019.
The whimsical tasting menu is a theatrical experience from start to finish. Each course shows incredible attention to detail and is inspired by the scenic views of the Constantia Valley. Don’t miss the signature dish Tuna La Colombe, a playful tuna tin filled with marinated raw tuna, in a silky broth with all the garnishings.
The Pot Luck Club
Perched on the sixth floor of an old silo in the Old Biscuit Mill, The Pot Luck Club boasts killer views of table mountain and the city skyline. After Luke Dale-Roberts opened the doors in 2011, it is still known as one of the coolest places in Cape Town.
Chef Jason Kosmos designed the innovative menu to showcase all five flavour profiles, salty, bitter, sour, sweet and umami. As the name suggests, plate-sharing is encouraged, and with dishes that target various flavour profiles, you’ll want to taste everything that arrives at your table.
Brought to you by the world-famous chef of La Colombe (and La Petite Colombe in Franschhoek), Foxcroft is a widely-acclaimed restaurant in High Constantia. Though the vibe is more laid back than it’s sister restaurants, the food is equally exceptional.
The set menu is a choice of two generous tapas, a main course and a dessert that are simple yet finely crafted. Ingredients are fresh and hearty, and the flavours are expertly balanced. Foxcroft also offers an entirely plant-based menu that makes it the perfect spot for vegans and vegetarians to enjoy a fine dining experience.
The Shortmarket Club
A team of award-winning chefs have banded together to create The Shortmarket Club. Located in the heart of the city, the restaurant is a contemporary space reminiscent of a 1920’s speakeasy.
The menu is led by Chef Wesley Randles who confidently turns out innovative takes on classic dishes. The moody lighting and stained glass accents will transport you to another era, where dining was slower and much more decadent.
Salsify At The Roundhouse
Opened in December 2018, Salsify at The Roundhouse was founded by Luke Dale Roberts (owner of the Test Kitchen and Shortmarket Club) and Head Chef Ryan Cole.
This new hot spot is located in The Roundhouse heritage building in Camps Bay and offers sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean. Chef Cole and his team have developed an a la carte menu with a strong focus on “root to leaf” and “nose-to-tail” dining.
Each ingredient is used in an innovative way to reduce food waste and create original flavour profiles and cooking techniques. The historical building has been revamped with modern touches and edgy artwork that takes guests on a sensory journey.
If you’re craving Indian flavours in Cape Town, Thali is your answer. Liam Tomlin, head chef of the Chefs Warehouse branches has partnered with Dimo Papachristodoulou from the Fat Cactus and Long Street Cafe to create an Indian-style tapas eatery.
Thali is an exciting fine-dining restaurant that offers a selection of dishes that originate from all over India. The vibrant colours and intricate artwork in the restaurant compliment the bold flavours and hues of the plates. Head Chef JP van der Haar has curated the ‘tapas for two’, which includes a feast of dishes, with the likes of spicy tandoori chicken, perfect poppadoms, black lentil dhal and sweet cauliflower puree.
Chefs Warehouse is a string of restaurants located in Bree Street, Beau Constantia and the Maison Estate in Franschhoek. Owner Liam Tomlin has designed each venue to fit the unique atmosphere of the surrounding environment.
The Chef’s Warehouse dining style is an exquisite three-course menu of small sharing plates. The tapas-style dishes incorporate local and ethically sourced ingredients that change daily, so be prepared to see different options every time you visit. As the season changes, the team draws inspiration from seasonal ingredients and new ways to experiment with flavours and techniques.
Grub and Vine
Grub and Vine by Chef Matt Manning is a relaxed yet refined eatery on Bree Street. After moving to South Africa, Chef Manning worked at the iconic La Colombe before opening his first restaurant ‘Grub & Vine’ in 2018. The vibrant space compliments the refined bistro-style cooking.
The seasonal menu is layered, with a focus on bold flavours and technique. If you’re looking for beautifully prepared food without the fussiness, then book a table at Grub & Vine for a relaxed and delicious evening.
The Conservatory at The Cellars-Hohenort
Set in an idyllic garden oasis, The Conservatory is one of Constantia’s finest breakfast, lunch, high tea and dinner eateries. Choose between the charming main dining section with views of the historical garden or the sunny terrace overlooking the ancient Camphor trees.
The seasonal menu was developed with a focus on classic South African dishes that incorporate fresh produce picked straight from the vegetable garden. This fine-dining experience comes with personal touches that add to the Conservatory’s charm.
We love dining in this magnificent city and for the most talked about hotspots you’ll need to book a table a few months in advance. We suggest grabbing a sundowner at one of our favourite bars in Cape Town before heading to one of these fine-dining restaurants.
Have you eaten at any of these fine-dining restaurants in Cape Town? Let us know in the comments below!