Finding a new little restaurant that you feel comfortable in is like finding gold. Some Cape Townians will be kind enough to share their secret spots with you whilst some would rather keep the crowd away from their hidden gem in the city. While the main roads and malls are always abuzz with hotspots, the real treasures are quietly concealed in suburban nooks and side streets with some of the best grub around. Just in case your restaurant bucket list wasn’t long enough, here are some new hidden gems to discover – or revisit – around your city.
HOUSE OF H
One of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets can be found on…112 Loop Street. Yes, it’s been right under your eyes for some time now. Stepping off Loop Street into House of H is like entering a welcoming parallel universe. It’s a steampunk delight of Victorian wood-fired range, copper piping, long tables and a living wall of herbs. At the kitchen counter you meet H (Chef Heinrich Koen), ready to talk you through your order. The short, steak-focused menu is designed for quick cooking and feel-good eating, and the card swipe system makes self-service a breeze. There is grass-fed organic beef- dry-hung so it cooks in minutes- for rib-eye, sirloin, beef ribs, steak rolls and brisket sarmies. There is sustainable fish, hand-cut chips, fresh salads and veggies from a community urban organic garden, and homegrown oyster mushroom for substantial mushroom burgers. There’s also a bar, coffee shop, barbers, and a rooftop tattoo parlor! The venue hosts private events if needed and can host up to 100 guests at a time.
“Upstairs [the rooftop] is turning into the ultimate “Dude’s Bar” or “Man-Cave”,” Christina explains. “It’s a one-stop-shop for having a drink, a great meal, a tattoo and a haircut along with a quick game in the VR lounge.”
“This is OUR House, where anything goes, where good food and great drinks are a standard, where a little bit of debauchery goes a long way and where you ALWAYS feel welcome.
At our House, we do not treat you as a guest, you are family, you help yourself, explore our home, share a story and embrace our carefree spirit!”
112 Loop St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000
SECRET GIN BAR
This undercover gem in the CBD is where the Insiders go, come sundown.
Tucked neatly behind Honest Chocolate Café in the armpit of the Commune 1 Gallery, this dedicated gin bar, like its chocolately sibling, is all about quality rather than quantity. The menu comprises only four cocktails, aimed at providing connoisseurs with some much needed organic healing. Cleverly named Head, Heart, Soul and Ambition, the gins are refreshing, tasty and deliciously subtle in flavour.
The pocket-sized Victorian-style bar shares a charming courtyard with Honest Chocolate, where guests can sit and savour their spirit of choice. My favourite is the herby Heart, which combines hints of rosemary with the fynbos flavours of Inverroche gin. Did you know there was an upstairs section? The venue hosts private events if needed and can host between 40-50 people at a time.
The Gin Bar – 64A Wale Street Cape Town
Set in a dappled shade of the trees, amongst art galleries, antique dealers and clothing purveyors of the decades-old Church Street Antique market, Café Mozart is the perfect place to relax and watch the city go by. This quirky café is all about hearty breakfast, high tea and gin and tonics after retail therapy. With its laid back Parisian ambiance and the entertaining activity of the market, breakfast could easily turn into a lazy lunch. An eclectic interior, diverse menu and tangible sense of history makes this little hidden gem delightful and unique. The ideal stop whilst visit the Cape Town city center.
37 Church St, Cape Town City Centre Cape Town, 8000
If you are looking for a new, exciting and “real” Italian restaurant, then let us share this little secret gem with you. Villa 47. Starting with their family tradition of sharing trusted, quality produce, VILLA 47 is the gastronomic manifestation of the last 20 years of sourcing, selecting and delivering of the finest ingredients and food brands from around the world. Villa 47 consists of 3 floors, namely the first floor Locanza; the second floor Stuzzico and the third floor – the Restaurant. Best part? All three venues can be privatized for your events and functions.
Locanda is the epitome of the relaxed Italian bistro where guests can experience regional specialty dishes prepared by our Italian Chef, Vittorio Bianchi, under the leadership of head Chef, Clayton Bell. Locanda loosely translates to ‘hotel’ or ‘inn’, and while accommodation is not on the menu, we invite our guests to enjoy and share in our passion for the finest quality Italian food. The venue can host up to 80 guests inside and up to 40 in their beautiful courtyard.
Stuzzico is their Italian tapas and cocktail bar. ‘Stuzzico’, meaning ‘appetizer or snack’, is the perfect after-work spot for signature cocktails, sharing plates and great music. Sophisticated and bold, Stuzzico is also their events venue – from everything to DJ evenings, pairings and tastings, as well as First Thursdays. The entire space could host between 80 and 100 guests enjoying the open space or 40 guests sitting down.
Lastly, The Restaurant is their boutique fusion dining experience. Curated dishes meet flavor experiments in this chic, contemporary and warmly lit environment. Rose gold mirrors and a striking skylight, coupled with an open plan, barbeque-fitted kitchen and an incomparable menu by Head Chef Clayton Bell make Restaurant a sophisticated, rich culinary voyage. In this chic, contemporary and warmly lit environment. Rose gold mirrors and a striking skylight, coupled with an open plan, barbeque-fitted kitchen and an incomparable menu by Head Chef Clayton Bell make Restaurant a sophisticated, rich culinary voyage. This venue could host up to 60 guests sitting down.
47 Bree St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000