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6 days in Capetown

Hi,
I will be in capetwon for 6 nights and have 2 company dinners. I am looking for great food for the other nights and lunches. So far we are thinking about La Colombe and Savoy Cabbage. We are staying in Bantry Bay but will travel to any part of the city. I would really appreciate reccomendations or feedback. Thanks so much.

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  1. Just back from Capetown (do be careful as I did have a gold chain necklace ripped off my neck in broad daylight two blocks from my hotel (Cullinan Southern Sun) even though all other experiences there an walking about their lively shopping pedestrian mall was very enjoyable, Capetown is really trying to save their down town from the fate of too many other SA cities that at one time were vibrant centers of activity)

    The new Victoria and Alfred Center at the docks is well worth visiting for a whole range of dining options, people watching and just plain lively fun. It is an extremely well designed, well-patrolled urban wonderland and the pride of this city that really deserves credit as they proactively face their troubled challenges.

    They want to show off to the world what they have become for the World Cup and I wish them the very, very best. We had a very nice meal at the outdoor Italian one with the German name of Hilderbrand's for some famous "snoeek" pate and vitello tonnato. And Belthazars for a lovely lunch of lamburger for me and local crayfish for DH, served with mounds of chips.

    A real treat was visiting the wineries out in the Stellenbosch valley with Vergelegen as the absolute jewel of a spot with a lovely outdoor spot named Lady Phillips Restaurant and we also ordered a box lunch picnic at Warwick Estates - which was an enticing variety of Morrocan treats, crusty French baguettes, cheese, olives and finished with a moist and chewy chocolate brownie -- a real international treat.

    1. Thank you for the recommendations. We will definelty check out the Victoria and Alfred Center. aWe are lloking forward to visiting the wineries and will check out Lady Phillips Restaurant. Thanks again!

      1. Hope it's not too late, but if you have wheels, a side trip to the Southern Suburbs will be worth your while. Drive over Chapman's Peak, walk around Simon's Town, Fish Hoek and you won't be disappointed.

        Lunch is an absolute must at the Olympia Cafe in Kalk Bay - I ordered lamb liver atop mashed potatoes which was outrageously fresh, luxuriant and served with some ciabatta bread nearly as good as Royal Crown (Brooklyn) or Sullivan Street's. The potatoes in S. Africa have an old-timey flavor. Not to worry if organ-meat's not your thing, loads of choices.

        Sushi was better than average at Tank...it's in a shopping mall near the colourful Bo Kaap neighbohood.

        One of our best dinners was at Caveau, a wine bar south of Rondebosch / UCT with oh-so-reasonable price points compared to other upscale places and a tapas-like menu with tons of variety.

        I'll agree about tripping out to Stellenbosch for a day of wining and dining...visited Louisenhof for their 10-taste flight + port and brandy all for a service charge of less than 3 bucks US$. Remhoogte winery has a backdrop animal game preserve worth seeing if you don't get out to safari country. They may still be closed on Saturdays so call ahead. Kumkani Wines at The Company of Wine People featured a memorable deep-red called "Triple J". Dinner was pricey at Bukhara (Indian) but had some high-end tandoori and breads were superb.

        If you stay overnight, drive over the mountain to Paarl for another side of wine country and take the N1 back into CapeTown - scenic.

        Fresh fruit at local produce stores is excellent. For a great treat, go to Woolworth's and pick up a few Lindt "Coffee Intense" Chocolate bars...they're not available in the States, as far as I know.

        Souvenirs? They sell Vuvuzela Horns (the ones nearly banned for the FIFA World Cup soccer matches) at Shop-Rite supermarkets for 1/4 the price you'd pay at the airport. Your friends will love them!

        Give the "parking guys" with flourescent green vests a few rands and have a great time.

        1. Mike,

          Thanks for the reply. We are definetly going to go to Olympia Cafe, sounds great! THe trip to the Southern Suburbs sounds great, so we will fit that in too. I think we are going to go to wine country for the day. We are going to check out the vineyards you reccomended. Thank you so much for the great information!!

          1 Reply
          1. re: kelichman

            If you have time for Wine Day outing, consider Paarl, then visit www.backsberg.co.za,
            www.fairview.co.za [ for some fine cheeses] , www.laborie.co.za [ where lunch is tasty Cape fare ] , then visit KWV's huge Cellar to end off with some fine sherries and ports.

            Nearer the city is the Durbanville Route the smaller wineries have some fine tasters.

            Snoek and Chips from Lusitania Fisheries in Hout st, off Loop.

            Lekker-eet en suip !

          2. The 'best' places in town:

            Jardine, Aubergine, Bizerca Bistro

            In Constantia:

            La Colombe, Buitenverwachting, Steenberg

            In the winelands:

            Rust en Vrede (the very best!), Overture, Waterkloof, Terroir, Jordan plus several more!

            7 Replies
            1. re: macsym

              I am heading to Cape Town in a few weeks for the World Cup and already have reservations at La Colombe and Rust en Vrede. We are renting a car the day we are going to RenV, but do we need one to get to La Colombe (we are staying on long st. in a hostel)?. Also do we need to wear a jacket and tie for these places?

              1. re: rezyfsu

                Driving back from RenV is a good 45 minutes - so dont drink too much wine!

                La Colombe is 20 minutes from Long Street - you can organise a taxi to take and collect you.

                Personally I would wear a jacket (as much for warmth) can always take it off once you are there. Ties are absolutely not necessary unless you want to wear one. Dress code here is very relaxed Enjoy your meals RenV is a great experience. The food at La Colombe is excellent, depending on what you are expecting you may find it more casual/relaxed and homely than expected of the "12th best restaurant in the world"

                1. re: macsym

                  We are all recent college graduates with a healthy appetite and a taste for good food. What are the tipping policies in Cape Town? over here in the states its is 15%. Also what are some good local places to eat/drink around Long St. that we shouldn't miss?

                  1. re: rezyfsu

                    10% tip is the norm, but if you had a great time then it can be more.
                    Best place in Long Street is Fork - its tapas style i.e best to share several small dishes - but great food, very friendly and good service. Another tapas place has also just opened called Ultima Tapa, but I have not been but heard the sangria and gazpacho are good!
                    Jardine in Bree Street is the best place in town followed by Bizerca Bistro. 95 Keerom St and Carne (meat only) are also very good. For just a steak HQ - young lively crowd. If you like good beer go to &Union (good food too!). Caveau is a lively wine bar. Mezzaluna is a very friendly authentic Italian.
                    Happy to help with other suggestions!

                    1. re: macsym

                      With regards to nightlife I heard a bunch about Long St. are there any other places or areas that shouldn't be missed? Also I have heard that some parts of Cape Town could be pretty dangerous, are there any areas we should definitely avoid? We only plan on renting the car for the one day we are going out to Stellenbosch, is getting around the other places easily done by taxi? Also in Stellenbosch whats the best way to do the vineyard tours and wine tastings? And lastly for now do you know of any good places to eat lunch that day?

                      1. re: rezyfsu

                        Good places for lunch: Overture (at Hidden Valley), Terroir (at Klein Zalze) Jardine (at Jordan). In Stellenbosch town itself Christoff, Cafe Dijon.
                        Long Street is the centre of nightlife.
                        There is a hop on hop off bus which will take you to all the major sites www.citysightseeing.co.za.
                        You cannot hail a taxi in the street, but they are plentiful.
                        Just decide which wine farms you want to visit and turn up (driver might have to taste and spit!).
                        Just avoid any dark quiet side streets in the city centre at night - Long Street itself is generally ok particularly if you are not alone.

                        1. re: rezyfsu

                          We were just in CT for two weeks -- Long St is good for nightlife -- there's a great DJ at a place called The Waiting Room (there is a small cover) and they have a roof top patio. The restaurant downstairs, "The Royal Eatery," is a great place for unusual burgers -- including ostrich and several spicy pork creations. Get one with a chocolate shake, they're delicious. There's a bar further up near Kloof called Rafiki's that was very popular during the games. Also consider Sapphire in Camps Bay (where we stayed) and other local beach side bars in Camps Bay. Lots of people are around for the sunsets there which are spectacular.

                          For food -- I must second a previous chow recommendation to go to The Codfather in Camps Bay -- the name is terrible but the food is great. You order seafood by weight and they prepare it for you with veg and rice. I've never had such delicious prawns or langos -- the price can add up depending on what you get, so let your waiter know your price range. They also have 1/2 price sushi for lunch and we found the fish and seafood to be very very fresh both times we were there.

                          I'd second the Aubergine recommendation and it's definitely worth wearing a coat there and making a reservation -- the room is small. We enjoyed oysters, fresh prawns and large crayfish (more the size of a small lobster), blesbok, and several deserts that we shared. The duck liver appetizer was creamy, rich, and perfect.

                          We had a fabulous meal, the best of the trip in fact, at the Round House in Camps Bay -- the service was impeccable and the chefs tasting menu with wine pairing was wonderful. The Camembert/apple cheese course was a revelation and perfect for a cool evening and the souffle exquisite. The menus at both Aubergine and Round House include local favorites like warthog and blesbok and are worth the try

                          We also had fabulous oysters at The Twankey Bar in Cape Town -- they have other small tapas, but not a full menu. A lunch at Mint, which is a sister operation, was good but not stunning.

                          Friends did the wineries, and enjoyed them, but were not overwhelmed. We managed to have wines from all of the local wineries by asking at dinners to have our wine pairing to feature local wines and we found several we liked a great deal.

                          If you're driving to Cape Point and/or Simons Town for the penguins (both recommended) stop and have lunch or breakfast in Simon's Town at The Meeting Place -- which is on the main road. Absolutely delicious and inexpensive fresh salads and sandwiches and the pastries smelled divine. If you're more fish and chips at the time, choose The Salty Dog (right on the pier) which came recommended by our boat captain as the only place to go and order the hake for a few rand more. We did both and would return.

                          Salt has a bistro across the street in Sea Point that is worth the time for breakfast/lunch/picnic food. We actually had our best breakfasts on the main strip in Sea Point -- there are several to choose from.

                          I'd recommend avoiding the food on the V& A Waterfront, despite other recommendations to the same we found ourselves there hungry and tired -- it was the worst meal of the trip.

                          Enjoy -- we loved cape town!