Cape Town boasts some of the most beautiful drives in the country. Following these stunning coastal roads with your car hire Cape Town vehicle is bound to take you past some undiscovered local restaurant gems. In just a few minutes of reading, discover from Green Point to Cape Point – our picks for the best hidden eateries in the Mother City to visit with car hire Cape Town.
Cafeen (Park’s Edge)
If you ever find yourself cruising through the southern suburbs, be sure to grab a light breakfast and a coffee at Cafeen. Enjoy your morning meal among the quaint Cape Dutch residences of Kenilworth at this charming café. Once you’ve decided whether to sit inside the eclectically-decorated cafe or outside in its tranquil courtyard, the next difficult decision will be choosing what to eat from their carefully-curated menu.
Your breakfast date may even be gate-crashed by the affectionate cats that frequent the café! There is no need to worry about where to park your car hire Cape Town vehicle, as the quiet roads offer space for parking alongside the curb. If you are looking for great coffee and a well-prepared meal in the Kenilworth area – look no further than Cafeen.
Botany is perhaps the most elusive entry on our list. If you are able to find it, you will be sure to enjoy an appetising gin cocktail with your impossibly moreish tapas. Botany can be found in the heart of the Newlands Quarter, on the far-side of a shared courtyard that can be overlooked whilst you enjoy a delicious beverage after a long day of adventuring in your car hire Cape Town vehicle.
The destination is also the perfect place to take a new and blossoming romance you may have encountered during your stay in Cape Town, as the menu is carefully curated with a seemingly endless array of cocktails and craft gin concoctions. Each option is made with care and presented with great attention to detail, making every drink an enjoyable one – and readying you for the next.
Cape Town has an overwhelming number of Greek restaurants. Aris Souvlaki is without question the most honest of them all, serving food that truly does justice to traditional Mediterranean cuisine. Understated, genuine, and delicious – if your car hire Cape Town experience leads you to drive along the Sea Point promenade at sunset, we implore you to head to Aris for gyros (traditional Greek meal) and ouzo (traditional Greek beverage). If you are a foodie, you will appreciate the raw and genuine air of this hidden and often overlooked spot.
You cannot discuss eating Mediterranean in Sea Point without first considering Giovanni’s Deliworld. Giovanni’s is a traditional Italian Deli that serves only the most authentic Italian meals – and a perfect espresso. From classic Italian dishes to freshly-prepared sandwiches, Giovanni’s is one of our favourite places to relax and enjoy a proper meal. If the delicious food does not make the deli your new regular spot during your car hire Cape Town experience and stay, the warm service of Giovanni’s team certainly will.
The south of the Cape Peninsula is also home to some of the most serene drives to experience in your car hire Cape Town vehicle! Kalk Bay is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Cape Town, and for good reason, as the bay has a whimsical air about it enjoyed by all those who walk its roads and drive its streets. Between the antique stores hidden up the narrow cobblestone alleys and the never-ending list of quirky eateries – Kalk Bay’s eclectic identity is what makes it so memorable.
‘Lekker’ is a quaint restaurant that can be found among the many unique cafes that overlook the south coast. For a comparatively small restaurant, Lekker has incredible range – one can grab their morning coffee in the cool morning breeze, or enjoy a delicious dinner at sunset after a freezing cold dip in the waters of Dalebrook beach. Offering amazing dinner specials and always-punctual service, you are guaranteed to have a good experience at Lekker.
Sloppy Sam / Origin Coffee
In the picturesque suburb of Die Waterkant, ‘Origin’ serves by far the best coffee to the suburb’s local commuters every morning. Origin goes to unparalleled lengths to ensure that every coffee ordered is as good as it could possibly be. Being the first artisanal coffee house in Cape Town, the barristers at Origin should be considered craftsmen. On top of this, Origin has a comprehensive menu of light meals such as bagels, sandwiches, and baked goods that are impossible to pass up on.
However, fewer people know that the upstairs section of the same building hosts an incredible restaurant known as ‘Sloppy Sam’. The owner, Hooman Saffarian, is unequivocally one of the most talented chefs in Cape Town. The Mediterranean-inspired dishes he prepares are mouth-watering, but also evoke a sense of familiarity. The food is uncomplicated, but perfectly prepared and presented. Be sure to park your car hire Cape Town vehicle nearby and spend a few hours enjoying the coffee and Mazzeh.
Arthur’s Mini Super
The last entry on our list is the delightful hole-in-the-wall ‘Arthur’s Mini Super’. Arthur’s is a tiny mid-century-modern-style grocery store that serves delicious traditional deli food. Who can say no to hot beef on rye with pastrami, sauerkraut, mustard and Russian dressing? Arthur’s incredible food allows it to transcend its trendy exterior into the realm of landmark status. The preparation of the food is just as beautiful as the design of the deli – the care taken by those that work at Arthur’s will make you want to spend all your mornings sipping coffee on their outside diner chairs.
The importance of supporting the restaurant industry during Covid-19
Since the arrival of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on South African shores, life as we knew it has dramatically changed. With a not-so-sunny projection of vaccine delivery rates within the country, it is unlikely things will revert back to “normal” any time soon. The implementation of the hard lockdown in March and subsequent alcohol bans turned the restaurant and service industry world upside down, leaving thousands without remuneration for months – and even though restrictions have eased, restaurants are still unable to operate at full capacity.
The restaurant and service industry is one of the largest in Cape Town, as the region is very tourist-oriented and locations are constantly making an effort to cater to the needs of exploring customers. When you decide to dine out during this time, you are contributing to the healing of the South African economy.
Parking woes when you use a car hire Cape Town vehicle
The Mother City is infamous for its limited parking space, and many restaurants do not enjoy their own allotted parking areas. This can make parking a nightmare for anyone unfamiliar with the area and using a car hire Cape Town vehicle. We suggest utilising direction and route applications such as Waze which show you where the closest parking lot in the area is, and how much walking time is required from there to get you to your destination. However, make sure that the area is a safe one before you park your car hire Cape Town vehicle and make the walk.
Tipping waiters and barmen
The unfortunate fact that service industry workers oftentimes receive less than average pay checks remains ever-present. If you are unfamiliar with South African dining, be advised that it is appropriate to tip your waiter no less than 10% of the bill’s total at the end of your meal or drinks. If you sit at a bar and order multiple drinks from a single barmen, you should also strongly consider tipping him an amount of 20-50 South African rand if it is within your means.
Safely dining out
Sadly, South Africa has a very high crime rate – likely as a result of disproportionate wealth and injustices of the past. This means that unsuspecting tourists and visitors unfamiliar with the safety levels of each area may be targeted. There are a few ways to increase your safety when you dine out:
Do not drink and drive
If you know that you will be drinking a substantial amount at a restaurant, consider leaving your car hire Cape Town vehicle at home and opting instead for public transport options such as Uber or Bolt. South African roads are notoriously dangerous and driving under the influence of alcohol is inadvisable at best. Walking back to your car after drinking, especially if it is parked far away is also unwise as you are less aware of your surroundings.
Keep only your most necessary items with you
Carrying a great deal of cash on you when you dine out is incautious, and this is applicable to anywhere in the world. Rather consider how much money you will need for your dining experience and leave the rest at your hotel or bed and breakfast. This way in the event of robbery you will not lose an excessive amount of cash. In the same light, opt for bags or belt-bags rather than keeping your valuables in your pockets or in your hands – as this is an effective way to keep your belongings safe.
Covid-19 safety tips when you dine out in Cape Town
Despite becoming fatigued with Covid-19 restrictions and regulations, after more than a year of the virus becoming a part of our everyday lives and activities, we cannot ignore the havoc it has wreaked on lives and families. The threat is still very much there, and it is only honest to say that entering public spaces such as restaurants increases your chance of contracting the virus. In light of this, here are some safety tips to keep you and family safer during your visit:
We are all tempted to rip our masks off as soon as we sit down in a restaurant and yes, it is legally condoned. However, it is only really necessary to take them off once you have received food and drink. Naturally, the longer you keep it on the odds of contracting the virus decrease, even fractionally so.
Resist the urge to place your phones and masks on the table when you sit down. Although the surfaces are supposed to be sanitized thoroughly in between customers, there is absolutely no guarantee that this is always done without fail, especially if a restaurant is particularly busy and employees are stressed and fully occupied.
Sanitize after using the menu. This is something most of us overlook and forget to do once we are comfortably seated. It is always advisable to carry your own bottle of sanitizer around with you to use at your own ease and discretion.