Cape Town Winter Specials and Warming Menus

Get cosy with toasty winter deals at top-notch Mother City restaurants

Wintertime in Cape Town tends to compel locals to retreat into the warmth and comfort of their homes; shorter days, longer nights and moodier skies are generally likely to lead to three solid months of hibernation. In the 2014 winter, however, prepare to be lured out from under your comfy duvet to sample some of the best belly-warming menus the Mother City has to offer. Whether it be at a restaurant that’s always been on your radar or at an upscale eatery that’s normally out of your budget, you can satisfy your curiosity and your cravings while heating yourself up from the inside out with these unbeatable Cape Town winter specials.

WINTER RESTAURANT SPECIALS IN CAPE TOWN

Dish Restaurant at Inn on the Square Hotel
Because nothing cheers you up during the frigid season quite like perfectly paired booze and fare, Dish restaurant at Cape Town’s historic Inn on the Square hotel will be running a series of drink and dine evenings throughout the 2014 winter. Taking place every Wednesday during July; the second, third and fourth Fridays of August; and the first two Wednesdays of September, the regular event will match different beverages each time (expect anything from whisky and wine to brandy and craft beer) with a carefully prepared three-course set menu. Guests have a choice of two starters, two mains and, generally, two desserts, with a palate-cleansing fish dish and sorbet between the starter and main. What’s more, diners are free to mix and mingle with the representative from the wine farm or distillery to learn more about how the drinks are crafted. As an opportunity to indulge in a filling meal within an informal atmosphere right on the edge of the cobblestoned Greenmarket Square, this dinner deal is a wintertime must-do.
Price: The whole experience costs between R245p/p and R280p/p, and this price includes the meal and drinks paired with each course.
Greenmarket Square | Shortmarket Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 423 2050

Hildebrand Ristorante
For delicious continental fare, head out to Hildebrand Ristorante in the historic Harbour Side Café building in the V&A Waterfront. You can sample traditional dishes from all over Italy and beyond while appreciating the hustle and bustle of Cape Town’s world-renowned harbour. This winter the restaurant has launched a low-cost Mozambican menu that includes two spicy courses sure to get the insides heated up. Choose among starters (there’s a choice of four) like peri-peri chicken livers or smoked salmon salad and hearty mains such as rump trinchado. Of course, guests can order divine desserts, like hot malva pudding, too, but these are not part of the special.
Price: Starters range from R45 to R75 and mains sit between R85 and R120.
Pierhead | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 425 3385

Azure Restaurant at The Twelve Apostles Hotel
Get comfortable this season at Azure Restaurant at The Twelve Apostles Hotel. The seaside eatery’s dinner-and-movie winter special, which runs from 1 April to 30 September, is an opportunity to truly take advantage of the cooler months (it’s a good thing that thick, layered clothes hide newfound signs of horizontal growth). Visitors have five options for each of the three courses, and there is also a palate-cleansing sorbet between the starter and main. After a belt-busting dinner, you can lounge in the private 16-seater movie theatre for a film, complimentary milkshake or hot chocolate, ice cream, sweets and popcorn. 
Price: 
R375 per person.

Ways of Wellness Spa
If comfort food doesn’t fight off that winter chill sufficiently, why not make a visit to Ways of Wellness (WOW!), Cape Town’s one and only 100% organic beauty spa, for a spot of cold-combating pampering. Based in Park Road in Gardens, the city centre salon, which focuses on all things natural, is offering a great wallet-friendly special over the month of April to start off the winter spell on a good note. More specifically, the already affordable WOW! is giving customers the chance to save 15% on all facials (there’s everything from a deep cleansing option to an anti-aging alternative) and 10% on any of its luxurious packages, which cater to mothers and daughters, those on the go and anyone else looking for an extra special spa experience. Watch this space for details on specials during May, June and July.
Price: Savings of between 10% and 15%.
11 Park Road | Gardens | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 5503

Rick’s Café Américain
Modelled after Rick's in the famous film Casablanca, this charming restaurant boasts colourful décor and exotic food. With three roaring fireplaces and an eclectic mix of comfortable furnishings, it is the perfect place to get cosy while you save a pretty penny or two.  You can weather the winter chill between 3pm and 7pm daily with a tapas or meze platter for two for only R140 (includes 500ml of red or white house wine). Not to mention, if you’re in the mood for anything from Cape Malay beef roti to Moroccan fishcakes with couscous, you’re bound to be spoiled for choice with the restaurant’s always changing R55 weekday lunch special – all the options are hearty and ideal for frigid weather. If that’s not enough, guests can pick up well-priced cocktails (from R32), Jack Black draught beer, craft brew, jugs of margarita, martinis and more at Rick’s daily happy hour special, from 3pm to 7pm in winter. Here’s looking at you kid!
Price:
tapas or meze platter with 500ml wine: R140; weekday lunch special: R55 per dish; big savings on drinks.
2 Park Road | Gardens | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 1100

Aubergine
Between May and September, even guests with tight bank balances can dine at the elegant and sophisticated Aubergine. The fine dining restaurant’s Winter Bistro Menu offers excellent value for money; there’s a choice of two or three courses, with optional wine pairings for an additional fixed fee. Aubergine, which is housed in a charming old building that dates back to 1830, prides itself on obtaining fresh, organic ingredients from sustainable local suppliers when possible, and the eatery caters for a variety of palates. You can indulge in their special winter menu from Monday to Saturday from 6pm to 10pm; the restaurant is closed for lunch during the cold season.
Price: Prices will only be confirmed as of May 2014.
39 Barnet Street | Gardens | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 465 4909

Jackal & Hide
Framed by the striking backdrop of Table Mountain, Jackal & Hide on Cape Town’s always buzzing Kloof Street marries a Victorian look with a contemporary edge and specialises in long-time local favourites that have been given a little twist. Winter is arguably the best time to indulge in the trendy restaurant’s core dishes as from early April until the end of August, the CBD-based haunt runs a Wednesday special that makes any two mains available for a meagre R140 all day, from open until close. Customers can look forward to items such as beer-battered hake served with homemade tartar sauce, a grain-fed steak of the day and chimichurri beef skewers with an Argentinean marinade of limes, fresh herbs, chilli and spice. Patrons can choose to book a table within the cosy interior or to sit outside on the deck if it’s a little warmer out; either way, Wednesdays at Jackal & Hide are a pleasant wintry treat.
Price: R140 for any two main dishes.
108 Kloof Street | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 424 1020

La Boheme Wine Bar and Bistro
La Boheme has been a Sea Point favourite since it opened its doors in June 2009. This bistro-style restaurant offers patrons a taste of sophistication and refinement, without the accompanying high price tag. Though not exclusive to the winter months, the cosy eatery’s two- and three-course set menu claims incredibly reasonable prices that are bound to make the blustery weather a little more manageable. The menu changes daily as the offering depends primarily on the seasonality of the produce and the chef’s creative flair. Additionally, vino lovers can sample over 60 different wines available by the glass. 
Price:
 Two courses for R110; three courses for R135. 
341 Main Road | Sea Point | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 434 8797/6539

Headquarters Restaurant (HQ)
Headquarters is a concept restaurant with a brasserie-like atmosphere that blends elegance and comfort. The single-minded menu raises the ‘steaks’ (and eyebrows) with only three things on offer: salad, chips and sirloin. All you need to decide is how you’d like your meat done. Throughout the year (including during the colder winter months), HQ transforms the concept of meat-free Mondays into free-meat Mondays. On the first day of the workweek, you can get two steak dishes for the price of one (there’s a vegetarian mushroom option too), an offer that’s sure to warm anyone up from the inside out. Live music from local ensembles will keep you entertained through the night. Diners should also note that, due to popularity, booking at least a week in advance is recommended; visitors can choose to reserve a seating in one of two time slots: 6pm to 8pm and 8:30pm until late. 
Price: R175 for two 250g sirloin steaks; R264 for two 500g sirloin steaks.
Heritage Square | 100 Shortmarket Street | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 6373

Cafe Extrablatt
With a commitment to providing something for everyone all ‘round the clock, this well-positioned Green Point bistro – it rests a stone’s throw away from the Cape Town Stadium – is keeping grumbling tummies full and warm this winter with its Monday Madness special. Running from 5pm until close, this start-of-the-week deal gives chilly patrons the opportunity to enjoy any two regular pizzas off the German eatery’s menu (excluding the Big Pizza) for only R99.  Options include pizzas adorned with barbeque chicken and red onion; tomatoes, Italian mozzarella and basil; Serrano ham, Parmesan and rocket; and several other toppings. Aside from the discount, Cafe Extrablatt’s large chairs, working fireplace and big-screen televisions also make it a comfy spot at which to while away drizzly, icy days.
Price: R99 for any two pizzas.
Exhibition Building | 79 Main Road |Green Point | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 286 0460

WINTER RESTAURANT SPECIALS IN THE CAPE WINELANDS AND SURROUNDS

Castella Amare
Although this oceanfront Melkbosstrand-based restaurant channels sweet summer holiday vibes during the warm season, it’s also a cosy little hideaway during winter. So, for the chilly months ahead, the eatery is offering enough penny-saving deals to warm the heart, pocket and tummy right through. For starters, the Portuguese eatery is running a R50 winter lunch special from Monday to Thursday that treats visitors to a complimentary soft drink, chips and an ‘espetaco’ (an original dish that fuses the Mexican taco with Portuguese fillings, like trinchado beef with cheese and sour cream) for only one lion “randela”. Then, for dinner during the week, guests can go for an incredibly reasonably priced two- or three-course set menu that comes with a mahala glass of wine. Aside from these top bargains, Castella Amare is also bolstering its main menu with a special ‘Winter Warmers’ section that features a rotating soup, feijoada (pork and bean stew), caldeirada (seafood stew) and changing curry, and the seaside haunt is expanding its current happy hour deal to slash the prices of desserts, beers and cocktails as well as wine and tapas between 4pm and 6pm from Monday to Thursday. Finally, females also get lucky this winter thanks to the restaurant’s new Wednesday ladies’ night that entitles all women present in the restaurant between 6pm and 7pm to a free cocktail and flower. All 2014 seasonal specials start in mid-April.
Price: Winter lunch menu with soft drink: R50. Dinner set menu: R169 for two courses and wine; R199 for three courses with wine. Happy hour: 50% off starters, desserts, carafe of wine, beers and cocktails.
47 5th Avenue | Melkbosstrand | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 553 3827

The Royal Hotel
Resting in the charming town of Riebeek Kasteel (just over an hour from Cape Town), The Royal Hotel, a four-star colonial property that boasts a famously expansive stoep, is giving locals and tourists alike even more of a reason to visit this pretty olive-producing region this cold season. The regal accommodation’s in-house restaurant offers a year-round meal deal that is particularly tempting during winter when the biting cold ignites hunger. Daily, visitors can indulge in a mouth-watering five-course set menu for an unbeatable R98p/p. The incredible offering – there’s one choice per course – includes dishes like tomato tartlets with olive tapenade dressing; seafood curry with jasmine rice; and dark chocolate cheesecake; though, the menu differs every day. And if decadent options like the above don’t warm up diners enough, the eatery’s glowing fireplace (there’s a hearth in nearly every room of the hotel) and the daily half-price G&T special that runs between 5pm and 6pm on the veranda are sure to do the job. As the almost unrivalled five-course deal is bound to be particularly popular, booking is essential.
Price: R98p/p for five courses; drinks are for patrons’ own account.
33 Main Street | Riebeek Kasteel | +27 (0) 22 448 1378

Clos Malverne Restaurant
Who says ice cream should only be savoured on warm summer days? Clos Malverne wine farm’s on-site restaurant has developed a unique ice cream and wine pairing menu that will liven up any frigid palate. For only R65, guests can enjoy four bowls of uniquely flavoured frozen scoops with four carefully matched wines, and though the offer is available all year round, the flavours change seasonally, so visitors can expect rich tastes and textures that perfectly complement the cold weather and brighten up any dreary mood. The special runs from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:30am to 3pm, and is available by appointment only, so booking at least one day in advance is essential.
Price: R65 per person.
Devon Valley Road | Devon Valley | Stellenbosch | +27 (0) 21 865 2022

Catharina’s at Steenberg Hotel
Especially for 2014’s colder months, award-winning fine dining restaurant Catharina’s, which rests at the Steenberg Hotel in Constantia, is replacing its standard Sunday buffet with a winter feast that’s bound to keep the bitter chill at bay. The reasonably priced lunch deal treats guests to a three-course roast that includes plated starter options like roasted cauliflower soup with gorgonzola cream and white truffle oil; platters of beef, lamb, chicken, new potatoes, cheese bake, broccoli gratin, mint sauce and more for mains (there are fish and vegetarian dishes too); and dessert options like vanilla crème brûlée. The warming special only runs on Sundays, from 12pm to 3pm, and is valid from the first Sunday in May until the end of October.
Price: R280p/p for a three-course lunch
Steenberg Estate | Tokai Road | Constantia | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 713 2222

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Also eager to find out about Mother City hotels and lodges offering budget-friendly deals during the chilly season? Have a gander at our overview of winter accommodation specials in Cape Town.

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