Eating out at a new restaurant turns any evening, lunch or brunch into a special occasion. It’s like meeting someone for the first time. You get butterflies in your stomach and you can’t stop thinking about the details and all the little things you’ve heard about the new acquaintance. Also, you can dress up, if it’s that kind of place, and share in the experience with friends or a special human.
As luck would have it, Cape Town has a thriving food scene that churns out trendy new places and spaces regularly. This list of new restaurants in Cape Town will keep you up to date with the City’s culinary newbies.
ALSO SEE: The 20 Best Restaurants in Johannesburg
On a new endeavour, Chef Hilde-Lee Olivier, renowned for her culinary artistry at Restaurant Jardine, has unveiled Toebroodjie – a lively and casual eatery in Stellenbosch. Liberated from the confines of convention, Olivier promises an accessible dining experience that goes beyond exceptional cuisine, embracing an all-encompassing sense of positivity.
Toebroodjie, adorned with the strains of great music, harmoniously melds local and Afrikaans influences with a dash of Asian inspiration. The spotlight shines on toebroodjies – reinvented sandwiches boasting flavour fusions that transcend the ordinary.
Yet, Toebroodjie’s culinary prowess extends beyond sandwiches, boasting delights like BBQ-glazed short ribs, beer-battered oysters and whole-roasted cauliflower. Complementing this ensemble, a curated selection of South African wines pays homage to Stellenbosch’s winemaking heritage.
- Location: 1 Andringa Straat, Stellenbosch
- Times: Wednesday to Thursday, 10am to 7pm | Friday to Saturday, 10am to 9pm | Sunday, 9am to 4pm
- Website: instagram.com/nlekkertoebie
Sofia pizza & pasta house
Sofia is a refined yet unassuming haven, courtesy of Geliano and Lorena Cozzolino – a dynamic duo well-versed in the art of authentic Neapolitan fare. While the Cozzolino family’s heritage is steeped in the mastery of Neapolitan pizza, Sofia unveils a broader Southern-Italian palette, paying homage to tradition in every dish.
From cone-sized arancini adorned with ragu to a symphony of bruschette, homemade tagliatelle carbonara and a rich wild mushroom risotto, Sofia’s offerings are an ode to Neapolitan prowess.
The menu, however, unfurls beyond savoury delights, revealing Italian-infused breakfast offerings and light bites, as well as traditional desserts like the finest cannoli south of the equator and a flourless Capri cake. Notably, Sofia houses a unique Astoria espresso machine, one of a kind within the country, yielding shots dark and bitter.
- Location: Church Street, Stellenbosch
- Times: Tuesday to Saturday, 1pm to 9pm
- Website: instagram.com/sofiapizzapastahouse
Anchored within the charming corners of The Watershed at V&A Waterfront and The Adelphi Galleria in Sea Point, COOKED weaves Middle Eastern culinary heritage into an experience that exudes the essence of togetherness.
Emanating from the heart of COOKED lies a cherished treasure: Bobba’s cheesecake, an age-old recipe that traces its origins to Lithuania in 1893. This decadent delight has withstood the test of time, gracing Cape Town with its enduring allure, a testament to the power of preserving authentic flavours across borders.
The offerings at COOKED run back to Middle Eastern and Mediterranean roots, artfully harmonising with what each season of the year brings. With each visit, COOKED invites you to partake in the cherished legacy of Middle Eastern recipes.
- Locations: The Watershed, V&A Waterfront | Adlephi Galleria, Sea Point
- Website: thecookedcook.co.za
Vadivelu on Kloof Street redefines South African Indian cuisine with a blend of ancestral flavours and contemporary artistry. Cousins Jason, Kevin and Tim created an audacious culinary journey that’s authentically South African Indian.
From Attitude Starters, inspired by Tamil Nadu’s street food, to reinvented classic curries, each dish harmonises tradition and innovation.
Vadivelu’s inviting space echoes its vibrancy, while a curated wine list complements the fiery flavours. The menu, an English bridge, fosters unity through food’s universal language. Generous hospitality envelops guests, making Vadivelu a dynamic hub where stories, flavours and cultures intertwine.
- Location: 151 Kloof Street
- Times: Monday to Saturday, 12pm to 3pm and 6pm to 10pm
- Website: vadivelu.co.za
Elevate your sipping experience and head over to Coffee Cocktails, where exquisite concoctions are created that ignite all the senses. Just as unique as the finest basketball kicks adorning their walls – from Dwyane Wade’s quai54 Limited Edition to Jordan and more – the spot’s passion lies in showcasing locally crafted brands.
With every sip, you’re invited into a world of luxury where the flavours linger long after the glass is raised. Here, sophistication intertwines seamlessly with a touch of swag, welcoming sneakerheads, basketball fans, coffee enthusiasts and cocktail lovers alike.
In every blend and rare find, each cocktail emerges as a statement. Recently introducing an exclusive African gold, double origin, medium roast coffee, Coffee Cocktails invites you to step into a sanctuary of taste.
- Location: 32 Parliament St, City Centre
- Times: Everyday, 8am to 8pm
- Website: instagram.com/coffeecocktailsza
Bigga D’s Food Truck
A little food truck bursting with big flavours! Bigga D’s Food Truck is drawing crowds to an inconspicuous alley off Kloof Street. Founded and run by Dale Kushner of Come Dine With Me fame, this kitchen on wheels serves up authentic Mexican street food and is most famous for its birria tacos. These are fried tacos filled with a slow-cooked meat stew and melted cheese and served with the stew’s broth as a dipping sauce – this explains the queue of hungry humans that gather around the truck for lunch or dinner. Bigga D’s is usually open for business over the weekends, but it’s best to follow its account on Facebook or Instagram to keep up to date with the changing operating hours.
- Location: Metal Lane, 4 Kloof Street, Cape Town
- Times: Refer to social media accounts
- Socials: @bigga_d_s_foodtruck | Bigga D’s Food Truck
- Contact: [email protected] | 083 635 9699
Sepial’s Kitchen first made a name for itself with its stall at the Oranjezicht City Farm Market. Every foodie and flavour maker was talking about this new stall that served up sensational Korean fried chicken (KFC). Now, the talk of the town is the recently launched Sepial’s Kitchen at Constantia Uitsig, which occupies one of the little cottages as part of the estate’s Heritage Market experience.
The menu is small, but there’s more than enough to satisfy your hunger, with mains like the silky chicken dumpling soup or the hearty pork belly salad, and starters like the prawn and spring onion pancakes. And for dessert? Don’t skip the mini mochi donuts, served sticky and warm with a splatter of frosting and pistachio crumbs.
An important note: should you want some wine to accompany your meal, the restaurant does not yet have its liquor licence, and as you are not allowed to bring your own wine to the wine estate, there is a wineshop near the entrance where you can buy a bottle of Constantia Uitsig wine at retail price until 6pm.
- Location: Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate, Spaanschemat River Rd, Constantia, Cape Town
- Times: Tuesday to Saturday: 12pm to 3pm, 5pm to 8pm | Sunday: 12pm to 3:30pm
- Bookings: dineplan
- Website: sepialskitchen.com
- Contact: [email protected] | 064 7505 277
Aegir Project Brewery
Aegir Project Brewery is a family-friendly restaurant in the sleepy suburb of Noordhoek with an excellent menu designed to complement its tasty craft beers. Indulge in hand-stretched Neapolitan-style pizzas, any one of the succulent burgers – the spicy KFC-style chicken burger is a must-try – or a stellar fish and chips. The snack food also goes down well with a cold one, and the kitchen serves up a decent breakfast if you are up for blueberry pancakes, a hearty brekkie roll or some spicy eggs. There is a kids menu and a nifty playground if you want to make it a family affair, all while taking in the stunning view of Noordhoek Beach from the restaurant’s sundowner terrace.
- 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
But before we get through the rest of this list, are you planning to visit Johannesburg soon? If so, check out this guide for the top Emperors Palace restaurants.
Now, let’s go on.
A reservation at Rose’s Table is not just dinner; it’s a unique fine dining experience complete with exquisite dishes created by Chef HeroRose, live music and an inspiring setting. Every artful dish is enhanced by a perfectly paired South African wine, and the knowledgeable staff is on hand to look after you. The experience happens only once a month, every First Thursday and the following Friday, at The Red Gallery on Wale Street. On the Thursday, it is open to the public, but on the Friday, it is exclusively for bookings. This is the spot to book out if you’re looking to share a celebratory dinner or a special occasion with friends.
Reservations at Rose’s Table include two canapés, an incredible four-course menu with wine pairing, entrance to the art gallery and live jazz music.
- Location: The Red Gallery | 76 Wale Street, Cape Town
- Cost: R885 per person
- Contact: +27 83 987 5040
- Bookings: Rose’s Table
Galjoen, a South African seafood restaurant committed to sustainably sourced seafood, intends to start serving customers in Cape Town’s cool East City neighbourhood in June this year. Chefs Anouchka Horn and Neil Swart of the upscale Belly of the Beast restaurant on Harrington Street are the accomplished creators of the eatery. The semi-industrial space is set to get a harbour-side facelift with interior elements inspired by a retro comeback in the form of an 80s-style seafood restaurant.
The owners have been teasing us with sneak peeks of what we can expect when the restaurant opens. We’re seeing fried flatbreads, Saldanha Bay oysters, braised mackerel with a masala salsa and many more seafood delicacies all dressed up, ready to be photographed and enjoyed slowly with a generous glass of South African wine.
Galjoen is scheduled to open to the public on 16 June, 2023. Bookings for June and July are now open through Dineplan.
- Location: 99 Harrington St, Cape Town, South Africa
- Times: Lunch: Wednesday to Saturday, 12:30pm | Dinner: Tuesday to Saturday, 18:45pm
- Contact: [email protected] | 0790930559
- Bookings: dineplan.com | Reservations essential
- Website: galjoencpt.co.za
Ariel Modern Italian
Ariel Modern Italian is all about ‘friends, togetherness, celebration, and joy.’ It’s no secret that the restaurant is the darling of Sea Point’s dining scene. It meets all the criteria without question: a good-time vibe, a great address and, most importantly, elegant but easy Italian food that is chef’s-kiss wonderful. Neapolitan pizza, authentic pastas and an antipasto menu that is criminally good – need we elaborate?
- Location: 90 Regent Rd, Sea Point, Cape Town, 8005
- Times: Monday to Sunday, 12pm to 10pm
- Contact: [email protected] | 021 023 3643
- Bookings: dineplan.com
- Website: nonamehg.com/arielcapetown
The interior of this Kloof Street stunner is like something out of Italian art cinema – bold colours, mirrored walls, lavish banquette seating – it’s beautiful. Club Kloof has all the swag, but it’s not just a pretty face, its Italian-ish menu is also a work of art – pillowy sourdough pizza with creative toppings and small-plates meant for languid lunches sharing a few things with good company.
- Location: 84 Kloof Street, Cape Town
- Times: Tuesday to Sunday, 8am until late
- Contact: 072 415 3752 | [email protected]
- Website: clubkloof.com
The Red Room
Restaurateur rockstars Liam Tomlin and David Schneider team up to create yet another much-talked-about Cape Town dining experience. This time, in the form of an underground Pan-Asian restaurant at the Belmont’s iconic Mount Nelson Hotel in Gardens. Think velvet curtains, a glimmering bar and old-world opulence. The food at The Red Room, as with all Chefs Warehouse establishments, is destined to be revolutionary.
- Location: The Mount Nelson | 76 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town
- Times: Restaurant: Monday to Saturday: 6pm to 9:15pm | Bar: Monday to Saturday: 4pm until late.
- Website: chefswarehouse.co.za/the-red-room
- Bookings: Dineplan
- Contact: 021 483 1516 | [email protected]
DROOM @ Die Meul
Opening its doors in March 2023, DROOM celebrates South African farm-style cuisine with thoughtful dishes conjured up by Chef Anna Stofberg. Its location – a restored 100-year old flour mill in the quaint country town of Philadelphia – is just as emblematic as the food and underscores the restaurant’s commitment to preserving local heritage and culture. On Sundays, DROOM prepares a traditional roast, featuring slow-cooked meats, gravy and all the extra sides you could dream of.
- Location: 1 Main Street, Philadelphia, Cape Town
- Times: Friday and Saturday: 9am to 3pm | Sunday Lunch: 12pm to 4pm (bookings essential)
- Book: 079 306 7315 | [email protected]
- Website: diemeul.co.za
- Instagram: @droom_diemeul
Jenna’s in Sea Point serves dishes that are nourishing and delicious. The café-style eatery is dedicated to making dining out a happy, healthy experience, and focuses on plant-based, vegan and gluten-free cuisine. The interior is light and earthy, and the menu features super salads, veg-heavy pastas, hearty soups, fresh juices, health-conscious wraps, bowls of goodness and more. And Jenna’s does bottomless mimosas all day, every day – win, win!
- Location: 85 Regent Road, Sea Point, Cape Town
- Times: Monday to Friday: 7am to 10pm | Saturday to Sunday: 7am to 11pm
- Instagram: @jennas_capetown
How’s Your Oni?
Question: What is onigiri? A traditional Japanese cuisine made up of triangular parcels of rice stuffed with a pickled or salty filling and wrapped up in nori (dried seaweed). And thankfully, Cape Town can now get its supply of these delicious morsels of hand-held heaven from How’s Your Oni – a funky, hole-in-the-wall hub of vintage Japanese pop culture in Gardens. While the restaurant specialises in gourmet onigiri, you’ve got to sample everything on the menu – dig into the gyozas, udon noodles, ramen and other delicious Japanese treats. That’s the good news. The even better news is you can also order the chow directly from Uber Eats.
- Location: 7 Scott Street, Gardens, Cape Town
- Times: Monday to Tuesday: 12pm to 4pm | Thursday to Saturday: 12pm to 9pm
- Instagram: @howsyouroni
Written by Jules Keohane for Cape Etc.
Feature image: Aegir Project Brewery/Instagram