The Culinary Delights of South Africa’s Beautiful Cape

cape town aerial

One of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town is home to people from diverse cultures and ethnic groups, each contributing to the array of tastes and smells a visitor can expect to enjoy when dining in one of Cape Town’s many restaurants. 

Typically a good Cape Town restaurant will be reasonably priced and serve well prepared dishes that will linger in your memories long after you have left the city. This article will highlight some of the great flavors, places and influences which give Cape Town restaurants their unique character. To truly experience Cape Town you should try to include dishes from various Cape Town restaurants influenced by different cultures.

Cape Malay food

Probably the biggest cultural influence on Cape Town’s traditional food comes from Cape Malay cooking traditions. Truly South African dishes like Bobotie, Breyani, Samoosas and Koeksisters are all brought to us by the Cape Malay culture. 

Bobotie is made from minced meat and raisins, with a creamy crust for a covering made from egg. The dish has a sweet taste and is a South African favorite. Breyani is a dish made from rice and lentils, with fish, chicken or other meat. This is a tasty, yet spicy meal, which is popular in Cape Town. The samoosa is a very popular snack in Cape Town and South Africa, made by wrapping mince-meat or vegetables in pastry and then deep frying it. For the sweet tooth there is the legendary koeksister, a sweet pastry often enjoyed with a cup of tea. The Cape Malay version has a more cake-like consistency, while the Afrikaner adaption comes in the form of a twisted pastry glazed in syrup, making for a very sweet treat.
Africa Cafe

Visitors to Cape Town can chose from a variety of African fusion restaurants which will give you an unforgettable taste experience as traditional African ingredients are combined in adventurous dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. The menus typically offer a tremendous range, catering to diverse tastes and satisfying your palate, no matter how particular it may be.

Waterfront restaurant
The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is a development which has grown around a working harbor, where you can shop till you drop, then visit museums and galleries, see weird and wonderful sea life in the famous Two Oceans Aquarium, and dine in one of the fabulous restaurants looking out over the harbor. This is one of Cape Town’s big tourist draw cards, and after visiting you will know exactly why the Waterfront is such a popular spot.

Blues Crayfish

Camps Bay beach is a popular spot for the young and trendy.  Enjoy the beautiful white sand and warm sunshine, but remember to protect yourself with a good sun block. The water is known to be a bit on the chilly side, but it does serve to provide refreshing relief from the midsummer heat.  Here you can expect to find Cape Town restaurants offering top caliber seaside dining.

cape town city restaurants
Taking a walk around the Castle in the city center or browsing the stalls on Greenmarket Square can work up an appetite, which one of the Cape Town City Centre restaurants will satisfy with style.  There are a variety of good restaurants to be found on Shortmarket Street, New Church Street, Castle Street, Long Street, Loop Street and the likes.

Kalk Bay harbor & restaurant

False Bay offers some stunning seaside restaurants, notably those in Kalk Bay, where you can enjoy the best of Cape Town’s more casual dining locations, with the cry of gulls over breaking waves lending a charming character to the setting.


Green Point has a lively nightlife with old style disco clubs and music for the liberal tourist to enjoy a night out. There are a variety of restaurants where you can enjoy anything from sophisticated cocktails to imported Belgian beers with your meal.

Sea Point’s Beach Road has a couple of good restaurants offering a view of the promenade where rollerblading, jogging and dog walking are popular activities under the summer sun. Enjoy a hearty meal here and sip on a drink as the sunsets and Cape Town’s nightlife awakens.

jonkershuis restaurant

Southern Suburbs restaurants range from sports pubs to the finest French cuisine restaurants on beautiful Constantia wine estates. Newlands hosts Cape Town’s cricket and rugby stadiums, where international events are common place, resulting in a frenzy of patriotism and a great atmosphere for visitors to the city to enjoy.

The Winelands are just a short drive outside of the city, where wine tasting is the order of the day. Enjoy a wide variety of restaurants on the various wine farms offering wine tasting and great dishes for the hungry tourist. The beauty of Stellenbosch and Franschoek make for a breathtaking escape from city life where you can enjoy the best food, wine and hospitality.

Cape Quarter

Come visit the Cape and enjoy a rich diversity of scenery, people and tastes.  Road Travel Africa is passionate about South Africa and specialize in culinary packages and tours, so get in touch with us to make sure you know which restaurants and establishments will make your taste buds happy 😉


Gourmet Road Trips in South Africa

Here at Road Travel Africa we are all food and wine enthusiasts, and as such delight in designing extraordinary tours for clients who are passionate about it and wish to experience all there is on offer.  On our special tailor made tours clients can enjoy visits to open-air farmer’s markets, hands on cooking classes and dine in breath taking settings.  All our tours are done on a private basis for individuals and small groups, and accompanied by a Food and Wine specialist and fully accredited tour guide.  Road Travel Africa’s Gourmet Tours will undoubtedly leave all our clients thinking about renewing that long forgotten gym membership.

So let us put together a specially designed tour so that you can get a taste of South Africa’s cosmopolitan essence and unique blend of cuisines, cultures, history and heritage.  To make sure you opt for the truly African experience, let Road Travel Africa recommend the ideal Safari to start or end off your trip.  You will also have the opportunity to take part in interactive cooking sprees and interesting demonstrations, as well as dining in the most amazing restaurants.  Discover the delights of Cape Malay cuisine while in Cape Town, authentic South African specialties on a culinary excursion in a charming Karoo town and other superb African dishes whilst in the bush.

Another brilliant offering from us is a visit to a cooking school in one of Cape Town’s Townships.  Here the locals have created a restaurant out of shipping containers.  They serve traditional African cuisine to the local community and to visitors.  The facility is also used to cater for functions in the local area, as well as for the cooking classes.  A visit to the school and restaurant is a unique opportunity for our clients to interact with a community initiative that is really working.  Clients can learn about African and specifically Xhosa culture and cuisine.  It is also an opportunity to interact with the community and for clients to make a real difference.  For the brave, there will be an opportunity to see how a Smiley is prepared and to taste one.  This is a traditional Xhosa delicacy, a sheep’s head placed in a pot above a coal fire hearth and cooked until the meat is tender.

For something different, in fact the exact opposite, Road Travel Africa could arrange for clients to go “Cooking with the Countess”.  Countess Enrica Rocca lived in Cape Town for 11 years.  During this time she had two successful restaurants in Cape Town, an Italian restaurant in the southern suburbs and a Venetian-style tapas bar in the city center.  She has now opened a cooking school in Venice (her Dad had a cooking school there), opened another one in London and recently she opened a third school in Constantia, Cape Town.

Yet another epicurean delight we can offer, also in Cape Town, would be The Bo Kaap, which is where the Cape Malay community has its traditional bright and colorful home.  Road Travel Africa will arrange visits to the local spice market, two community projects and a cooking demonstration or class at one of the local ladies in the area.  Our clients can select to simply book for lunch or dinner, or come a little earlier and participate in the preparation of the meal.  During this experience our clients can learn how to make a traditional Cape Malay curry or a Babotie and can then sit down and enjoy the food they’ve made.

Some of the other gourmet activities that Road Travel Africa could share with you would be fabulous bread making courses in the Franschhoek vineyards, raw food classes in the city, Chocolate love courses, picking your own berries and strawberries in the winelands, tasting the oysters in Knysna, enjoying the fresh sea food in Paternoster and the West Coast, having Potjiekos at a traditional restaurant, a braai with a local, a braai on the beach or a braai on a beautiful wine farm in the Stellenbosch winelands.  The options are truly endless!

A personal favorite here at Road Travel Africa is the African Relish Cooking School, located in the quaint Karoo village of Prince Albert.  This culinary hall is the only purpose built facility of its kind.  Accommodation consists of handpicked and renovated cottages in town.  With traditional irrigation canals running along the streets, this combination of well-appointed and luxurious living space coupled with the sound of trickling water is a haven in which to unwind.  Courses vary from “A History of Jewish Cooking”, “Comfort Food”, “Discover the exotic world of the spice route”, “Bread making Master Class” and “From Palate to Palette”.  We could also arrange shorter courses, just for the day.  Contact Road Travel Africa today to find out how we can custom make your Ideal African Gourmet Getaway.

South African Culinary Safari – Itinerary

Restaurant at Steenberg
Day 1
You will be met at Cape Town International Airport and transferred to the Steenberg Hotel.  Your Road Travel Africa representative will hand you your travel documents and will go through them with you, giving you self-drive tips and information on the many interesting places you can visit whilst in our country.  Dinner this evening is at Catharina’s Restaurant, Steenberg Hotel.  A fusion of classical cuisine amidst ageless splendor.  Experience the captivation of flavors – tempestuous, exotic, contemporary & delectable.
Overnight: Steenberg Hotel

crayfish braai
Day 2
This morning after breakfast, you will be met by your Tour Guide and depart on a full day West Coast Tour visiting the West Coast National Park and the Mamre Mission Station.  The West Coast land may look dry, but hosts a range of fascinating plants, particularly the bizarre array of succulent semi-desert plants.  It comes alive in spring when millions of flowers blossom to carpet the earth in beautiful colors.  You will enjoy lunch at the Strandloper Restaurant in Langebaan, situated right on the beach.  Eat your way through approximately ten courses, from mussels to crayfish.  Return to your hotel in the late afternoon, with the evening at leisure.
Overnight: Steenberg Hotel

Cape Malay Experience
Day 3
This morning, your rental vehicle will be delivered to your hotel, so you can go out and experience Cape Town at your leisure.  A few suggestions are Table Mountain, Robben Island, the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and the beautiful Cape Town beaches.  Dinner arrangements will be made at the Cape Malay Restaurant at the Cellars Hohenort Hotel this evening.  This restaurant specializes in local South African cuisine, and is a unique dining experience in authentic Cape Malay food.
Overnight: Steenberg Hotel

Day 4 & 5
After breakfast, you depart for the Cape Winelands area.  Your days will be spent at leisure, exploring the beautiful Winelands with vineyards, excellent wine cellars and well-preserved historical buildings.  Wine farms in the Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek areas not only produce some of the country’s finest wines, they have also opened their cellars and properties to visitors, who are treated to wine tastings, cellar tours with the wine makers, excellent restaurants and tours of the farms.  Award winning Bosman’s ranks among the world’s greatest for its superb gourmet cuisine and service.  Among its achievements is the coveted Relais Gourmand status and best wine list awards, a tribute to its well-stocked cellar of 300 vintage wines.  Bosman’s international team of chefs, restaurant staff and sommeliers offer a most memorable dining experience.
Overnight: Grande Roche Hotel

Seafood, the restaurant
Day 6
Today you will make your way to Hermanus for your last night in the Western Cape region.  This coastal town offers one of the best land-based whale-watching destinations in the world.  Dinner will be enjoyed at the Seafood Restaurant at the Marine Hermanus Hotel.  Seafood at the Marine is a lovely bright restaurant in the modern idiom where the only sea view will be on a plate.  The atmosphere is informal and busy but with emphasis on fresh fish and great style from the kitchen theatre.
Overnight: Marine Hermanus Hotel

Day 7
This morning after breakfast you will enjoy a very scenic drive back to Cape Town International Airport and drop off your rental vehicle at the airport before departing on your short scheduled flight to King Shaka International Airport.  On arrival in Durban, you will be met and assisted with collecting your rental vehicle.  You will then continue to Lynton Hall, where you will enjoy dinner before retiring for the night.  The culinary creations of Lynton Hall are inspired by its proximity to the Indian Ocean and the property’s traditional connections with colonial India.  The cooking philosophy initiated by the Five Star Master Chef is expressed in an avant-garde New World style where the emphasis is on flavor, texture and individuality – each dish carrying the signature of his energy and passion.
Overnight: Lynton Hall

Richard cooking
Day 8 & 9
After breakfast this morning, you will make your way to Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse for the next two nights.  Dinner will be enjoyed at Cleopatra on both nights.  Passion and dedication are the keywords in the Cleopatra kitchen.  The Chef’s specialty is sauces, a subject very close to his heart.  He has long been obsessed with reduction techniques, which allow the full intense flavor of the food to shine through.  Fresh ingredients are essential, and being able to pick from the gardens minutes before serving is a real pleasure.  For the more exotic tastes, Richard spends hours hunting down local and imported ingredients of the highest quality – flying in fresh salmon from Norway and procuring genuine Parma hams and cheeses from Italy.
Overnight: Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse

Nyala plunge pool drink
Day 10 & 11
This morning after a delicious breakfast, you will drive to Phinda Private Game Reserve.  Located between the azure waters of the Indian Ocean and the lush waterways of the Greater Saint Lucia Wetland Park – a World Heritage Site – Phinda’s 17500 hectares span seven unique habitats.  You can look forward to two exciting game drives in open 4×4 safari vehicles daily led by experienced rangers and Zulu trackers, as well as thrilling optional activities on the water, in the air and on the beach.  Scuba Safaris: A 15-minute flight and short drive takes you to one of the top ten dive sites in the world. Diving the reefs of Sodwana Bay allows you to experience a portrait of marine diversity, with approximately 1200 species of fish and spectacular coral formations.  Maputaland Beach Adventures: A 15-minute flight and a short drive in a specially designed 4×4 beach vehicle takes you to the beautiful beaches of Sodwana Bay.
Overnight: Phinda Forest / Mountain Lodge

Forest Lodge Suite
Day 12
After one last exciting game drive in search of the Big Five and a delicious bush breakfast, you check out and travel to King Shaka International Airport, in time for your connecting homebound flight.
**End of Road Trip**

Vlei Lodge at dusk
Contact Road Travel Africa today to arrange your Gourmet Safari in South Africa.  We will gladly assist with excellent reduced rates on your accommodation, vehicle hire, day tours and restaurant bookings.  A package deal usually works out best, as this takes the stress out of finding suitable places to stay, great places to dine, good local tour guides, safe vehicles to drive and suitable routes to take.  We share our extensive local knowledge with our clients, and make sure you will have the holiday of a lifetime.

Male Lion