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Halaal Restaurants in Cape Town
A round-up of some of the best halaal eateries in Cape Town and surrounds
Last Update: August 31st, 2017
Cape Town is known the world over as a melting pot of eclectic cultures, and one slice of the Mother City’s cross-section of diversity is claimed by a large and close-knit Muslim community.
Unsurprisingly then, there’s a fair number of halaal restaurants in Cape Town that cater for visitors and residents who prefer their meals cooked according to halaal standards – that is, food that has been prepared according to the dietary laws of the Quran. More specifically, under Muslim law, it’s forbidden to eat pork, blood, land-based carnivores, omnivores, carrion, and intoxicants, like alcohol.
While certification from one of the four authoritative bodies in South Africa – the MJCHT, ICSA, NIHT and SANHA – guarantees, beyond a doubt, that an eatery conforms with Islamic standards, there are also many restaurants that may not be officially certified, but that still claim to be halaal. These eateries are exclusively Muslim-owned, and thus the responsibility of serving food that complies with the halaal requirements rests with each respective Muslim entrepreneur.
In line with this point, the eateries in the below overview are NOT officially halaal-certified, but are generally accepted as being halaal – as their owners are Muslim.
That said, CapeTownMagazine.com cannot guarantee each restaurant’s individual compliance, and therefore, we advise that prospective patrons should phone ahead to enquire further in regard to this issue before dining.
HALAAL EATERIES IN CAPE TOWN CITY CENTRE
The Butcher’s Wife
Nestled in the heart of the Cape Flats, on Belgravia Road in Athlone, this establishment screams wholesome, flavourful food that is a break away from the usual fast food found in the area. Started by owners of Pickers Meat Center, a well-known butcher shop in the southern suburbs, this family-orientated business is dedicated to sharing meals that they love with their community, and you’re guaranteed quality meat and poultry from their very own butcher. With a rustic, hipster aesthetic and banting options, this restaurant has quickly become a favourite in the area. The eatery, that specialises in pizzas, pastas and grills, has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere that you feel as you walk through the door. Dig into some delicious prawn poppers or go big with their flame-grilled lamb chops in a sticky BBQ sauce. They also offer breakfast from 10am until 12pm for all your morning favourites. Due to space, they do not take reservations so be sure to get there early especially on weekends as they get very busy.
15 Belgravia Road | Athlone | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 696 2007
126 Cape Kitchen & Café
Situated in the famed Hilton Hotel, within the culturally rich Bo-Kaap, you can be sure to experience culinary perfection at 126 Cape Kitchen and Café. A sophisticated setting with an Eastern flair, this restaurant offers a comfortable and warm atmosphere that makes it perfect for family dinners or date nights. From Northern Indian and Cape Malay dishes to weekday specials such as Tapas Tuesday, you can expect a dining experience very different from the usual halaal spots in Cape Town. Besides enjoying excellently prepared food, the restaurant offers cooking and baking classes, tea pairings as well as a Chef’s Table for you to interact with and learn from the executive chefs. Step out of the kitchen over Eid and book a specially prepared lunch or dinner at 126 Cape Kitchen & Café so that you can enjoy the day with your loved ones.
Hilton Cape Town City Centre Hotel | Buitengracht Street | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 481 3700
There aren’t many fully halaal fine dining restaurants in Cape Town, so Jiah’s opening in 2016 was met with great excitement. Perfectly located in the city centre, with a clear view of Table Mountain, it’s no surprise why Jiah is a popular choice. The decor is simple, contemporary and incorporates elements of Eastern elegance with dim lights to create a warm and comfortable atmosphere. The restaurant's commitment to serving authentic Cape Malay food is evident in their vast menu, ranging from seafood and grills to lamb korma and prawn chaat. There is a smoking section as well as outdoor seating – great for dinner during Cape Town’s warm summer nights. Jiah offers buffet specials throughout the year and has an Eid buffet special for R195/p between 12pm and 5pm. Would you like Jiah to cater for your special occasions? Their space can be booked for small events such as birthdays and intimate weddings too so you can enjoy a Cape Malay dining experience in the heart of the Mother City.
New Church Street | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 707 1001
Myatt Cafe & Chocolatier
Be transported to a streetside European café, sit in chic wicker chairs and sip on the finest teas, all without a visa! Offering the most decadent cakes and pastries, Myatt Cafe does not disappoint when it comes to breakfasts, afternoon tea and light meals. The ambience this cafe exudes is classy with a touch of sophistication, using imported Belgian chocolate in their patisseries to create quality treats for the best confectionery experience. Enjoy an afternoon indulgence of finger sandwiches, freshly baked croissants, delicious pastries and a wide selection of coffee and tea blends. High tea is from 3:30pm until 6:30pm and is R210 per person.
Shop 6244 | V&A Waterfront | Breakwater Boulevard | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 418 8844
Caturra Coffee Bar
A small, casual coffee bar on the bustling Main Road in Sea Point; this café is great for that first cup of coffee for the day. We believe breakfast is the most important meal and their menu serves up a variety of savoury and sweet options to cater for every palate. You’ll find mouthwatering brioche French toast, pancakes with berry compote and cream or opt for savoury corn hotcakes with macon (mutton bacon) and poached eggs. You really can’t go wrong with this eateries many delicious breakfast choices. Caturra Coffee Bar doesn’t slack when it comes to lunch and dinner, offering hearty meals such as roasted oxtail tagliatelle and Harissa steak with a bulgar wheat salad. This cafe is definitely a hidden gem and you won't break the bank when indulging here as all their meals range between R50 to R150.
15 Main Rd | Sea Point | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 434 5160
Having started out as a humble food truck and stall at the Old Biscuit Mill Market, Syriana has grown into a well-known restaurant in Sea Point. Founded by two Syrians, these friends wanted to give Capetonians a taste of authentic Syrian cuisine, sweets and drinks. The restaurant has a shisha lounge to help encapsulate the Middle Eastern experience. You’ll find the much loved Middle Eastern favourites such as shawarmas (chicken or lamb slow roasted on a spit), falafels and Labneh Mana’aoshe, which is a Syrian bread topped with a soft cheese made from Greek yoghurt. Or how about Kunafa; melted cheese on baked dough with a Syrian syrup for dessert? Which ever you decide, you’ll definitely experience a pleasant feast from the Middle East.
307 Main Road | Sea Point | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 434 1020
Located in the historically abundant area of Bo-Kaap, you’ll find a quaint café that celebrates the authenticity of Cape Malay history and cuisine, all within a homely atmosphere. Batavia is a casual dining restaurant which is great for breakfast or a quick lunch. The Eggs Benedict is a popular choice for breakfast, served with either salmon or macon. Enjoy a chicken schnitzel for lunch which is served with mushroom sauce and a side of vegetables and potato wedges. You can’t leave this café without trying a traditional Cape Malay koeksister to tie together the ambience of enjoying a meal in Bo-Kaap
Corner of Church and Rose streets | Bo-Kaap | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 422 2272
Situated in Canal Walk Shopping Mall, the welcoming presence of La Rocca offers locals and tourists the chance to indulge in dishes that are internationally and seasonally inspired. La Rocca’s layout allows for a diverse crowd accommodating families for small functions, shoppers popping in for a quick bite or patrons seeking the restaurants imported, coffee. If you choose to be seated in the main dining area known as ‘Rocca Alley’ you can expect a lively atmosphere that is bound to keep your spirits high. Alternatively, large groups can reserve La Rocca’s semi-private ‘VIP Suite’ which seats 20 people and is ideal for small gatherings. This restaurant also houses The Den Smokers Lounge, a smoke room which seats 20 people. While dining on Cape Malay dishes such as Butter Chicken, Prawn Chaat or Lamb Madras, diners are able to sit back on sports days and enjoy family meals while keeping an eye on the score thanks to the restaurant’s 60–inch television screen. In addition to daily breakfasts, La Rocca also serves light meals, sandwiches, salads, appetisers, pastas, pizza, grills, burgers, seafood, desserts and mocktails. The restaurant is also child friendly, and therefore promotes a laid-back atmosphere with meals fit for the entire family.
Shop 10 | Entrance 1 | Canal Walk | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 555 0909
Atlantic Express Cafe & Coffee Train
For a laid-back meal in an unusual setting, head out to this Sea Point restaurant, set in a vintage train compartment. The menu serves up breakfasts, light lunches and main meals with a mild Indian twist, such as Prawn Chaat and mutton salomies. The Express café and cake train has become a landmark in the Mother City, and is very popular with tourists and kids.
1B Regent Road | Sea Point | Cape Town | + 27 (0) 21 439 3038
Hartley’s Buffet is a family-run Southern Suburbs restaurant that is perfect for all occasions. The Hartleys opened the doors to Hartley’s Buffet - Cape Town’s very first halaal restaurant, 40 years ago. The menu offers a variety of meals including seafood, grills and pasta along with traditional Cape Malay dishes such as tripe curry, tomato trotters and denningvleis . We suggest trying the char-grilled ribs and calamari - a favourite amongst locals. The restaurant also offers a special Ramadan buffet that includes boeber, boeka treats, soup and falooda. For the age-old tradition of ’boeber night’, this diner will be serving vermicelli and ice cream, in addition to boeber (which is available every night).
113 Ottery Road | Wynberg | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 761 2374
Saray, which means ‘palace’ in Turkish, is the perfect fit for this Turkish-Kurdish restaurant that guarantees a majestic fine dining experience. Situated in Cape Town City Centre, this fully halaal restaurant takes customers on a journey through Turkish-Kurdish culture through the dominant sense of taste. Authentic Turkish-Kurdish cuisine is served, and all meals are grilled on an open flame for a unique flavour. A popular dish is Saray’s Mix Grill, which includes lamb kebabs, a mini chicken kebab, beef koftas, and lamb chops. This is all served on lavash bread and accompanied by rice, chips and a yoghurt side salad. In addition to a three-course set winter menu offered from Mondays to Thursdays, Saray Restaurant also has a three-course meal special for Ramadan that comes with a sneaky sweet treat. Meals are prepared by Turkish chefs served in imported Turkish serving dishes, subjecting diners to a truly traditional meal. If you’re a fan of Turkish delight, then Saray’s Turkish coffee served with the tasty delight is a must-try Although the restaurant doesn’t serve boeber, they do offer Sahlep, which is a warm milk drink that makes for the perfect substitute.
Shop 1A Spearhead Building | Corner Bree and Hans Strijdom Avenue | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 418 1609
This popular take-away franchise is well-known for their vienna and chips parcel. Apart from their delicious gatsbys, they also offer curries and sandwiches. You can either order your food to go, or have a sit-down meal in the restaurant.
Pier House | Heerengracht Street | Cape Town | + 27 (0) 21 425 0189
Situated in the colourful Bo-Kaap neighbourhood, this vibrant restaurant is renowned for serving some of the best Cape Malay food in the city. Their masala steak sandwiches and Bobotie (probably the most well-known Malay dish in Cape Town) are firm favourites among their regulars. Although the restaurant does not have a halaal certificate, they insist that they are strictly halaal, and they cater accordingly to their Muslim patrons (they also have a letter of endorsement from the Muslim Judicial Council to confirm that they are a halaal establishment).
7 August Street (on Upper Wale Street) | Cape Town | + 27 (0) 21 422 5446
Pearl Spoon Restaurant
Situated in the leafy Southern Suburbs is the charming presence of Pearl Spoon Restaurant. This family-run business boasts Victorian elegance, creating a cosy yet classic ambience. While the interior décor boasts glamour, the food remains comforting and hearty. When visiting this quaint café, be sure to try their Coconut Breakfast that has remained a favourite amongst diners. This tasty meal offers a serving of smoked salmon and avocado accompanied by two poached (or scrambled) eggs, served with Pearl Spoon’s delicious freshly baked coconut bread. Passion is mirrored in the fact that the restaurant bakes their own cakes and bread, offering a taste that is truly unique.
34 Belvedere Rd | Claremont | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 839 2692
Tuck-in amidst mystical Middle East décor at this buzzing canteen-style city centre eatery. Featuring cuisine from a host of regions, the informal restaurant allows diners to choose from authentic Cape-style biryanis, creamy North Indian curries, Masala Dosa and real Tandoor dishes. Simply order at the counter and wait a few mere minutes for your food to come up. The dishes are as affordable - ranging between R30 and R40 on average – as they are delicious.
96 Longmarket Street | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 461 2458
Situated in the bustling Cape Town city centre, Miriam’s Kitchen is ideally located for business people looking to break away for a quick and easy lunch. The halaal eatery is legendary for their take-aways, and word is the delicious gatsbys, pies, chip rolls, samoosas and half-moons make the restaurant a must-visit.
101 St. Georges Mall | Cape Town | + 27 (0) 21 423 0772
HALAAL EATERIES IN THE SOUTHERN SUBURBS
Bibi’s is a local Wynberg hotspot that serves a wide range of authentic North and South Indian dishes, such as Rogan josh, Mughlai lamb, spicy Madras seafood curries and biryani from the South. Vegetarians are in for a treat with dhal, paneer and chana masala dishes.
Broad Road | Wynberg | Cape Town | + 27 (0) 21 761 8365
Sabria’s Restaurant and Cosy Corner Takeaways
Sabria’s is no stranger to the locals of the southern suburbs. It was one of the first halaal eateries in Cape Town, and is still run by the same family who started it. The vast menu consists of a selection of Malay dishes, such as gatsby sandwiches and curries, as well as some western favourites, like grills.
119 Ottery Road | Wynberg | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21761 5247 (Sabria's) +27 (0) 21 797 2498 (Cosy Corner)
Situated in City Bowl is the family-run restaurant District Café, catering to all meal preferences and accommodating all patrons who walk through the eatery’s doors. The child-friendly café serves gourmet breakfasts, a selection of light and hearty meals, delicious and authentic Cape Malay fare.
115 Roodebloem Road | Woodstock | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 447 3444
Lady Bee Delhi Diner
At this diner you’re encouraged to dish up as much of your favourite Malay food as you can; you pay per weight. There are veggies, pastas, curries and biryani dishes that will satisfy any hunger pang. The Observatory restaurant offers efficient service, and is the perfect place for families to enjoy a relaxed meal.
St. Peter’s Square | Observatory | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 447 6558
if this isn't enough to tantalize your tastebuds, check out our 10 Food Photos that Prove Cape Town is the Culinary Capital of South Africa! Also, add the Mother City's New Restuarants and Hot Spots to your bucket list!
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