When you step inside this quaint little corner café, you forget for a moment that you are in the middle of Cape Town’s CBD. It opened in October 2015 as a daytime diner, and since March 2018 they started offering dinner on Thursdays and Fridays, with live music.
The space is perfect for a fun gathering with friends or family. Or use it as an informal first date option, it’s not too casual and not too fancy.
A Son and Mom Duo
Giulio Loreggian and his mom always dreamed about opening a little corner café. After school he first attempted to follow in the footsteps of his accountant family, but soon realised that his passion lies with food. He shifted over to the SA Chef Academy and completed a one year culinary course.
After completing it, Giulio got a big break — the opportunity to work with Jamie Oliver’s executive chef in London. He stayed there for just over a year, but decided to rather move back to Cape Town. Upon his return he worked as a private chef before taking a leap of faith at age 26, to open the little corner café.
A Home Away from Home
The restaurant serves authentic homemade Italian dishes. All the items on the menu are personal favourites of Giulio and his mom. The pristine white colours and marble finishes remind you of an Italian restaurant somewhere in Rome or Venice.
Giulio’s Italian charm draws people in, and customers soon become his friends. This warm hospitality flows into the vibe of the space, creating a great relaxing atmosphere. The son and mom duo believes in a hands-on approach. They personally painted the tables. And Giulio’s mom, a terrific artist, painted the famous roof scene as well as other artworks scattered around the space.
You might be intrigued with the wreath circle hanging from the roof (which they weaved themselves) It is used to wed couples under. Giulio’s Café has been turned into a wedding banquet hall a few times since its opening. The space can host up to 50 people, perfect for a special intimate event. You can hire the space for other celebrations as well.
Passionately Serving Authentic Italian Food
You know you are in for a feast when the chef is a true blood Italian! Giulio loves keeping the dishes authentic, but he does add a bit of African flair here and there, such as the Peri-Peri chicken livers. A few dishes from their menu to tantalize your taste buds:
Breakfast (available all day): La Colazione — poached egg, crispy bacon, pork apple and sage banger, balsamic-roasted tomatoes, flat mushrooms, wilted spinach, smoked paprika, beans with toast of your choice
Lunch: Panzerotti di Franca — hand-made pasta filled with spinach and ricotta served in a basil and pomodoro based sauce, and parmesan cheese
Dinner: Involtini di Pollo — ricotta-stuffed chicken breast wrapped in parma ham, with potato gratin, pan-fried wild mushrooms, and a whole-grain mustard sauce
They also serve pizza. And be sure to try the Italian Bake of the Day for dinner. The menu is versatile and the space lends itself to being both a daytime and evening eatery.
Visit Giulio’s Café Now
With its handy location in the centre of town, it’s the perfect spot for a quick lunch date or meeting. A night time outing will treat you to the vibe of the city transforming into a more mysterious setting. You will find Giulio bustling about between the kitchen and the patrons on most days. He’s starting a fun new trend for the restaurant décor — if you want to become part of the family, ask him to take a Polaroid picture of you and your friends.
Food trucks are fast becoming much more than a trend in the Mother City. These food trucks often flock events, markets, and festivals, and are most likely to pop up at a location near you. From thin-crust Italian pizzas, Middle East delicacies, flavourful Mexican cuisine, to American-style barbeques, Asian street foods, and Afro-French bites — here are some of the innovative and delectable foods being served out of trailers, carts and vintage vans in and around Cape Town.
Earthfire Pizza serves scrumptious thin-crust, oven-baked pies to events and markets all over the Cape, rivaling even the best pizzerias in town. They specialize in making delicious gourmet pizzas and cater for an array of events and functions, including weddings, birthdays, festivals, schools, corporate and sporting events, or wherever you find you need good pizza. This food truck was born out of a childhood dream of selling pizza out of a silver stream trailer on the Camps Bay strip but can be found in the most amazing, beautiful, quirky and bizarre locations in and around the city. They can be found at Cape Point Vineyards on Thursdays, at The Range Market on Fridays, at Root 44 Market on Saturdays and Sundays and daily at Mojo Market. Follow their Twitter and Facebook accounts for more information.
If you ever need a quick meal that’s both filling and tasty, Shawarma Express is the food truck to go to. This popular place for a quick bite serves Middle Eastern traditional delicacies such as shawarmas and falafels which are served along with various local craft beers. They sell the best shawarma in town and make a great falafel at an affordable price. They serve lunch and dinner. Great food, friendly staff, and good value for money. What more can you ask for?
Follow them on Facebook for more information.
Didi’s Bitchin’ Burritos
Didi’s Bitchin’ Burritos serve tasty, quick and wholesome Mexican food in Cape Town through a variety of dishes such as Burritos, Nachos, Quesadillas, Tacos, salads and a whole lot more. These Mexican favourites are served from a 1978 Volkswagen AutoVilla called “Rosie” which was converted into a full service, mobile kitchen and serving station. They specialize in Bitchin’ Afri-Mex Burritos, offering wholesome Mexican cuisine that will not only warm your stomach but also your heart. You can find them at Salt Circle Arcade in Woodstock from Mondays to Fridays. They also offer a delivery service for offices in the area. You can even find them on OrderIn.
Visit didismexican.co.za for more information.
The Good Life
The Good Life is a gourmet food truck serving fresh, fusion food at hotspots in and around Cape Town. Their exciting fusion dishes sound almost too good to eat. You can expect a fusion menu of prawn tempura with sumac aioli, designer beef burgers with truffle infusion, and vegetable couscous pitas. Find this sleek black vintage bus either in Oudekraal or near Charly’s Bakery in Harrington street Monday to Saturday from 8AM to 6PM. They are also available for private functions, events, and weddings.
Lotus Food Truck
Lotus Food Truck focuses on serving delicious contemporary Asian street food with their fresh salads, succulent Satay’s, delicious beef short rib, fragrant snacks, refreshing drinks, and more. They use seasonal and the freshest ingredients and makes everything from scratch — down to their own dipping sauces and dressings. They offer Capetonians Asian street food that is fresh, tasty and great value for money. Lotus serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, and drinks. They visit various business parks and public spaces during the week. Lotus also caters for private/corporate events and make a great addition to weddings and festivals.
Visit lotusfoodtruck.co.za for more information.
Related: Cape Town Friday Food Truck Market
Established in 2014, Frozenyo is Cape Town’s first frozen yogurt food truck. They serve frozen delights made from the finest locally produced yoghurt product with their turquoise and yellow truck. Frozenyo uses real yogurt that contains live cultures and probiotics. Their products are low in calories and gluten free. Plus it offers the same cold satisfaction of ice cream but in a healthier way. Frozenyo can be booked for private/corporate events and weddings.
Visit frozenyo.co.za for more information.
Jack Rabbit offers delectable gourmet dishes, from Truffle Mushroom Burgers to Pulled Beef Tacos. Their food includes Cubanos, inverted poppers, burger Sliders, pork belly sandwiches, rustic pizza, quesadillas, and more. Jack Rabbit offers basically everything rich, saucy, cheesy, with a balance of crispy to that “hmm” factor. All their sauces are also self-made. Mostly based in Durbanville, this trendy food truck can be seen all around Cape Town at a number of popular events. Jack Rabbit caters for events, the public as well as private functions.
Follow them on Facebook for updates and info.
Scandalous Food Truck
Bringing delicious, indulgent food to the streets, Scandalous Food Truck offers scandalously delicious Italian food on the go. They cater to most tastes and preferences and serves Italian dishes, burgers, and sandwiches. You will find this epic food truck at almost every legit market, music festival and event in Cape Town. They can also be booked for functions and private parties.
Visit scandalousfood.co.za for more information.
Salty Flames specialises in smoked food menu items. In June 2017, just 6 months after winning the Ultimate Braai Master Season 5, the winners Nick Perfect and Chanel Marais, decided to bring delicious braaied and smoked foods to hungry diners across the Cape. All their food is homemade, flavourful, fresh, and locally made with the use of seasonal ingredients. They offer a good number of vegetarian options as well. Salty Flames is available for all festivals, private/corporate events, and more.
Visit saltyflames.com for more information.
Related: Craving sushi? See our favourite sushi delivery in Cape Town.
Wahine Food Truck
Wahine brings something from the Pacific Islands to you with an array of cuisines from India, China, Korea, Japan, Tahiti, Hawaii, and Fiji to create an ever-changing menu. Their aim is to provide customers with healthy, wholesome, balanced fast food alternatives that are locally-sourced or even grown by the quirky food truck team themselves. Wahine can be seen at all trendy events in Cape Town, offering healthy and delicious Polynesian-inspired eats, with an increasing number of vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Follow them on Facebook for more details.
Mon Ami French Afrik Bistro
This French-Afrik bistro on wheels is a fully functional mobile kitchen and catering service. They serve French and South African fusion dishes such as steak rolls, fresh salads and wraps with beef steak, caramelized onions or coconut, and lime chicken and avocado or roasted veggies and feta from their cute trailer. Mon Ami is available for sporting events, concerts, markets, festivals and expos. This food truck can even come right up to your doorstep to serve its fresh and delicious culinary delights!
Visit mon-ami.co.za for more information.
Location: 43 Victoria Rd, Camps Bay
The Camps Bay restaurant strip has the reputation of being glitzy and glamorous. And oftentimes locals steer clear of it because of this, many of the restaurants cater specifically for tourists. But Mantra Café has managed to hit the sweet-spot between offering clientele the glitzy setting, with epic sunsets, but in a relaxed dining environment.
A hidden Camps Bay gem, Mantra Café opened in December 2016. It combines spectacular beach views with superb food and friendly service. They’ve also added little personal touches to the décor, such as the photo on the balcony. The owners grew up in Camps Bay, and it’s a picture of their parents frolicking on the Camps Bay beach in the 60’s. As you travel down the buzzing Camps Bay Beach road, past Café Caprice and heading towards the Kauai (between Van Kamp street and The Meadway) – look out for the sign pointing towards a set of stairs leading you away from the noisy street. If you hit Col’Cacchio, you’ve gone too far. Situated on the first floor above The41, Mantra gives you the opportunity to soak up the expansive ocean views, without the clutter of the road and passer-by’s blocking your view.
It’s Not Your Typical Camps Bay Restaurant
From the uncomplicated décor, to the simplistic yet delicious dishes, Mantra aims to offer something refreshingly different in the area. It’s perfect for an impulsive sundowner after a day on the beach, or a special occasion to spoil a loved one. Whether you are wearing your flip-flops or high-heels, you’ll feel right at home in this relaxed yet sophisticated beautiful space.
The earthy tones used in the décor perfectly complements the warm afternoon glow that bathes the restaurant in a soft orange light. At sunset the balcony is an Instagrammer’s paradise! You can watch the sun sink towards the horizon in its full glory over the vast Atlantic Ocean.
Delectable Food in a Spectacular Setting
All the dishes are prepared from scratch on-site – from the hand-cut chips, to the delicious Malva Pudding. We’ll give you a sneak peak of the menu to get your mouth watering.
Starters: Sticky Chicken Wings, wood-fired in a sticky BBQ sesame sauce; Grilled Calamari in a fresh green Chimichurri Sauce.
Mains: Seafood Pasta, creamy linguini pasta with fresh line-fish, prawn, mussels, lemon zest and fennel leaves; Spicy Lamb Curry served with cucumber raita, salsa, chutney and basmati rice.
Desserts: Pear Frangipane, poached pears baked in almond frangipane served with vanilla ice cream; Trio of Homemade Ice Cream including Rooibos, butterscotch and vanilla ice cream.
Mantra aims to bring a fresh new trend to the Camps Bay restaurant strip. Instead of purposefully only catering for tourists, they want to create a delightful oasis where both tourists and locals can feel equally welcome.
And people definitely sit up and take notice of them. According to TripAdvisor they have managed to impress both the tourists and locals. They now rank among the top spots on the Camps Bay beachfront and they are part of the Top 5 Restaurants list in the area.
Visit Mantra Café Now
This lovely little spot offers you a secret hideaway from the bustling restaurant strip, and the view from upstairs will take your breath away. Make sure you plan your outing to perfectly match the rhythm of the setting sun.
The laid-back ambience of Mantra will rejuvenate your soul – feel like a tourist in your own city! Or if you are visiting from out of town, put this down-to-earth café on your to-do list. And on your way out, pop in at the adjoining décor shop to buy a memento of your experience. They stock a variety of proudly South African brands, with a product selection of their favourite local artists.
What’s more, they’ve just launched some incredible Winter Specials. Tucked away from the elements, Mantra offers a cosy location for a winter night out. View the full list of specials here
Crepes are a type of very thin pancakes served with a variety of fillings which are commonly added to the centre. This delightful food is best served with coffee, tea, buttermilk, and cider. And because crepes are such a favourite breakfast meal or dessert here in the Mother City, we made a list of the Top 5 Places to Eat Crêpes in Cape Town.
#1 Swan Café
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Located on the corner of Buitenkant and Barrack Streets, Swan Café is a little French style eatery in town that offers great crepes in a beautiful setting. This sweet stopover is known for its creative interior, delicious food, and very good coffee. This Parisian crêperie is a quaint little place — beautifully decorated and styled. The café’s ambiance is very pleasant with hanging red bird cages, and walls adorned with digital swan wallpaper and art. It is a cool place to hang out with friends and soak in the French chic vibe.
On the menu are a variety of savoury and sweet crêpes, plus delicious coffee and an interesting tea selection. At Swan Café, all crêpes are made from scratch daily and are served with a dash of cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon. The galletes are made of gluten-free buckwheat flour, served with Swan side salad. The unique fillings include delicious ingredients such as blue cheese, orange sauce, fresh thyme, and toasted flaked almonds.
Swan Café is open from 8AM to 4PM on Mondays to Fridays. And from 8AM to 2PM on Saturdays.
Visit swancafe.co.za for more information.
#2 Ta-Da! Crêperie and Coffee Bar
Location: 37 Victoria Ave, Hout Bay
Ta-Da! Crêperie and Coffee Bar is a little gem at The Boardroom Adventure Centre, along Victoria Avenue in Hout Bay. With its quaint and colourful interiors and relaxed shaded outdoor seating, Ta-Da! makes wonderful sweet and savoury crêpes and other delicious food.
Popular for their great coffee, friendly service, and delicious crêpes, this pet-friendly crêperie claims to be the best coffee and breakfast destination in Hout Bay. Savoury crêpe fillings include spinach, sun-dried tomato, feta, olives, and jalapeño peppers. The sweet crêpe fillings include honey, cinnamon, and homemade fudge. Ta-da!’s sought-after crêpes come in generous sizes with rather amusing names. And because this wonderful crêperie is located along the popular Atlantic seaboard cycle route, it makes for a perfect pit-stop.
Ta-da! is open from 7:30AM to 8:30PM. They close at 5PM on Sundays and Mondays
Follow the Ta-Da! Facebook page for more information.
Related: Ten Top Cape Town Courtyard Cafés
#3 The Big Box Café
Location: 18 Roeland St, Cape Town City Centre
Experience fantastic French hospitality, play fun board games, enjoy delicious crêpes and wonderful Tribe coffee at The Big Box Café! A brainchild of Eric and Emilie Breteau, The Big Box is a sister company of La Grosse Boite, a board games café in La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast of France. This unique café is the first of its kind in Cape Town.
At The Big Box Café, you can play different board games while enjoying freshly-made crêpes with savoury and sweet fillings in a relaxed, fun environment. They have an incredible selection of unusual and engaging board games. Some of the classics such as Scrabble, Monopoly, Battleship, and Chess are also available. Playing games at the café is free. You can also purchase games at the café or on their website, ranging from R99 to R1 000. The games on offer change frequently so that you can come across a new game each time you visit. They also host a variety of themed evenings and events like the all-night game sessions. The Big Box Café is truly a great spot for a fun, quirky evening out with friends.
The Big Box Café is open Mondays to Wednesdays from 8AM to 5PM, Thursdays and Fridays from 8AM to 10PM, and Saturdays from 10AM to 10PM
Visit thebigbox.co.za for more information.
#4 Den Anker
Location: Pierhead, V & A Waterfront
Situated on the quayside of Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront is one of the city’s oldest and best-loved restaurants, Den Anker. This popular Belgian beer house and restaurant not only offers picturesque views of the harbour and Table Mountain but also an extensive menu with a strong emphasis on seasonal dishes and fresh seafood. Den Anker is a good place to get a light lunch or an evening meal and they offer the best dessert — crêpes which are flambéed at the table.
Den Anker is open Mondays to Sundays from 11AM to 12PM
Visit www.denanker.co.za for more information.
#5 Skinny Legs Café
Location: 70 Loop St, Cape Town City Centre
Skinny Legs Café offers you a more health-conscious approach to your crêpe indulgence. Their Buckwheat pancakes are a great alternative option to the usual gluten-based crêpes. And they taste just as delicious! The savoury fillings are very unique such as creamed feta, rose harissa, and minted pea puree. And you should try one of their yummy freshly-squeezed juices.
Skinny Legs Café is open Mondays to Fridays from 7AM to 4PM, and Saturdays from 8:30AM to 2PM.
Follow the Skinny Legs Café Facebook page for more information.
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The V&A Waterfront is one of the biggest restaurant hubs in Cape Town. This unique, vibrant place is filled with a wide array of restaurants, cocktail bars, and sundowner spots where you can grab a drink or two to soak up the vibe. With so many options, it can be hard to decide where to grab the perfect cocktail. We’ve hunted down the Top 5 Places to grab a cocktail at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
#1 Bascule Whisky, Wine and Cocktail Bar
Bascule Bar is situated on the bottom floor of the renowned Cape Grace Hotel, at the water’s edge of the beautiful V&A Waterfront Marina, offering relaxing views over the buzzing marina, with the stunning Table Mountain as a backdrop. This brown-hued space complements the hotel’s overall nautical feel. It features warm, wood interior furnishings and a quaint fireplace. The bar also makes use of whiskey barrels as tables beside plush leather couches.
This vibrant destination is perfect for a light lunch or a cup of coffee during the day. At night, it transforms into a lively bar, making it a perfect setting to take in the sights and sounds of the busy Waterfront. As the sun sets, cocktail connoisseurs and social butterflies gather to enjoy sundowners and lively music, along with tasty tapa dishes.
A delectable array of over 400 whiskeys from across the globe matches the breathtaking views from the bar. They also have an exceptional selection of the Cape’s most sublime wines. Bascule Bar offers a great whiskey, wine, and cocktail menu. And while whiskey is at the beating heart of this bar, its skillful bartenders have mastered the art of mixology and can shake up a wide variety of signature cocktails. And their whiskey-based cocktails are top notch.
Visit the Bascule Bar website for more information.
#2 Harbour House
Harbour House is a sophisticated restaurant that offers a fine dining experience of international cuisine with Mediterranean elements in an elegant setting. It overlooks the bustling Victoria Basin and the quay. Harbour House is known for its superb blend of time-honoured favourites and creative new dishes. They serve the freshest seafood and ingredients, making it one of Cape Town’s favourite seafood restaurants.
They have a good wine list and serve some of the best cocktails in town. This famous restaurant is the ideal spot to observe the bustling Waterfront from up high while you feast on splendid food and drink flavourful cocktails.
Visit harbourhouse.co.za for more information.
#3 Shimmy Beach Club
At Shimmy Beach Club you can sip a cocktail with your toes in the sand, while looking out over the ocean. It’s situated on the harbour edge, giving you a different perspective of the V&A Waterfront, away from the bustling main section. The menu offers you light meals, wood-fired pizza, and sushi.
Shimmy Beach Club hosts regular events, with a yearly summertime music series by local musicians Goldfish. Schedule your cocktail outing just before a show to start off the party on a high note!
Visit shimmybeachclub.com for more information
#4 Quay Four
It’s one of the oldest landmark restaurants in the charming V&A Waterfront quay. They offer high-quality food with breathtaking harbour views. At Quay Four, you can choose between the terrace right on the quay, known as the downstairs tavern, or the elegant upstairs restaurant. The terrace seats up to 360 people and buzzes with locals and visitors all year round. They offer a variety of light meals and salads as well as an impressive range of award-winning beers on tap. It is a great place to meet with friends and savour a few drinks as the sun sets.
The restaurant upstairs, on the other hand, offers a smart casual dining experience and places emphasis on mouth-watering seafood, venison and meat/poultry dishes. They also have a notable wide selection of delicious cocktails. Whether upstairs or downstairs, both visitors and tourists alike can enjoy a delicious drink and excellent food while watching the stunning harbour views of a glorious Cape Town sunset.
Visit quay4.co.za for more information.
#5 The Willaston Bar
The Willaston Bar is situated on the sixth floor of the famous Silo Hotel and showcases some of the Mother City’s most extraordinary views through the 5.5m high pillowed glass windows at a high vantage point. The bar got its name from the first ship to export grain from the original silo building to Europe in 1924. They welcome their guests with the bar’s colourful and meticulously designed interior. The bar has a wide selection of crafted cocktails, classic drinks and an indulgent variety of local and international wines.
What makes this bar one of the top places to grab a cocktail in the Waterfront is because the menu boasts with a cocktail for everyone and for all occasions. Whether you’re after an old favourite or something complex and intriguing, The Willaston Bar has got it for you. Your other option at the Silo Hotel, is the rooftop bar, if you want fresh air while sipping a cocktail.
Visit the Willaston Bar website for more information.
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A small restaurant just outside of Cape Town has won the sought-after title of Restaurant of the Year 2019. No, not just in South Africa, in the world! That’s right, we have the best restaurant in the world right on our doorstep.
Their beginnings were humble and the mastermind behind the concept, Kobus van der Merwe, aims to keep it simplistic and authentic. After winning the award he said that he won’t be pushing up prices just because of the global stamp of approval. He feels that his victory was an achievement for the whole African content.
World Class Cuisine on the West Coast
Chef Kobus van der Merwe only started cooking seriously at age 30. His team consists of six members (mostly female) and they don’t have any formal training. He opened the restaurant in 2016. A 130-year-old cottage houses the restaurant, with a historically significant cave on the property as well. The restaurant is right on the Paternoster beach.
Kobus believes in using freshly sourced ingredients. Every day the team forages for products from the wild Atlantic shore. He also makes his own butter and bread on site. He creates unique seven-course tasting menus, at R850 per person. It’s a fraction of the price you would pay at a top-notch Parisian restaurant.
The menu includes seasonal veldkos, sustainable seafood, plus local lamb and venison. Seaweed from the local rock pools, wild herbs, and other products from his own sustainable garden further enhances the dishes.
Wolfgat only serves 20 diners per seating. This way the team can keep it sustainable. All the indigenous ingredients are specific to the West Coast location. He calls it his Strandveld food menu. At the World Restaurant Awards in Paris, Kobus impressed the judges with his dedication to sustainable cooking, and his back-to-basics style. The 38-year-old chef feels greatly humbled by the award.
The Wolfgat Team Impresses Internationals
Kobus has gathered a team that shares his dream of sustainable cooking. After receiving the award, he was eager to head home to celebrate with them, over a glass of South African sparkling wine. Every day they help him to gather the succulents, dune spinach, and herbs needed to create his masterpieces.
The special seasonal tasting menu includes dishes such as angelfish with bokkom sambal and wild garlic masala, limpets, mussels and sea vegetables, twice-cooked laver (seaweed), and more. Wolfgat also received the award for best “Off Map Destination” restaurant.
At Wolfgat the team works together with no kitchen hierarchy, everyone is involved each step of the way to create world-class cuisine. Your dining experience will include a team member explaining to you the dish you are eating, elaborating on the sourcing and preparation.
Years of Culinary Passion Captured
After school he studied at the Institute of Culinary Arts in Stellenbosch, one of the best chef schools in the world. But he only completed one year of the two-year diploma programme, deciding to pursue his dream of becoming a musician. Kobus was also a former EatOut webeditor. It reawakened his passion for fine dining after meandering away from it for a few years. At 30 he decided to make a shift in his career, focusing on cooking. Although he’s influenced by spicy local Cape Malay cooking, his philosophy is to keep the ingredients as pure and untreated as possible. He calls it “hyper local cuisine”.
In 2010 his parents bought the restaurant Oep ve Koep in Paternoster, and this gave Kobus the opportunity to experiment with sustainable culinary options. For seven years he worked with his parents to build the business. It gave him the perfect platform to prepare for his own culinary venture in 2016.
New Awards Include Affordable Dining
This was the first World Restaurant Awards ceremony. It was set up by Joe Warwick, one of the 50 Best Restaurants list founders. It included affordable dining options, focusing on more dining diversity plus unique eateries.
The 50 Best Restaurants list often leans strongly towards giving French cuisine preference, these new awards strive to have a strong focus on “diversity and integrity”. Their judging panel portrays this, it consists of 50 women and 50 men. They also have tongue-in-cheek awards such as “Tattoo-free chef of the year”, won by Alain Ducasse (France) and “Tweezer-free kitchen of the year” won by Bo.lan (Bangkok).
The judges include Rene Redzepi from Denmark’s Noma restaurant, the cookbook king Yotam Ottolenghi, and Clare Smyth, the Northern Irish chef that was the first female chef to win three Michelin stars in Britain. Judges were gathered across the globe, from 37 different countries in total. Their focus was on integrity and excellence.
A Restaurant on a Mystical Cave
The world-famous restaurant is situated above the Wolfgat cave. This location holds special meaning to Kobus, with the site holding a wealth of archaeological and geological significance. The Wolfgat cave holds archaeological finds over 2 000 years old. Various ancient artefacts were found including beads and stones, ceramics, ostrich eggshell, bones, and marine shell. Bedding and hearths are also possibly buried here.
John Parkington, a leading archaeologist, says that the Wolfgat cave is a vast chamber that lies under a remarkably large calcrete shelf. According to him underground stream erosion formed the cave, which eroded the softer sand under the cemented shelf. The locals believe that its underground passages meander kilometres into the surrounding land, possibly as far as the Cape Columbine reserve.
Book Your Seat Now
Wolfgat captures the rustic beauty of the West Coast. The interior is simplistic, yet elegant. It has a fireplace, perfect to create a cosy atmosphere for an intimate winter dining setting. And the stunning views of the ocean complements the delicious food. You can watch the fishermen in their brightly coloured boats as you nibble on food from the very same waters.
The word has spread fast about this amazing secret restaurant, book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Visit www.wolfgat.co.za for more information.
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After five years of extensive research and product development at some of the biggest global laboratories, The Skin Co. opened their first store in January 2019, in Green Point, near the Cape Royale hotel. This original South African concept is the first ingestible cosmetic health food bar in the world. The new age skin, health and beauty company offers their beauty products in store, as well as online. They believe they are the future of skin and aim to revolutionize the beauty industry, offering 100% natural products.
The shop’s crisp décor perfectly complements the unique skin care range. Their use of wood and hanging plants, contrasted with white walls, create a sense of earthy purity as you step inside. Combining the beauty products with a health food bar offers patrons a unique way to engage with the brand.
Superfoods Meet Science
The Skin Co’s philosophy is that what you put on your skin is just as important as what you put in your body. It’s a world-first, all the ingredients used in their beauty products are ingestible. At the health bar the food and juices are enhanced with three main cosmetic ingestibles: Collagen, Hyaluronic Acid, and Resveratrol. Each of these add their own super power to your meal or juice.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It’s in various body parts such as your ligaments, tendons, muscles, and skin. It provides your skin with its structure. A supplement can give your skin a much needed boost. It can also strengthen your hair and nails, preventing brittleness, plus increase the growth. The Skin Co. uses collagen sourced from fish, because of its higher quality.
Hyaluronic Acid increases hydration. Sufficiently hydrated skin has smoother, plumper skin cells. When the skin retains moisture, the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles is reduced. Skin that is properly hydrated and protected also has increased skin cell production.
Resveratrol forms part of the polyphenols group of compounds. These act in a similar way to antioxidants, protecting your body against various damage risks. It’s an antimicrobial substance which plants produce in response to infection, stress, or strong UV radiation. This gives the compound powerful antioxidant and anti-aging properties.
Vegan Natural Cold Pressed Skincare
The restaurant has created gourmet plant-based, seasonal and locally sourced Fairtrade dishes. All of the dishes include one or more of the cosmetic ingestibles. These are food grade and 100% safe for human consumption. Although their meals are ultra healthy, they won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Meals range between R65 to R120.
To whet your appetite, the breakfast options include: Active Tofu – Resveratrol and Hyaluronic Acid infused tofu hollandaise, wilted spinach, asparagus, and toast. Blueberry Flapjacks – Hyaluronic Acid vanilla vegan cashew ice cream, banana, blueberries, and strawberries.
And for lunch: HA Bowl (Hyaluronic Acid) double Hyaluronic Acid, saffron and citrus infused fennel, herbed quinoa, coriander, spring onion, tahini, soy and roasted sesame Hyaluronic Acid oil emulsion. Charcoal Brioche Burger Trio – 1. Hyaluronic Acid crispy tofu, 2. Collagen falafel, 3. Resveratrol mushroom topped with caramelized onions, smashed avo, oven roasted button mushroom, truffle vegan aioli, and coriander pesto.
Formulations from the Earth
Cold Pressed Skin combines the science and the food, to create an active superfood skincare range. This skincare range is pure juice for your skin. Currently they are focusing on six main products. The ingredients include cold-pressed cosmetic oils and extracts. And all the ingredients are natural, raw, vegan, and cruelty-free. These products are full of bio actives, antioxidants, and skin-loving phytonutrients. The products are suitable for all skin types. The oils are also safe for use during pregnancy and suitable for all skin types.
Superfood Age-Reset Brightening Serum (R 450.00) Key ingredients: Acai • Goji • Alfalfa • Pomegranate • Squalane • Multivitamin Phyto-Retinol Plant Stem Cell Complex
Youth Juice Antioxidant Superfood Cleanser (R 300.00) Key ingredients: Kale • Broccoli • Cucumber • Aloe Vera • Green Tea • Moringa • Multivitamin Phyto-Complex • Squalane
Superberry Vitamin C Probiotic Face Mist (R 300.00) Key ingredients: Acai • Goji • Hibiscus • Rose • Watermelon • Lentil • Multivitamin Phyto-Complex • Probiotic
Urban Combat Green Superfood Moisturiser (R 500.00) Key ingredients: Kale • Algae • Broccoli • Activated Moss • Green Tea • Multivitamin Phyto-Complex • Phytosterols
Rare Berry Elixir Face Oil (R 450.00) Key ingredients: Acai • Goji • Alfalfa • Pomegranate • Maracuja • Moringa • Multivitamin phyto-complex • Phytosterols
Body Juice Superfood Body Oil (R 450.00) Key ingredients: Acai • Maracuja • Pomegranate • Squalane • Rosehip • Coconut • Multivitamin phyto-complex • • Alfalfa • High dose Vitamin C
To read more about the products, click here.
Advanced Natural Skin & Body Care
Together with the Cold Pressed Skin range , Instinctive by Nature is a natural skincare and beauty collection created from advanced natural and organic formulas. It promotes long term skin health. Again, all ingredients are natural, raw, vegan, and cruelty-free. It consists of a range of tanning and antioxidant body oils, and slimming lotions.
These are designed with a plant stem cell system which targets fat cells while protecting and regenerating the skin from UV damage. It also provides your skin with a boost of melanin production. The products are not instant self-tan but with regular use you can gain a more consist tan, without exposing your skin to the harsh African sun. You can also use it as sunscreen, to protect your skin.
To read more about the products, click here.
Visit The Skin Co. Now
The Skin Co’s production facility is ECOCERT approved. It enhances the company’s vision to do as little harm as possible to the environment, while offering people high-quality, affordable products which are suitable for all skin types.
Tucked away in the corner of the Artem Centre (formerly known as the Adelphi Centre) a cosmopolitan café experience awaits you. Coco Safar was “conceived in New York, designed in Toronto and made in Cape Town”, after 10 years of meticulous dreaming and planning.
The luxury coffee café has now implemented their final phase to become an all-day café. We got to sample their new bistro dinner menu. Decadence galore!
An Accessible World-Class Café
Coco Safar has managed to strike the perfect balance between sophistication and a relaxed vibe. You can choose to dress up a bit for a luxurious evening outing, or simply impulsively pop in for a quick bite without feeling awkward in your jeans and t-shirt.
The brand creators aim to offer patrons “daily affordable luxury”. When you hear “Coco” you immediately envision luxury. Add to this “Safar” meaning journey, and you will agree that the name choice is very apt. Step in to the restaurant, and you will for a moment forget that you find yourself in Sea Point.
Coco Safar’s décor has a retro chic feel to it, with plush comfy leather seats and warm brown colours. It feels like an infusion of New York sass and Parisian flair. Wilhelm Liebenberg and Caroline Sirois have big plans for the brand. They plan to open stores in Johannesburg, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Tokyo, and Mexico City.
Artisan Coffee Meets Fine Dining
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We prepare coffee – the world’s most cherished daily ritual with our carefully sourced, micro batch roasted 100% Arabica signature Voyage blend, expertly extracted by skilled baristas in true style and visually captivating drama on our iconic lever machines. . . . . . #Coffee #thirdwavecoffee #specialtycoffee #couture #capetown #coffeetime #coffeeholic #coffeelover #coffeeaddict #coffeelovers #coffeebreak #coffeegram #coffeelove #coffeelife #instacoffee #coffeeoftheday #coffeecup #caffeine #coffeemaker #coffeeporn #coffeebean #levermachine #keesvanderwesten #arabica #microbatch #barista
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Although coffee is one of the biggest passions of the brand, the evening menu is a step above mere bistro nibbles. Their Espresso Bar features special Spirit Idrocompresso machines designed by Kees van der Westen. The innovative design turns pouring an espresso shot into a true art form.
The on-site Roastery & Coffee Lab gives Coco Safar complete control over the quality of coffee served. They aim to produce exceptional Third Wave specialty coffee, producing micro-lots from award-winning coffee beans. To offer patrons the ultimate coffee experience, Coco Safar’s baristas are highly trained.
Where It All Started
Wilhelm and Caroline have been travelling across the world for about two decades, searching for the ultimate culinary experience and the best coffee. They incorporated their findings into various dining endeavours, opening cafés and restaurants in various cities including New York, Toronto, and Montreal. Coco Safar is a culmination of the journey. They dream of making luxury dining accessible to everyone, not only the high-end market.
They brought Carmen Rueda Hernandez on board as chef. Her passion lies with chocolate and desserts. But she still out did herself with the dinner menu. Her attention to detail is exquisite. She creates interesting taste combinations, breaking away from traditions with flair. She’s travelled extensively. From her home country of Spain, to the UK and France, to Singapore and Australia.
The exposure to such a wide array of cultures is evident in her food creations. She has honed her skills as a pastry chef with training from Oriol Balaguer, a big name in the pastry industry. The other renowned pastry chef that helped her refine her skills in France, was Olivier Bajard. And celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal challenged her talent even further as part of the Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen team.
The other exciting addition to the team, is Marshall Siavash. He brings to the table his cocktail-making expertise, a former bartender at The House of Machines as well as the Cause/Effect cocktail bar. He was also involved behind the scenes with the conceptualisation of the Cause/Effect cocktail bar.
It’s Not Just a Restaurant
The Coco Safar brand reaches beyond simply offering you a dining experience. From the Roastery & Coffee Lab they produce a unique coffee capsule range. What makes it even more special, is the innovative compostable, oxygen tight bio-capsules. It’s a world first, offering environmental-conscious coffee fanatics a sustainable capsule experience. Enjoy the ultimate Third Wave coffee experience in the comfort of your home! The capsules are compatible with Nespresso® machines, manufactured from 2010 onwards.
To complement your delicious cup of coffee, stock up on couture pâtisserie and viennoiseries. Inspired by the French patisserie tradition but infused with unique twists, such as maple-infusions originated in Toronto, and artisan touches from Cape Townian talent. Or, if you’re stopping for a cuppa at the restaurant, try their homemade gelato or sorbets (made on-site).
Coco Safar loves pushing the limits of the culinary world, producing various world-first products. Together with the on-site roastery, they now also have the world’s first botanical micro-brewery. The non-alcoholic beverages are created from brewing rooibos. They’ve also have a tonic water that is infused with the rooibos, available on tap at the restaurant. The range includes the Red Rooibos Cold Brew, Green Rooibos Cold Brew, and a Coffee-Citrus Cold Brew.
Marshall is in charge of overseeing the brewing process. With his extensive experience in the industry, he also creates unique botanical cocktails. And the presentation of these are very tongue in cheek! If you are a cocktail enthusiast, you are guaranteed an exceptional experience.
Dining As an Immersive Experience
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Breakfast is served from 8am on weekends, and from 7am during the week, and until 3pm every day. For all of those of you who have asked, we say yes! We now have WiFi. #eatbreakfast #lovecapetown #coffeegram #hautecomfortfood #weekend #mothercity #breakfastclub #coffee #instawifi #wifi #capetown #cocosafar #journeybeyondordinary
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Coco Safar has paid close attention to every little detail of the dining experience. Step inside and be transported into a luxurious world. The décor almost feels like liquid coffee, with its strong brown emphasis. The background music meanders from upbeat jazz to sultry French tunes. A special film created by the owners complete the escapist experience. Snippets from Pathé films include a fashion show and exploration of European cities. It plays on a screen in the background, a perfect distraction or conversation starter.
To whet your appetite, before we share with you their new dinner menu. From the breakfast selection: French Toast – seasonal fruit, rosemary-poached pear, caramelised banana, yoghurt cream, almond & almond crumble, and lemon-caramel sauce. Or Brioche Florentine – flaky croissant pastry filled with Anura Estate feta, sauteed spinach & a baked egg, served with a fresh citrus salad.
From the lunch selection: Superbowl 2.0 – quinoa, broccoli, green beans, butternut, avocado, courgettes, radish, beetroot, and mixed leaves. Or Safar Bobotie – free range lamb mince, pineapple, apricot, garden peas, mango chutney, and yogurt.
Visit www.cocosafar.com for more information.
In the thick of summer, when Cape Town is heaving with visitors and locals let loose from their work cages, you might feel the urge to find somewhere quiet to hide. Here are a few wonderful Cape Town courtyards to try when you need to step out of the fray.
If you’re looking for a peaceful retreat in beautiful surroundings, the approach to 196 Victoria might not immediately seem promising: persevere, and you’ll be delighted you did. In the middle of the bustling, restless, noisy urban Woodstock Main (Victoria) Road, you’ll see the gracious old façade. But once you step inside, you’ll find yourself in an oasis of calm that seems to be miles (perhaps centuries?) away from the street you’ve just stepped off.
I first went there to see an exhibition by a local artist – wonderful work, exhibited in a light, clear space – and it felt like I’d stumbled, Narnia style, into a different world.
196 Victoria was conceived as a hub where creatives and holistic health practitioners (and those who feed and water them) could work in a beautiful, conducive environment. The focus of the centre is on supporting physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. The building houses several artists’ studios (to the right as you walk in), a yoga studio, therapy rooms and workshop rooms as well as an extraordinary old world café room, an exhibition space, and, tucked away at the back, a courtyard café. The eatery has just changed hands, and the new Veg Kitchen and Coffee Shop opens in January. I’ll definitely be paying them a visit.
If you’re looking to put yourself into the thick of it rather than to escape, head to Café Ganesh in the heart of Observatory. Café Ganesh started by accident. Literally. Anthony Baker was knocked off his motorbike in the early 90s and was eventually paid out for his medical expenses in 1995. He took a 7-month trip to India (hence the name Ganesh), and decided to start a local eatery when he came home in late 1996.
An “Obs” institution since its inception, Café Ganesh serves up hearty food (think bobotie, umnqusho, pap ‘n veg) and even heartier conversation, Mzansi style, from before noon until the wee hours. The look is urban shabby chic, and the feeling is everyone’s welcome. Most of the action happens at the long tables in the main courtyard area (through the main Trill Street entrance) but Ganesh expanded some years ago to include an extra room, featuring work by well-known SA artists – don’t forget to check out the floors.
If you’re wanting something more tranquil and less “happening”, try the fabulous fare at the High Tea cake shop in Wynberg.
Kerneels and Irma Brümmer started High Tea in Wynberg as a tea and cake shop in 2004, but it has since expanded. High Tea now serves up breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea in a really beautiful, peaceful English-styled garden. The baking is still done by Irma and her staff in a home-based kitchen. You can hire out the venue for functions or order custom-made cakes for birthdays, weddings or other special occasions.
If it’s a seaside courtyard retreat you’re after, make your way to the South Peninsula, where you’ll find the Courtyard Café in Kalk Bay or try the Winchester Mansions in Sea Point.
The Courtyard Café
The Courtyard Café is set in a sheltered courtyard in Kalk Bay between the Artvark Gallery (through which you enter the café) and the Kalk Bay Theatre (which featured in the Secret Cape Town “Intimate Theatres” blog). The café has inside and outside areas, some of which overlook the bustling activity of Kalk Bay and the False Bay ocean beyond. The Courtyard Café prides itself on their healthy, high quality ethically sourced food, serving many inventive salads as well as vegetarian and vegan options.
Winchester Mansions in Sea Point is home to one of my all-time favourite courtyard hide-aways. I’ve been treated to a fabulous breakfast buffet there and it’s a perfect place for afternoon tea, but Harvey’s (as the restaurant here is called) also serves dinner in this uber-romantic courtyard setting.
They offer Summer Serenade evenings during season on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 to 8, high tea on Saturday afternoons from 2 to 5 (R360 for 2) and their legendary jazz brunches on Sundays from 11 to 2 (R345 and you can help yourself to anything from the breakfast or lunch buffets) – just make sure you book in advance. If you’re after a spectacular sunset drink, the bar (with a stoep) at the front of the hotel looking out onto the promenade and the sea beyond is a winner.
Heritage Square houses an impressive range of places to eat or drink. There are several good restaurants (one specialising in chicken dishes, the other in beef), an upstairs drinkery, an innovative ice cream shop serving inventively boozy ice cream flavours such as whisky and orange peel alongside more traditional (and child-friendly) varieties, a cellar offering wine tasting, a coffee shop, and the Heritage Hotel which is adorned with a grape vine that has been growing there since the 1770s and still produces grapes. Whether you’re going there for a quick drink, a coffee, an ice cream or a full meal, it’s a wonderful venue – day or night.
Not far from Heritage Square in Bree Street, the Villa 47 courtyard has just been revamped into a fresh, modern terrazza with funky but comfortable-looking furniture, presided over by a great mosaic created by a young local artist. They specialise in Italian spritzers, snacks and meals and have several beers on tap. It seems like a perfect place to go for post-work drinks and stay for a good Italian dinner.
Honest and The Gin Bar
Still in the CBD, Honest Chocolate is a small, artisanal bean-to-bar chocolatier. The people at Honest are dedicated to ensuring ethical business practices and sourcing (local, organic and fair). The chocolate is handcrafted in Woodstock, and they set themselves apart from the rest by keeping their chocolate dark and minimally sugared.
Their café shop is on Wale Street, with a few tables of indoors and a really pretty courtyard at the back (which is part of the original building) where you can sit and enjoy a breather and something dark, decadent and chocolatey at a table near the water feature.
If you’re a gin lover (which I confess I’m not) venture further and you will find the secret Gin Bar, which shares the courtyard with the Chocolate Café and offers a wide selection of local and international gins. You can try your hand (or taste buds) at identifying the huge variety of botanical flavours used, and experiment with different mixers and garnishes.
If you feel like going somewhere rural without leaving the city, the courtyard at Jonkershuis restaurant is a good bet. Situated in the heart of Groot Constantia, the oldest wine-producing estate in South Africa, the Jonkershuis is a relaxed restaurant with a leaning towards traditional Cape Malay dishes. There are various spaces within the venue, including a lovely courtyard area, but it’s definitely worth booking in advance. It’s a great place to take kids: there’s a children’s menu (as well as a vegetarian one) and plenty of space under the shade of the oak trees to run off any extra energy after lunch.