Madame Zingara

Bombay to Manhattan: 5 Restaurants Where the Madame Zingara ...

Experience the Madame's magic in Cape Town.
+27(0)21 423 6805
1 Malan Street, Tamboerskloof

Bombay to Manhattan: 5 Restaurants Where the Madame Zingara Magic Still Lives

Did you know the guys behind The Theatre of Dreams run these restaurants in Cape Town?


Choose your magic: Spend the night among crouching tigers and fairy lights; watch the sunset from a beach house in the suburbs; or sip on a piña colada tea in an urban oasis.

Oh yes, that good old Madame Zingara voodoo is still very much alive in Cape Town.

For those who don’t know, Madame Zingara was a spectacular and celebrated 80-seater food experience that gave birth to the Theatre of Dreams – the award-winning travelling dinner cirque that conquered South Africa and Europe, palming in the accolades. And, although the final show in that famous vintage mirror tent (one of the last remaining in the world) was in 2016, you can recapture some of the spirit of the Madame Zingara experience at these five restaurants in the city.

Many come for the decor. The fairy lights, drapes instead of curtains, antiques and trinkets on every wall and swings in place of chairs. And don’t be alarmed if you catch sight of a decorative tiger or two hanging from the ceiling. The lights are dim and the setting intimate, especially if you sit upstairs in the loft. The party isn’t limited to inside – revellers can chill under the stars or dance on the pavement.

This wacky, bohemian jewel in Kloof Street is a good reminder not to take life too seriously, and to have a little fun. The Bombay Bicycle Club is just that – a party. People eat a lot and drink even more. You will be welcomed by a doorman draped in bright silk and the waiters are always in a festive mood. It’s a place for friends to reunite (and for making new ones), and it’s a favourite venue for celebrations of all kinds – inviting guests to stay up way past their bedtime.

The food and drinks are an experience all of their own – think the chocolate-chilli steak with a coffee martini. And, of course, there’s a pleasant vibe with funky tunes to get you through the door and keep you there.

158 Kloof Street, Gardens | +27 (0)21 423 6805 |

This delightful Vredehoek café, set against the backdrop of Table Mountain, has a beach-house feel. It is bright and sunny by day and becomes cosy and intimate by night.

The Sidewalk Café is disarmingly casual with just a dollop of sophistication and is perfect for lazy breakfasts, leisurely lunches, sundowners or romantic dinners. When the sun is shining, the cute benches outside offer a real neighbourhood atmosphere and some fresh air. If you plan on staying for a while, there is free Wi-Fi and plenty of plug points.

The food offers familiar South African flavours, presented with a touch of French flair. Get a good start to the day with the wicked classic breakfast stack. And when they say stack, they mean it. Between two ciabatta slices is a towering pile of bacon, egg, tomato, mushrooms, a hash brown and a pork sausage. Think you can handle that? Otherwise, pop in for a midday cajun calamari sandwich. After a long day, relax at the counter with a cold glass of rosé while you watch the sun set over the mountains.

33 Derry Street, Vredehoek | +27 (0)21 461 2839 |

On a perfect day, you’ll want to sit under a canopy of trees in the beautiful garden setting as you take in the mountain views. When it’s a bit chilly, the interior is warm and inviting as the fires roar and the smell emanating from the bakery puts you at ease.

The cosy, sprawling house of Café Paradiso in Kloof Street is a touch of country in the middle of the city. They make the pasta fresh in-house and there’s a farm-style bakery producing breads and treats every day.

The menu is a tempting array of light meals. Think risottos, roasted chicken dishes and grilled sirloin with Café de Paris butter. There are antipasti platters, too, and decadent breakfasts. But the big drawcard is the 100% authentic Italian wood-fired pizzas.

Proudly family- and pet-friendly, Café Paradiso sports a “kids’ projects” section where the brood can get their hands dirty in the bakery making things like pizza, gingerbread men, cupcakes and cookies while mom and dad enjoy some wine and quiet time.

110 Kloof Street, Gardens | +27 (0)21 422 0403 |

With a splash of the Wild West and a hint of mischief, the Madame Zingara stable has restored this lively gay eatery in the heart of the trendy De Waterkant. It’s a great place for a cheeky afternoon cocktail on the shaded terrace, a quick bite to eat or a late night rendezvous.

The decor is industrial-chic but cheerful and bright. Whether you’re surrounded by pot plants or trees outside, or sitting on the couch inside next to the wall of old clocks (which might mean time to party), the vibe is always palpable.

There are bar snacks galore, but also mains like a fillet steak (beef or ostrich) with portobello mushrooms, rocket and skinny fries. Or try the Dirty Mexican, a char-grilled burger with choc chilli sauce.

74 Waterkant Street, De Waterkant | +27 (0)21 421 6666 |

Sip on a pina colada tea over a feta and spinach phyllo pie before challenging your date to a game of chess on the giant chessboard. Here at The Company’s Garden is where you escape the bustle of the city centre and relax in the shade of the towering trees as squirrels scurry home.

For the little ones, there are a series of whimsical oversized weaver nest-style structures that hang from the trees and make for fabulous climbing frames, a large swing that’s a perfect reading base, and plenty of open green spaces for running and relaxing on.

15 Queen Victoria Street | +27 (0)21 423 2919 |

Read about all five restaurant’s daily 2-for-1 happy hour specials.

By Daryn Wood


For a caffeine fix, pop into these coffee shops, or go for a hearty breakfast in Cape Town.

These are great places to have lunch or get a good steak.

For a good night out, head over to these party places in Cape Town.


Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of what’s happening in the city, suburbs and dorpies. Join our newsletter and add us to your mobile home screen for the ultimate guide to discoveries in Cape Town.


Follow and like us on TwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagramPinterest for updates. 

Cape Town Events Calendar
January 2020
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31

let_talk_boulesBoules: Your New Favourite Drinking Game

Hold your own beverage while playing France’s most popular game with a local twist

Children’s_Interactive_TourDiscover Stories From Africa In The ...

Kids interact with artworks through creative play, drawing, writing, reading and ...

the_om_revolution_2019Sunrise To Sunset Yoga On The Beach Or ...

Sociable, mindful, fun and affordable group yoga classes in the park or on the beach

freedom_friends_yogaFREE Sunset Yoga with Freedom Friends ...

Salute the sun for free with Freedom Friends And Kafui Awoonor and others

Polkadraai_and_popcorn_popcorn_and_wine1Polkadraai & Popcorn Wine Pairing Back ...

Check out the anti-serious wine pairing in the Western Cape with Polkadraai & Popcorn

african_relish_2019Prince Albert From Morning to Evening

Epic foodie experiences from coffee to dinner Monday to Saturday at the African Relish ...

aroundaboutnew3Season Specials And More With ...

From R200 vouchers and free upgrades, drive away with more value adds

William_Kentridge_2A Monumental Exhibition At The Norval ...

The iconic South African artist’s largest exhibition in Africa in over a decade

sotano_lambIt’s (Lamb) Burger Wednesdays at ...

... and while you eat, chill out to reggae by locals The Rivertones

sotano_lambTwo Lamb Burgers For the Price Of One

R110 gets you two fully stacked meals at both Sotanos

Seafood, sunsets and sushi at Blowfish BloubergHalf-Price Sushi Every Wednesday and ...

And drink in the sunset and view (and a cocktail)

Kinky BootsSmash-Hit Kinky Boots Extended To 2020 ...

With music by Cyndi Lauper, several Tonys and a Laurence Olivier Award

Cherry_Glamping3Team Building is For Bonding, So Ditch ...

Hiking, biking, canopy tours and luxury glamping just 50 minutes outside of Cape Town

zingara_bombay5 Happy Hours, Every Day of The Week

And Cafe Paradiso has a weekend seafood platter special for two

vredenheim_2019_9Picnic Among The Golden Wildebeest on ...

A family game drive with a difference at Vredenheim

kaskaziBoost Your Week With A Hump Day Kayak ...

The chance to see ocean and bird life at sunrise and get to work on time

cocosafar_steak1From Rib Eye To Vegetarian – Here Are ...

Gourmet burgers and steak, as well as cocktails, are now on the menu at this all-day cafe ...

La Paris_Deli2Wednesday Delights at La Paris Deli in ...

A bakery and bistro experience at one of the most beautiful winelands wedding venues, now ...

asamisOverload On Asami’s Sushi And Noodles

Get sushi and noodle specials three days a week

galileo_kirstGet Comfy at Kirstenbosch Movie Nights ...

Great films, fabulous scenery, delicious food and cosy seats – look forward to a night ...

HaskellVineyards 6Save On A Meal and Wine For Two At This ...

Haskell Vineyards offers patrons a delicious meal and glass of wine at a discounted price

beluga_whisylounge2-for-1 Whisky Wednesdays at Beluga

Your midweek escape just got a whole lot better with the 2-for-1 Wednesday whisky special ...

GrubandVine_food4Wine Tasting Every Wednesday at Grub ...

Grub & Vine’s #VineNight hosts a different wine farm every week

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips