Kloof Street in Cape Town is full to bursting with restaurants. Here’s our guide to the best in each category.
This is not an exhaustive list of the restaurants in Kloof Street (because that wouldn’t help narrowing things down much), but rather a list of the favourites of our editorial team. Tell us about your favourites below.
This mostly Vietnamese-themed restaurant opened its doors in 1997, and standards remain excellent. The oxtail winter special is the stuff of dreams.
This new Kill-Bill-inspired restaurant is already buzzing. Some of the Japanese-Western fusion dishes work better than others, but the sesame-coated Wagyu short rib with a whisky-and-molasses glaze comes highly recommended.
Cocktails and tapas are the things to order at this high-end bar.
This pub is great for a more casual drink. The menu features a bit of everything: ribs, steaks, burgers, curry, pasta and snack baskets, which work better for busy evenings.
This coffee shop has a great rooftop bar that pumps on summer nights, when locals mingle with backpackers staying at the adjoining Once in Cape Town hostel. The leafy coffee shop downstairs has great people-watching opportunities.
Open from 6.45am, this spot has an early-bird breakfast deal that’s one of the cheapest in the city. On weekdays before 7am, you can get two eggs, bacon, ostrich chipolatas, tomato, toast and jam for R23. (Arnolds also makes our excellent ribs category further down the list.)
This beautiful, white space serves up a range of well-made, inventive breakfasts. Think coconut bread, perfectly poached eggs and buttery croissants. For the early-risers, breakfasts are half price before 9am. Manna is also open at night, serving some of the best ribs in town.
The very first branch of this nationwide chain opened right here on Kloof Street. It’s still a lovely spot for brunch or to linger with a laptop. Service can be a little slow.
The very first Hudson’s branch opened up here in 2009. Thanks to its tasty burgers and OTT shakes, it’s now a countrywide brand.
This new burger joint is getting good reviews for its hotdogs, crumpets, shakes and waffles. Burgers cost between R45 and R65 – very affordable for Kloof Street.
A hole-in-the wall, just off Kloof Street in the abbreviated Metal Lane. Great for a cuppa en route to work.
This small but friendly coffee spot serves a good brew, fresh juices and some tasty breakfasts. There are some gluten-free and raw options, too.
With contemporary décor and a cosy, vibey ambience, Black Sheep is always full, so be sure to make a reservation well in advance. A sophisticated chalkboard bistro menu features fan favourites and daily seasonal additions. In summer the windows are opened up to show panoramic views of the mountain.
Bombay Bicycle Club
This child of the Madame Zingara group delivers the usual touch of whimsy and madness. Grab the table with swings for chairs and enjoy the festive environment. If you’re not just here for drinks, try the famed chilli-chocolate steak.
Kloof Street House
This beautifully refurbished old house is rather hidden, but boasts a wonderful garden out front. The Vahlrona chocolate fondant is worth returning for.
If dairy ice cream isn’t your thing, just up the road from Unframed (see below) is the popular Myog. Choose from the frozen yoghurt flavours of the week (including the likes of rooibos) and enjoy the selection of unlimited toppings such as fudge, Smarties, jelly beans and bananas.
The best ice cream in Kloof Street (and possibly the world) can be found at this little minimalist ice-cream parlour. French owner Yann Rey applies as scientific approach to making the most delicious ice cream possible, even controlling the temperature at which it’s served for optimal mouth feel. The salted chocolate is a knockout, and the vegan ice creams – made with coconut milk – are so creamy it’s almost impossible to believe they’re not made with cream.
In summer this bistro flings the windows open to show panoramas of Table Mountain.
The leafy front garden of this converted house has full-frontal views of Table Mountain – a rare find in the hustle and bustle of the city. Food is less of a focus, but try the lamb salad.
Liquorish & Lime
This little café has some great views from the window seating area. Try an indulgent eggs Benedict.
The Deckhouse Crabshack & BBQ
There’s almost always a buzzy vibe on the deck, looking out towards the mountain. The menu features shrimp popcorn and lots of fried seafood.
A slightly worn but very cosy neighbourhood pizza spot.
This rambling old house has a warm ambience. Try the calzone pizza, a golden mound filled with cheese and all the good things.
Pizza, burgers, wonderfully sticky ribs: this casual Italian spot does everything well. There’s paper and crayons on the tables so the kids (and adults) can draw.
Run by an Italian couple, this casual restaurant serves up thin, crispy wood-fired pizzas and creamy pastas.
The warthog ribs are the ones to go for – if you can handle eating Pumba! They’re really very delicious.
Saucy and juicy, the barbecue spare ribs are a house speciality here.
The sticky pork spare ribs are fall-off-the-bone succulent and sweet.
This branch of the popular bakery chain usually has a good-value special of some description running. Right now, it’s a burger and a milkshake for R89.
Carne on Kloof
Giorgio Nava serves up some of the Mother City’s best steak, sourced from his very own farm in Nieu-Bethesda. It’s beautifully aged and accordingly priced – worth it, if only to understand how good steak can taste. It’s imperative that you order the lamb ravioli with sage butter and parmesan, too.
Best of Asia
Best of Asia doesn’t rank high on ambience points, but the sushi here is of a consistently good standard. Take advantage of the buy-one-get-one-free special. A great spot for grabbing takeaways to eat at home.
Chalk & Cork
This venue is great for wine, tapas and even banting pizzas. One of the few places on Kloof Street with a lovely outside courtyard.
Liam Tomlin’s Indian tapas spot just around the corner on Park Road is so good it would be remiss of us not to mention it here.
This tiny coffee shop on De Lorentz Street is all wood and succulents, and usually full of locals. Pop in for delicious croissant breakfasts or come for dinner and order the juicy pulled-lamb pie encased in crispy phyllo pastry. There are frequent wine tasting nights, too.