Best of outdoor restaurants: our favourites for 2012

There’s nothing worse than being stuck inside on a beautiful summer’s day. When the weather is glorious we require seaside decks, rambling verandahs and shady lawn seating – not stuffy dining rooms and parking lots.

Looking for somewhere new to dine al fresco? Here are some of our favourite restaurants with outdoor seating options. Make sure you ask to sit outside when you book.


Al Fiume
Sit: on a wooden deck on the banks of the Hennops River.

Sit: on the fully-covered outside deck which offers plenty of table space as well as separate smoking and non smoking sections.

Sit: on the veranda while you finish off your meal with a refreshing summer dessert like Kream’s homemade sorbet or homemade ice-cream of the day.

Moyo (Fountains)
Sit: outdoors on the lawns, in the iconic Groenkloof Nature Reserve.


4th Avenue Coffee Roasters
Sit: outside at the small round tables in the sun.

Sit: on the patio.

Sit: outside in the Crystal Terrace Room, surrounded by the countryside atmosphere, and overlooking the 21-acre farm.

Bistro Vine
Sit: on the bustling pavement.

Sit: at the gorgeous terrace overlooking the garden.

Sit: at the piazza for a traditional Italian experience, while the kiddies hang around the jungle gym in the play area nearby.

Central One
Sit: at the sun deck beside the pool and sip on a cool cocktail with friends.

Corner Cafe and Bistro
Sit: in the industrial relaxed outside seating area.

De Hoek
Sit: in the garden courtyard with views overlooking the swimming pool.

Full Stop Cafe
Sit: in the sunny enclosed garden and patio.

Il Giardino Degli Ulivi
Sit: out in the leafy courtyard.

La Campagnola
Sit: on the veranda overlooking the city or have a meal in the courtyard amongst trees and a fountain.

La Cucina di Ciro
Sit: in the romantic Mediterranean garden and seating on the deck.

The Leopard
Sit: out on the sidewalk of buzzing Fourth Avenue and try their grass-fed beef or free-range chicken dishes.

Moyo (Melrose Arch)
Sit: at the table or on a couch on the wooden deck overlooking the African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel.

Moyo (Zoo Lake)
Sit: in the relaxed family-friendly garden under shady trees and watch the sun set over the lake.

Sit: outside and have lunch under the umbrellas and trees on a summers afternoon.

Polo Bar (now closed)
Sit: on the veranda and have drinks or dinner with friends and see the view of the Johannesburg Skyline as the conversation backdrop.

Possum’s Bistro and Deli
Sit: at the outside tables amongst the potted herbs and fresh produve baskets.

Sit: on the deck enjoying views of the nearby lake and the Letamo game reserve near the Cradle of Humankind.

Sit: on the patio under the olive trees and enjoy a sweet or savoury breakfast.

The Cradle
Sit: on the balcony and see what wildlife roams the nature reserve.

The Other Side Restaurant
Sit: in the courtyard with views overlooking rolling lawns and the Monaghan Farm.

Toadbury Hall
Sit: in the hotel garden, under a tree shaded area with views of the lower level garden dam.

Sit: on the veranda if you don’t mind it being the smoker’s area.


9th Avenue Bistro
Sit: on the veranda and try fresh seasonal cuisine and then enjoying something from the after-dinner drinks menu.

Craft Trattoria
Sit: at a roadside table on the corner of Newport Avenue and nibble on one of the famous saint-themed pizzas.

Ile Maurice
Sit: on the terrace and admire sea views and savor classic French food.

Moyo (Pier Bar)
Sit: outside in the sun or the shade and take in the sea view.

The Ocean Terrace (Oyster Box Hotel)
Sit: at the outside tables with views of the Indian Ocean. Give the curry buffet a shot while you’re there.

Sit: outside on the deck and order a pizza or a treat from the range of artisanal pastries in the bakery.

Cape Town

Aubergine Restaurant
Sit: at the lush terrace, enjoying the sunny weather or a starry night.

Sit: in the sheltered cobbled courtyard and snack on a sushi platter – on colder days the heaters and blankets come out to keep you warm.

Blue Water Cafe
Sit: on the terrace if it’s sunny and watch the kids run and tumble on the sprawling grass verge.

The Bungalow
Sit: on the wooden deck under a rooftop that opens up if you’re in the mood for a sunset. Behind that, couches are stationed near the plunge pool.

Café Paradiso
Sit: on the veranda with a stunning view of the mountain and the city bowl. If that’s full, there’s also a little courtyard around the back, beside the bakery.

Sit: near the grassy lawns under the oak trees with views of the vineyards, the lush Constantia Valley and False Bay.

Den Anker
Sit: on the terrace overlooking Table Mountain and watch the waves, seals, yachts and tourists.

Dunes Restaurant
Sit: on the terrace and enjoy a fry-up of old school fish and chips while taking in the views of Chapman’s Peak and Hout Bay beach.

Fraiche Ayres
Sit: in the garden of Starke Ayres nursery and for lunch, sample the homemade quiche of the day or Thai fish cakes.

Gold Restaurant
Sit: on the balcony and indulge in a 15 course set menu served at your table, a drumming session before dinner and song-and-dance at dinnertime.

The Grand Café & Room (Camps Bay)
Sit: on the alfresco dining deck or on the private balcony of the Grand Room overlooking Camps Bay beach and order a cocktail from your very own butler.

The Grand Café & Beach (Granger Bay)
Sit: on the deck or the private beach. Neighboring Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront this venue offers views of Table Bay with the Green Point Stadium, Signal Hill and Table Mountain.

Jakes in the Village
Sit: in the garden area under speckled light and order one of the famous gourmet burgers.

La Vie Café
Sit: outside, have a cocktail and enjoy a gorgeous view of the Sea Point promenade and the Atlantic Ocean.

Sit: on the deck looking out over Camps Bay beach and sample fresh sushi.

Sit: in the bistro-style patio overlooking the vineyards and order from the bistro menu.

Sit: out on terraced lawns with views out over Camps Bay and towards the Twelve Apostles.

Sit: on the undercover terrace overlooking the boats in the harbour and choose from a selection of fresh fish or matured steak.

Societi Brasserie
Sit: in the courtyard and try the homemade pasta from the summer menu.

Sit: in the garden courtyard and sip on an Origin coffee while enjoying the mountain views.

Sit: on the large terrace during the summer months, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and enjoy a cocktail or three.


Avontuur Estate Restaurant
Sit: on the terrace, with its vine-draped pagodas and magnificent views of the paddocks, vines and Table Mountain.

Café Bon Bon
Sit: at the tables on the stoep or in the courtyard under the large old oak trees.

Sit: on the veranda overlooking the lush lawns, pond and ducks.

The Farmer’s Kitchen
Sit: on the deck where couches provide views of the strawberry fields, quirky parade of scarecrow sculptures and surrounding mountains.

Harvest at Laborie
Sit: on the terrace shaded by trees and view the flawless vineyards of the wine farm.

Sit: on the terrace, with views over a lush lawn and lake and the Stellenbosch mountains. The perfect lunch spot in summer.

The Kitchen at Maison
Sit: at long tables on the lawns under the trees and indulge in a long, lazy summer lunch.

Reuben’s Restaurant and Bar
Sit: on the terrace overlooking the dam and lawns and enjoy uncomplicated cuisine and good wine.

The Rhebok Restaurant
Sit: on the terrace with its beautiful view of the estate’s expansive gardens, tranquil lake and vineyards.

Sofia’s at Morgenster
Sit: on the verandah and under the trees overlooking the olive grove and vineyards.

The Stone Kitchen
Sit: outside where the rolling lawns offer a perfect setting for summer lunches with the family. There’s also a kid’s play area.

The Table at De Meye
Sit: outside under the trellised vines where tables are dotted around under trees and on the patio, and enjoy country cooking at its best.

Taste Restaurant
Sit: on the cozy 14-seater stoep, overlooking landscaped gardens with a view of both Table Mountain and the Heldeberg Mountains.


Bientang’s Cave Seafood Restaurant
Sit: outside, beneath the rocky cliff, where the wooden tables spill out almost to the water’s edge, and enjoy scrumptious seafood.

The Burgundy Restaurant
Sit: on a large terrace with views of Walker Bay, and watch the whales breach during whale season.

Madre’s Kitchen
Sit: at a table on the lawns where there’s a jungle gym to keep kids entertained. Also take in the beautiful sight and smell of the herb garden.

Sit: in the tranquil garden for lazy lunches in the shade.

Sit: on the lawns with views out over the mountains, where musicals take place, periodically, and where a braai takes place each weekend.

West Coast

Bar Bar Black sheep
Sit: in the courtyard off the main street in Riebeek Kasteel and eat fresh country fare.

Café Felix
Sit: at the garden tables under the oaks and choose from the blackboard menu of French- and Italian-inspired country cuisine.

Groote Post
Sit: on the stoep or on the front lawn for long lunches and family outings.

By Jodi Seale and Kelly Pluke

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