Hot off the grill: 2017’s trendiest new restaurants in the Cape Town CBD

The best thing about living in Cape Town is the food scene. Whether you’re in the mood for Japanese, American, Asian-Fusion, steak, fish, sushi or vegan, you’ll find a spot that is doing it brilliantly. Another great thing is that the city is constantly welcoming vibey new spots that bring a fresh flavour to the scene.

These are the new Cape Town restaurants and eateries that have popped up since the beginning of the year that are causing all the buzz among inner-city locals. Since there are so many places opening up all the time, I have decided to keep this post focused on the City Bowl. I will also be adding to this article through the year so check back for the latest news.

Did I miss a spot? Pop your recommendations in the comments below! I am always keen to try something new. 

Gardens

Primal Eatery

50 New Church Street, Cape Town

Primal Eatery is a Meatery – so not your average steakhouse. It was started by husband and wife team Brynn and Kristina who wanted to combine their Greek and South African heritage, and their love for food and travel. They are all about wood-fire cooking, innovative techniques and creativity, promising you a full sensory experience.

They are open Tuesday to Saturday, 18:00 – 00:00

For more, visit primaleatery.co.za

Thali

3 Park Road, Gardens

At the end of last year Chef Liam Tomlin (Chefs Warehouse & Canteen) opened a new Indian tapas restaurant in Park Road, Gardens. The venue is exquisite, with bold design features and intricate exotic embellishments that transport you from the Cape Town CBD to a courtyard in Delhi. As for the food, you only have the option to order a set tapas menu for two (R650 for eight dishes, excluding drinks and dessert) and from there you sit back as the restaurant treats you to beautiful Indian dishes. The venue is stunning, the food delicious and the service was very good when we visited.

Monday to Saturday, 12:00 – 14:30 and 17:00 – 21:30

For more, visit their Facebook page

The Sorrows

16 Kloof Nek Rd, Gardens

The Sorrows is the brain child of best friends Daniel Holland (of YOURSTRULY) and James Louw (of JL Joinery). Their wanted to create a space with a beautiful aesthetic juxtaposed with a tongue-in-cheek play on the idea of drowning your sorrows at the end of a bar. The duo is joined by Dino Moulopoulos in the management seat, and Head Chef Shayne Schutte. You can indulge in tidbits like Karoo lamb riblets. Or try grub like their low and slow Cabernet braised lamb shank, flame grilled chicken, or fennel, orange and sage stuffed pork belly.

They are open Monday to Saturday 07:00 – 22:00

For more, visit thesorrows.co.za

YUZU Kitchen & Bar

75 Kloof Street

YUZU Kitchen & Bar opened on Kloof Street earlier this year, offering guests an Kill Bill meets Rock n Roll interior and an East meets West menu. They take classic Asian dishes and give them unique twists. We tried bites of their Sashimi, a simple soy dressed oyster with pink grapefruit and Thai basil; T.I.A, a seared springbok carpaccio with chilli pepper mayo, apple and nut oil; Kung Fu Katsu, a chicken Katsu slider on steamed bread with an Asian slaw; and Bain’s All-Day Breakfast, a hint of Bain’s Whisky with banana, peanut butter & vanilla cream.

They are open Monday to Thursday 16:30 -00:00; Saturday 12:00 – 00:00; Sunday 12:00 – 23:00.

For more visit yuzu.co.za


City Center

Cabrón Taco Bar

120 Bree Street

Cabrón Taco Bar has recently added some Mexican flavour to the Bree Street food scene. You can choose between tuna, beef, pork or veg tacos (which are around R50 for one generously stuffed portion), as well as nachos and some veggie options.  The venue has a laid back, Cape Town-cool vibe, the taco I had was really tasty, and the service was super fast (so that you can be out of there quick quick if you’re on a lunch break). If you’re keen to linger, though, I recommend you grab a table outside and order a few different options to try. PS: I spotted some La Leona Karoo Agave on their shelves that is definitely worth tasting.

They are open Monday to Saturday 11:00 – 23:00

For more, visit their Facebook page

Cookies and Cream

Cookies and Cream has just opened their first standalone store in Buitengracht street where they will be serving their well-loved ice-cream sandwhiches and bubble waffles. All their components are made in-house using only the best natural ingredients and flavourings. That also means free-range eggs and fair trade coffee and chocolate. Yes please!

Note, Cookies and Cream is not to be confused with Crumbs and Cream, a different ice-cream sandwich brand in Cape Town.

They are open Tuesday to Sunday 11:00 – 21:00

For more, visit their Facebook page

Homage 1862

168 Loop Street, Cape Town

Homage wants to create an immersive dining experience that pays tribute to Cape Town’s heritage. They are housed in a beautiful old Victorian building, complete with lace trimmings, and inside they’ve created a chic, comfortable and airy space. Their menu is built around their flame grill, and the best seasonal produce.

They are open Tuesday to Saturday 11:30 – 17:00

For more, visit their Facebook page

Hokey Poké

1 Church Street

Poké is about the trendiest thing since craft gin right now. It’s a raw fish salad from Hawaii that has been influenced by Japanese and Asian cuisine. Think Sashimi with a few exotic flavour combinations. Hokey Poké serves up bowls like naked tuna with shredded kombu, sweet onions, toasted macadamias and furikake, or salmon with avocado, samphire, sweet onions, coriander, tobiko and toasted almonds. Or how about tuna with edamame beans, avocado, mango, crispy onions, pickled ginger and furikake?

They are open Monday to Saturday 12:00 – 21:00

For more, visit hokeypoke.co.za

La Tête

17 Bree Street

La Tête has been the talk of the town since they opened in November last year. It’s the culinary dream of brothers Giles and James Edwards, with Giles heading up the kitchen and James taking care of the finances. La Tête is built on the “nose-to-tail” philosophy so you can try dishes like devilled chicken hearts or crispy pig tails. They also have a few more conventional options on offer, though, in case these sound a bit exotic for your taste.

They are open Tuesday to Friday 12:00 – 14:30 and 18:00 – 23:00, and on Saturdays from 18:00 – 23:00

For more, visit latete.co.za

Now Now

91 Longmarket Street

Now Now is all about super fast, good food. This new concept from Woolworths offers healthy, fast food options that includes breakfast pots, egg buns, hearty bowls and burgers. If you don’t feel like waiting in a queue, you can order and pay using their app (available free on IOS and Android), so that by the time you reach the counter you can simply grab-and-go. The price is also very reasonable: You can get a meal for as little as R25 (hey, if you’re really broke you can even get butter on toast for R10). The portions are small but decent, and should be perfect for a light breakfast or lunch.

They are open Monday to Friday 06:30 – 17:00

For more, visit woolworths.co.za

Now Now Cape Town Liezel Malherbe 9Lives 3

Solo

99 Loop Street

With Chef Chad Blows (formerly of The Marine in Hermanus) in the kitchen, Solo has been getting plenty of positive feedback since it opened in November last year. They serve up top quality, seasonal produce for breakfast and lunch. Start your day with waffles, topped with southern fried chicken and a sriracha & habanero maple syrup, or opt for something savoury like their hake & Franschhoek salmon trout croquettes. Lunch includes dishes like smoked seafood chowder, chickpea curry or a slow-cooked barbecue beef short rib. Drooling yet?

They are open Monday to Friday 07:30 – 17:00 and Saturday 09:00 – 14:30

For more, visit solorestaurant.co.za

SeaBreeze Fish & Shell

213 Bree Street

SeaBreeze is the latest foodie spot to join the buzz on upper Bree street. This new seafood restaurant wants to bring a contemporary take on traditional classics, with a focus on local, sustainable seafood. It’s run by Ruth and Alex Grahame, who came to Cape Town from Scotland where they ran Hornblowers seafood restaurant. You can look forward to oysters, MCC and signature cocktails.

They are open Monday to Saturday 12:00 – 21:30

For more, visit their Facebook page


Green Point/Sea Point

Cocotte La French Rôtisserie

20 Regent Road, Sea Point

Cocotte describes themselves as the first typical French Rôtisserie to open in Cape Town. They really are all about the chook, selling either whole or sectioned chicken roasted chicken, portions of potatoes and French sauces.

During the winter period they will be open Monday to Saturday 11:00 – 19:00 and Sunday 11:00 – 14:00.

For more, visit their Facebook page

Lily’s

1 Surrey Place, Mouille Point

Lily’s describes themselves as a family-friendly all-day eatery that serves up inventive contemporary comfort food in a relaxed seaside setting. They offer breakfasts like pancakes with raspberries, lime & coconut and crème fraîche, or a breakfast salad with almonds, quinoa, baby spinach, kale, grilled haloumi and soft boiled egg. The food menu has a nice variety that includes light meals, vegan/vegetarian options, sandwhiches and heartier mains. Look forward to dishes like Sesame Tuna with sticky coconut rice, wasabi aioli, coleslaw and edamame beans, or their Umamifly burger with a beef patty, mushrooms, caramelised onion, in-house ketchup and Parmesan.

They are open Monday to Sunday 07:00 – 22:00

For more, visit lilysrestaurant.co.za

Mojo Market

Regent Street, Sea Point

The Mojo Market launched in April this year, home to 45 designer retail stalls, 20 food vendors, two bars, a daily fresh goods market, a live entertainment stage and a wellness zone. You can enjoy food from traders like Manga Sushi, Kubu African, Sha Sha Wama, The Mussle Monger, Argies Argentinian Grill, Hokey Poke, What The Fish, Krockette and San-Julian Mexican. The Mojo Coffee Collective is also at hand with the very best of Cape Town’s artisanal roasters including Deluxe, Baseline, Hazz, Truth, Origin, Za Cafe and their very own Mojo Blend.

Retailers trade from 09:00 – 21:00, food is served until 22:00 and bars stay open until 23:00.

For more, visit their Facebook page

SHIO Restaurant

48 Napier Street, Cape Town

SHIO restaurant in De Waterkant opened at the end of last year, bringing modern Japanese tapas-style food to the city. You might recognize them from their neon signage – “Drink Sake Stay Soba” that has been doing the rounds on Instagram. Look forward to dishes like spinach ohitashi, duck-fat fries, yellowtail sashimi and chilli-salt squid, served up in a modern, edgy setting.

They are open Monday to Saturday 18:00 – 22:00, and for lunch from Wednesday to Friday 12:00 – 15:00

For more, visit their Facebook page

The Chicken Shop

164 Main Road, Sea Point

Inspired by the chook shops in Melbourne, The Chicken Shop brings you fresh, free-range chickens on a charcoal rotisserie. The idea is to bring you a  boutique takeaway experience that does not compromise on quality. Chose between traditional rotisserie chicken, burgers & rolls, salads or other meat options.

They are open Monday to Sunday 12:00 – 21:00

For more, visit thechickenshop.co.za

Three Wise Monkeys

77 Regent Rd, Sea Point

Oh the ramen! If you are a fan of this classic Asian comfort food then you need to get yourself down to Three Wise Monkeys in Sea Point asap! They make ramen, ramen and ramen (and some sushi and poke bowls).  They are teeny tiny, with minimalist decor (and I’m not sure whether they have a liquor licence yet so you might want to take a bottle just in case). They are also attracting queues of people so it’s worth popping in.

They are open Monday to Sunday 12:00 – 23:00.

For more, visit their Facebook page


Did I miss something? Pop your recommendations in the comments below. I am looking for any restaurants in the Cape Town CBD that opened between November 2016 and now. 

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