If you’re looking for the perfect Cape Town restaurants that serve romance with your side of fries, then you’ve come to the right place. As a destination, Cape Town is lauded for its coming-together of cultures, cuisines and landscapes – a singularly beautiful city crowned by the magnificent Table Mountain. You don’t have to be a romantic at heart to fall in love with the city, and here’s our pick of the best restaurants to head to if you’re a smitten duo.
As a hidden gem in Hout Street, Bouchon Bistro ticks all the boxes for a pair of star-crossed lovers. First, there’s the ambience – located in what feels like an inner-city cellar, owners Christophe Durand of Dorrance Wines and restaurateur Faisal Khakoo of La Boheme Bistro & Wine Bar have created a spot that offers a sophisticated yet relaxed food and wine experience. Naturally, their wine list embraces both local and international offerings. The tapas-style food is seasonal and changes weekly. Our insider tip is to order a cocktail: the drink trolley is a treat.
La Tête rocked up one day on Cape Town’s busiest restaurant road – Bree Street – and quickly stole the spotlight. As a farm to fork eatery, the space is ultra-modern yet intimate, with white walls, low lighting and sparse decor. Here, owners Giles and James Edwards place all focus on the dishes, serving up various delicacies that include Brains on Toast and Devilled Chicken Hearts and Potatoes. If you’re not an adventurous foodie, fear not! The menu caters to all tastes, and with a curated list of wines available, you won’t go home disappointed – in love or in dining, we hope!
It’s an oldie, but a goodie. If you’re two lovebirds looking for a spot with a cosy atmosphere, be it summer or winter, Cafè Paradiso never fails to disappoint. On colder days, sit inside next to the fire and enjoy the hub-bub of activity from the kitchen, while on a balmy summer’s evening, our recommendation is to book a seat on the veranda outside, which sports a magnificent close-up view of Table Mountain. Café Paradiso is part of the Madame Zingara empire, a dynasty made famous by its collection of somewhat odd, always eccentric, but definitely entertaining restaurants and cafés. The menu is a tempting array of light meals, such as homemade pastas and risottos, to the more serious grilled sirloin with Café de Paris butter and roasted chicken dishes. Paradiso is a Cape Tonian staple and has been open since 1996 – proof that true love lasts.
The Art of Duplicity
If you’re looking for a pre-dinner drink or some light fare, the Art of Duplicity is a real ‘WOW’ destination for you and your date. Located next to … wait, we can’t actually tell you, The Art of Duplicity is a secret speakeasy bar somewhere in the centre Cape Town. You need a password to get in, and once given access, you’ll enter a world that harks back to the 1920s Prohibition era, centred around live jazz and great drinks. Think elaborate crystal glassware, soft lighting and rich mahogany filling the custom-designed space.
If you want to fall in love all over again then head to the Shortmarket Club. Located in an off-street attic space, this restaurant shot to the top of most Cape Tonian’s bucket lists when the name Luke-Dale Roberts was uttered. As one of the country’s foremost chefs, Luke has teamed up with chef and manager wonderduo, Wesley Randles and Simon Widdison. The result is a luxe old-world feel, with many of the dishes offering modern interpretations of classics, serving seasonal, sustainable food with an ever-changing menu. The Parisian decor has a mix of meticulously-sourced vintage pieces, such as military-style lamps and stained glass, and with individual booths, amore is definitely on the menu.
If you’re already wearing love-tinted glasses, then FYN is just going to add extra dazzle to your eyes. If you’re looking for a treat date-night, then let FYN envelope you with warmth and comfort, with zero pretence. The top-floor venue offers a striking view of the mountain, and the ambience is a massive draw-card here, with the open-plan kitchen and the ceiling décor in friendly competition for the centre-piece status. Of course, the food and wine list are top-notch, with only tasting menu available (no à la carte options are available). We recommend enjoying the full tasting menu and wine pairing – you won’t regret it.
At Explore Sideways, our dedicated team is passionate about helping you make the most out of your travels. If you’d like to visit any of these restaurants and arrange a tour of Cape Town, contact us below and we will be happy to assist.