The Lighthouse Café is a quaint and buzzing eatery on the Main Road in Simon's Town, owned and run by Brett Rathbone and his wife Heleen. It’s a popular haunt for locals and tourists alike, with a large menu that includes pizzas, pastas, casual meals and a good seafood selection.
Beer-battered fish and chips is a top seller, as are the beef and chicken burgers. The pizzas are delicious, with crispy bases and generous toppings. Brett has a background cooking in the south of France and it shows. The seafood sourced from Kalk Bay Harbour is super fresh and well cooked; the calamari steak strips are tender and flavoursome, served with a small Greek salad. All the bases are covered by the breakfast menu, available until 11.30am. This is a great place to stop for a quick coffee and cake, too.
The conventional wine list is fairly big, given the size of the restaurant, and reasonably priced. They have a good range of drinks and cocktails, too.
Service is quick and attentive, because the waiters are right on hand.
The decor can be described as shabby-chic meets beach house meets Provence. It’s quaint and inviting, if a bit contrived. The busy space is usually busy but has a relaxed vibe. There are a few pavement tables if you felt like watching the people go by.
The Lighthouse Café is a popular stop-off point for cyclists peddling around the Southern peninsula.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.
Bernadette le Roux
Chef proprietor Brett Rathbone is not only a renowned ex-Johannesburg restaurateur, but has cooked extensively in the south of France. It comes as no surprise that his Provençal-style menu is packed with Mediterranean flavour, and this restaurant is a welcome addition to this seaside suburb.
Dishes like the seafood tagliatelle with fresh mussels, clams and prawns and the moules mariniere grace the á la carte menu, and if you’re lucky enough to see the cinnamon-apple pork belly or the spicy chorizo mussel pasta on the chalkboard, don’t hesitate with that order. Steak is a signature dish here. The pizzas are delicious and for the health-conscious there’s a best-of-both option that comes with salad.
The wine list has a good selection of by-the-glass options as well as a range of well-priced reds and whites by the bottle.
Not many a service goes by without the chef-owner in the kitchen and his wife Heleen working the tables in the front of house. The waiting staff knows many of the return customers by name.
This busy eatery, much loved by locals and tourists alike, has recently expanded into the building next door. The character-filled interior is light and airy and exudes warmth, with an eclectic mix of French-Provencal décor.
Booking, even on a weeknight in sleepy Simon’s Town, is essential.