It’s what everyone really wants in summer – sundowners overlooking the ocean, spectacular panoramas, sandy feet and salt spray. We direct you to some of the best restaurants for sea views along our beautiful coastline.
Grab a seat at the famous yellow container or head to the sand and tuck into sumptuous a chicken burger and chips. The quirky chicken shop is located on the Durban promenade and is a perfect pitstop after a walk, swim, or surf.
Another ideal spot for a post-promenade meal, this light and airy spot offers plenty of outdoor seating that spills out onto the promenade, as well as an upstairs area for blue sea views. The menu is wide-ranging and offers items like burgers, wraps, bunny chow, seafood combos and even savoury waffles. There’s also an eight-page cocktail menu for those sundowners.
By night, enjoy the intimate interior that has been designed to replicate the interior of a ship – complete with a massive window into the aquarium – and by day, find a seat on the deck with its stunning sea views. Favourite dishes include lamb, steak, seafood and poultry.
Grab a seat at this sea-facing café and sip on a healthy smoothie or enjoy a reviving coffee. Alternatively, snag a sought-after table on the sand and enjoy cheesy toasted sandwiches, wraps and gourmet burgers.
Jack Salmon Fish House
Seafood, sushi and a sea view tick all the boxes at this breezy Glenashley favourite. Sit on the outdoor deck and stare out onto the blue Indian Ocean while you tuck into the bam bam roll with tempura prawn, chilli bean mayo and fresh cucumber, or the prawn fusion California roll with spicy creamy prawn and a sticky soy reduction. Good ol’ beer-battered fish and chips with homemade tartar sauce also hits the spot.
Surf Riders Surf Shack
This wildly popular spot is located on Durban’s Golden Mile and serves up great breakfasts, burgers, pizzas and craft beer, with a perfect view of the beach. For a real hangover buster, order the avo Benedict with smoked salmon, lemony hollandaise and a side of cheese sauce-smothered fries.
Find a seat on the veranda with a cocktail and relax at this spot right opposite Ramsgate beach. It’s a perfect spot for a lazy summer holiday lunch of a seafood platter or super-tender calamari.
Situated on a banana plantation on a hill overlooking the Mpenjati lagoon and Indian Ocean, this old stone farmhouse has a wonderfully Tuscan feel. Enjoy authentic Italian cuisine such as gorgeous homemade pastas, pillowy gnocchi, and fantastic tiramisu for dessert.
This is a great spot to take in views of the lagoon and sea while tucking into one of their many waffle creations. Start your day off with a breakfast waffle topped with plain yoghurt, berry smoothie, muesli and fresh fruit, or order your fluffy scrambled eggs with a crispy Belgian waffle and grilled tomato.
This longstanding Ballito restaurant overlooks the sea with a lovely view of the beach. Guests can expect Italian fare and seafood, including dishes such as kingklip with a creamy mussel sauce, calamari, sole with garlic butter, or pizza and pasta.
This fabulous Italian spot overlooks the blue Indian Ocean and offers superb seafood and Italian dishes. Try the seafood risotto for a bit of luxury, or enjoy a portion of plump prawns. The desserts include espresso-flavoured crème brûlée and silky panna cotta.
The Grill Room at Oyster Box
Arrive early for a sundowner on the terrace at this stunning hotel and take in sea and lighthouse views. Then head to the sophisticated restaurant for sumptuous red meat and seafood dishes.
Sea views from the veranda offer a little piece of paradise. Enjoy Mauritian-infused dishes such as plump king prawns with Creole rice, and authentic daube de poisson (fresh line fish baked in a coconut milk and tomato-based sauce).
This laid-back Umdloti restaurant has beautiful views of the ocean, making for a lovely spot for a sunny lunch or balmy dinner. Natal wild oysters, oven-baked line fish, gourmet burgers, and a selection of pizzas and pastas are the menu highlights.
The Ocean Terrace
Relax around the pool or recline on the red- and white-themed terrace and enjoy the ocean views while you tuck into a meal of tandoori curry, toasted sandwiches, burgers and more. There is also a hearty English breakfast buffet on offer over weekends.
This Tongaat restaurant is situated on Westbrook Beach and caters for all lovers of spice. Enjoy a leisurely lunch on the sunny deck and tuck into standout dishes such as the boneless lamb curry or delicate coriander-and-chilli fishcakes with tartar sauce.
Situated on the winding road between Camps Bay and Llandudno, at The Twelve Apostles Hotel, this fine-dining restaurant has breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean from its large outdoor deck area. Highlights include pan-seared abalone, Grabouw lamb, and a summery selection of ice cream and sorbet. The attached Leopard Bar is the ultimate spot for sundowners, with rooftop sea views and light snacks. The venue also offers high tea.
Blues Restaurant and Bar
On bright sunny days, grab a table in the alfresco section and take in the lovely views of buzzing Camps Bay beach. The food is perfect for seaside dining, offering choices such as succulent shellfish and seafood platters, risotto, burgers and a tempting range of desserts.
The place to be seen on the Camps Bay strip – particularly on Sunday evenings – Caprice offers pavement seating with a great sea view. Snack on the Star Board with roast veggies, artichoke hearts, buffalo mozzarella, olives and ciabatta while sipping on a Granadilla Lilly cocktail made with vodka, granadilla, pineapple and crushed ice.
Bold Mexican flavours are the drawcard at this Camps Bay eatery. A great spot for special occasions, Del Mar has gorgeous views of the beach. Enjoy dishes such as melt-in-your-mouth ceviche, grilled tuna with adobo marinade, and marinated chicken in soft homemade tortillas.
A slightly raised dining area lifts diners away from the hustle and bustle of Victoria Road and offers stellar sunset views. For a romantic date night, book a spot outside and order a seafood platter for two, with langoustines, tiger prawns, crayfish and Patagonian calamari. Paranga is part of The Kove Collection, which also operates Zenzero, Umi at the Marly and La Belle Café on this strip – all stylish, upmarket options.
Rumbullion at the Roundhouse
Situated high up on the slopes of Lion’s Head, this is a great option for an outdoor meal. Tables spill out onto three terraced lawns with gorgeous views of the bay. Enjoy hearty scrambled eggs with smoked trout for breakfast, or pizzas, tapas and fresh salads for lunch. The Roundhouse proper, inside, is a more formal fine dining option – think small plate dishes such as Chalmar beef tartar with ceps, raw turnips and cocoa, poached kingklip with trout eggs and miso, or impala loin with burnt apple and red cabbage.
Situated between Clifton and Camps Bay and boasting a plunge pool, this popular restaurant exquisite views of the Twelve Apostles mountain range, the Atlantic, and paragliders landing on the field in front of the restaurant. Tuck in to a selection of seafood dishes from mussels, prawn tempura and oysters to seared tuna, kingklip and sushi.
The Grand Café and Beach
Step off the veranda onto the large beach area and take in the view of Granger Bay. Sit under the umbrellas with your toes in the cool sea sand, sip on refreshing cocktails and tuck in to deliciously large and cheesy pizzas.
Harvey’s at The Mansions
The raised balcony offers a view of the Sea Point promenade across the road and is a lovely spot to enjoy long and leisurely sundowners and bar snacks.
La Vie Cafe and Bar
The outside section offers a view of the sea across the road, and is the perfect spot to people watch. Tuck into laid-back grub like gourmet pizzas, meaty burgers and light wraps.
Grab a seat outside for views of the Mouille Point lighthouse, and cross the road to go for stroll along the promenade after your meal. Dishes include Mediterranean tapas, sushi, and paella. On Wednesdays, take advantage of their two-for-one deal with delicious lamb burgers for R90.
This light and breezy spot has wraparound glass windows that open up on to the Mouille Point promenade. A comprehensive wine cocktail list is on offer with delicious pintxos (tapas) and fried bites to enjoy with your drink of choice. Options include stuffed squid, beef short-rib, and blue cheese and butternut bitterballen.
This newly opened wine and tapas bar boasts glorious views of the sea and of the Green Point Stadium from the balcony. Share items like pastrami salmon, beef sliders, raclette cheese, and hummus and pitas, and choose from wines by the glass or vibrant cocktails to match.
Harbour House (Waterfront)
Guests can watch the harbour-life go by from upstairs. Highlights include whole grilled crayfish, fresh line fish, tender calamari tubes and vibrant sushi platters with rainbow rolls, line-fish maki and fashion sandwiches.
This elegant option boasts picturesque views of the harbour and boats against a backdrop of Table Mountain. Well-executed food is elegantly plated, with menu options such as a beef burger with umami ketchup, game fish tacos, battered fish with golden chips, and lush risotto filled with seafood.
Aside from the gorgeous harbour views of the boats coming in to dock, sushi is the big drawcard here. Seasonal set menus are also wildly popular. Order some cocktails or bubbles and imagine you’re on one of the yachts swaying in the water.
Shimmy Beach Club
The stylish restaurant and beach club is located at the mouth of the Waterfront’s harbour, looking out over the glittering water. The wide-ranging menu offers a selection of sushi, dim sum pizza, salads, seafood dishes and grills. There’s also a host of parties and live music that takes place during the summer months.
Chow down on fish and chips and sip on icy draughts while enjoying the downstairs open-air area at this rustic spot. It’s a great location from which to view the boats in the harbour on hot summer days.
The Bayside Café
Enjoy magnificent sea views, including that of Table Mountain and Robben Island, from here. The menu consists of easy-eating dishes such as homemade burgers, pastas, tapas plates, ribs and seafood. There is also a breakfast menu for those lazy weekend brunches.
The restaurant is perfectly situated for views of the Atlantic Ocean and gorgeous sunsets. Book a table for a big group of friends for a boozy dinner and order from their seafood platter selection. (The luxurious shellfish platter includes oysters, mussels, prawns, langoustines and crayfish.)
Sunday afternoon should include a visit to Blue Peter for a view of the sun setting over the Atlantic Ocean. The casual restaurant offers dishes like Angus beef grills, seafood curry and combos, and a range of pizzas.
Café Orca Seafood Restaurant
The deck at this inviting Melkbos eatery offers a great view of the ocean just across the road. Enjoy dishes such as spicy shrimp with Cajun butter, Moroccan line fish, and great seafood platters piled with ocean delicacies. Lovely desserts include the house speciality of sponge cake and light custard – a great one to share.
Catch 22 Beachside Grille and Bar
The silhouette of Table Mountain at this popular seafood restaurant accentuates blue ocean views. The surf-and-turf style menu includes highlights such as Saldanha Bay mussels, chilli-crusted calamari, and a fillet with four prawns and a garlic cream sauce. The platters are great for dining in groups and include a vegetarian version.
On the Rocks
The restaurant is situated just at the water’s edge and boasts views of Table Mountain, Robben Island and Cape Town. There is a tapas menu for light dining options like gambas pil pil (chilli shrimp), lamb croquettes and shrimp fritters. For heartier meals, the mains include curries, pork belly, and fillet Rossini with bone marrow and chicken liver parfait.
Wang Thai (Lagoon Beach)
Guests can find a seat outside for incredible views of the mountain and city. The menu is the same as the rest of the chain – with spot-on Thai flavours – but regular specials keep things interesting. Tuck into items such as the lamb Tawaii curry with coconut milk bamboo shoots, ginger and peanuts, or the prawn litchi curry with lime leaves, tomatoes and sweet, plump litchis.
A busy local haunt with laid-back outdoor tables overlooking the white sands of Hout Bay beach and plenty of space for kids to run and play, Dunes is a great place to spend the day. The vast menu includes steaks, ribs, burgers, salads, and of course, seafood. For something a little decadent, tuck in to the kingklip thermidor topped with mushroom sauce, three cheeses and served with chips.
The Lookout Deck
Sitting on the spectacular wooden deck suspended over the water, you can watch the harbour bustle with boats, frolicking seals and local fisherman weighing their catch of the day. Seafood and sushi is the order of the day with a great variety of options. To make a day of it, take the MyCiti bus and stop off at the Hout Bay market for some post-lunch shopping.
The Brass Bell
Within sea spray’s reach of the ocean on the deck (maybe a little too close), this buzzing restaurant is a hit with the locals as well as tourists. Food is simple with plenty seafood options and wood-fired pizza.
The upmarket restaurant hovers elegantly over the rocks with splashing-sea views. If the usual great seafood, sushi and grills don’t grab you, keep an eye on the blackboard.
Situated beneath Harbour House, this contemporary seafood restaurant offers equally stunning views and divine sushi. Order the fish with basil mayo and golden chips.
An outside terrace overlooks the harbour at this quirky spot. Light lunches are available with open sandwiches, quiches, burgers and spicy fish cakes. Main meals include pork belly dishes and seafood linguini. For carb-cutters, the menu also offers a range of banting-friendly dishes.
Situated on a hill, this elegant old mansion boasts stunning views over the ocean below. Under new management of Andrea and Oscar Foulkes, the new Cucina Labia has been launched with a revamped menu. Options include spinach-and-ricotta pie; a toasted almond and avo salad; beef burger with skinny fries; and pan-fried sole with garlic potatoes and salsa agresto.
Follow the spiral staircase to views of Muizenberg’s surfers’ corner. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are on offer at this local favourite, with highlights including beef fillet, line-fish, burgers, fish and chips, chicken wraps and fresh juices.
This bustling bakery and coffee shop is situated right on the parking lot to the beachfront. For a post-beach walk breakfast or for a quick baked takeaway before heading to the sand, Knead is great for casual weekend feasting.
Cape Point Vineyards Restaurant
The views across the lake and on to the blue sea are simply spectacular, particularly as the sun begins to set, from the raised restaurant amongst the vineyards. The menu offers dishes such as chicken-and-prawn curry with fragrant rice, West Coast oysters, slow-braised springbok, and light artichoke and ricotta ravioli. Pair this with a bottle of Cape Point Vineyards wine and settle in for the evening.
Perched right on the harbour, Bertha’s has spectacular views and is a great location for a scorching summer day. Popular menu choices include the peri-peri chicken livers, grilled catch of the day with lemon or garlic butter, and fully loaded burger with bacon, salsa, and sautéed mushrooms.
The Black Marlin
This seaside institution buzzes with whale-watchers and seafood lovers. The offering of fruits of the ocean is impressive, ranging from mussels, calamari, fish cakes and hake to Malay seafood curry, tuna steak, grilled sole and crayfish thermidor.
The Meeting Place
This café and speciality food store is a great place for breakfast or tea, with views of the Simonstown marina. Order a breakfast of soft scrambled eggs with roasted tomatoes or pop in for lunch and try a hearty fillet of beef or slow-roasted pork belly.
Overlooking the beautiful Seaforth beach, the outside deck is right beside the sea. Enjoy seafood galore with options such as Mozambican tiger prawns, grilled sole, fresh oysters and surf-and-turf combos. There is also a small kiddies’ menu for the hungry brood.
Ben’s on the Beach
Window seats with a view of the sea are popular at this beachfront venue. The atmosphere is comfy and casual and family friendly, and the menu is dedicated to steaks, ranging from R115 to R145.
If you’re in the neighbourhood, grab a table outside and order their signature mussels, priced from R160 to R200.
Appropriately, Surfside Restaurant is located directly on the beach. It’s a retro, laid-back spot, with a signature dish of a Fillet Ocean Bagger: a 200g fillet stuffed with mussel meat, a creamy white-wine-based mushroom sauce and melted cheese. It’s served with a full prawn as a garnish. It usually goes for R189, but is on special at the moment for R179.
This famous restaurant is practically on the ocean’s edge. It’s a relaxed spot for locals and tourists to enjoy whale watching and admire the abundant sea and bird life at the cave. Try the seafood potjie (R155), made with fresh line fish, prawns, mussels and calamari, simmered in a creamy Pernod and seafood velouté, and served with rice and crusty ciabatta.
Dutchies Restaurant (Grotto Beach)
A lounge situated on the beachfront during the summer season invites guests to snack on oysters and sushi. The restaurant itself focuses on everything seafood.
Harbour Rock Seagrill and Sushi Bar
Situated on a cliff overlooking the harbour and ocean, this restaurant has a relaxed environment for whale watching. The blackboard menu changes daily, but favourites include the seafood chowder and line fish.
KabelJoe’s Seafood Restaurant
Located on the beachfront overlooking the ocean on Clarens Drive in Kleinmond, this relaxed restaurant has an outdoor terrace, where guests can enjoy the sea up close. Signature dishes include the seafood linguine made with fresh fish, shrimps, mussel mead and clams, and the prawn curry.
Sandown Blues Restaurant and Cocktail Bar
On Blue Flag Beach overlooking the lagoon and the ocean, this eatery is easy going and family friendly. Go for the catch of the day with chips or salmon roses.
Slipway Restaurant (Saldanha)
Located in the harbour, Slipway offers guests a view of the ocean and the many fishing boats in a tranquil atmosphere. Recommended are the mussel pot with fresh steamed mussels in shells in a creamy marinière sauce, and the Londoner’s Forte, deep-fried hake in crispy batter.
Skatkis Restaurant (Paternoster)
Depending on whether or not you want to soak up the rays, you can choose between the two outside areas: uncovered or covered. The ambience is relaxed, comfy and family friendly. Signature dishes include snoek and patat, and their famous melkkos.
Bistro on the Lake (Sedgefield)
Offering a view of Groenvlei Lake, the area’s tourist attraction, the veranda seats up to 25 people. It’s a casual setting, where locals have fishing competitions and kids can swim in the pool and play in the garden. The signature dishes are hake with chips and salad, and the lamb shank served with mash, rice, fries, baked potato or veg.
This fine-dining restaurant is a mere 15m away from the lagoon. The chef’s signature dishes include prawn-and-fish curry flavoured with miso, lemongrass and coconut, and served with basmati rice, poppadums and fruit chutney.
East Head Café (Knysna)
Situated above the waterline in Knysna, this popular café offers great views of the lagoon with outside seating for 100 people. In this relaxed, family-friendly location, it’s no surprise that the popular dishes are fish and chips and calamari and chips.
Ristorante Enrico (Plettenberg Bay)
Only 20m from the beachfront, Ristorante Enrico has a massive deck for up to 400 people. The owners pride themselves on creating a home away from home here. Enrico has his own boat, which he uses daily to fish; whatever he catches is served with a side selection of your choice: rice, veg, salad, chips or couscous.
Senza Grill (Knysna)
Located directly on the beach, Senza Grill is casual and great for families. For a special occasion, try the stufato di pesce, a fragrant seafood stew for R195.
Marc’s Beach Bar
Only a few steps away from the beach, Marc’s has a chilled atmosphere with a play area for kids. Try the signiture seafood platter for R190, which includes deep-fried hake, mussels, prawns, calamari, your choice of rice, salad, stirfry or chips, and two sauces.
Lekka by die See
This rustic spot has an informal, beachy vibe, and welcomes the whole family. Recommended is the seafood platter for two (R290), which includes deep-fried hake, mussels, prawns, calamari steak strips and your choice of rice, salad or chips.
A laid back spot only 60 metres away from the beach, Pearly’s offers sunny views and sunsets with cocktails. The signature dish is Pearly’s Biltong Steak (R118), which comes with a cream sauce and biltong slices.
This family-friendly restaurant only 30m away from the beach offers a variety of dishes to be washed down with good wine. Try the paella served in a shell at R65 for a half portion and R99 for a full portion.
Your seafood extravaganza can be enjoyed right on the beach at Die Walskipper. It’s rustic, with the sounds of the sea and happy families surrounding you. Seafood platters are a must for sharing, starting at R595.
Kitchen Windows Beach Restaurant
This beachfront spot has an informal, family-friendly yet upmarket ambience. Order the fresh line fish, served with organic veggies and mustard-mashed potatoes for R95.
A good bet for casual, alfresco dining with cocktails by day, and romantic candlelight by night. You can also enjoy the views from within the fine-dining restaurant, with the walls painted a sea-sand hue to maintain a beachy feel throughout. Try the duck a l’orange (R160) or the decadent chateaubriand, which is cooked directly at your table, for R320 for two.
Have we left out your favourite seaside restaurant? Please tell us about it in the comments below.