You can't go wrong eating out in Cape Town and its surrounding areas. It's truly a gastronomic delight and by far the best fine dining destination in Africa. My selection of Cape Town's top 10 restaurants offers a variety of gorgeous locations, where you can enjoy excellent fresh, organic local menus paired with world-class wines. Many of the finest restaurants are located in the Winelands, where a four hundred year history of winemaking and culinary genius continues to this day.
Rust en Vrede has consistently rated a top restaurant in the Cape Town area and you will really not be disappointed. The food is contemporary with a classic flair. Locally grown, organic ingredients are used to create dishes like Salmon Trout Mi Cuit, Yuzu Jelly, Apple Caviar, Horseradish, and Ginger Crumble. The four and six-course menus are fantastic, and a very fun way to try as many dishes as possible, all paired with different wines from the estate. The setting in a historic wine estate can't be beaten, especially if you make it for sundown around 6 pm. The service is impeccable and the vibe is very relaxed.
Reservations: (021) 881-3757 or check online.
The Strandloper is not so much a restaurant as a jumble of old rowing boats, fishing nets, wind shelters and other flotsam and jetsam that seem to have landed on the beach in a storm. You sit on the sand and you eat. The name Strandloper comes from Stone Age beachcombers who left evidence of their own beach braais in shell middens all around the coastline. There are 10 courses in all, but no-one announces them, you just get up and help yourself whenever you're ready. Mussels in white wine, mussels in garlic butter, haarders (mullet), seafood paella, braaied snoek, smoked angelfish, stumpnose bream and kreef. It's a delicious feast of food and culture.
Reservations: call +27 (0)22 77 22 490.
Aubergine serves contemporary food with a lovely blend of Asian and western influences. On the dinner menu, offerings have included a Rare-Fried Ostrich Fillet in a morel mushroom sauce and line fish and prawn quinoa dressing with pak choi and gem squash. The eclectic menu is paired with excellent wine and good service. The restaurant is cozy and romantic, a perfect place for a date, but also great if you're just out with friends. Vegetarians are well served here and so is the after-work crowd looking for a classy place to have a drink and some light, delicious snacks.
Reservations: call (27) 21 465 4909 -- or go online.
The Tasting Room is on San Pellegrino's list of top 50 restaurants in the world for its fine dining menu, created by Relais & Châteaux Grande Chef -- Margot Janse. The dishes are inspired by unique African ingredients, each one offers a delicious surprise to be savored long after the meal is finished. Every tasting plate is served with a complimentary wine. Expect to spend at least three hours here to enjoy each course. The decor is exquisite but the dining is still relaxed with no dress code in place. The grounds of this exclusive boutique hotel are lovely to take a pre-dinner stroll around.
Reservations: call (021) 876 8442 or make a booking online.
Wonderful views, fantastic ambiance, and excellent service round out the be beaten food at The Roundhouse. During the summer you can have lunch al fresco on the terraces of the historic property while overlooking the sun worshippers enjoying the Camps Bay beach. In the evenings, the Roundhouse offers a wonderful tasting menu, paired with complimentary wines and to die for desserts. The main dining area, The Somerset Room, has glorious panoramic views of the mountains and bays, it's truly a picture-perfect setting. The dining menu offers contemporary dishes with an Asian/African twist.
Reservations: call 021 438 4347 or go online.
La Colombe has a regular spot on the San Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurants of the World. The executive chef Scot Kirton offers a tasty menu inspired by classic French cuisine with an Asian twist. The gorgeous setting, within Cape Town's most famous vineyard and overlooking a fountain courtyard, adds to the classy dining experience. The winter special menu is great value (from May - September) and offers diners a chance to sample five different courses for a set price. Signature dishes use local, fresh ingredients and a fantastic wine list makes it all taste even better.
Reservations: call +27 21 794 2390.
Fish lovers gather at the Beluga for a whale of a time. Beluga is one of Cape Town's most established seafood restaurants. The sushi, dim sum, and sashimi get top marks, and the lamb shank is excellent as well. This is a popular restaurant with lots of energy, so if you're looking for a quiet romantic evening, maybe not your best bet, (check out Servuga, the sister restaurant instead). The bar buzzes at happy hour, and also serves up the light fare to wash down a strong cocktail or two. Prices are very reasonable and service is excellent even when the restaurant is filled to capacity.
Reservations: call 021 418 2948.
Jonkershuis is a wonderful option for those looking for great food, at reasonable prices in a lovely setting. The menu consists of mostly light dishes, light pasta, gourmet salads, and spicy Cape Malay specials. The burgers are considered among the best in Cape Town. In the summer, it's wonderful to enjoy your meal under century-old oak trees in the beautiful gardens. "Jonkershuis" means “young man's house” and it was a second dwelling typical of all Cape Dutch homesteads, where the eldest son would set up house in anticipation of inheriting the whole.
Reservations: call 021 794 5128
La Petite Ferme is a lovely little restaurant that's been run by three generations and considered to be one of the best in a town known for its exceptional restaurants. The lunch, in particular, is heavenly. Where else could you enjoy a starter of wagyu beef with pesto bocconcini cheese, cured egg yolk, chestnut and caper espuma and pickled waterblommetjie? And while your taste buds are savoring the food, your eyeballs will be lapping up the gorgeous valley and lake views. Conde Nast Traveller named La Petite Ferme as one of the top 15 'Best Value' establishments in the world. There are guest rooms available if you'd like to stay a little longer and savor the setting.
Reservations: call +27 (0)21 876 3016/8