Are you ready for the ultimate Cape Town culinary adventure where you explore, discover and experience some of the Mother City’s coolest local food and drink spots that have made some major waves in the global culinary world? Cape Town’s vibrant culinary scene is more exciting and thrilling than ever before. And it’s certainly making the rest of the world sit up and take note. With many of our local culinary gems, cool eateries, trendy bars and must-visit food and drink spots finally getting the global recognition they deserve by being named some of the best and most Ínstagrammable’ in the world. And we’re loving every single second of it! Are you ready to experience the best of the best Cape Town has to offer? Buckle-up, we’re about to explore some of the top-rated Cape Town food and drink spots that all deserve a prime spot on your bucket-list.
Rated best ice-cream parlour in the world by Big 7 Travel
It’s ice-cream time! Of course we’re starting off our list of top Cape Town culinary spots with the sweetest one of them all, Unframed! Not only has this cool Cape Town ice-cream parlour claimed the top spot as the best ice-cream parlour in the world as rated by Big 7 Travel. It was also the only ice-cream parlour in Africa to make the list. Thereby making it a pretty big achievement in itself.
Essentially Unframed is an artisanal ice cream maker that makes healthy ice cream from scratch from real and sustainable food. And the best thing is, they truly have something for EVERY ice-cream lover at heart. Whether you’re all about the delicious classic old-school delights or something a little more daring and out-there, Unframed has the perfect ice-cream flavour combination for you. Not to mention the fact that they also offer a variety of nut-based vegan options, dairy-based and fruit-based sorbets.
But, whichever exciting ice-cream flavour you choose, one thing is for certain, it promises to take you on an unforgettable flavour-filled ice-cream taste adventure! It is rated as the best ice-cream parlour in the world by Big 7 Travel after all. Besides a visit to their flagship store in Woodstock, this cool Cape Town ice-cream parlour also has a store in Gardens and the V&A Waterfront.
- Location: Gardens: 45C Kloof Street, Cape Town | V&A Waterfront: V&A Food Market | Woodstock (flagship store): Woodstock Quarter, 187 Sir Lowry Road
- Opening Hours: Gardens: Daily 11am – 11pm | V&A Waterfront: Sunday – Thursday10am – 8pm | Friday – Saturday 10am – 9pm | Woodstock: Monday – Saturday 11am – 6pm
- Contact details: Gardens: 063 601 0287 | V&A Waterfront: 065 878 3917 | Woodstock: 063 601 0287
Best Off-Map Destination & Restaurant of the Year in the internationally-acclaimed 2019 World Restaurant Awards
Move over seafood hotshots, there’s a new seafood sheriff in town! There is absolutely no denying the fact that the Western Cape, especially the magical Cape West Coast, is any seafood lover’s dream come true. And the tiny beachfront restaurant of Wolfgat is making sure everyone in the world knows it too. Claiming the number 1 spot as the Best ‘Off-map Destination’ AND the coveted ‘Restaurant of the Year’ title in the internationally acclaimed 2019 World Restaurant Awards. Wolfgat is proof that you should never underestimate an underdog. Especially when it comes to Cape Town’s local culinary scene, exceptionally fresh seafood and talented chefs that make it all come alive. And Wolfgat is without a doubt all of that combined.
Despite receiving these prestigious titles and global culinary recognition, Wolfgat only opened their doors 2 years ago. Further showcasing just how hard they’ve worked to climb the global culinary ladder and be in the incredible position they are today. Situated in a 130-year-old cottage and cave on the beach of the captivating and charismatic coastal town of Paternoster. Wolfgat is headed up by talented Chef Kobus van der Merwe and his six mostly female staff that have no real formal training. Making this amazing achievement even more incredible and inspiring.
But, what makes this Cape west coast culinary gem so special? As simple as it may sound, it truly is their pure love and passion for food and sharing it with as many people as possible that has positioned the beloved Wolfgat as a major culinary contender and a step above the rest.
Now for the big question, what can you expect from an authentic Wolfgat dining experience? At Wolfgat it’s all about sustainable, back-to-basics cooking. So much so that the staff, along with Chef Kobus van der Merwe, goes out everyday foraging for fresh ingredients, herbs, succulents and dune spinach on the wild Atlantic shore of the Western Cape. Just to incorporate it into their delicious and unique selection of dishes. They even take it a step further by making their very own bread and butter. You therefore know you’re in for one sensational home-made meal you won’t soon forget. Wolfgat is undoubtedly one Cape west coast culinary gem that deserves to be on every food lover or avid foodie’s bucket-list!
- Location: 10 Sampson St, Kliprug, Paternoster
- Opening hours: Lunch is served at 12:30pm from Wednesday to Saturday & 12:00 noon on Sundays | Dinner is served on Friday and Saturday evenings at 6:30pm for 7pm
- Contact details/Reservations: Reservations for Wolfgat can only be made online via their Dineplan calendar – visit their website www.wolfgat.co.za to make your booking
- Additional information: Wolfgat’s table configuration allows for bookings of 1 – 6 guests | Their maximum capacity is groups of 8 guests, depending on availability | Separately booked tables can unfortunately not be joined
The 13th most Instagrammable café in the world as rated by Big 7 Travel
Time for a bit of Cape Town café love for all our café lovers out there! In the Mother City, it’s all about living that sweet café life and what a glorious one it is indeed. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a relaxed coffee and freshly baked good or on-the-go café snack to kick-start your day. Cape Town has no shortage of trendy street-side cafés to choose from. But, by far the one café that undoubtedly deserves the number 1 spot on your Cape Town café bucket-list is Nourish’d. Voted the 13th most Instagrammable Café in the world by Big 7 Travel, Nourish’d has captured the hearts of café loving souls from around the world. And once you step foot inside and taste one of their sensational café-style meals for the first time, you’ll know exactly why.
Proudly establishing themselves as a healthy laid-back café & juicer, Nourish’d is the perfect care-free escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Boasting a selection of fresh juices, shots, smoothies, breakfast bowls and tasty toasts. All packed with fresh, homegrown ingredients, there truly is something for everyone to enjoy. In addition to Nourish’d’s delicious selection of fresh and flavour-filled café-style food, freshly pressed juices and endless variety of sensational menu options. Their bold, beautiful and captivating setting of surrounding lush greenery will truly make you feel like you’ve escaped to your very own bohemian paradise right in the heart of Cape Town’s inner city. Plus, their laid-back bohemian vibe, cool crowd of locals and travellers and vibrant and welcoming atmosphere will make you feel right at home from the very moment you arrive.
As it’s known as one of the most ‘Instagrammable’ Cafés in the world, be sure to take a few cool Insta-worthy snapshots while you’re there. The super cool and trendy setting, bold bohemian backdrop and creative, inspired and total Insta-worthy culinary works of art will make it super easy, trust us! Just have a look at their Instagram feed and you’ll know exactly what me mean.
- Location: Nourish’d on Kloof: 177 Kloof Street Gardens | Nourish’d Observatory: 186 Lower Main Rd. Observatory
- Opening hours: Nourish’d on Kloof: Monday – Thursday 7am – 5pm | Friday 7am – 4pm | Saturday 8am – 2pm | Sunday 8am – 12pm | Nourish’d Observatory: Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm | Saturday 8am – 2pm | Sunday 9am – 1pm
- Contact details: Nourish’d on Kloof: 064 755 2431 | Nourish’d Observatory: 066 336 3944 | [email protected]
#THE GIN BAR
One of the 50 most Instagrammable Bars in the World as rated by Big 7 Travel
Calling all Gin lovers! This one is especially dedicated to all of you! There is absolutely no denying the fact that in Cape Town, we LOVE our gin. With local Mother City gin gems like the Secret Gin Bar and cool Botanical Bar having a lot to do with our unwavering gin love affair. But, in addition to capturing the hearts of local Cape Town gin lovers. The Gin Bar has taken it a step further by captivating head-over-heels gin lovers from all around the world too with its coveted title of 42nd most ‘Instagrammable Bar’ in the World as rated by Big 7 Travel.
Located in the vibrant inner city of Cape Town on Wale Street, the Gin Bar (which is locally referred to as the Secret Gin Bar due to its hush-hush location behind Honest Chocolate – another one of the Mother City’s hidden gems) is not only known as one of the Mother City’s best kept gin secrets. But it was also the first bar in the city to dedicate itself to all things gin! Not to mention the fact that it is one of the country’s only true speak-easy bars. Thereby not only making the Gin Bar one of the top-rated and most sought-after gin spots in Cape Town (and now the world too) but a true trailblazer of the Mother City gin scene.
A visit to Cape Town’s Secret Gin Bar is therefore a unique and exciting experience every gin lover should undoubtedly add to their Cape Town culinary (and gin) bucket-list! And even if you don’t consider yourself to be much of a gin lover at heart, you might just be converted to a full-blow gin enthusiast after your first visit to this Cape Town gin gem. Of course, as the name would suggest, all their cocktails contain gin. However, don’t expect the ordinary or same-old predictable combinations. The Gin Bar certainly puts their own unique gin twist on their one-of-a-kind gin creations. And don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to try everything on the menu while you’re there. We all have a weakness, and if you’re a die-hard gin lover, the Gin Bar might just be yours.
- Location: 64A Wale St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
- Opening hours: Monday – Thursday 3pm – 12am | Friday – Saturday 3pm – 1:30am | Sunday 2pm – 8pm
- Contact details: 071 241 2277 | [email protected]
#TRUTH COFFEE ROASTING CAFE
Voted the best coffee shop in the world in 2016 by The Daily Telegraph 2 years in a row
Calling all die-hard coffee lovers! And we KNOW there’s a lot of you out there, especially in Cape Town. In the Mother City, coffee is so much more than a warm concoction of caffeinated goodness to kick-start your day. Or give you that extra mid-day boost you need to keep you powering through. In Cape Town, coffee is culture! And top-notch coffee roasting gems like TRUTH Coffee Roasting Café has certainly made it its mission to ensure the rest of the world knows it too. Voted the best coffee shop in the world in 2016 by the UK Based publication The Daily Telegraph 2 years in a row. This cool Cape Town coffee shop sure puts mediocre cups of instant coffee to shame with their gourmet home-roasted cups of brew. And if you’re a die-hard coffee lover at heart, you’ll know exactly how rare it is to find a really good cup of home roasted brew. The struggle is real!
Besides the fact that this chic and edgy Cape Town coffee shop serves up some of the best coffee, not only in the Mother City, but the world. Their super cool interiors are every bit as jaw-droppingly amazing as their coffee itself. Their steampunk-themed interiors and vintage Probat coffee roaster will almost make you feel like you’ve been transported to a whole new Sherlock Holmes-era laboratory inspired world. And yes, it’s every bit as cool as it sounds! In addition to truly exceptional world-class cups of coffee, TRUTH Coffee Roasting Café also serves up a variety of other warm beverages, snacks, meals and sweet treats to fill and line your stomach. So, be sure to take advantage of everything they have to offer while you’re there.
TRUTH Coffee Roasting Café is located on Cape Town’s bustling Buitenkant Street, in the heart of the city, with a small single marked sign saying ‘Truth’. So, you better keep your eyes open for this one. You definitely don’t want to miss it. Especially if you’re an avid coffee enthusiast.
- Location: 36 Buitenkant Street | Cape Town City Centre
- Opening hours: Takeaway deli opens from 05h59 on weekdays serving coffee and pastries
- Café: Monday – Friday 7am – 6pm | Saturday 8am – 6pm | Sunday 8am – 4pm | TRUTH.After Dark – Monday – Saturday 6pm – Midnight
- Contact details: 021 200 0440 | [email protected]
#THE TEST KITCHEN
One of the 50 Best Restaurants in the world as rated by the World Restaurant Awards
Ranked 22nd in The World’s Best Restaurant Awards in 2016 as well as claiming the number 44 spot in 2019. And the ‘Best Restaurant in Africa’ title at The World’s Best Restaurant Awards, the Test Kitchen has certainly taken the global culinary scene by storm. And the Mother City sure is basking in every second of the global culinary glow. Not only because the Test Kitchen is without a doubt one of the top culinary hotspots in Cape Town, but because they’ve loudly and proudly earned their coveted spot as one of the best restaurants in the world. Thereby undoubtedly making it one of the most sought-after culinary adventures in the city and a one-of-a-kind fine dining experience that should be one every head-over-heels foodie’s global culinary bucket-list.
With the world-renowned Chef Luke Dale Roberts spearheading the charge, the Test Kitchen is bold, contemporary and experimental in the most exciting way. So much so that you might even find yourself lost for words as each sensational course is put in front of you. It is rated as one of the best restaurants in the world after all. The best thing to do is to just to sit back, relax and enjoy every second of the indulgent and thrilling culinary ride. It promises to be one deliciously decadent culinary experience you definitely won’t soon forget.
Located in one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Cape Town, Woodstock (the Mother City’s ultimate street-art hotspot) just bumps up the Test Kitchen’s cool status another few notches.
- Location: The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town
- Opening hours: Open Tuesday to Saturday 6pm – 9pm
- Contact details: 021 447 2337 | [email protected]
19th Best Dive Bar in the world as rated by Big 7 Travel
Are you ready to spice things up with a bit of Cape Town Dive Bar action? Because we’re shifting the global spotlight to the edgy dive bar with subliminal punk and surf influences, SurfaRosa! Named the 19th Best Dive Bar in in the world as rated by Big 7 Travel, SurfaRosa is actually the only bar of its kind in the Mother City. Thereby making a visit to this top-rated global Cape Town hotspot a one-of-a-kind experience and a bucket-list worthy adventure all in one.
Besides it’s super cool global Dive Bar status, SurfaRosa has become one of the coolest hangout spots in the Mother City for locals and travellers alike. Serving up a bit of grunt and street side edge with their drinks, SurfaRosa is everything you could ever want in a Dive Bar and more. From a lekker laid-back vibe, cool locals, rustic interiors, ice-cold beers on tap, lively music and quirky bar staff ready to serve. There truly is no better place to be to celebrate and enjoy Cape Town’s cool Dive Bar culture.
Not to mention the fact that their all-for-one-and-one-for-all everyone is welcoming atmosphere, vibrant energy and infectious vibe makes you feel like a part of the pack from the very start. It’s therefore no surprise that this one-of-a-kind local Cape Town dive bar has become a real fan-favourite among locals, keen travellers looking to experience something different and tourists wanting to immerse themselves in an authentic local experience. The vibrant mix of lively locals, thirsty travellers and rowdy regular therefore make up quite a unique and authentic crowd of people. All looking to have a great time at the 19th best dive bar in the world! Which undoubtedly means you’re in for one epic night you won’t soon forget.
Located on the cool East City Precinct Harrington Street, a visit to SurfaRosa is an absolute must-visit Cape Town spot if you’re looking to enjoy an amazing night out in the lively Mother City.
- Location: 61 Harrington St, Zonnebloem, Cape Town
- Opening hours: Tuesday – Thursday 12pm – 2am | Friday – Saturday 12pm – 4am
- Contact details: 021 461 2276