With the harbour within arm’s reach, the V&A Waterfront has a reputation for being the most scenic eating spot in Cape Town. This, coupled with the flow of freshly caught seafood into its restaurants has led to the V&A also being regarded as the best place to eat out in the city. With such a vast variety of eateries, there is a spot for every dining occasion; dinners, lunches, quiet coffees or relaxed brunches. We pick the top 10.
Mitchell’s Scottish Ale House
This house of fun has the best of everything: food, location, atmosphere and friendly staff. Known as the place to party, Mitchell’s always has plenty of food and drink to fill even the vastest appetite. So if you’re planning to visit the Waterfront, Mitchell’s is a must. Why not have a glass of wine whilst enjoying their infamous jalapeño poppers and the stunning view of the harbour and Table Mountain. If you fancy something a bit more wild, go down for an evening booze cruise and get down on the dance floor with a bit of karaoke! Don’t worry about your wallet, it may come away lighter but not by much in this excellently priced venue.
The Greek Fisherman
Winner of the International Trophy for Quality, the Greek Fisherman is one of the oldest restaurants on the V&A Waterfront having been founded in 1992. Since opening, the restaurant has strived to keep the perfect balance between traditional Greek and Mediterranean dishes and the demands of the modern customer. Famous for its vast variety of mezze platters (over 25) and its signature, succulent ‘lamb in the oven’, the Greek Fisherman’s menu is so extensive you could take days exploring its delicious depths. A particularly recommended dish is the Seafood Platter Feast which consists of grilled crayfish, prawns, calamari, mussels and line fish, all served on savoury rice and served with hot, golden chips.
A must for all the vegans, this homely little tea room began as a market stall run by founders Amy and Brent. With a vision of serving food that is free of everything but flavour, Amy and Brent plate up the best plant based cakes in town! All of the products are without an ounce of meat, gluten or wheat. But clean eating isn’t just for vegans and vegetarians; this food is so good the meat lovers out there are sure to be converted too! In fact, if you found something you really like in there, there’s even a shop to buy the products you’ve tried.
Hildebrand was originally a chocolate shop set up in 1898 by Adolf Schütte and his wife who had migrated from Germany to pursue better opportunities elsewhere. The continuous expansion of the business led to the gradual emergence of the fine food establishment visitors to the V&A Waterfront today. Set in a beautiful Victorian house complete with twinkling balcony and umbrella bedecked patio, the building is simply but sophisticatedly decorated in classic blue and white. Like its decoration, the restaurant’s menu is classic and cultured with dishes such as freshly shucked oysters served with lemon juice and Tabasco sauce and penne pasta covered in a tomato and bolognaise sauce.
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 8.00am – 10.00pm
Watch out for: The Springbok Shank special.
Hildebrand Ristorante, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa +27 21 421 4089
Willoughby and Co.
So popular that there are near constant queues around the block for it, Willoughby and Cois the Japanese kitchen to go to in Cape Town. A little bit fancy but very good value for money, this restaurant was given the ‘Best Seafood Restaurant for 2007/8’ by the V&A Waterfront Restaurant Guide – a high commendation given the level of competition in the Waterfront. With original recipes such as the flash-grilled Salmon Saikyo Miso Yaki there is always something new and a bit different to try out in this, the finest sushi restaurant in town.
Situated so close to the harbour’s edge that you can dangle your foot in the water, theOYO restaurant provides breathtaking views, outdoor spaciousness and delightful food. As the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner guests are able to enjoy OYO’s food at any time of day. The breakfast consists of a traditional continental buffet whereas the lunch menu provides innovative dishes such as the karan beef fillet on a bed of vine tomatoes and watercress, glazed with a mustard sauce. The lunch and dinner dishes are fairly expensive but worth the price as you will be served only the finest products such as the tender Karoo lamb cutlets or the beautifully spiced apple and cinnamon sorbet.
The Cape Town Comedy Club
In the historic Pumphouse in the centre of the V&A Waterfront, there lies the gem of the South African comedy scene; the Cape Town Comedy Club. A dinner theatre, you will be served great laughs as well as great food. The club has seen some of well-known faces of comedy pass through including Christopher Titus and Babben Larsson. If you’re feeling peckish though there is a range of theatre foods to choose from including burgers, steaks, salads and pizzas – all of it halaal friendly – so everyone will be kept happy. If you feel like enjoying a drink with the show instead of a meal, there are a variety of shooters, beers, wines, cocktails and spirits to enjoy – the Pina Colada comes highly recommended.
Seelan Restaurant and Bar
With a simple and laid back atmosphere, Seelan Restaurant and Bar offers sophisticated seaside dining on the waterfront pier. Soak up the scenic views of the Big Wheel and the Clock Tower, all of which is set against the beautiful silhouette of Table Mountain. Seelan serves up chic Italian cuisine with the merest hint of the spices of Africa and India, all on the beautifully pristine white linen that adorns every table. This décor is echoes around the restaurant which chooses to reserve its exceptional detail for its dishes. The bar section of the restaurant supplies a number of boutique wines as well as perfectly selected local wines which delight both locals and visitors. To accompany these carefully selected vintages are Seelan’s sumptuous signature dishes like the locally loved Beef Tagliata and the world renowned South Indian Prawn curry.
Cape Grace Hotel’s Signal Restaurant
In the luxurious and refined Cape Grace Hotel, you’ll find the Signal Restaurant. With sumptuous breakfasts, lunches, dinners and lighter bites, this hotel has it all. There’s even a bar, the Bascule Whiskey Bar, completely separate from the restaurant so you can enjoy a quiet drink. The cuisine in the Signal Restaurant, which is slightly more expensive than your average chain restaurant, is unique and fresh as well as fancy. The chefs utilise the locally available ingredients from regional farms and from the sea surrounding them. The recipes, which change seasonally, celebrate the establishments Cape Dutch heritage with dishes such as bobotie-spiced springbok with butternut risotto.
With a cheerful and colourful ambiance, Stonebreakers Restaurant is the epitome of cosiness and comfort. This is likewise displayed in their food which is hearty, light and packed full of flavour. There are number of taste experiments that have resulted in amazing pizza innovations. Their tuna and prawn pizza, for example, which comes with a variety of additional toppings including mushrooms, spring onions and lemon zest, is an instant seafood themed hit.