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18 hot new restaurants in Cape Town

New restaurants seem to pop up nearly weekly in Cape Town. Blink and you might miss one. It can be difficult keeping up with them all, so here’s a handy list of the newest restaurants in Cape Town.

Afro’s Chicken (City Bowl)

Afro’s Chicken offers a simple and fuss-free takeaway option, and the brand has been so successful in other places of the country that it was only a matter of time that Cape Town was graced with a branch. The menu is short and concise, with a number of chicken dishes like burgers, salads and wraps.

The famed chicken burger from Afro’s. Photo supplied.

Bilboa (Camps Bay)

There’s been a spate of stylish restaurants opening up in Camps Bay and Bilboa is one of them. The Mediterranean-inspired eatery is open every day from noon, which makes it the perfect scenic spot to enjoy after your morning swim. You’re spoiled for choice with an extensive menu featuring fresh seafood, satisfying salads and grilled meat.

inside at Bilboa

The interior with Camps Bay views at Bilboa. Photo supplied.

Botanical Bar (City Bowl)

Botanical Bar takes their food menu as seriously as their drinks. As all their drinks are made with local and sustainably foraged ingredients, so too are their snacks. The lamb frikkadels are worth a visit alone, but the smoked snoek-and-spekboom pâté and chicken samoosas are pretty great, too.

CASA Restaurant & Cabana (Sea Point)

The newly-refurbished Ritz Hotel is nothing short has quickly become the spot to be this summer. There’s a pool you can chill next to as you recline in the Cape Town sun eating to your heart’s content. Head down here for a Sunday funday if you have little ones, as they have a dedicated kiddies play area.

Cause | Effect (Gardens)

It’s a great sign that so many recently opened bars have a considered and substantial food menu. Cause | Effect is one such place. While their drawcard is the expertly mixed cocktails made from local botanicals and ingredients, they have taken great care to ensure that your stomach is well-lined with delicious bar snacks. They have thought of everything, including fantastic pulled beef sandwiches to pair with your martini.

One of the cocktails at Cause and Effect. Photo supplied.

Chinchilla Rooftop Café and Bar (Camps Bay)

With endless beach views and a chance to escape the bustling crowds of Camps Bay, Chinchilla offers a vibey spot to end your beach day in style. The menu is simple and satisfying, with salads and sandwiches available for those peckish moments, and heartier pastas, seafood and meat dishes for when you need something substantial. Their cocktail menu is worth looking over too. Along with all the classics you’ll find some interesting signature drinks.

The rooftop at Chinchilla

The bar at Chinchilla. Photo supplied.

El Barrio (Blouberg)

El Barrio specialises in classic Mexican fare, from breakfast through to dinner, with a menu that features all the usual suspects. You can fill up on everything from tacos and taco bowls to ceviche and taquitos, and salsa and guacamole. Enjoy with interesting cocktails and beers.

Haru (Rondebosch)

Servicing the southern suburbs, Haru has been quietly producing some stellar Korean and Japanese dishes. Expect to find simple and comforting bowls of ramen, donburi and soba noodles, as well as tempura dishes and sushi. While Haru offers the usual sushi suspects, some inventive creations are available too that you shouldn’t miss.

Sushi at Haru. Photo supplied.

The Hot Skillet (City Bowl)

Gomotsegang Modiselle and Oginga Siwundla, former contestants of My Kitchen Rules, opened this restaurant space in the Youngblood Gallery, where they turn out classics like eggs Benedict for breakfast and simple toasted sandwiches and burgers for lunch. They also host special shisa nyama nights.

Janse & Co. (Gardens)

Easily one of the most anticipated restaurant openings this year, Janse & Co. has settled into their new Kloof Street home in no time at all. Run by the immensely talented Arno Janse van Rensburg, Janse & Co.’s menu is made up of small, refined dishes featuring minimal ingredients cooked beautifully. With options of three to seven courses, you’re able to choose your own food adventure.

Salmon, buttermilk and rose at Janse & Co. Photo supplied.

Jason Bakery (Green Point)

The badass baker of Bree Street has spread his wings and expanded his famous bakery to Green Point. Here you can find all of the Jason Bakery treats you’ve come to know and love, like the iconic doughssant. We didn’t think a restaurant could be busier than the original Bree Street location, but Jason Bakery Green Point has clearly become the place to be on a Saturday morning.

One of Jason’s latest doughssant creations. Photo supplied.

Jessy’s Waffles (Gardens)

Jessy’s Waffles had our attention from the get-go because, well, waffles. This dedicated dessert bar certainly doesn’t disappoint. Everything sold here is vegan and her waffles are also gluten-free. The menu is mostly focused on sweet things, but there are a couple of savoury items too, like vegan cheese and paprika waffles.

Lekker Vegan (City Bowl)

Vegan gourmet junk food might sound like a serious oxymoron but in Lekker Vegan’s case, it’s magic. The patties are made from a mix of wheat and soy, which are fashioned into crispy, crunchy and saucy burgers. There’s an extensive mix of burgers, as well as sides, but we hear good things about the Gatsbies and the cheesy fries in particular. Simply put, this is a vegan paradise.

The Poké Co. (City Bowl)

Poké has made the leap from trend to a permanent part of Cape Town’s food culture. What did we even eat before these delicious bowls of sticky rice, fresh fish, crunchy veggies and umami-packed sauce? The Poké Co. started out as a mobile delivery service but they have now set down roots in Loop street and offer a couple of delectable poké bowl options as well as salads and a sushi burrito.

Bowls of poké from The Poké Co.

Bowls of fresh poké from The Poké Co. Photo supplied.

Publik Wine (Gardens)

It feels as if Publik has always lived at the top of Kloof Nek, yet they only opened in the last month. While the focus here is wine, curated and sourced by owner David Cope, their food offerings are worth popping by for too. Think shared plates of charcuterie and hunkering bowls of ricotta and mozzarella, washed down with delicious wines.

Rafael (Sea Point)

From the owners of Byblos Trading Co. and Mischu comes Rafael, a breezy spot specialising in traditional Lebanese dishes. Their falafels already seem to have amassed a cult following and we’re hearing very good things about their homemade labneh. They also serve manouche, a Middle Eastern flatbread flavoured with za’atar and olives, which is a pretty delicious dish as well as rare to find outside of Lebanon.

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Sentir (City Bowl)

Adding an air of sophistication to Long Street, Sentir offers refined tapas and bespoke cocktails in an elegantly designed space. Sentir is owned by Ciska Roussouw and Rickma Coxon of the downstairs Loaves on Long, so it shares the same ethos of generosity as its big sister. If you’re after a cosy spot to enjoy a glass of wine and a tasty snack, you’ve found it.

The Top of The Ritz (Sea Point)

After a long refurbishment, The Ritz Hotel is finally here. The long-awaited restaurant – aptly named The Top of The Ritz – is set to be the spot for special occasion dining. The tasting menu created by chef Aidan Cook is a refined journey through Cape Town’s culinary influences, as well as a nod to the hotel’s history.

The views at The Top of The Ritz. Photo by Adam Letch.

Brought to you by Retail Capital, sponsors of the Eat Out Retail Capital New Restaurant of the Year Award. Want to find more new restaurants in your city? Check out our new restaurants section.

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