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Cape Town’s best food & drink

  • Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 30 March, 2024

From tapas to sushi, coffee to wine, Cape Town’s international food, with an African twist, is sophisticated and superb.

Cape Town is perhaps best known for Cape Malay cuisine – curries that are fragrantly spicy rather than fiery. Being a port, fresh seafood features prominently – expect plenty of fresh local line fish, crayfish and mussels – though meat is much-loved and excellent too. In summer look out for fresh yellowtail and rock lobster.

Two world-class wine regions – Constantia and Stellenbosch – are of course on the doorstep.

What to try

Cape Malay curries made with chicken or lamb, and eaten with roti are a speciality of the city. Also try bobotie, a spicy mince dish topped with savoury baked custard. The calorie-laden Gatsby sandwich – stuffed with spiced steak, salad and chips – is a favourite with late-night revellers.

Also see Richard’s round-up of traditional South African foods to try in South Africa.

Who to go with: tour operators

8
  • Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa

  • Bucket List Experience

The gorgeously quaint ‘French Corner’ of the Cape Winelands is also South Africa’s premier gourmet destination.

Good for age: 18+

Aegir Project Brewery

  • Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Close up of beer vats on the wall in the bar

Experience

The craft beer revolution is in full swing in Cape Town, and the Aegir Project in laid-back Noordhoek has long led the charge. Their easy-going taproom and restaurant offer a range of local brews and fine views.

Good for age: 18+

Chef’s Warehouse at Beau Constantia

  • Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Chef’s Warehouse at Beau Constantia

Experience

Constantia’s growing culinary clout is on full display here, with chef Ivor Jones’ small-plate menu offering some of the city’s most inspired, and affordable, fine dining.

Adult price: 50

Good for age: 18+

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Elgr

  • Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Close up of a meal

Experience

Chef Jesper Nilsson blends his Swedish heritage with local culinary traditions to create a multi-cultural dining experience.

Adult price: 35

Good for age: 18+

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Neighbourhood Goods Market

  • Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Exterior view of the restaurant during the daytime

Experience

This Cape Town institution, set up in an Old Biscuit Factory in 2006, features food stalls from around the world, plus local artisans selling designer clothing, accessories and quality handicrafts. Live music adds to the atmospheric buzz and energy.

Good for age: 18+

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Oranjezicht City Farm Market

  • Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Woman Selling Fresh Local Vegetable at Farmers Market

Experience

A bustling food, wine and design market situated overlooking the ocean. Wonderful fresh produce and dozens of food stalls. Open weekends, 9am-2pm.

Good for age: 18+

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  • Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

  • Bucket List Experience

One of the world’s greatest wine regions, home to more than 150 wineries producing numerous world-class wines, gorgeous Cape Dutch architecture, superb restaurants and top-notch art galleries.

Min age 18

Good for age: 18+

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around
Duration: -

Getting there & doing it

Bree Street in the city centre is a vibrant gourmet boulevard of wine bars, coffee shops and restaurants that’s best discovered on foot.

The extensive coastline means there’s no shortage of sea-view eateries serving up fresh seafood.

The winelands – Constantia and Stellenbosch – are peppered with outstanding restaurants serving exceptional food – in gorgeous al fresco settings inspired by Cape Dutch Architecture.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

The Cape Town Essentials Food Tour

  • Cape Town

This tour focuses on a variety of different traditions and food cultures in Cape Town from the Bo-Kaap and De Waterkant. Each stop is also an opportunity to learn about the history of the cultures involved; the food and locations always relate back to important aspects of Capetonian heritage, especially about how the different communities developed together. We touch base on the Indian Ocean Slave Trade and Apartheid and how they both played a vital part in local cuisine as well as in the national consciousness of South African culture. The Essentials tour is our "first born" :) and the most popular tour at this time. Plays off in the colourful De Waterkant, filled with history, culture but more so what the locals like to enjoy day to day. We stop at Bo Kaap Deli, Marcos African Cafe, Cafe Charles & Fireman’s Arms. 4 food and drink parings.

Price ZAR 1,985

Min age 5

Rating 4.99 / 5 [252 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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The 10 Tastings of Cape Town With Locals: Private Food Walking Tour

  • Cape Town

Eat your way through Cape Town's culinary scene on a private food tour. Go on a delicious journey as you try 10 of the best food items beloved by the locals: from savory to sweet and local drinks; this tour will leave every foodie satisfied! Enjoy tastings typical of the local cuisine and hand-picked by a local guide passionate about food like Biltong and Koeksister. But that's not it! This tour is more than just food; it's a cultural experience! In between food stops, you'll also find city highlights making this experience a well-rounded tour that will satisfy every foodie. Withlocals The 10 Tastings Private Food Tour™ is one of Withlocals' signature tours available in major cities worldwide. We work with passionate local guides who earn a fair fee. We support local economies by only offering local produce and prevent over-tourism with only small non-intrusive groups. Our tours are carbon-neutral and away from the standard tourist routes.

Price €92

Min age 0

Rating 4.48 / 5 [120 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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