Cape Town restaurants open and close all the time due to a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s because the owners move, sometimes it’s because of bad management, and sometimes it’s just bad luck. But, lately, it’s mostly due to Covid-19.

We’ve certainly had to say goodbye to our fair share of beloved restaurants over the last few years. They may be gone but they will certainly never be forgotten.

We’ve put together this tribute post to honour the memories of all the restaurants that have closed down due to Covid-19 – and before.

Of course, there are many Cape Town restaurant closures that we may not be aware of and have not included below. We’ve focused on the restaurants that we have visited for reviews or in our personal capacity.

Covid-19 Cape Town Restaurant Closures

Addis in Cape

Beloved Ethiopian restaurant Addis in Cape has joined the many that have closed their doors – but memories of this unique restaurant will certainly remain. Addis in Cape certainly was an institution and will be missed.

Brownies and Downies 

The inner city – with fewer residents than other areas – was possibly the hardest hit in the first few months of lockdown, and the beloved Brownies and Downies had to close its doors. 

Cocoa Wah Wah

Student favourite Cocoa Wah Wah in Rondebosch has also closed its doors but Cocoa Cha Chi and Cocoa Oola are still going strong.

the larder cafe johnny depp

The Johnny Depp Eggs Benedict at the Larder Cafe was one of the best breakfast dishes in Cape Town

Exhibit A

This beautiful fine dining establishment just opened its doors late in 2019 but, sadly, wasn’t able to weather the Covid-19 storm. Dining at Exhibit A was certainly an experience, and, hopefully, the team will put together something new as soon as they are ready.

Jason Bakery – Bree Street

The iconic Bree Street branch of Jason Bakery has closed its doors. This is definitely the end of an era. But, the good news is that the bakery is still going strong from its Green Point branch, so you’ll find all your favourites there.

Jessy’s Waffles

Jessy’s Waffles was famous for its vegan waffles that never failed to impress but, unfortunately, this niche cafe also had to close its doors. It will surely be missed by many.

The Kitchen

This Woodstock favourite was one of the first to shut its doors when Covid-19 hit. Serving up delicious salads and a favourite lunch spot for many, this one came as a surprise.

But owner Karen Dudley will certainly remain on the food scene.

La Mouette

The closing of La Mouette is heart-breaking. This restaurant was an institution, a landmark restaurant to visit, and one that continuously made it on to the I Love Foodies must-visit restaurant list.

The Larder

An I Love Foodies favourite, The Larder Cafe in Claremont was devastated by Covid-19. But we have high hopes that Chef Sonja Edridge will impress with her culinary creations in the future.


The award-winning Myoga Restaurant at the Vineyard Hotel has been a firm favourite for many, and its closure saddened the hearts of beloved diners. But restaurant-entrepreneur Mike Bassett will not disappear from the industry, so look out for future endeavours coming your way.

Myoga Restaurant Bread Platter

Shortmarket Club

The closure of this Luke Dale-Roberts restaurant came as a surprise but the team has confirmed it, with no reopening in the foreseeable future. The other restaurants – The Test Kitchen and The Pot Luck Club, amongst others – are still going strong.

Smak Deli

Smak Deli may have closed its doors but the team isn’t going anywhere. Chef Katia will undoubtedly have something else up her sleeve very, very soon.

The Stack

The Stack was well known for its great food, divine cocktails, and gorgeous interiors. This is certainly a one-of-a-kind establishment that will be sorely missed.


Stacked was a diner-style cafe with simple burgers, waffles, and more on Kloof Street.

Upper Bloem

It seems like just the other day that Upper Bloem opened its doors – and we’ve had to bid farewell already. While the restaurant had first only closed temporarily, it seems like the closure is now a more permanent foodie tragedy.

The Stack Food

The Stack featured the most beautiful interior and stunning outdoors garden

Prior Cape Town Restaurant Closures

  • Bird’s Cafe: This Bree Street gem served the best breakfasts and amazing fine dining dinners. We visited in 2015.
  • Cabron: We only visited Cabron once but they served tacos and tequila. Need we say more? We visited in 2018.
  • Cafe Chic: A Gardens fine dining restaurant we visited in 2015.
  • Cafe Dijon: This De Waterkant gem was one of the first restaurants we reviewed for I Love Foodies back in 2015.
  • Charango: This was a Peruvian restaurant on Bree Street – the first time we had ceviche back in 2015!
  • Culture Club Cheese: This Bree Street favourite was a true I Love Foodies favourite. We visited all the time to eat at the deli or to buy cheese for home. Luke and his restaurant are sorely missed!
  • Dalliance: Dukka-spiced tuna! We definitely have fond memories of this V&A Waterfront restaurant. We visited in 2015.
  • Dear Me: This Longmarket Street cafe had the best build-your-own breakfast menu! We visited in 2015.
  • Deckhouse Crabshack & BBQ: This was an I Love Foodies favourite, offering crabs, jambalaya, and all things New Orleans. We visited numerous times.
  • Franky’s Diner: This diner had the best American-style burgers, milkshakes, and curly fries! We visited in 2015.
  • Inside & You’re Out (IYO): This was a cool little Bree Street burger spot that had a Cluedo-style menu. We visited in 2015.
  • The Mess: This was a restaurant in De Waterkant focused on sharing plates and communal dining. We visited in 2016.
  • Mondiall: Always close to our hearts, I Love Foodies spent a lot of time at this V&A Waterfront restaurant. We visited numerous times over the years. We visited them last just before they closed in 2018.
  • Odyssey Gastropub: The Odyssey graced Bree Street and offered casual food. We visited in 2016.
  • On19: This top-floor restaurant at The Westin Cape Town offered the most amazing views – and amazing food. It’s since been converted to a members-only area. We visited numerous times.
  • Oyo: Located at the V&A Waterfront, this restaurant was a gem. They had the most amazing Cobb salad. We visited in 2015.
  • Primal Eatery: This Bree Street restaurant was fantastic, with the best charred octopus and delicious steaks! It’s so missed! We visited in 2018.
  • Raya Kitchen: Located at the Taj Hotel, Raya was one of the first authentic Thai restaurants we experienced with amazing dim sum and phenomenal food. It’s a pity they didn’t survive. We visited in 2017.
  • Sentir: We only visited this Long Street fine-dining spot once, but it left a great impression. We visited in 2017.
  • Slug & Lettuce Kloof Street: These guys had the best low-carb burger served on a giant mushroom. We spent a lot of time here over the years – and sorely miss this spot!!!
  • Starling & Hero Bicycle Cafe: This was the cutest little spot at the Woodstock Exchange with great sandwiches! We visited in 2015.
  • Umi: This Camps Bay restaurant had the most amazing soya sauce. We visited last in 2016.


Written by Benike Palfi
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Last updated: May 2021

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