Cape Town is no stranger to culinary excellence. We are absolutely spoiled for choice, and that at incredible prices. Normally I would contest that latter statement, but I’ve lived overseas and even earning in foreign currency I felt like a pauper when I wanted to eat out. Living and eating out in Cape Town is an absolute joy. But what does it really mean to be a Cape Town foodie, what are the latest foodie trends, and what are the things that we would throw four-year-old-temper-tantrums about if we don’t get them? Well, I’ve done some digging …
Cape Town Foodie Trend One: We Love Our Coffee
Cape Town is the spot where you’ll find an artisan coffee roaster on every street corner. Ok, perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration, but I would guess we’d come pretty close. To name a few off the top of my head: Truth Coffee, Mischu, Bean There, Origin, Deluxe, Terbodore, Rosetta, Tribe … and that’s only the tip of the ice berg! And do you know what all these coffee roasters have in common? They’re pretty darn awesome. And that makes us pretty spoiled coz coffee in many other places can be quite awful. Every real Capetonian will know and love their coffee – and you better not serve them a bad cup of the supposed-to-be good stuff!
Cape Town Foodie Trend Two: For Some Reason We Love Burgers
Growing up I always found burgers to be tremendously boring. A dodgy meat patty stuffed between two halves of carb-filled awfulness? Yeah, exactly. But that’s certainly not the case in Cape Town, and if there’s one thing this city will do, it’s to make you fall in love with burgers. Hey, we even ran a whole Burger Challenge with InstaEats and DineGuy last year, trying to find the best burger in town. While I haven’t quite been able to narrow down the best burger, there are certainly many top contenders: Royale is always a favourite, as are Hudsons, Jerry’s, and IYO. Other favourites include Slug & Lettuce Kloof Street (currently closed for renovations), Arcade, Devil’s Peak, Mondiall (they’re Wagyu is astounding), Villains Ale House, and Woodies. And Cape Town burgers certainly aren’t boring. Indeed, the more they’re stuffed or topped with, the better!
Villains Ale House runs an awesome 2-for-1 burger special every Wednesday
Cape Town Foodie Trend Three: Sushi Everywhere
Now this is a foodie trend I adore: Sushi! You’ll find it absolutely everywhere and unlike in other cities where’d you have to go to a specialised sushi restaurant, Cape Town restaurants have noticed that sushi is trending and have all jumped on the bandwagon. So you can get sushi at sushi spots, seafood spots, and non-seafood/sushi spots. How lucky are we? Sure, some of it is pretty overpriced, but we also have some really well-priced options. My favourite? Make in Sea Point. It looks a little dodge, but for what you’re paying it’s pretty darn delicious! Cape Town also loves its weird and artisan sushi – Banting rolls, weird fried stuff, and crazy additions. I’m less of a fan of these, but they certainly do keep things interesting! Try out Obi, Three Wise Monkeys (their sushi donut is making headlines), Yuzu, Willoughby’s, Ben Wei, and Saigon. Or drop us a comment for more suggestions.
Cape Town Foodie Trend Four: Craft Beer
Craft beer is commonly associated with the trust fund hipster babies, as Deep Fried Man so eloquently verses in his Cape Town Song (watch it if you haven’t, though beware the strong language). Personally, I’m not a beer fan. I grew up believing that ladies don’t drink beer and that hasn’t changed much, though I’m certainly never one to say no to trying. That said, one company that I’ve come to enjoy quite a bit is Devil’s Peak Brewery – particularly because they focus on innovative beer creations that are quite delicious and remind me of when I stayed in Hamburg drinking chocolate and/or raspberry beer! Yes, all beer drinkers will cringe at that statement. If that’s you, please ignore.
As an aside, also check out I Am Phill Black’s snazzy response to Deep Fried Man’s song. You’ll get it here.
Cape Town Foodie Trend Five: Craft Gin
I don’t know if craft gin is even a thing anywhere else in the world, but if you’re in Cape Town then you probably own a bottle or two of Rooibos Gin from the Cape Town Gin Company, Clemengold Gin, or a fancy bottle of Inverroche. Yup, gin is the latest cool thing in Cape Town. And we’re pretty good at making it. Find local favourites all around, and particularly at our two favourite city centre gin bars: The (not-so-secret) Gin Bar and Mother’s Ruin.
Clemengold Gin is a new favourite
And that’s it in a nutshell – I think. Beer, burgers, sushi, coffee, and gin. I think if you’ve got those five items covered, then you’re a true Capetonian foodie. I’m sure there’ll be new Cape Town foodie trends to add in due course – we are notorious trendsetters, after all. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty glad to be a Cape Town foodie. What with all the things we do excellently and all the constant new trends, there’s never a boring day!
Article Date: July 2017
*Cape Town shot by Johan Dempers Photography.