There’s no shortage of gorgeous views from Cape Town’s finest restaurants, but what if your budget is more cheap and cheerful than silver service? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered…
In Cape Town you can easily pay a fortune for lunch or dinner with a great view. But you don’t have to. If you’re watching your budget, make like the locals and head for these five fine restaurants with a view that won’t break the bank.
1. Dunes in Hout Bay is a true local favourite. While tourists flock to Mariner’s Wharf, also a good choice, families lap up the generous portions and kid-friendly atmosphere at this charming beachfront spot with views over Hout bay and the famous Chapmans Peak Drive. Expect fish and chips, wood-fired pizzas and excellent grills. There’s even a sushi bar and a wine list of top-notch local estates, all at fair prices.
2. Also boasting a grand seaside view is Kalky’s. This no-frills joint in Kalk Bay harbour offers superb fish and chips at rock-bottom prices. Order at the counter, grab a wooden table overlooking the harbour and wait for the waitress to shout your order number. If you’re feeling broke, and adventurous, try the fried yellowtail head and chips for just R20. In summer Kalky’s offers perhaps the cheapest crayfish (lobster) in town; a steal at R165.
3. Rhodes Memorial is a popular stop on the tourist trail along Table Mountain, but few visitors discover the charming Rhodes Memorial Restaurant situated behind the granite monolith. It’s a fuss-free menu of café-style food, but the outdoor tables offer superb views out over the city.
4. The glamorous Atlantic Seaboard stretching from Green Point to Camps Bay is never going to be a place for bargain hunters, but Sotano, near the Mouille Point lighthouse, does a great Sunday breakfast with a side order of sea views. After your Eggs Benedict join the locals for a stroll on the stunning Sea Point promenade.
5. The Roundhouse, on Kloof Nek Road towards Camps Bay, has some of the best restaurant views in Cape Town… but at fine dining prices. If it’s out of your league, pull in to the neighbouring Rumbullion at lunchtime to soak up the same views for a fraction of the price: a Cajun beef and tzatziki open sandwich is yours for just R80.
The Camps Bay “Strip” is perhaps the most glamorous corner of Cape Town: palm-lined boulevards straight out of Miami fringed by drop-dead gorgeous beaches. No wonder tourists and locals love to watch the sunset here. But once the light is gone, where to eat? There’s no shortage of restaurants, but it pays to choose carefully. Here are some of my favourites…
You could do worse than booking ahead for a table at Umi. This Japanese “small plates” restaurant is, unlike many other eateries, raised above street level, allowing for an unobstructed view of the beach and Atlantic Ocean. And the food is delicious, with a range of sushi plates and innovative Japanese options.
Next door, Del Mar does the same for modern Mexican cuisine. The décor is as contemporary as the cooking, with a decidedly upmarket take on traditional antojitos (street food). These small plates include everything from tacos to ceviche, while main courses focus on grilled meats and seafood. The grilled tuna in adobo marinade is particularly good. The prices aren’t shy, but then Camps Bay has never been a budget destination… those views don’t come for free!
Vicky Cristina’s is another good choice: inspired broadly by Spanish cuisine, the menu here combines flavours from Latin America and the Basque country into a fusion of fine fare. The highlight is the wide selection of tapas dishes, ranging from mussels in a saffron-infused cream sauce to pork riblets rubbed with coffee, chocolate and citrus. Don’t miss the traditional Catalan coca (flatbread) or the Brazilian-style beef picanha.
Of course, with that entire ocean glinting back at you, chances are you’ll be in the mood for seafood. Here your best bet is The Codfather, a restaurant set a short way back from the beach. A stalwart of the Camps Bay scene, this local favourite does top-notch seafood with a wide range of fresh fish available daily. The day’s catch is displayed up at the seafood counter, with all seafood charged per weight. Your fish or shellfish is then simply grilled, plated and served in rustic skillets. If you fancy an appetizer, there’s an excellent sushi counter.