Located on the eastern side of the picturesque Cape Peninsula is Simonstown. At the centre of the town is a thoroughfare of where one can bask in the town’s great atmosphere. Once used as a naval base, the town has now instead become the home of the African penguin. With the increase in tourism, the town has flourished and produced restaurants of the first class – we pick the top 10 for a bite after viewing the aquatic birds.
Set on the quayside, Bertha’s Restaurant is inarguably a central giant of an eatery on the Simonstown seafront. Not only has it got some of the best views of the town’s infamous inhabitants, otherwise known as the ‘city slickers’ or African Penguins, but also of the other interesting birds this town attracts. The main charm however comes from the food that is served up. The menu combines classic African cuisine with a warm home-comfort feeling. Starter dishes like the West Coast Mussels perfectly whet the appetite for a hearty meal ahead. Connoisseurs of seafood will be aptly placed to relish the menu but the Grilled Aged Sirloin served with crispy onion rings should not be passed up on.
The Meeting Place Upstairs
The Meeting Place Upstairs offers a concise menu that provides the perfect solution to the problem of food indecision. The perfect spot for an impromptu meal this restaurant has a sleek interior décor which contrasts with its rustic veranda that overlooks the stunning and elegant harbour below. So unwind to the sounds of the ocean and also the jazzy tones of the live band, whose music serves to create a distinctly sophisticated and relaxed atmosphere. The meals on offer are is hugely moreish and provide a mouth-watering spread of familiar favourites combined with a loving flourish of style and pastiche; the homemade fish cakes with summer salsa are a treat to behold.
This quaint restaurant offers a little more in the way of friendly and personable service. With the restaurant’s close proximity to the sea you can be sure that the fish you order is fresh out of the ocean. A particular dish to try is the hake and potato wedges. Offering a taste of traditional English comfort food with a distinctly South African view, this meal is sure to fill every corner. Seaforth’s house wines come highly recommended and are excellent vintages, perfectly balanced to accompany your seafood feast. If you want to try something with a more local feel, the Calamari sticks with intensely spicy chilli sauce have proved to be a definite crowd pleaser at Seaforth.
Monocle & Mermaid
The rustic interior of this seafaring themed bar and restaurant provides little disguise to some of the best food in Simonstown. Monocle & Mermaid is a coffee spot at heart yet the Chef’s food menu is where this trendy venue really shines. A unique menu is bolstered by dishes like ‘the Venedict’, comprised of succulent, lean Eland Steak, perfectly poached eggs, hollandaise sauce and pomme frites.
One of the finest Italian restaurants in Simonstown, Café Pescado has a menu that is perfect for kids and adults alike. The staff are friendly and prices are reasonable. Live music events provide entertainment which creates a fun and friendly atmosphere. The pizza and pasta menu complement a wide variety of seafood and meat dishes. Try the mussels which are served in abundance with a plethora of extras that leaves you spoilt for choice. If you are new to the world of seafood but willing to experiment you’ve got to try the deep fried squid tentacles which, whilst they may not sound appetising, are simply heaven on a plate.
Saveur is one of the best restaurants for overlooking the harbour. First class service and stunningly presented food complement a stunning sunset view over False Bay. The modern European style food has been highly praised by local residents and tourists alike. A favourite dish that has been particularly crowed about is the Moroccan spiced lamb skewers served on a bed of roasted Mediterranean vegetables, with a delicous mint couscous. This is not to be missed.
Two & Sixpence Tavern
This is a modest bar restaurant which punches above its price tag. Almost hidden behind the front bar, this secretive spot serves supreme burgers and meat dishes. The food has a really authentic South African feel and the menu represents this diverse and colourful nation. Not to be beaten on the seafood front, the Thai seafood curry made with Coconut milk packs a warming punch. If that doesn’t tickle your taste buds try the Yellowfin Tuna with seasoned baby potatoes.
Opening Hours: Sunday and Tuesday, 11.00am – 5.00pm Wednesday to Saturday, 11.00am – 9.00pm
Watch out for: Regular karaoke evenings and live music.
Two & Sixpence Tavern, 88St George’s Street, Simon’s Town, South Africa +27 21 786 5735
The Lighthouse Café
Inviting guests to feel utterly at home in its warm and beautifully relaxed atmosphere, the Lighthouse Café offers a distinctly French charm on this, the South African coast. Its shabby chic décor perfectly complements the restaurant’s seaside location. This nearness to the sea also ensures that the food, which is cooked form scratch by café owner Brett Rathbone, is incredibly fresh. The mezze platter for two with its variety of cheeses and dips is the perfect way to fill the corners without over eating. Alternatively, the half Peri-Peri chicken is a wonderfully moreish dish that will leave you loosening your belts and ordering rounds of water.
Opening Hours: Sunday to Tuesday, 8.30am – 4.00am Wednesday to Saturday 8.30am – 10.00pm
Watch out for: The Lighthouse Pizza’, the restaurant’s signature pizza with a heap of delicious toppings including smoked norwegian salmon, wild rocket, parmesan, mozzarella and avocado.
The Lighthouse Café, 90 St Georges Street, Western Cape, Simon’s Town 7975, South Africa +27 21 786 9000
Although situated in the False Bay Yacht Club building,Neptune’s Galley is, thankfully, open to non-members. With an almost entirely seafood based menu, Neptune’s Galley is famous for its well-honed skills with fresh sea ingredients. Guests can enjoy their meal either on the stunning deck overlooking the harbour full of pristine club boats or indoors in the minimalist café seating area. Recommended dishes include such feasts as ‘Neptune’s Prawns’ which, when accompanied by chips and a lemon butter sauce, is a foodie’s dream.
Boulders Beach Lodge and Restaurant
A restful spot for early morning breakfast, the Boulders Beach restaurant offers morning feasts on the famous beach. A particular mid-morning favourite is the ‘Asian Wok Fried Eggs’ which consists of steamed Jasmine rice, two fried eggs and various vegetables all drizzled in chilli/soy sauce. The stunning views that the restaurant provides are a wonderful accompaniment to any meal especially seaside classics such as the ‘Red Coconut Seafood Curry’ which includes linefish, prawns, mussels and calamari. During winter evenings, the view can be enjoyed from beside an indoor fireplace with a glass of red wine.