• Cape Town is a foodie’s paradise, with an abundance of world-class restaurants serving delicious cuisine. However, the adventurous diner will find a world of undiscovered culinary gems beyond the well-known hotspots.

    From intimate bistros to quirky cafes, Cape Town is home to an array of off-the-beaten-path eateries that offer unique and memorable dining experiences.

    Here are 10 hidden restaurant gems in Cape Town for dining off the beaten path:


    1. Aegir Project

    Located in the heart of Noordhoek, Aegir Project Brewery is a family-friendly restaurant that puts its taproom front and centre.

    Ever since its establishment in 2015, Aegir Project has been a small but mighty brewery driven by a passion for exploring new frontiers in flavour. Today, it has blossomed into a warm and welcoming establishment that feels like a home away from home, attracting both locals and tourists alike.

    Picture: Aegir Project / Facebook

    At Aegir, you can soak up the breathtaking view of Noordhoek Beach from the sundowner deck while enjoying an ice-cold beer, indulge in a hand-stretched, Neapolitan-style sourdough pizza or sip on a delicious cup of coffee while your kids play on the playground.

    Picture: Aegir Project / Facebook
    • Location: 65 Beach Road, Noordhoek, Cape Town
    • Times: Monday to Sunday, 9am to 11pm
    • Bookings: dineplan.com
    • Contact: 066 587 9324 | [email protected]
    • Website: aegirprojectbrewery.com

    If you ever find yourself in Johannesburg, be sure to check out The 20 Best Restaurants in Midrand.

    2. DROOM @ Die Meul

    Starting in March 2023, this exquisite new restaurant seamlessly combines the old and the new, featuring traditional dishes that evoke a sense of nostalgia while being presented with a refined and modern twist.

    The elegant decor, coupled with rustic finishes, creates an ambience that exudes a classic yet sophisticated feel. Moreover, the menu boasts a selection of authentic South African dishes that are given a contemporary makeover to celebrate their roots.

    Picture: DROOM_Die Meul / Facebook

    Chef Anna Stofberg honed her culinary skills at Mosaic restaurant in Pretoria, where she worked under the tutelage of Chantel Dartnall, crowned Best Female Chef in the World in 2017.

    Anna’s food philosophy is rooted in the belief that good food has the power to bring people together, regardless of their backgrounds and cultures. She finds joy in the ever-evolving process of learning and discovering how ingredients interact unexpectedly, often leading to the creation of extraordinary dishes.

    Picture: DROOM_Die Meul / Facebook
    • Location: 1 Main Street, Philadelphia, Cape Town
    • Times: Friday and Saturday: 9am to 3pm | Sunday Lunch: 12pm to 4pm (Bookings essential)
    • Contact: 079 306 7315 | [email protected]
    • Website: diemeul.co.za


    3. Cape Farmhouse

    Located on the way to Cape Point, the Cape Farmhouse is an African-inspired restaurant housed in a historic old farm building that is worth visiting in its own right.

    Guests can enjoy farm-style breakfasts made from ingredients sourced from the restaurant’s own organic garden and dine either indoors or al fresco under the oak trees, accompanied by playful squirrels.

    Picture: Cape Farmhouse Restaurant / Facebook

    The a la carte menu offers a delicious selection of farm-style meals and a lunchtime menu that is inspired by the rich and diverse flavours of Africa. Its breakfasts are farm-style, featuring homemade bread and real free-range eggs, with much of the produce harvested from the property’s very own organic vegetable gardens.

    It frequently hosts outdoor concerts on Saturday afternoons that showcase some of South Africa’s most talented musicians. With a beautiful setting and relaxed atmosphere, its events are a must-attend for music lovers and those who seek to unwind and enjoy the natural surroundings.

    Picture: Cape Farmhouse Restaurant / Facebook
    • Location: M65 and M66 Plateau Road, Cape Town, South Africa
    • Times: Monday: 11am to 8:30pm | Tuesday and Wednesday: Closed | Thursday to Saturday: 11am to 9pm | Sunday: 11am to 8pm
    • Bookings: 084 999 3056
    • Contact: 084 999 3056 | [email protected]


    4. Starlings

    One of Cape Town’s most charming cafés is hidden behind a well-kept hedge on Belvedere Road. You’ll first find yourself on the veranda of an old suburban house, and as you enter, you’ll find a bustling café made cosy by its wooden-floored interiors, eclectic decor and some of the warmest hospitality.

    Its courtyard embodies idyllic, leafy suburbia, with birdsong accompanying breakfasts and lunches and some of Cape Town’s best coffee.

    Picture: Starlings Cafe / Facebook

    Its iced coffee, made with condensed milk and served on the rocks, is particularly popular, along with the Starlings’ cheesecake, served with fresh cream and berry compote.

    It’s always crowded for a place so well hidden. But whether you’re sitting in the garden or at a shared table in the kitchen, Starlings Cafe is always a delicious experience.

    Picture: Starlings Cafe / Facebook
    • Location: 94 Belvedere Road, Claremont, Cape Town
    • Times: Monday to Friday: 7am to 5pm | Saturday: 8am to 3pm | Sunday: Closed
    • Contact: 072 051 0491
    • Website: starlings.co.za


    5. The Tuck Shop

    The Tuck Shop, founded in 2014 by Zimbabwean-born entrepreneur Vanessa Burditt, is a self-described ‘coffee, food and fun’ venture. Its decor is eclectic and colourful, and the food is homemade and comforting, prepared by Burditt herself.

    Picture: The Tuck Shop / Facebook

    The Tuck Shop’s relaxed atmosphere is one of its most appealing features, and the space is decorated with quirky vintage furniture, making it a fun and welcoming place to hang out with friends or stay for a bite to eat.

    Picture: The Tuck Shop / Facebook
    • Location: 23 Putney Road, Kenilworth, Cape Town, South Africa
    • Times: Monday to Friday: 9am to 4:30pm | Saturday: 9am to 2pm | Sunday: Closed
    • Contact: 021 761 0648


    6. Cheverells Farm 

    Elgin Valley is just a 60-minute drive from Cape Town, making it the perfect destination to make a day trip out of a meal. The newly refurbished farm shed at Cheverells Farm is home to a charming country café and gift shop, where visitors can indulge in delicious treats and find unique souvenirs to take home.

    Picture: Cheverells Farm / Facebook

    The Country Café’s menu celebrates fresh and vibrant flavours inspired by the natural surroundings and abundant life of an Elgin apple farm. With the expert guidance of gourmet chef Laura Truter, the menu changes with the seasons to showcase the best local ingredients and innovative culinary techniques.

    Picture: Cheverells Farm / Facebook
    • Location: 55 Highlands Road, Elgin Valley, Western Cape
    • Times: Wednesday to Sunday, 8am to 3pm
    • Contact: 060 8611044 | [email protected]
    • Website: cheverellsfarm.com


    7. The Collective Hout Bay 

    The Collective Hout Bay is located in the beautifully preserved and historic Old Post Office building on Main Road in Hout Bay. This shop is a collective effort of local makers and creators who produce quality bespoke furniture, ceramics and a wide variety of carefully curated gifts celebrating South Africa crafted by local artisans and makers.

    Picture: The Collective – Hout Bay / Facebook

    The Collective collaborates with the renowned Hout Bay Roastery team to offer excellent coffee and treats, which can be enjoyed at a few tables outside leading from the back door area.

    Picture: The Collective – Hout Bay / Facebook
    • Location: 35 Main Road, Scott Estate, Hout Bay, Cape Town
    • Times: Monday to Saturday: 9am to 5pm | Sunday: 9am to 4pm
    • Contact: 083 258 1343 | [email protected]


    8. The Scone Shack

    Situated in a charming corner at Cape Point, a crooked little shack, almost entirely made of windows, sits one of the Cape’s more distinctive eateries. The Scone Shack welcomes passersby with a hot cup of tea and delicious scones while providing a glimpse of modest country living. This quaint little eatery invites visitors to share the same space with farm animals, drawing the outside world in.

    Almost 30 years ago, Karl Odendaal bought the farm where The Scone Shack now stands while still working as a chef on a motor yacht in the Caribbean and Mediterranean. In 2018, the Lalaphanzi Succulent Nursery opened on the same farm, and the need for The Scone Shack became apparent as visitors required refreshments after browsing for succulents.

    Picture: The Scone Shack / Facebook

    To access The Scone Shack, visitors must first walk through the nursery, setting the tone for the experience, which is deeply embedded in nature and country life.

    All scone baking is done in the one-of-a-kind wood-burning oven, and even those with vegan or gluten allergies can also enjoy the spoils. Additionally, everything served with the scones is made on the farm, and patrons can purchase organic eggs from happy chickens that roam the grounds.

    Picture: The Scone Shack / Facebook
    • Location: Lalaphanzi Farm, Plateau Road, Cape Point, Cape Town
    • Times: Friday to Sunday, 9:30am to 6:30pm
    • Contact: 079 045 1318 | [email protected]


    9. Hoghouse Brewing Company

    Hoghouse’s creative foundation lies in beer, barbecue and bread, all crafted with a down-to-earth focus on providing delicious culinary experiences. Located in Ndabeni, its unusual light industrial location serves as a home to a collaborative approach to brewing that involves scientists, engineers, apprentices and enthusiasts.

    Hoghouse’s core range of award-winning signature ales is served on tap in the café and BBQ restaurants, prioritising consistent, quality craft beer production while exploring the creative potential of the brewery. During licensed trading hours, growlers and beer cans are available for retail at both venues.

    Picture: Hoghouse / Facebook

    The Hoghouse’s barbecue restaurant specialises in classic Texan-style smoked meats and nostalgic vegetarian sides. Its menu allows you to design your own dinner by ordering meats by weight and pairing them with your choice of sides, perfect for family-style eating. Hoghouse ales are tapped directly from the cold room below to the upstairs taproom. The simple, industrial-style restaurant has an open kitchen with a wood-fired grill, and the taproom overlooks the brewery.

    The bakery and café at Hoghouse is home to a busy team that loves making fresh, flavourful food and serving it with warm smiles in a plant-filled sanctuary. Hoghouse’s staff bake and make everything from scratch on-site and prioritise using high-quality ingredients. The team endeavours to make food that brings blissful moments to your day and shares its space to provide a place for connection and possibility.

    Picture: Hoghouse / Facebook
    • Location: 42 Morningside Street, Ndabeni, Cape Town
    • Times: Bakery and café: Monday to Friday, 8am to 3pm and Saturday, 9am to 2pm | Brewery and barbeque: Friday: 5pm to 8pm
    • Contact: 021 810 4545 |  079 055 7077 | [email protected]
    • Website: hoghouse.co.za


    10. Waffle & Co Kalk Bay

    With other branches in Paarl and Dullstroom, this Waffle & Co is situated in the picturesque seaside town of Kalk Bay. As its name suggests, Waffle & Co specialises in these heavenly gridded treats, but it also serves a variety of breakfast and lunch items, as well as smoothies and milkshakes.

    Picture: Waffle & Co Kalk Bay / Facebook

    Serving savoury, sweet and even combinations of the two, Waffle & Co Kalk Bay will satisfy any waffle craving, no matter how unusual.

    ALSO SEE: A handy guide to some seriously good restaurants in Paarl

    Picture: Waffle & Co Kalk Bay / Facebook
    • Location: The Majestic Apartments building | 124 Main Road, Kalk Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
    • Times: Monday to Sunday, 8am to 5pm
    • Contact: 074 413 7966
    • Website: Waffle & Co Kalk Bay | Facebook


    If you ever find yourself in Johannesburg, be sure to check out The 13 Best Maboneng Restaurants.

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    On our radar: New restaurants showing off Cape Town’s culinary culture

    Written by Sarah du Toit for Cape {town} Etc.

    Feature image: DROOM_Die Meul / Facebook