My 10 favourite foodie spots in Cape Town

When we moved to Cape Town seven years ago we had no idea where or what to eat. There are so many spots to choose from: some look flashy but end up being disappointing, and others are teeny holes in the wall serving up the best grub. It took a while to filter through all the noise.

After all these years we have a couple of firm favourites – our go-to spots when we don’t feel like cooking. I’m not saying these are the all-time ultimate best restaurants in Cape Town (I thought about a lot of spots that could have been in that kind of list), but they are the ones we default to and that says a lot. For me it’s about consistently delicious, comforting dishes in a casual atmosphere.

Since we live on Kloof and work in the CBD, most of our spots are centered around these areas. Hopefully this will be a good starting point to finding your own favourites.

1. For Coffee: Deluxe on Kloof

This little hole in the wall at the bottom of Kloof Street serves up my favourite cuppa in town, among skater paraphernalia and a steady stream of loyal customers who pop in for their usual each morning. I also know that some of the top foodies in Cape Town will make their way from all over to grab coffee here. The baristas have managed to refine the art of extraction, getting a creamy, nutty flavour from the beans without any of that licorice bitterness or weak acidity. It’s really cool, understated and unpretentious. Just great coffee.

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Deluxe Coffee Kloof Street 9Lives 3

2. For Breakfast: Jason Bakery on Bree

I have a weak spot for a Jason croissant, particularly the Bacon, or their Pain au Chocolat. They are also famous for their Doussants, made every Saturday (be there by 9am to avoid disappointment). But their breakfasts in general are great. Try the whisky oats if you’re not feeling like pastry or bread.

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For fresh produce: Granger Bay Market, V&A Waterfront

I have loved this market since they started at their farm in city farm in Oranjezict, a single tent and one long table selling veggies straight from the soil. Since then they’ve expanded into an impressive setup next to the V&A Waterfront (behind the Lookout) where you can grab fresh fruit and veg, and everything from meat, condiments, pickles, and preserves to baked goods and delicious meals – all local, all sustainably produced. It is my very favourite place in Cape Town and a must for any foodie. They are open every Saturday from 08:30 til 14:00. Go early to get the best produce.

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3. For some superfood: Orchard on Long, Long Street

I have become a regular here for weekday lunch breaks. Since 2013, Orchard on Long has been helping customers detox with juice cleanses, but their shop also offers a selection of delicious smoothies packed with all kinds of superfood ingredients, as well as sandwiches, salads and wraps. My favourite smoothie is definitely the Hullabaloo (which is also a good one if you’re a beginner on the health-food scene), and I also enjoy the Moringa, Big Boy Time, Brain On and Willy Wonka. On the food side the Vegan Wrap gets the top spot, and you can also try the Holy Ka-Cao Bowl as a yummy breakfast treat.

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Orchard on Long 9Lives 2

4. For a sandwich: Bacon on Bree

Bacon on Bree is the brainchild of Richard Bosman and Justine Seymour, heroeing cured meats and bacon. I visit them for their sandwiches, in particular The BLT, with crispy bacon, lettuce and tomato between two slices of soft, doughy bread. The spot is trendy but still chill, and the service is nice and fast, making it ideal for a quick lunch.

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4. For American: Jerry’s Burger Bar on Park Road

Jerry’s has restaurants in Observatory, Blouberg, Willowbridge and Sea Point, but personally I still favour near Kloof, mostly because it’s closest. This is a great spot for proper American foods, with corn dogs and burgers to ribs, wings and hot dogs, putting a gourmet spin on the well-loved street foods. I am completely obsessed with their cheese bombs, the Good Dog, and the Jack D burger. Wash it down with a local craft brew. Pure indulgence.

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5. For Italian: Bacini’s on Kloof

This Italian restaurant on upper Kloof street definitely gets my vote as the top pizza joint in town, with pizza bases that remind me of the ones I had in Florence and Rome. It is our favourite go-to when we don’t feel like making dinner (mostly on a Friday night). I am a fan of the 4 seasons and the Italia.
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Bacinis Kloof Street 9Lives

6. For Pizza (American Style): NY Slice on Kloof

I have an unhealthy obsession with NY Slice. Order a pie (what you call the full 50cm pizza) and pretend you’re on the set of Friends, sharing slices of Pepperoni among friends. The owner, Marc Francis, spent time in the US learning how to make the perfect New York style pizza, training under Don Frederico in Manhattan. He gets it just right, from the base to the sauce to the perfect toppings.

7. For Indian: Maharajah On Kloof Nek

Maharaj has been aroudn for over 40 years and serves up North and South Indian dishes, as well as a proper Durban-style curry. I’ve tried a couple of Indian spots in town and these guys win hands down, with quality meat, good portion sizes and incredible curry sauces. Some of my favourites include the Korma, Palak Paneer, Lamb Rogan Josh and Butter Chicken, served with Paratha bread and a Raita.

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Maharajah (8)

8. For Asian: Saigon on Kloof Street

This Vietnamese restaurant is consistently brilliant and when I’m craving dim-sum this is where I’ll head. I love their Crystal Rolls with a Peanut Dipping Sauce, as well as the Steamed Pork & Prawn dumplings, and both the spicy lamb and the fried mushroom potstickers. They consistenly impress me, and every dish we’ve had on their menu has been divine.

SHIO in De Waterkant is definitely a strong contender here, offering incredible Asian Fusion. You can also try Three Wise Monkeys in Sea Point for top notch Ramen, and South China Dim Sum Bar on Long Street for dim sum and other eats.

When payday meets a craving for Saigon. Probably my favourite dumpling spot in Cape Town.

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9. For Mexican: El Burro Taqueria on Kloof Nek

This baby sister restaurant of El Burro seriously impressed when I visited them a couple of months back. The tiny nook on Kloof Nek has a fun, casual vibe with multi-colour tables and stools that add to the vibrant interior. The idea is that you order multiple small portions of food, which you can gobble up on your own or share across the table. I thought their flavours were fresh, bold and delicious, especially the ceviche and pulled pork quesadillas. It all goes wonderfully with a jug of Margarita mix, by the by. You can’t book so go nice and early to secure a spot.

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El Burro Taqueria Kloof 9Lives

10. For dessert: Unframed Ice-Cream on Kloof Street

Unframed Ice-Cream opened late in 2016 and quickly had everyone talking. They make small batches of ice cream using real, sustainable ingredients, including a range of superfoods as toppings. They create dairy-based as well as sorbets and nut-based vegan options. They offer 10 flavours on display that rotate according to season and as inspiration strikes, and they promise to offer at least 2 sorbets and 3 vegan flavours all the time. Try them out, they are seriously delicious.

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What is your favourite spot to eat in Cape Town? Pop your recommendations below, I’d love to hear from you.

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