After a hearty breakfast with the freshest, the Cape has to offer many will opt for a snack at lunchtime or maybe a coffee with a slice of home-made cake. If you are on the road sightseeing around Cape Town there are numerous coffee shops and small restaurants where you can chill over a bite and take in the atmosphere of the area and plan where you’ll be dining in the evening.
Back at the hotel, while you relax in your room, reflect on the day and watch the changing mood over the ocean, the staff at Ocean View House will gladly make your dinner booking and organise transport too.
From Ocean View House you have some of the best of Cape Town’s restaurants within easy reach but if you plan to enjoy some of the delicious Cape wines a taxi there and back is inexpensive and advisable.
The Venice of Cape Town
The Venice of Cape Town, Camps Bay is not only perhaps the most vibrant of Cape Town’s beaches it is also home to just about every kind of cuisine and style of cooking you can imagine. Let’s take a stroll along Beach Road. The Ocean is on our right and the parking attendants are waving vehicles in and out of the spaces along the road as they become available.
The first option is Café Mynt with its bright umbrellas on the pavement and relaxed atmosphere inside. Here you can enjoy salads, pasta and burgers and of course a range of cocktails, if you were here last year chances are you’d meet the same staff. Now that speaks volumes.
Quite different and very new is TIGER’S MILK ‘Kitchen & Bar’, situated just next door. The latest addition from this group who opened their first Café in Muizenberg and also have 2 other bars in town. With elevated seating outside, more tables and space inside Tigers Milk Camps Bay is fast becoming a very cool venue. With a large upper deck, excellent for a sun-downer cocktail to start the evening, the restaurant makes the most of the corner plot it occupies. The menu covers basically everything from snacks to burgers and steaks and as the kitchen only closes at 11 pm it is ideal for those wanting to dine late. There is a real vibe at Tigers Milk, the guests are cosmopolitan and you will find space and tables for couples or groups. At night the lighting looks amazing but the music can get pretty loud.
Next on the strip may seem quiet early on but it is traditionally the place to be for the younger crowd. Café Caprice is a longstanding favourite with a wide range of delicious cocktails and also light meals. This is not the venue for a quiet meal and can get very full. As the evening continues staff is busy keeping the glasses filled, the music playing and the pavement clear for passing visitors. You could pop by in the morning for a second breakfast, they will be open.
The very next building offers a 2 for 1. Upstairs is Mantra Café with bistro booths a long bar and a neat closed balcony seating area. Floor to ceiling glass means even if the Cape Doctor is blowing you can watch the activities from your table, naturally, the windows can be folded away too. The cuisine is bistro style with some Italian options and a variety of salads.
The 41 is just below. It opened last year and has created a great following. More elegant but still relaxed the menu is classier and more adventurous with a delicious ostrich signature dish and a good, fairly priced wine list. Lunches often include a glass of wine with your meal.
Of course, you will find many restaurants with fish on the menu. Ocean Basket in Camps Bay is a big hit for families looking for a wide selection of fish dishes and platters. One of three fish focussed restaurants the selection is huge. Everything is freshly made and served with chips or salad. Look out for the notes on sustainable fish which is the only kind on the menu here. Sushi is also available but not the focus.
Another family favourite is Col’Cacchio. Located above the Kauai healthy wraps, salads and smoothie place. Col’Cacchio claims to have the best pizzas on the strip and also serve pasta and salads. The kids or those with artistic talent can draw on the paper tablecloths, crayons are provided. If you are hungry on the beach this restaurant will also deliver to your sun lounger!
Past the largest hotel, ‘The Bay’ is another block of great restaurants serving excellent meals with menus from around the world and attentive waiters. Paranga offers diners raised tables in an airy bright dining venue with great views across to the beach. New additions to the copious menu all the time. A favourite with visitors year after year and children can also be catered for. UMI is an excellent Japanese restaurant, freshest ingredients and beautiful presentation. The food is high quality and it can be pricey. The restaurant itself is on the second floor with an open terrace so great views come at no extra cost.
Just across the stairs from UMI is the relatively new Bilboa restaurant. Modern, stylish with an innovative menu covering many international favourites this restaurant is a special place to enjoy a wonderful evening for a romantic dinner or with special friends. Situated above Bilbao and ideal for a pre-dinner drink or a nightcap is Chinchilla Rooftop Café and Bar. Relaxed seating areas and cosy tables for light meals and of course the all-important sunset cocktail make this a very special place with views to make friends at home envious. Below Chinchilla at street level is ZENZERO where guests report small portions but great salads and a wide drinks menu, and The RAJ an amazing Indian restaurant with excellent food and service. There are many vegetarian options and authentic dishes where you can choose the level of hot spice. The waiters are knowledgeable about which wines go well with the Indian food but beer is of course also available.
The Camps Bay Strip would not be complete without a Hard Rock Café, although only recently added, the fare is the same as in other cafes of the same name. Smaller than you would perhaps expect, but of course you will still find the Hard Rock memorabilia and the inevitable t-shirt and baseball cap merchandise.
Real Steaks with almost every cut you could wish for are served up at The Butcher (and also at Hussar Grill which is in Camps Bay but not on the strip). The South Africans know their meat and you can always be sure of a quality steak grilled to your preference. Try out a new sauce and surprise yourselves.
If you are a fan of Mexican food you will just love DEL MAR. Across from the beach on the upper level, you can dine in casual comfort with a great ocean view. Guests report authentic dishes and good service. Closing off this end of the Camps Bay Restaurant mile is Ocean Blue. Focus on the fish here, so close to the ocean it must be fresh and certainly is. Fish and Chips at the beach? Yes but there are also many other dishes, a wide range of shellfish, calamari starters, and mains with or without salad.
For the ultimate fish experience in Camps Bay head left around the corner to The Codfather. In the road behind the front row restaurants, the Codfather has been offering guests a personal choice of fresh fish for decades. Your waiter will guide you to the fish counter where you can choose one, two or actually as many pieces of fish or prawns or calamari you like. Grilled or pan-fried with vegetables, chips or rice the choice is yours. There is also a large sushi counter with a wide selection of delicacies on offer. An irresistible experience for fish lovers.
The last restaurant on the way back to Ocean View House and very close to the Camps Bay Theatre on the Bay is Primi Piatti. Open all day, and ideal for an early dinner before the theatre, this popular Italian restaurant has a number of favourites on the menu. Spaghetti Bolognese, Penne Arrabiata and of course pizzas. The portions are generous but smaller ones are also on offer. There are limited tables by the window but this end of the Camps Bay Strip is definitely a bit quieter.
Wherever you choose to dine in Camps Bay it is worth arriving early to take a stroll along this world famous beach. Soak up the vibe, pick your spot for your sun-downer and relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the Atlantic Ocean and Table Mountain’s slopes.