How do you choose the best restaurants in any country?As I have discovered while doing research for this ridiculous article apparently you don’t. Groups of people with no real authority create an impression of importance by spewing their unverified opinion onto blogs in a witty way so as to gain readers. After having done this for long enough these food snobs then get together and decide they are going to hand out awards and accolades, as if anyone should care what these people think. I would far sooner listen to a recommendation from my friends and family than some poncey knob who felt it necessary to waste good internet space complaining about the “unjustly full bodied wine served alongside the fresh yet somewhat bland carpaccio.” With that in mind I have decided to create my own list of the top ten restaurants in Cape Town. What makes me such an authority I hear you ask; well I have lived in Cape Town for 28 years, I eat out regularly and more importantly I managed a restaurant for four years. So I am as much of an authority as any of the detached voices that that pollute the internet with their puerile opinion.
Firstly it must be said that most of these restaurants will be found in the suburbs hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist crowds, none of them haveMichelin Stars or celebrity chefs. You will however be guaranteed a smile when you walk in, good quality food and value for money. What might surprise you the most when you visit these tucked away gems is how busy they are.
I am going to start with my favourite Italian restaurant in the heart of the Southern suburbs. Always busy and always open, or so it feels like. Barruso’s is a small unimposing place that shares a building with a small corner café and a Chinese take-away that used to sell carpets. They do a mean wood fired Pizza, served on rustic wooden boards, as well as a fantastic range of pastas. Found on Camprground Rd in Rondebosch.
Staying in the Southern Suburbs and sticking with a foreign theme is the Fat Cactus, a favourite watering hole for the suburban creative set that were never quite trendy enough to live in town. They make the best chilli poppers to be found anywhere in Cape Town and a chilli con carne that’ll warm you down you your toes on a Cape Town winters day when the wet North East blasts through the ‘burbs. Found on Durban Rd in little Mowbray, it has a sister restaurant in town but it lacks the character of its suburban counterpart.
Italian is not an obsession but I am going back there this time in the rather boring suburb of Pinelands, one of the Southern Suburbs best kept secrets, although you wouldn’t think so if you tried to get a table there. Mama Roma is, to be quite frank, printing money. Getting a table here requires a booking days in advance, once you have one though you’ll see why. The food is excellent and the wine list boasts the best that South Africa has to offer. For a small suburban restaurant it’s not cheap but the food rivals anything you’ll find in the trendy eateries of the city bowl.
The Hussar grill is undoubtedly the best steak to be had in Cape Town there are two of them that I know of one which can be found on Sea Point main road and the other on Rondebosch main road, both are small character filled establishments and both have excellent butchers that’ll ensure you get the best possible steak.
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