There’s one of them in every city. The road where the streets are paved with dim sum and croissants, and the parking bays are like four-leafed clovers. The restaurant road.
In Cape Town, it’s undoubtedly Kloof Street. One of my colleagues once belonged to a dinner club that systematically worked its way down this street. There really are that many restaurants. Kloof Street excels at breakfast, from the classic Arnold’s breakfast – R13 if you’re up with the sparrows to catch the early bird special – to the flaky, buttery croissants heaped with perfect scrambled eggs at Giorgio Nava’s Caffe Milano. Down the other end of the street is Giorgio’s other gem, Mozzarella Bar. The Madame Zingara group also have two restaurants on the street: the leafy Café Paradiso, and the dramatic Bombay Bicycle Club where you’ll be served by waiters dressed as circus performers, and where – if you book the right table – you can sit on a swing while you dine.
Then there’s the glowing white space of Manna Epicure – great for a stylish sandwich or an unorthodox salad –and the Asian stronghold of Saigon and Yindees. The Italian spots include Bacini’s, Bardellis and Da Vincis. The latter is possibly my favourite – partly for the burger in a bowl, served with a big heap of salad instead of a roll, and partly because you get crayons to draw on the newsprint tablecloths. Other spots for burgers include Van Hunks, Hudsons, and there’s even a Knead now, Evan Faull’s fantastic bakery having just got hold of some precious Kloof Street real estate.
In Joburg, it’s Parkhurst’s 4th Avenue with that star quality. If you haven’t tried it yet, head to Andrea Burgener’s The Leopard for comfort food with an exciting twist. Our content director Anelde swears by her Saldanha Bay mussels with wine, cream, ginger, lime and confit tomato. There’s more comfort food in an old world space at Nice on Fourth, New York-style dining at George’s on Fourth, and something a little bit different at Tom Hughes’s The Attic.
In Durban, it’s Florida Road that bustles with around 30 restaurants. Get your fill of burgers (and cocktails) at Delux Burger bar, or some Mexican flavour at Taco Zulu. Pop into vibey Spiga for authentic Italian, Mo’s Noodles for dim sum, or Butcher Boys for a good cut of steak.
Just make sure you get there early if you plan on finding parking!