Prices in South Africa are not as cheap as many other African countries, but it is good value by European, US and Australian standards. Expect to pay under R25 for a main course at a cheap restaurant, and up to R40 at a medium one.
The greatest concentration of restaurants is in the central district around the City Bowl, Sea Point and the Waterfront. In Cape Town you can find the cuisine of most nationalities in its wide range of restaurants at reasonable prices. Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Indian dishes are all on offer. You can also sample local Cape cuisine in a few restaurants specialising in this style. The food tends to be spicy and dishes include cape bean curry, bredie (stew), bobotie, a spicy minced dish served under a savoury custard and sosaties, a local version of kebab using mincemeat.
The Atlantic and Indian Oceans provide Cape Towns harbours with a varied catch of fish and seafood. If youre a fish lover, you will enjoy the broad range of seafood available.
Scenic Hout Bay is a good bet with its harbour takeaways being a cheap option. Local specialities include snoek, a cold-water fish not found along the east coast. You will find smoorsnoek, a delicious spicy variation in Cape cuisine restaurants and snoek and chips is a favourite in takeaways.
Alcohol is forbidden in most restaurants serving Cape food because of its strong links with the local (teetotal) Muslim community. Of course, the famous local wines can be found everywhere else in Cape Town. Beer is also a favourite among locals with Castle and Lion Lager being the most popular brands. Beer is a favourite drink among the locals with Castle and Lion Lager brands.
Seeff House, 42 Hans Stridom Ave, Cape Town, South Africa
Typical Price for Main Course: R19 – 49
If you’re missing your pizzas, then this place will certainly cheer you up. The best pizza place in town serving a wide variety of creative and tasty toppings. Those which come highly recommended are the Tre Colori which is a smoked salmon, sour cream and caviar pizza and the Prostituto – avocado, bacon, feta and spinach. The restaurant itself is large and airy and there is a nice friendly atmosphere. Of course, if you’re missing home delivered pizza, you could always avail of the added bonus of the delivery service on offer.
98 Shortmarket St., Heritage Sq., Cape Town, South Africa
Typical Price for Main Course: R35 – 85
This is a really quaint little place situated in a courtyard which houses the oldest living vine in Cape Town. Eating here is a real treat, not only because of the location, the food is also pretty good too. The green curries are a popular choice as is the roast duck with fig and brandy sauce. Its popularity does make it quite difficult to get a seat but it is well worth the wait.
2 Upper Wale St, Cape Town, South Africa
Typical Price for Main Course: R25 – 46
Bismiellah is where to go if you wish to sample traditional Cape cuisine. It’s situated in a historic part of town and run by two generations of a Muslim family who have been serving the local community for over twenty years. Of course, tourists are now among its most popular clients. Local dishes worth sampling are denningvleis and the pienang curry but you’ll have to try them for yourself to see exactly what they consist of. As it is a traditional Muslim venue, no alcohol is allowed in the restaurant but you won’t even notice, you’ll be having such a good time sampling the local delicacies.
The Harbour, Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
Typical Price for Main Course: R29 - 160
The location is what makes this restaurant so appealing. It is situated above the Mariner’s Wharf and offers its diners beautiful views of the bay as well as seafood of the same standard. This is where you will get to try out snoek, the local fish and linefish which is the restaurant’s speciality. While there are some choices other than the fish dishes, if you are not a big fan of seafood, this place is probably not the best choice.
25 Napier St., Green Point, Cape Town, South Africa
Typical Price for Main Course: R31
This particular eatery was once a warehouse meaning that the shortage of space which is widespread in a lot of Cape Town restaurants is not really a problem here. Serving all the traditional Turkish cuisine you can think of, you are sure to find something to tempt your appetite. Apparently, the desert tray is very special so make sure that you leave a little room to sample some of its contents. The atmosphere is second to none, the food is cheap and the venue is cool. What more could a backpacker want?