From lunches and carols to markets and meeting Santa
Fisheries and fresh fish spots that locals love
From fresh fish to crayfish, prawns to fish and chips and mussels
Last updated: 30 March 2021
Eating fish and seafood is as Capetonian as Table Mountain. From when the first fishing licences were issued in 1658, through the 1790 rise of whaling stations around the Cape and their eventual fall, to the 1897 arrival of the first commercial trawlers and the eventual peak hauls of around 1.1 million tons of fish per year in the 1970s, fishing has been fundamental to Cape Town’s economy.
Fishing has employed, fed and sustained Capetonians for over 350 years, and still does for many locals. No surprise, then, that locals love and know their seafood, and to find the best restaurants around the city and province, it's best to take your lead from the locals.
Here are some of the best fisheries and fresh fish spots frequented by locals:
INSIDE THE ORIGINAL SIMON’S TOWN “FISH HOUSE”
The Salty Sea Dog, located right on Simon’s Town harbour, is famous for good quality and affordable seafood. But what’s really special is the building it’s situated in. Although it might not look like much from the outside, the Salty Sea Dog’s building is actually the historical fish-sorting house of this harbour (where all the fish were weighed and processed).
2 Wharf Street, Simon’s Town | 021 786 1918 | firstname.lastname@example.org
WHERE THE LOCALS GO IN THE CITY CENTRE
Now this one doesn’t need any introduction to Capetonians. You can almost set your watch to how regularly Lusitania Fisheries fills up at lunchtime. If you’re in town and you’re looking for good seafood at a great price, this is where you go. Did you know their hake roll is still only R30? For tourists, this is the one to discover – it’s just off Bree on Waterkant Street.
49A Waterkant St | Cape Town City Centre | 021 425 4532
DID YOU KNOW SNOEKIES HAS A PLAY AREA?
This is one of Cape Town’s best-known fish spots and has sparked a franchise. The original Snoekies in Hout Bay is an institution. And have you noticed it installed a kiddies play area upstairs? All the more reason to go there again.
Quay 4 | Hout Bay Harbour | 021 790 6677
FRESH AND PLENTIFUL
If you want fresh fish in generous portions, then this landmark seafood eatery located on Beach Road, Gordon’s Bay is the place to go. From the fresh catch of the day to mussels and tender calamari, you can choose from single or family portions or old-fashioned parcel-style servings at Trawlers. And, if you can’t make up your mind what to choose, try their platters to get a little something of everything.
35 Beach Road | Gordons Bay | +27 (0)21 856 2790 | email@example.com
EAT BEACH-STYLE AT STRANDLOPER
Head for the colourfully decorated rustic cabins on the beach at Langebaan, guided by the smell of fire, to find the Strandloper Restaurant. Here you can enjoy traditional fish dishes prepared West Coast-style over an open braai, with a wide choice of side dishes. You can bring your own drinks or purchase from the quirky beach bar. You pay a fixed price for the full ten-course meal, while children under-5 eat free. Being located right on the beach and in keeping with its rustic, simple approach, Strandloper only accepts cash. Bookings are essential.
Jan Olfsen Street | Leentjiesklip | Langebaan | +27 (0)22 7722 490
WHERE THE SOUTHERNERS GO
Want to know where the locals go for their fish fix? Evidence of Fish Hoek Fisheries’ excellent reputation are the long queues of customers waiting for their orders that are wrapped in newsprint as per tradition. Especially popular is the larger-than-expected fish cake.
43 Main Rd | Fish Hoek | +27 (0) 21 782 2314
THE WORLD’S YOUR OYSTER
Love mussels and oysters? The Mussel Monger & Oyster Bar, in Sea Point, is all about these two delicacies; even the shape of the light above the bar is reminiscent of an oversized oyster. Slurp and lick your fingers while gazing over the ocean and watching the passersby on the Sea Point promenade.
30 Regent Rd | Sea Point | Cape Town | 021 180 0674
THIS SHOP OFFERS IT ALL
This shop serves fish and chips to take away, and is also a fish market. Catch 62, in Bellville, has one of the widest ranges of seafood in the area, including fresh and frozen fish and a range of other ingredients that you can combine to make a delicious meal.
38 Northumberland Road | Bellville | 021 949 3473
SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT
You want a little change from the same fish dishes? Then have a look at the Sea Breeze, in the city’s centre. This restaurant presents its seafood in a creative way with a lighter touch, fusing classic fish dishes with contemporary, modern cuisine. Only the water view is missing in the middle of the city.
213 Bree Street | Cape Town City Centre | +27 (0) 74 79 39 349
DISCOVER MORE CAPETONIAN FOODS
Locals love their fish and chips, and here are their top spots.
Try an infamous Gatsby at one of these spots in town.
Do you use kabeljou, snoek, or hake in your pickled fish recipe?
Not in the mood for fish? Try one of these butcheries.
Discover +7 things to do this weekend.