5 Cape Town restaurants with a view…that won’t break the bank

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.

Table Mountain tee-off: Atlantic Beach offers a postcard-perfect round

You’ve seen the image a thousand times: a flat-topped Table Mountain across the sparkling waters of Table Bay. Atlantic Beach is the golf course in Cape Town that best offers players that postcard shot with a pitching wedge in hand.

Cape Town is a windy city. In the summer it howls from the south-east, while the winter brings squalls and rain and the north-westerly wind. If you want to play golf in Cape Town, you need to be able to deal with the wind.

That is never truer than when you tee up at Atlantic Beach Golf Club on the west coast north of Cape Town. An easy 30-minute drive from the city, this remarkable links-style course enjoys a dramatic position on the edge of Table Bay.

This championship course is unlike most other Cape tracks, focusing on its eye-catching sea views and thick coastal fynbos (indigenous scrub vegetation). If you thought Scottish gorse made for challenging rough, just wait until you come face-to-face with fynbos. Between unforgiving rough and stiff winds, this is a challenging course where you’ll want a spare sleeve of balls to hand. In fact, make that two.

Thankfully, the fairways are forgiving and the greens putt true. As long as you work with the wind and don’t let the views distract you, you’re in with a chance of a low score. Have your camera ready on the 12th hole for that classic Cape Town photograph. Yes, the one with the mountain…

Where to eat on the Camps Bay ‘Strip’

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.

Where to find the Mother City’s best golfing views

Cape Town’s array of golf courses offers some of the finest views in the world. Here are three courses where the views may just put you off your putting.

Simon’s Town Golf Club isn’t particularly glamorous; a simple links-style nine-hole layout. But when it comes to location it’s one of the finest golf courses in Cape Town. Clinging to the edge of False Bay, it’s a track where you’ll need pinpoint accuracy to get a good score, especially when the wind gusts in off the bay during summer. The tee-box at the 5th/14th hole is the most memorable, with the waters of the ocean a gentle pitching wedge below. Look out too for African Penguins waddling along to watch your drive.

Across the peninsula, Milnerton Golf Club also doesn’t rank high in the glamour stakes, but offers a similarly unbeatable location. Perhaps the closest you’ll come to a true links course in Cape Town, this out-and-back layout boasts unbelievable views across Table Bay to Robben Island and the city beyond. Sandwiched between the beach and the Rietvlei River, there’s plenty of water to keep you on your toes. The tee boxes on the 3rd and 5th holes offer the best sea views.

Erinvale Golf Club outside Somerset West also boasts unbelievable views, thanks to a back nine that climbs the rump of the Helderberg Mountain. The 16th hole boasts the finest views of all, a 180-degree panorama taking in the Hottentots Holland Mountains and False Bay.

View of Table Mountain from the air

If you have visited Cape Town or are planning a visit to the great and beautiful mother city, then you have definitely heard of the 7th natural wonder of the world – Table Mountain. If you’re a local Capetonian then you definitely know the huge King ruler of Cape Town, and have probably had the phenomenal opportunity to either take the exquisite hikes up Table Mountains slopes or used the Table Mountain Aerial Cable Car, if not then you better make an effort to visit the spectacular iconic majesty of the mother city. One thing that is unfortunately very rarely thought about is seeing the peak of this gigantic divinity from the air, and there is no better way than to view the summit of Table Mountain in all its majestic glory than to do it via the almost silent EC130 helicopter.

To be a bird must be the greatest thing as far as witnessing the marvel that is this planet each and every day, luckily humans figured out how to fly, and so with the highly professional skills of expert pilots and state of the art helicopters in their fleets, Cape Town Helicopters bring you the great opportunity to view the indescribable awe-inspiring grandeur that is Table Mountain from the air. The general idea is that one views the mountain and its shrubbery and it looks as though it would when you are standing on the peak, so why not simply take the Cable Car? Incorrect, the feeling that you get, the rush of endorphin’s and the change of perceptions that occur when flying next to the highest peak is simply incredible. The words fall short of the absolutely intense majesty that befalls one when you come face to face with this enormous beauty.

When standing on the peak, the panoramic views are achieved by walking from one side of the peak to the other, however once in the helicopter, it’s a mind blowing blast of exceptional splendor all at once, combined with the breathtaking realization of the actual enormity that Table Mountain is. One does not achieve this freedom in feeling from simply hiking up the slopes, or taking the Cable Car, different feelings of awesome are achieved, but when taking a helicopter trip and being face to face with the majesty of Cape Town, words are replaced by overwhelming feelings of awe. If there is one way of encompassing all the greatness that is Cape Town in one experience, then booking your flight up over  Table Mountain at Cape Town Helicopters is the way to finally feel that experience. Highly experienced pilots with a witty friendliness are at your beck and call, and their state of the art fleet makes this voyage everything that it spells out to be and so much more.