While most of South Africa is quenching its thirst with summer rainfall, the Western Cape already filled up in winter. This happy climatic coincidence makes Cape Town summers perfect for the beach, the mountains and the winelands, without much worry about being chased inside by a downpour. And if you’re heading to the Mzansi capital (one of three, please note) this summer, here are five excellent foodie hotspots you have to visit this summer!
Tiger’s Milk, Muizenberg and CBD
Muizenberg’s all about surf culture, so a place as chilled as Tiger’s Milk is just what every bum on the beach needs. Burgers, beer, pizza and steak, it’s all fingers, no fuss (except perhaps with the steak) with this time-honoured pub fare served with culinary zeal.
Long Street is Cape Town’s default party spot, the number one name you’ll hear when asking where you can spend a night on the town. Crammed end to end with clubs, pubs, bars and restaurants, there are endless choices for music, dancing, drinks and food. Tiger’s Milk’s position is as prime as their steak, with big windows providing front row seats to the night’s action.
Whether post-surf; pre-party; or long chilled night, Tiger’s Milk is the perfect place for this trio of Cape Town capers.
Chalk & Cork, Gardens
The secret to a great restaurant is a small menu. If you sit down and are handed a thick tome crammed full of endless dishes and decisions, be wary. Receiving the sweet and short menu at Chalk & Cork will instantly put you at ease that they know what they’re doing in their kitchen.
The food, however, is far from simple, sending your taste buds into paradise with dishes like ceviche, carne asada, Saldanha Bay mussels and to-die-for truffle-buttered popcorn. Its outdoor location makes it the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine while watching the vibrant life flow down Kloof Street. Local is also lekker at Chalk & Cork, with Bootlegger coffee on the menu.
Your bill, meanwhile, comes with a discretionary donation to Infinity Culinary Training. A non-profit organisation, it offers a cooking programme to township youths; and assists with placement in the food and hospitality industries at the end of training. Since skills are more valuable than cents, it’s an admirable initiative well worth supporting.
The Village Idiot, CBD
On the local note, if it’s South African food you want, you’d best make a date with The Village Idiot another great restaurant from our top 5 foodie hotspots list. The name on everybody’s lips, the Loop Street restaurant serves up lip-smackers like boerewors burgers and biltong, potjies and pap.
Amping up the SA quotient even further is live music, as well as TVs broadcasting sports’ matches. As for the village idiot? That would be Oskar the Ostrich. Make sure you give him a nod.
De Warenmarkt, Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch, with its oak-lined streets and sprawling winelands, is another place where you’ll find an endless array of wining and dining taking place. Markets are in abundance as well, and popular all year round.
Food aficionados and hungry punters will love new kid on the block De Warenmarkt, on the corner of Plein and Ryneveld Street. Hosting well-known names such as Deluxe Coffeeworks and Devil’s Peak Brewery, you’re guaranteed good coffee and craft beer – and there’s more than enough to eat!
Airy and roomy, it’s the perfect respite from the sometimes-sweltering sun. There’s plenty of space to enjoy a meal, chat with friends, read a book or click clack away at that keyboard – although the market’s first summer will probably see much less of the latter.
Le Chalet, Fisherhaven
Fisherhaven is a tiny town on the Bot River Lagoon about 90 minutes from Cape Town. While the city’s denizens are notoriously lazy when it comes to driving anywhere further than 10 minutes away, this foodie hotspot is well worth it. You’ll be glad you took the mini road trip when you crest Sir Lowry’s Pass and see Gordon’s Bay spread out below you. It’s also en route to Hermanus, a prime whale-watching spot.
And another one of our foodie hotspots is Le Chalet. You’ll be transported to another world through food and ambience. The restaurant, a beautiful wooden cottage overlooking the lagoon, is owned and run by Executive Chef Leo Romer. His passion for cuisine is evident in every aspect of the experience, and his bounteous creativity sees the menu changing every week.
A melting potjie of cultures, his food incorporates local flavours such as perlemoen, and springbok and waterblommetjie casserole; as well as a touch of Europe with French classics, bouillabaisse and crème brûlée. And with dishes such as guinea fowl, and quince and apple sorbet, or whatever Leo happens to be prepping in his kitchen that week, you can be sure of tasting something unique.