The Cape offers some of the most breathtaking, exciting hikes in the country. With the weather heating up, what better way to spend a balmy evening or sunny weekend than trawling up a glorious hiking trail. Many of these walks and climbs begin or end near buzzing eateries that are perfect for a pre-hike fuel up or a well-earned lunch afterwards. Here’s our recommendation of five great restaurants near Cape Town’s hiking trails. (If you’re venturing onto the mountain, it’s always best to go in a group, wear good walking shoes, and carry water and warm clothing.)
Within sea spray’s reach of the ocean on the deck, this buzzing restaurant is a perfect pit stop after a hiking mission. Start the hike on the trail head on Boyes Drive and head up the steep stone steps to enjoy spectacular views down over Kalk Bay. From here, you can explore the enchanting Echo Valley, or head to the Boomslang caves, if you’re a spelunking enthusiast. After the hike, it’s a short walk down through Kalk Bay to Brass Bell, where you can take a dip in the sea to refresh before tucking into simple seafood options and wood-fired pizzas. To make the most out of the day, take a leisurely train ride back into town. Be aware that there have been muggings in this area of the mountain, so it’s best to go in a large group.
Park at Cecilia Forest (find the parking lot on Rhodes Drive, opposite the junction with Hohenort Avenue), and hike in a general upwards direction until you hit the contour path. From there, head north east along the contour until paths head downwards to Kirstenbosch gardens. Take a leisurely stroll down through the gardens to the tea room and treat yourself to a takeaway milkshake or a delicious packed picnic to enjoy on the expansive lawns. The gourmet picnics include any salad and sandwich and cost R210 per person. If you’re too tired to head back along the trail, we can recommend taking an Uber. (Walking back along the busy road to Cecilia Forest is not as pleasant!)
Park at Constantia Nek and follow the jeep track up the mountain to explore the trails around the Woodhead and Hely-Hutchinson dams before heading down the mountain to the stylish new La Parada restaurant. This pumping new location is a perfect place to perch after an invigorating hike with friends. The menu offers light Spanish tapas plates and great wine and beer options. Sip on a CBC Amber Weiss draught and snack on prawn croquetas as you take in the surrounding vineyard views.
Start the hike on Chapman’s Peak at the point where drivers are asked to pay the toll or turn around. (There’s a small car park here.) Follow the small paths up to the top of the peak and down on the Noordhoek side. The route is a little steep, but the views out over Hout Bay and Noordhoek are stunning. You’ll come out on Chapman’s Peak Drive behind Monkey Valley. You can dine there, or head a little further on to The Red Herring for some great pizzas, cocktails and craft beers. If you linger long enough, you can enjoy some great live music or killer sunset views on the deck. The best route back to your car is via Uber, or by a second car, parked on this side first.
Book your spot at this sunset favourite before heading off on your chosen hike up or around Lion’s Head, or a sneaky mission to Wally’s Cave. After you’ve worked up a thirst, head back down the lower trails to Rumbullion and claim your patch of grass or a table and enjoy the gorgeous sea views, tapas in jars, pizzas and wine. If you’re going for a morning hike, this popular spot also serves up a hearty plate of creamy scrambled eggs and delicious fresh croissants.