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Affordable and Unique Cape Town Food Experiences
A lunch at Winelands icon Babylonstoren for under R100 and eggs benedict with bottomless bubbles, these are our picks for awesome (and surprisingly affordable) food experiences
Last Update: 17 May 2018
When last did you leave a restaurant feeling like you truly scored a great deal? Discovering a memorable food experience that is surprisingly affordable is what we're talking about, and in Cape Town there are a number of these waiting to be uncovered.
Give into your healthy cravings with a selection of menus at the V&A Waterfront
If you work at or near the V&A Waterfront, then count yourself lucky. Located in the Old Power Building is the delicious, budget-friendly V&A Food Market, next to the Watershed. This beautiful indoor market offers 42 vendors serving high-quality artisanal street food and artisanal retail products, seven days a week. Not only are their prices affordable but they have plenty of healthy and hearty options, from sushi, wraps and poke bowls to Vegan, banting and Halaal friendly treats. Food prices start at around R30 for a fresh salmon Vietnamese rice paper roll and R40 for a sushi dish or R45 for a Tom Yam soup. There is also a juice bar and a yoghurt bar that makes smoothies, bowls and even a non-dairy coconut yoghurt for vegans. Geared for the grab-and-go customer, it’s the perfect place to pop in for lunch or stay longer to enjoy the historical Old Power Station building, with its outside terrace and stunning views of Table Mountain.
Dock Road | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 418 1605
4ROOMED EKASI CULTURE
4Roomed Ekasi Culture in Khayelitsha is the brainchild of former MasterChef contestant Abigail Mbalo and it serves healthy traditional dishes. The menu changes regularly but stays true to their commitment to share traditional township meals with more people. You can expect to pay between R150 and R230 per person for a three-course meal.
Surprise factor: Fine dining in a food truck with menu items like butternut pap and butter-chicken bunny chow. Where else in Cape Town could you find that?
Tip: For six or more people, a deposit of R100 per person needs to be paid to secure your booking.
A 605 Makabeni Road | Khayelitsha | +27 (0)76 157 3177 | email@example.com
Healthy food doesn’t need to be expensive. At Wild Sprout, a sustainable approach to conscious eating is evident throughout their menu. Indulge in a hemp waffle with nice-cream (vegan ice-cream), berries and cocoa and almond drizzle for breakfast at a very accessible R60. Or try their gluten- and grain-free chicken wrap for R56.
Surprise factor: Everything on their menu is under R60.
Tip: From 12pm (until the food runs out) Wild Sprout has a buffet harvest table spread with a different selection of deliciousness every day.
Hours: Monday–Friday: 7am–5pm, Saturday: 8am–1pm, Sunday: Closed
Unit F, 179 Loop Street, Cape Town, 8000 | Cape Town CBD | +27 82 532 2619
THREE WISE MONKEYS
This hip, Japanese-themed restaurant serves up flavourful ramen, poke bowls, grilled dishes and sushi that’ll make you feel as if you’re eating with the locals in Tokyo. You can expect to pay between R80 and R105 for a meal that is super filling and definitely worth every penny.
Surprise factor: Their delicious, flavourful broth is regarded as one of the best to be found in Cape Town.
Tip: A new cocktail menu has been introduced, pairing well with the dishes on offer.
Hours: Mondays: 3pm–11pm, Tuesdays: 12pm–11pm
Shop 1 | 77 Regent Road | Sea Point | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 433 1837
LA MER AT RADISSON BLU LE VENDOME
A surprisingly affordable night out is on the cards at this hotel restaurant. A glass of wine goes for as little as R35, while you can get a starter and main course for a total of R155. Prices on the dessert menu ranges between R65 and R95, so it’s a great spot for a romantic nightcap accompanied by a sweet treat to share.
Surprise factor: A two-course meal plus a glass of wine for under R200.
Tip: Before you settle down for a meal, enjoy a drink at one of the two brilliant locations within the hotel; the CPoint Bar is ideal in winter, a while the rooftop pool bar is where you want to be in summer.
Hours: Monday–Saturday: 6pm–10pm
Radisson Blu Le Vendome Hotel | 14 London Road | Sea Point | +27 (0)21 826 5100
SEAFOOD BUFFET AT DIE STRANDLOPER
The informal eatery dishes up 10 courses of traditional West Coast grub — think mussels in garlic butter, fish curry, braaied snoek, smoked angelfish, crayfish, fresh bread with jam, and more for only R310/p (R60/p for kids between five and 11, while kids under five eat for free). The nosh comes straight out of the ocean and then fresh off the fire, adding to the authenticity of the dining experience. What’s more, diners can help themselves to as much as they want (with the exception of the crayfish) while enjoying spectacular views.
Surprise factor: If you do the math, the meal works out to around R26 per portion of seafood for a what is known to be notoriously expensive fare, so you’re really winning here.
Tip: Bring your own booze, the restaurant doesn’t charge corkage. Plan to spend at least three or four hours here as this is the sort of dining experience that stretches out all afternoon. Booking is essential.
Hours: Wednesday and Sunday: 12pm–4pm (lunch); Friday and Saturday: 12pm–4pm (lunch) and 6pm10p–m (dinner). Note that during peak seasons the restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner.
Beach | Langebaan | West Coast | +27 (0)22 77 22 490
THE RAPTOR ROOM
The casual and quirky restaurant with bright and inviting decor uses only local ingredients and create unique dishes that are as delicious (and interesting) as they sound. Dig into their popcorn chicken for R45, indulge in their classic mac and cheese – a crowd favourite – for only R60, or bite into the LGBT Sandwich for R60.
Surprise factor: The 2-for-1 burger special every Thursday from 6pm-7pm is an unmissable deal and is available as either a beef or veggie option, served with your choice of sides.
Tip: Try their f*k bread, a corn fritter stack with smoked jalapeno butter, avocado, coriander and mint salsa, and heirloom tomatoes – it’s rapturous.
Hours: Monday–Friday: 10am–11pm, Saturday: 10am–5pm, Sunday: 10am–3pm
Shop 2 | 79 Roeland Street | Cape Town | +27 (0)87 625 0630
2-FOR-1 MONDAY STEAK SPECIAL AT HQ (HEADQUARTERS)
Mondays are always a bit less blue when you’ve got HQ’s great 2-for-1 special to look forward to. The deal includes two of HQ’s signature steaks – cooked to perfection and served with Café de Paris, thin-cut fries and a green salad – for just R218 (that’s only R109 each!).
Surprise factor: You’d never expect a top-cut, succulent, wet-aged steak of such quality to make such a small dent in the bank balance.
Tip: There’s a huge demand for this special, so be sure to book a table at least four days in advance.
Hours: Mondays: 6pm–10pm
Heritage Square | 100 Shortmarket Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 424 6373
GREENHOUSE LUNCH AT BABYLONSTOREN
Dining at historic Cape Dutch farm Babylonstoren isn’t just about filling the tummy; it’s an unforgettable experience in its own right. All of the salads and sandwiches on offer at the estate’s Greenhouse Restaurant are made with ingredients from the farm’s expansive garden. The eatery is reached via a walk through a majestic eight-acre garden. Diners can enjoy a gourmet sandwich for as little as R65 or a generous garden salad for R75.
Surprise factor: A Greenhouse lunch is far from an ordinary dining experience and yet when you leave the property hours later, you’ll have spent no more than R100.
Tip: Take time to explore the Babylonstoren garden as it features over 300 edible plant varieties and is carefully divided into 15 focus areas, including a vegetable garden, a berry garden, one for the bees and many more.
Hours: Monday–Sunday: 10am–4pm (breakfast is from 8:30am – 10am)
R45 | Simondium (on the way to Franschhoek) | +27 (0)21 863 3852
PIZZA ON THE ROUNDHOUSE LAWNS
Dine at The Roundhouse’s scenic outdoor section, dubbed The Rumbullion, without breaking the bank. Their gourmet pizzas boast to-die-for toppings like Black Forest ham, rocket or Gorgonzola and green figs, costing between R98 and R125, prices that are comparable to those at far less prestigious restaurants.
Surprise factor: You can actually quite easily afford something on the menu of this institution, which is synonymous with exclusivity and extravagance.
Tip: Opt for the daily Sundowner Double Trouble Special, which includes two pizzas and two bottles of wine for R450.
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday: 10am–sunset; Sunday: 12pm–6pm
Note: The Rumbullion lawns are only open during the summer months from 1 October to 30 April, so pizzas are only on offer during this period.
Round House Road (off Kloof Road) | The Glen | Camps Bay | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 438 4347
SET MENU DINNER AT LA BOHEME WINE BAR AND BISTRO
La Boheme is undoubtedly one of the finest restaurants in Sea Point, and their offering of two courses for R150/p or three courses for just R180/p keeps guests coming back time and again. Options change regularly but expect something along the lines of beef carpaccio for starters, confit rabbit with potato gnocchi for mains, and a trio of sorbet for dessert.
Surprise factor: Such an intimate atmosphere and high-quality experience usually come with a much weightier price tag.
Tip: Match your meal with a glass or two of vino as La Boheme is renowned for their diverse and very comprehensive wine list.
Hours: Monday–Saturday: 6pm–10:30pm (the restaurant is open for lunch too, but the set menu is only available in the evenings).
341 Main Road | Sea Point | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 434 8797
EURO HAUS CONTINENTAL BAKERY & BISTRO
A continental restaurant and bakery known for its scrumptious pastries, their all-day, every day special of Benedict & Bottomless L'Ormarins Bubbles goes for a very affordable R279.
Surprise factor: Their pastries are not only pocket-friendly but reportedly also the best in town.
Tip: We recommend that you order a coffee to enjoy with your choice of pastry(ies).
Hours: Monday–Sunday: 06:30am–5:00pm
210 Loop St | Cape Town | 8001 | +27 (0)21 422 0168
MOVIE MEAL SPECIALS AT THE LABIA THEATRE
This movie-and-meal special is a veritable steal. Every day, the retro art-focused film house offers viewers two meals from participating nearby restaurants (Societi Bistro, Knead on Kloof Street or Diva Café Ristorante) and two movie tickets for between R110 and R150 per person – that’s for the flick and food.
Surprise factor: In light of the fact that regular shows at The Labia cost R40 (and around R90 at commercial cinemas), this special renders the food practically free.
Tip: Arrive at the restaurant early enough to give yourself sufficient time to eat before the show starts.
Hours: Monday–Sunday: Times depend on the opening hours of the respective restaurants (on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, the special is only valid from 4pm onwards).
68 Orange Street | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 424 592
This artisanal chocolate cafe is the best place to go when the craving for (dark) chocolate kicks in. Committed to keeping things real, the chocolate you’ll find here is made using old-school methods and only organically produced ingredients. Honest offers a selection of chocolate truffles, tarts and cakes at very reasonable prices.
Surprise factor: Be sure to venture to the courtyard and home to the Secret Gin Bar, where you can enjoy a delicious G&T in the evenings.
Tip: Try their trademark Coconut Dream drink, a dairy-free milkshake, as well as the Banana Bread Bunny Chow.
Hours: Monday–Thursday: 9am–6pm; Friday & Saturday: 9am–9pm; Sunday: 9am–6pm
64a Wale Street | City Centre
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