A guide to Mother City eateries with refreshing ocean vistas and menus to match
Sun-drenched decks, glistening crystal waves and moreish morsels to munch on are as good a summer concoction as any bright-hued cooling cocktail. In Cape Town, we are spoilt for choice with a vast array of outdoor restaurants with spectacular sea views. From those that boast sweeping panoramic vistas of our naturally beautiful coastline to those located right on the beach but metres away from lapping ocean waves, there are a whole host of seaside eateries ideal for drinking in the good life. Here’s a selection of beachside dining spots where those in the know choose to go.
From its kingly throne on the hilly slopes of Table Mountain National Park, Azure Restaurant at The Twelve Apostles Hotel claims a view to rule all views. The fine dining eatery boasts a vast veranda that appears to levitate above the sparkling Atlantic Ocean, and even if you’re forced to sup inside amidst the plush furnishings, you’ll enjoy a floor-to-ceiling vista of the watery depths beyond and the atomic sunsets that draw the day to a close. Not to mention, the restaurant’s chef is passionate about conjuring up creative fare that’s on par with the panorama, so you can rest assured that your meal will be as memorable as the dramatic setting. Azure is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.
Opening Times: Monday – Sunday: 7am – 10:30am (breakfast); 12:30pm – 3:30pm (lunch); 6pm – 10pm (dinner)
Victoria Road | Camps Bay | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 437 9029
Perched above the dunes just beyond the kitesurf mecca of Dolphin Beach, Blowfish Restaurant in Blouberg treats diners to a vista that stretches from the shimmering Atlantic’s shoreline on the West Coast all the way to the rounded hump of Lion’s Head and the plateau of Table Mountain. From nearly any seat in the laidback, family-friendly eatery, guests can gaze out over the bay and drink in the stunning scenery while tucking into fresh seafood, sushi or rustic bistro fare. The food, like the ambience, puts on no airs and graces and, rather, is dependent on generous portions and good produce that’s been prepared well. So, whether you park at the sushi conveyor belt, settle in for shellfish on the covered outdoor deck or chill out with a cocktail or cold beer in the loungy section of the restaurant, you’ll find something to suit your palate and style. And as the longtime eatery’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can accompany your meal with occasional ocean glimpses at any time of day.
Opening Times: Monday – Sunday: 6:30am – 10pm
1 Marine Drive | Blouberg | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 556 5464
Strolla Restaurant and Bar
This seaside eatery is seasoned restaurateur Brendon Woods’ third establishment on Sea Point’s Platinum Mile. The 140-seater venue boasts a classic menu that features items like pizzas, burgers, steak, chicken, soups and more. One of the restaurant’s most impressive feats is its ability to cater for any kind of dining arrangements. There’s a sun deck for those wanting to enjoy cocktails while soaking in views of the cool Atlantic, a kitted-out kids’ room for parents who want to grab something to eat while their little ones have a good time too, and there’s even a section with plug points where patrons wanting to catch up on emails (there’s free Wi-Fi too) can do so with ease. In addition, there’s the outdoor Strolla Kiosk which features specialty coffee from the folks at Bootleggers for a quick caffeine fix on the go. All this adds up beautifully to make it a prime one-stop shop for any kind of foodie experience.
313 Beach Road | Sea Point | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 430 7778
Tobago’s Restaurant at the Radisson Blu Waterfront Cape Town
Enjoy world-class cuisine with an ocean view to match at this relaxed fine dining eatery. Situated in key position at Cape Town’s popular V&A Waterfront, five-star hotel Radisson Blu’s flagship restaurant, Tobago’s, is well worth the visit. Settle in on the expansive terrace right at the water’s edge and enjoy the slight tingle of salty sea breezes dancing across your skin, or tuck in indoors on cooler days with the splendid vista beautifully framed by floor-to-ceiling windows. The menu’s array of delicious seasonal dishes is as fresh as the surrounding ocean and can be washed down with a number of refreshing cocktails (the Sweet Melon Margarita and Tanqueray Mojito are popular favourites).
Opening Times: Monday – Sunday: Breakfast: 6:30am – 10:30am; Lunch: 12:30am – 3:30pm; Dinner: 6:30pm – 10:30pm
Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel | V&A Waterfront | Beach Road | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 441 3414
Restaurants at the V&A Waterfront
One of Cape Town’s most popular tourist destinations, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is the ideal setting for water-edge dining. Breathtaking views of the harbour, the Atlantic Ocean and, of course, Cape Town’s landmark Table Mountain complement varied first-class menus from numerous restaurants looking to take full advantage of the incredible panoramas. Here is a choice selection:
- Sevruga for half-price sushi, dim sum and cocktails (Monday – Saturday: 11:30am – 7pm | Sunday: 11:30am – close)
- Karibu for authentic South African cuisine
- Quay Four for fresh seafood
- Den Anker for international delicacies with a South African twist
The Grand Café and Beach (Granger Bay)
Is there anything more alluring than the thought of wiggling your toes in the white sand of your own pristine private beach with cooling cocktail in hand? Though a sensation normally destined only for the rich and famous, and a fantasy usually confined to the realm of doe-eyed daydreamers, the Grand Café in Granger Bay (just adjacent to the V&A Waterfront) has made this a reality for locals and foreigners alike. The shabby-chic restaurant is housed inside an old converted warehouse and, in summer, picnic tables and dining chairs spill out onto its very own strip of sand only metres away from the cool Atlantic waters. Unrivalled panoramic sea vistas are the perfect complement to a delectable dining experience, with the menu featuring anything from fresh salads to mouth-watering wood-fired pizzas.
Opening Times: Monday – Sunday: 12pm – late (Dec – Feb);Tuesday – Saturday: 12pm - late; Sunday: 12pm – 4pm (March – November)
Granger Bay Road | Granger Bay | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 425 0551
Sotano by Caveau
With a sweeping view of the Mouille Point promenade as one of its main drawcards and the iconic candy stripe lighthouse as its beacon, Sotano is the ideal spot to drop anchor and disembark for a culinary adventure through the tantalising tastes of the Mediterranean. Let your taste buds explore a delicious selection of starters and mains (think fresh flatbreads, grilled calamari and beef tartare), while your eyes traverse the beautiful sea view before you. The name ‘Sotano’ means ‘cellar’ in Spanish and this theme is pulled through in the wood-dominated décor and neutral colour palette of the casual and comfortable eatery as well as in the extensive wine list. Pop in for a quick bite to eat with friends and let the mouth-watering food do the talking while you take in the dazzling sunset, glass of red or white in hand.
Opening Times: Monday – Sunday: 7am – 10:30pm
121 Beach Road | Mouille Point | City Bowl | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 433 1757
Nestled in a Milkwood forest and part of Noordhoek’s Monkey Valley Nature Resort, Thorfynn’s boasts an upstairs deck that skims the tree tops and offers a sweeping vista of unspoilt coastline from Chapman’s Peak to Kommetjie. The relaxed venue is steeped in country-style charm and serves up a tantalising assortment of homecooked meals, such as wood-fired pizzas and burgers, as well as a number of vegetarian options and a regular weekend brunch buffet. A welcome retreat from the buzz of the city, Thorfynn’s is the ideal nook for friends and families (there’s also a kiddies’ menu) alike.
Opening Times: Monday – Friday: 7am – 10pm; Saturday – Sunday: 7am – 11pm
Mountain Road | Monkey Valley Beach Resort | Noordhoek | Cape Town| +27 (0) 21 789 1391
Perched on Camps Bay’s famous seaside strip, this trendy Cape Town institution flaunts views of the glittering Atlantic Ocean and the butter-yellow beach sand that runs up to it, and as it features an outdoor sidewalk seating zone, it’s possible to enjoy this vista while sitting under open skies. Though most well-known for its award-winning cocktails, Café Caprice also puts ample effort into its fare, with an emphasis on fresh ingredients and winning flavour combinations. The eatery is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and must-try items include the roast butternut and beetroot salad with feta and toasted pumpkin seeds; the deboned, free-range chicken espetada, which is coated in a chilli, garlic and rosemary marinade; and the succulent Royal Burger, which is stacked with streaky bacon, cheese, fresh chilli and beer-battered onion rings. In essence, there are few sexier places to dine when you’re craving the scent of the sea and the feel of the sun on your skin.
Opening Times:Monday – Thursday: 9am – 10pm; Saturday – Sunday: 9am – 2am
37 Victoria Road | Camps Bay | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 438 8315
Transport yourself to a sun soaked Greek Island, the Mediterranean waves seductively lapping at your feet as the sand caresses the soft skin between your toes. The view from this international tapas bar may be of the Atlantic Ocean and the atmosphere the hustle and bustle of Camps Bay’s buzzing seaside strip but close your eyes and take a bite of its fresh Mediterranean fare and you’ll immediately be transported to a sun-soaked Greek island. Mezepoli is a swanky and sophisticated meze and wine bar, inspired by but not limited to Greek-style food. The emphasis is on serving Hellenic classics such as dolmades, hummus and spanikopita with a modern flair. Meze is all about sharing so grab a friend (or five) and sink into the lounge style seating to savour a Mediterranean feel against a truly unique local seaside backdrop.
Opening Times: Monday –Sunday: 12pm – midnight
The Promenade | Victoria Road | Camps Bay | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 438 1915
Wharfside Grill Restaurant at Mariner’s Wharf
Rub shoulders with gung-ho fishermen at Africa’s first harbourfront emporium, Mariner’s Wharf in Hout Bay. Situated upstairs is the celebrated Wharfside Grill Restaurant offering a wide selection of seafood options, including, amongst others, calamari, prawns, kingklip and sole. Sit outside on the deck to take in the expansive view overlooking Hout Bay’s harbour, or for a more intimate dining experience, choose one of the private dining cabins named after famous ships that once frequented the Cape. For those wanting an authentic seaside experience, the Wharfette Bistro downstairs offers tasty takeaway finger fare pulled fresh from the surrounding ocean that can be eaten right on the beach while watching the fishermen bring in their catch and seals playfully duck in and out of the tranquil waters.
Opening Times: Wharfside Grill: Monday – Sunday: 9am – 9:15pm; Wharfette Bistro: Monday – Sunday: 9am – 5:30pm
Mariner’s Wharf |Hout Bay Harbour | Hout Bay | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 790 1100
Blue Water Café
Looking for a great outing the whole family will enjoy with a beautiful sea view to boot? Then look no further: Blue Water Café on Imhoff Farm in Kommetjie is the perfect answer. A back veranda (or ‘stoep’ as South Africans say) opens onto a lush green lawn that leads the eye to a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean. There’s a jungle gym on-site and kiddies’ parties can also be booked in advance, leaving grown-ups free to relax and dine while the little ones are entertained. Other activities on offer in the complex include camel rides and a visit to the neighbouring Higgeldy Piggeldy Animal Farm or the Snake Park for the more daring.
Opening Times:Tuesday: 9am – 5pm; Wednesday – Saturday: 9am – 10pm; Sunday: 9am – 8pm
Imhoff Farm| Kommetjie Road |Kommetjie | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 783 2007
Two Oceans Restaurant
Situated at Cape Point, the narrow stretch of land that marks the most southwesterly tip of Africa, the Two Oceans Restaurant sits amidst a flurry of fynbos crowning the sheer cliffs of what has been known by sailors for centuries as the Cape of Storms. Owing to extensive renovations made in July 2012, the ‘storm’ has been brought into the kitchen with Head Chef Phil Alcock and Thai Sushi Chef Sarawut Sukkowplang cooking up a mouth-watering selection of fresh fare. Indulge in an assortment of inventive individual rolls from the chic new sushi bar or treat yourself to the signature seafood platter or ostrich burger and savour it alongside one of the Cape’s most exquisite, edge-of-the-world views of the ocean. The eatery’s innovative new design has created a stylish space as inspired by the expansive South African sea view as the menu is.
Opening Times: Monday – Sunday: 9am – 5pm
Cape Point Peninsula | +27 (0) 21 780 9200
The Salty Sea Dog
Established in 1925 as a fish market, this popular Simon’s Town fish and chips joint has stayed true to its original purpose by serving up simple and honest seafood caught fresh from the adjacent ocean. Located at the harbour, the laidback eatery is a model spot to enjoy the accompanying taste of tomato sauce and tingle of vinegar while watching the boats come and go. On clear summer days when the weather is fine and the food even finer, take your meal outside on the protected patio and languish in the sun, or when the sea breeze is chilly, keep warm inside the rustic but endearing restaurant. With cold beer on tap and only the freshest seafood on offer, The Salty Sea Dog promises an authentic seaside experience.
Opening Times:Monday – Saturday: 8:30am – 9pm; Sunday: 9:30am – 4:30pm
2 Wharf St | Simon’s Town | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 786 1918
Harbour House Restaurant and The Polana
Built right on the breakwater of Kalk Bay’s picturesque working harbour, Harbour House Restaurant not only boasts unparalleled ocean views as an accompaniment to excellent meals but also regularly flaunts the spectacular sights and sounds of waves crashing against its large wall-length windows. This stylish upstairs establishment offers fine dining in a relaxed environment with a focus on international cuisine with prominent Mediterranean and French influences. Fresh line fish is brought in daily by their own fishing boat, Live Bait. Those who prefer meatier meals and the comforting feel of terra firma can also head downstairs to The Polana to recline on leather sofas while enjoying a selection of tasty tapas and refreshing cocktails.
Opening Times:Monday – Sunday: 12pm – 4pm; 6pm – 10pm
Kalk Bay Harbour | Main Road | Kalk Bay | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 788 4133
This quirky, colourful False Bay eatery near Muizenberg draws its name from the popular Beatles song with the well-known lyrics: “I’d like to be under the sea in an octopus’ garden with you”. While it may not be under the sea, the charming café is a mere pebble’s throw away from it and features splendid views of the iconic St James bathing huts punctuating an endless blue backdrop with spots of bright colour. Love is a central theme pulled throughout both the restaurant’s design and its delicacies; thus, while taking in the eatery’s eclectic décor and assortment of odds and ends, you can choose from a selection of erotically-named menu items, such as the Organic Orgy Wrap and the Orgasmic Brownies.
Opening Times: Monday – Sunday: 9:30am – late
The Old Post Office Building| Main Road | St James | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 788 5646
Maestro’s on the Beach
Feel the fresh sea breeze on your skin and the sun on your face as you dine on the large deck of this beachside restaurant in Woodbridge Island, Milnerton. Traditional Italian cuisine with a South African twist is the order of the day, and can be enjoyed alongside scintillating 180-degree views of Cape Town’s unravelling coastline. In cooler weather, there is also ample seating indoors where floor-to-ceiling windows help to maximise the incredible vistas. Whether you choose to sit indoors or out, this eatery prides itself on providing a splendid sea view from every seat.
Opening Times: Monday – Friday: 10am – 11pm; Saturday – Sunday: 9am – 11pm
Bridge Road | Woodbridge Island | Milnerton | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 551 4992
On the Rocks
Whether it’s your big day, Christmas lunch with the family or a brunch with friends after a morning of running and cycling along Blouberg’s picturesque coastline, On the Rocks has much to offer in the way of delectable seafood and other fine cuisine, including the authentic Cape Malay Curry (with seafood or chicken) the Open Saffron Crayfish and Prawn Ravioli and Patagonis calamari tubes. Its terraced seating area with a view of Table Mountain and Robben Island is an added bonus and great for summer sundowners. The Venetian fire place is also a warm accompaniment to fine dining during the Cape winter. On the Rocks is sure to live up to its reputation of providing a pleasant dining experience.Opening Times: Mon – Sun: 09am – 10pm
45 Stadler Road |Bloubergstrand |Cape Town | + 27 (0) 21 554 1988
This beachfront cottage-styled restaurant situated on Cape Town’s West Coast area of Melkbosstrand is an all-time favourite among Capetonians and visitors alike. Café Orca has been in existence for 18 years and offers a very wide variety of locally sourced food. Its menu offers a vast array of seafood, in addition to meat and salads. Why not try the creamy garlic mussel starter with the beef medallion as a main. The Moroccan line fish is also a very tasty option; you are guaranteed to enjoy whatever you choose from Café Orca’s extensive menu while enjoying a panoramic view of Melkbosstrand’s Atlantic coast.
Opening Times: Mon: Closed | Tues: 12pm – 15:30pm & 6pm – 9pm | Wed – Sat: 11:30am – 3:30pm | Sun: 11am – 3:30pm
88 Beach Road | Melkbosstrand | Cape Town | + 27 (0)21 553 4120
Do not be deceived by this very unassuming 70-year-old fisherman’s cottage. Its rustic appeal and Asian-infused menu provide its patrons with the idyllic escape from the mundane hum-drum of city dining. All of its produce is locally sourced to provide diners with a fresh and delectable meal, rendering this an unforgettable dining experience. Reservations are essential to have a meal at Paternoster’s hidden gem.
Opening Times: Mon: 1pm – 3:30pm | Tues & Wed: Closed | Thurs: 1pm – 3:30pm/6pm – 9pm | Sat: 1pm – 3:30pm/6pm – 9pm | Sun: 1pm – 3:30pm/6pm – 9pm
Off Sampson Street | Paternoster | Western Cape | + 27 (0)22 752 2242 | email@example.com
Known to regulars simply as “The Rock”, Harbour Rock is a very popular dining spot among local and foreign tourists in the Western Cape’s bustling seaside town of Hermanus. Situated atop a cliff that spoils diners with a splendid view of the Hermanus harbour “The Rock” is the perfect venue for your dining experience. Try one of its many succulent dishes, such as the line fish with tomato dressing, gremolata, tapenade and baby marrow. There is plenty from which to choose.
Opening Times: 09am – 11am (breakfast) | 12:30pm – 3:00pm (lunch)| 6:30pm – 10:30pm (dinner)New Harbour | Hermanus | +27 (0)28 312 2920 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.harbourrock.co.za