Dining Out

The number of restaurants in Cape Town alone is a testament to how South Africans enjoy good food and bonding with friends or family. In a study done by Glaxo Smith on the eating habits of South Africans reveal that, as of 2010, 2 out of every 3 South Africans are bordering on being overweight or obese.

The love for food is evident when you see results that show 46% of South Africans enjoy an afternoon snack and 23% eat when they have nothing else to do. It’s hard to resist good food when it’s more readily available than there are quality cricket bats for sale. Just look at the great eating places in Cape Town:

La Colombe

Located in Cape Town Central, La Colombe has been a consistent winner as top pick for French restaurants. It is frequented by business people, couples, and for special occasions. This is the place to go when trying to impress someone or to celebrate a milestone. It’s not cheap but the prices are reasonable considering the quality of dishes and service given.

Myoga

Also a consistent winner as top restaurant in Cape Town, Myoga serves fusion food and is known as the place to go when looking for food late at night. The food is superb and a delightful mix of Asian, western and South African flavours. They have what is called a “tasting menu” which means smaller portions and reasonable prices. The chef is also the owner, Mike Bassett and you can expect his menu to be changed periodically.

Giovanni’s

For casual dining, it must be Giovanni’s, an Italian deli/coffee shop that serves breakfast, brunch, and afternoon snacks. Everything is fresh and prepared daily. The best part about Giovanni’s is the take out which means you can bring home food good enough for the several days and not have to spend a lot of money. It’s hard to find parking and the lunch crowd packs the restaurant to the brim.

The Conservatory

Taking the place of the Atlantic Grill Restaurant at Table Bay Hotel is the Conservatory Restaurant. It’s also the banquet facilities for the hotel and can accommodate 120 guests. Executive Chef Dallas Orr tries to capture local flavours and create fusion dishes with Malay, Portuguese, Indian, and Afrikaans influences. The Conservatory makes generous use of local ingredients and organic poultry. It is only open for dinner.

Eating Out in Cape Town is not only gourmet meals and formal wear, the city also offers an abundance of walk-in restaurants with interesting slants on how to prepare food with a tinge of just about everything. Here are some popular places:

The Hot Dog Café

Calling itself the “Home of the South African Hot Dog,” the Hot Dog Café is a mobile cart concept that mimics the hotdog stands of New York City. It’s familiar, quick, and filling. It’s obviously working and has been accepted by the country with over 130 outlets all over South Africa.

Barcelos

Barcelos originated in Pretoria and has ballooned to over 93 stores including Cape Town. Its one problem is that its concept is too close to Nando’s flame-grilled chicken, and in a toss-up, Nando’s usually comes up more favoured.

DoRego’s

DoRego’s is Cape Town’s own home-grown quick meal which began in the 1970s and has grown to become a national food chain. It’s like a diner with everything from sandwiches to meals, and in some stores, there’s even a frozen and fresh fish counter.

Spur Steak Ranch

Having its roots in Cape Town, the Spur Steak Ranch started in 1967 and now has over 245 branches in the country and around the world. If you want steak and you are not willing to pay top dollar (or Rand), then the best place to go for succulent, juicy steaks is Spur Steak Ranch.

Nando’s

Nando’s is everywhere and it’s always a popular choice. It started in 1987 as Chickenland by 2 friends who came, ate, and loved the recipe, so they bought the store and its rights. It’s named after one the guys, Fernando Duarte and its specialty is the Peri-Peri chicken.

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