For most, trying new restaurants is an exciting venture. But with winter slowly creeping onto Cape Town’s front doorstep, wrapping yourself in a scarf and trekking across the city to a below-average restaurant sounds a lot less appealing than curling up on the couch with takeaway Chinese and a good movie. Simply put, making your way out into the cold for a meal needs to be worth it. From a cosy Italian restaurant with twinkling lights and great red wines to a beautiful space set on a wine estate complete with a crackling fireplace, below are some of the best winter restaurants in Cape Town that are worth braving the winter chill for.
Blanko at the Alphen Hotel has been a vibrant “all day” favourite for the past couple of years. Set in one of Cape Town’s most luxurious hotels, this Italian eatery beautifully combines elegant decor with contemporary, delicious dishes. Cosy up next to the fireplace with a classic carbonara or indulge in a wood-fired pizza.
Winter special: Two courses for R190 | Three courses for R240
2 La Mouette
Set in a beautiful old building that was once owned by the Mayor of Cape Town’s family, La Mouette is known for its seasonally inspired menus. Showcasing the best of local producers while capturing the essence of each season, this cosy and unpretentious spot is a must in winter (and every other season). And if wine is your drink of choice, be sure to do their food and wine pairing menu – you can thank us later.
Winter special: Five-course menu for R295 | Five-course menu with wine pairing for R545
3 Kloof Street House
This popular Kloof Street spot hits all the right notes for a chilly winter’s day. Picture this: a gorgeous Victorian house with candle-lit tables, sparkling chandeliers, a suitcase-stacked bar, vintage furniture and gently burning fireplaces. The brasserie-style menu offers hearty meals packed with flavour – each bite worth braving the cold for. The bar area develops into a social hub as the evening goes on with smooth jazzy tunes and creative cocktails.
Winter special: Two courses for R170 | Three courses for R195
4 The Shortmarket Club
Brought to Cape Town’s bustling Bree Street, by The Test Kitchen famed Luke Dale-Roberts, The Shortmarket Club offers restaurant goers a truly unique experience. Set in an opulent space that has been designed to create a club-type feel, the deep aubergine and black interior evokes an inviting atmosphere to beat any wintery Cape Town day. Pair that with mindblowing dishes and a couple glasses of red wine and you’ll forget all about your woolly slippers at home.
Winter special: Three-course Prix Fixe menu for R320
5 The Stack
From hotelier Nigel Pace and his interior-designer wife Sarah Ord, comes The Stack, a luxurious and stylish brasserie and bar with a French-inspired menu. The decor is bright and eclectic – there’s more leopard print than in your grandma’s wardrobe plus, the atmosphere is vibey and warm. Tuck into dishes like beef bourguignon and pork confit as the dining room fireplace quickly makes you forget all about the wintery bite outside and why this is one of the best winter restaurants in Cape Town.
Winter special: Two-course lunch or dinner for R235 | Three-course lunch or dinner for R275
6 The Skotnes
The culinary arm of the Norval Foundation and named after legendary South African artist, Cecil Skotnes, this incredible restaurant perfectly integrates architecture with amazing food. Serving up fresh South African inspired cuisine, The Skotnes creates a chic yet inviting ambience. And with views overlooking the foundation’s wetland and Sculpture Garden, it’s guaranteed to be an art lover’s dream restaurant.
Winter special: Two courses for R195 | Three courses for R235
Glowing with candlelit tables, and centred around the legendary Olive tree in the Cape Town city bowl, Asoka has been a long time favourite for many locals and visitors alike. Offering a warm and relaxing atmosphere away from the bustle of Kloof Street, guests are transported to a place of magical mystique. Known for their cocktails, enjoy the usual classics or try out one of their signature drinks while listening to soulful sounds.
A romantic ambience, beautiful wooden decor, immaculate food, a world-class wine list and a quaint little fireplace – this is what can be expected on a visit to Aubergine. Set in a historic 1830 home in Gardens, Chef Herald Bresselschmidt combines his international experience with local flare to produce innovative food experiences worth talking about. Add this to your date night list or grab a group of friends for a night filled with great wines and even greater food.
Winter special: Two courses for R305 | Three courses for R415
9 La Frasca
Mama mia! Despite being around for a good couple of years, La Frasca remains a somewhat hidden gem in the Mother City. Dressed in a beautiful, warm coat of red, this authentic little Italian spot is the perfect hideaway on a cold winter night. With a bar donned in twinkling lights, the aroma of wood-fired pizzas filling the air and the sound of limoncello-filled glasses clinking ever so often, La Frasca ticks all the right boxes. So pull out that winter jacket, your pizza and pasta dreams won’t be disappointed!
10 Chefs Warehouse Constantia
Perched on the top of Constantia Valley, Chefs Warehouse has arguably one of the best views in Cape Town. Overlooking winding vineyards and stretching all the way out to False Bay, guests are treated to a true culinary experience. Offering a seasonal, produce-driven menu paired with a top-notch wine list, a trip to this beautiful establishment is a no-brainer. Be sure to get there before the winter sun dips behind the mountains so that you can take in the breathtaking views.