As you start planning your South Africa travels, you’ll quickly realise you need a guide to Cape Town focused on the city’s fantastic food scene. This coastal hot spot has long been revered as an important wine region, but it’s also home to delicious and unique South African food. Luxury Gold’s gastronomic guide will take you through notable Cape Town restaurants and must-try flavors of “Mother City”.
Among the top things to do in Cape Town is try Braai. Braai, meaning to grill meat over an open flame, is more than barbecue. It’s a way of life and part of South African culture. Braai not only refers to how you cook meat, but the joyful gathering and socializing of family and friends. This tradition is so embedded in South African culture that South African Heritage Day is called “Braai Day.” On Braai Day – or any other day people gather for Braai – you can find a variety of marinated meat cooked over wood or charcoal. Lamb, beef, chicken, pork, springbok, warthog, ostrich, eland, kudu, seafood and steak are all popular. Boerewors, beef and pork sausages seasoned with coriander and nutmeg, are often found on the menu, too. Meat is usually accompanied by fresh salads and desserts.
One of the top spots to try Braai is Mzoli’s. Part butcher shop, part restaurant, this bustling hot spot outside of the city center is the place to go dine like a local. You’ll find out-of-towners and a diverse crowd of Cape Towners at Mzoli’s. It’s that good. Feast on grilled meat with local South African spiced barbecue sauce. Pair your meats with pap (a South African corn dish similar to grits) and chakalaka (a vegetable succotash), for a complete meal.
Seafood at Codfather
Any gastronomic guide to Cape Town must also highlight its stunning seafood. We’ve heard that Codfather is the place to go for fresh fish, shellfish and sushi. From prawns and oysters to crayfish and calamari, there’s no shortage of seafood options and variety. What makes Codfather unique is that instead of a printed menu, it presents the fresh, daily offerings on a large display counter – like that of your favorite local fishmonger. Staff are eager to guide you through the fresh catches and flavors that you’ll enjoy the most. You choose the exact amount you want for a completely customizable meal.
Old Biscuit Mill
Can’t decide between Braai and seafood? You don’t have to. Cape Town’s many markets invite you to sample local flavors and dishes from upcoming restauranteurs. On Spectacular South Africa you’ll join a Local Expert to visit the trendy The Old Biscuit Mill, a former biscuit factory turned vibrant market and creative hub in the city. In addition to showcasing local photographers, designers, and other artists, Old Biscuit Mill is the ideal spot to sample local fare. Grab a gourmet burger at Redemption Burgers. Try a Taiwan-inspired bao filled with pickled carrots and cucumber, fresh garden herbs, Asian-style dressing and crispy onions at Bao Now. Or, sip a specialty coffee from Espresso Lab Microroasters.
Two don’t-miss restaurants in The Old Biscuit Mill are by Luke Dale-Roberts. The Pot Luck Club tempts with shareable plates in taste categories of salty, sour, sweet, umami and bitter. Try the Asian-style beef tartare with Hoisin dressing, coriander pesto and ponzu mayo. Or, sample Pork Penang Belly with coconut and peanut curry with lime pickled onion. At Dale-Roberts’ other restaurant, The Test Kitchen Fledglings, sushi and scallops sit alongside seafood risotto in a warm space with an important ethos. The Test Kitch Fledglings presents people who previously had no access to the hospitality industry to potentially forge a new career. Full-time employees receive a salary while they are upskilled through on-the-job training.
No gastronomic guide to Cape Town would be complete without shining a spotlight on its wine industry. In fact, 80% of South African wines are produced in Cape Town province. These ideal climate conditions create a variety of wines including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot and Cabernet within its five main wine regions. Join a winery tour to some of the many estates or personalize your exploration on a historical, hiking or mountain biking tour through the region.
Our Spectacular South Africa tour guides you to Vergelegen Estate where you’ll sip award-winning wines over a private tasting. Take time to stroll through some of the 18 unique gardens of the manor house and explore the nearby vineyards by bicycle with a guide.
To top off your experience, you’ll dine at Boschendal Wine Estate’s Werf Restaurant. This award-winning restaurant within the revamped original cellar of the Manor House is renowned for its sustainability and farm-to-table meals. Chef Allistaire Lawrence presents a menu guided by the seasons with local and ethically sourced produce brought to the forefront of each dish.
Where else will your South Africa travels take you?