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Eat Your Way Through Winter
Forget feeling frosty with these delicious foodie gems!
Last update: 12th May 2017
Winter is tough. It’s cold, the days are short and the wind can make your outdoor plans less than pleasant. A decent fire, wine and comfort food is almost always the answer and lucky for us, Cape Town is on the list of the best food cities in the world! At least according to the Condé Nast Traveller and anyone with tastebuds.
We know the struggle and we’re here to help; help you eat your way through winter, one cosy Cape Town gem at a time.
Take a trip to a divine little piece of Italy without even having to leave Cape Town! All you need to do is visit this gem of a trattoria (that’s Italian for ‘restaurant’), which is open solely for dinner every night. Multitudes of patrons who spend an evening here, including those who hail from the land of love itself, are unwavering in the assertion that The Cousins really is authentic Italian in every way, with the simple and heartwarming food cooked by talented Italian chefs just to prove it. The pasta dishes are especially delicious and you can nosh on real homey comfort food - just like Mama makes!- in an unpretentious set-up with a wonderful atmosphere and friendly, chatty owners. And if you aren’t convinced by that, try out their tagliolini, finished in a huge parmesan wheel at your table for an impressive demonstration of one of Italy’s many unique cooking methods. Don’t expect pizza, though - as Italians will tell you, this is in fact a faux Italian dish and The Cousins aim to keep it all authentic.
Cost: R250 for two people (approx.)
Opening times: Monday - Sunday: 6pm - 10pm
3b Barrack Street | Cape Town | +27(0)83 273 9604
Kloof Street House
This gem of a restaurant situated, oasis-like, at the foot of Kloof Street is an absolute must if you are visiting the CBD. Set in a gorgeous Victorian house, Kloof Street House is bursting with character. The venue is wonderfully intimate with individual rooms to explore and a magical garden teeming with fountains and fairy lights. Should the rain let up, you can enjoy eating in their hedge-lined garden protected from the wind, with heaters to keep you warm. Join them for every occasion, be it for live jazz over a Sunday lunch, a cheeky cocktail or a romantic dinner in one of their stylish dining rooms. Kloof Street House boasts a beautiful menu of Mediterranean-style meals with a variety of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes. If you have space, give one of their desserts a try – the salted caramel cheese cake with popcorn sorbet is one of the best things you’ll ever taste!
Cost: R350 for two people (approx.)
Opening times: Monday: 5pm - 2am. Tuesday - Sunday: 12pm – 2am
30 Kloof Street | Gardens| Cape Town | +27 (0)21 423 4413
Anatoli Turkish Restaurant
With a giant fireplace warming up this Turkish restaurant, Anatoli remains one of our favourite spots to enjoy a warm and cosy dinner this winter. The softly lit restaurant in De Waterkant is decked out with décor that transports you straight to the colourful and vibrant country of Turkey without having to leave Cape Town. Situated in a converted coach house, Anatoli opened its doors in 1984 and has since become one of the most authentic Turkish dining experiences in the city. The tapas and mezze platters are a must-have with the marinated olives, halloumi, Turkish bread and lamb kebabs being a favourite among guests. We haven’t tried it yet but a little birdy told us that the fried cauliflower stuffed with cheese and deep fried in breadcrumbs is out of this world – she had us at ‘fried’ and ‘cheese’! Be sure to save some space for dessert and a Turkish coffee to end things off.
Cost: R400 for two people (approx.)
Opening times: Monday - Saturday: 6:30pm – 10:30pm
24 Napier Street | Green Point| Cape Town | +27 (0)21 419 2501
Honest and utterly underrated, Borruso's is an Italian gem tucked away in a converted wooden house along Main Road, Kenilworth. Don’t be fooled by its rough exterior, this homely restaurant is arguably one of the best pizza places in Cape Town. Its welcoming and busy atmosphere is perfect for a chilly night and if the vibe doesn’t warm you up, the food certainly will. Boasting an extensive variety of pizzas and pastas at very affordable prices, Borruso's is perfect for student budgets and family outings. For those getting their summer bodies ready this winter – you have a choice of delicious salads and some of the best Banting pizzas in the Mother City. Borruso's works on a ‘first come first serve’ basis and not surprisingly, they are always busy. Our advice is to either arrive for an early dinner or expect to queue for a little while. But tables turn quickly, the staff are incredibly accommodating and trust us, it’s worth the wait.
Cost: R300 for two people (approx.)
Opening times: Monday - Sunday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm
Corner Mains Avenue & Main Road | Kenilworth | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 761 5822/3
A Touch of Madness
Newly re-opened and in the heart of Observatory, A Touch of Madness, is set in a beautifully revamped Victorian house. Much like its surroundings, the restaurant is friendly, relaxed and welcomingly warm. With two dining rooms, a lounge, pub and two fireplaces, this spot is perfect for a lazy winter night. The food is simple yet delicious with plenty of vegetarian options. It also boasts an extensive drinks menu with a range of craft beers (because who are you if you don’t stock craft?). For those on a budget, be sure to check out their Taco Tuesday, Wine Wednesday and Happy Hour specials.
Cost: R250 for two people (approx.)
Opening times: Tuesday - Saturday: 12pm - 10pm; Sunday: 12pm - 5pm
12 Nuttall Rd | Observatory | Cape Town | +27 (0)021 447 4650
Four & Twenty
One of our all-time favourite breakfast/brunch spots, Four & Twenty is tucked away in the green suburbs of Upper Wynberg. Channelling the quaint elegance of a Parisian patisserie, this restaurant is exactly where you want to be on a chilly winter’s morning. Warm and cosy with the mouth-watering smells of baked goods wafting about. The coffee is spectacular and the meals delicious. We’d suggest you try the Breakfast Sumptuous or the beer battered flapjacks with bacon. Do yourselves a favour and arrive hungry because you will cave and order something from the bakery. Their Red Velvet Cake is truly out of this world.
Cost: R250 for two people (approx.)
Opening times: Tuesday - Saturday: 8am - 5pm; Sunday: 9am - 4pm
23 Wolfe St | Wynberg | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 762 0975
Under the Cypress
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this spot is definitely worth a visit if you’re in Kalk Bay. Under the Cypress has a gorgeous patio that gives you a lovely view of the Kalk Bay harbour, so if the weather allows we suggest you soak it up and sit outside. But it’s perfect for winter too with a toasty fireplace, big windows and wooden floors that create a feeling of simple, old fashioned elegance. That same elegance carries over into their delicious and varied menu. Each meal is beautifully plated, with some popular meals being their Eggs Benedict, the Fresh Line Fish and our Texan barbeque-style dishes like the Beef Brisket. The bar menu also has some nibbles to warm you like their Seafood Board and spicy hot Chicken Livers. The eatery has a gorgeous view, great food and, to top it off, some of the best coffee around and we know how much Capetonians love their coffee. There’s also the fact that they are dog friendly so feel free to bring your pooch along!
Cost: R250 for two people (approx.)
Opening times: Tuesday - Friday: 9am - Late; Saturday: 8am - Late | Sunday: 8am (Open for breakfast and lunch only)
124 Main Rd | Kalk Bay | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 788 2453
Dias Tavern Portuguese Restaurant
This town taverna that also serves as a sports bar at times is an all-round experience of toastiness and comfort. Friendly, efficient service, an informal atmosphere set by the decor and lots of happily chatting (and, quite often, dancing) patrons, and a menu full of crowd-pleasing dishes at fair prices makes Dias a triple threat. The sports bar aspect of Dias sometimes attracts a horde of rugby fans to watch the game on the venue’s TVs and enjoy the pub fare. There are also live music nights which always promise a line-up of golden oldies playing for you (cue the dancing fiesta). The menu is for the most part carnivorous, and some of the meaty mains on offer to warm you up include Dias’s very popular peri peri chicken, smoked eisbein, beef trinchado, and for a slightly different food presentation, the beef espatada on a skewer is a succulent melt-in-your-mouth pleasure.
Cost: R250 for two people, with alcohol (approx.)
Opening times: Monday- Saturday: 12pm - 10:30pm
15 Caledon Street | Cape Town | +27(0)21 465 7547
There’s nothing quite like wine to warm the cockles of your heart, and in this long-active establishment’s downstairs Cellardoor you can sip on vino from Delheim’s very own vineyards, all while surrounded by warmth and fragrant wine barrels. Patrons are welcomed into this snug hidey-hole with a glass of hot, sweet, spiced glühwein during the cold months to sip as you tuck yourself away from the wintry weather and enjoy wine tastings, pairings, and platters of delicacies such as cheeses, jams and cured meats. Look out for the unusual and delightful wine and cupcake pairings for something a little different! Vouchers are also available for Delheim’s picnic, restaurant and Cellardoor experiences. It’s truly representative of Stellenbosch which is known for its wine farms on which gorgeous old Cape-Dutch style manors house their wine cellars and restaurants.
Cost: R50- R200 according to whether you want to do a tasting, pairing or platter
Opening times: Monday - Sunday and public holidays: 9am - 5pm
Knorhoek Road (off the R44) | Stellenbosch | +27(0) 21 888 4600
Good, homemade Ethiopian cuisine is satisfying, warming, and unsurprisingly hard to come by in Cape Town, so Timbuktu is an uncommon treat. This is a good one for the vegetarians looking for wholesome and flavourful meat-free options, such as the vegetarian platter; the carnivores aren’t short of choices either, and the Lamb Tibs is a moreish treat of a starter. The restaurant also caters to vegans and the gluten intolerant. With throngs of plants and small trees adorning its exterior and entrance and quirky and vintage objects and furnishings adding a touch of exotic glamour, Timbuktu is a visual delight with a magical aura. The restaurant is a repurposed old home which is small and cosy inside with a sheltered outside seating area. Be prepared to eat with your hands when you dine here - platters are served on and injera, an Ethiopian flatbread, which is broken and used in the same way as a roti or soft tortilla would be to scoop up your food.
Cost: R280 for two people (approx.)
Opening times: Monday - Sunday: 11am - 11pm
16 Lower Main Road | Corner of Lower Main Road and Norfolk | Observatory | Cape Town | +27(0)72 378 9697 or +27(0)21 447 4293
Govinda’s Natural Food Cafe
You could easily miss this discreet little treasure of a restaurant, which is hidden away on a street behind the Rondebosch train station and is something of a well-kept secret in the suburb. The food here is not only healthy authentic Indian cuisine and totally vegetarian and vegan, it is exquisitely tasty and filling, and outrageously good value for money with its low prices for meals. What’s more, the inside of the cafe is unassuming and snug with a welcoming atmosphere.
Cost: R55 for a main (avg.)
Opening times: Tuesday - Saturday: 12pm - 6pm | Sunday: 12pm - 4pm
17 St Andrews Street | Rondebosch | Cape Town | +27(0) 685 8384
If you have any other wonderful winter restaurants in mind, let us know! We'd love to hear from you via one of our social media channels. You can also check out where your friends are eating via our overview of top food pictures on Instagram.
Written by Julia Joubert
Interested in finding other cosy eateries this winter? Have a look at our overview of restaurants with fireplaces!
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