When the rain and the wind are pumping in Cape Town, no one wants to leave the house. But why give up on the chance to wine and dine just because it’s cold. Whilst Cape Town really does come alive in the summer when Capetonians take every opportunity to dine al fresco, there are some cosy restaurants offering delicious meals beside the fireside.
Photograph: Café Paradiso, Upper Kloof Street, Cape Town
Here are a few of my favourites …
Polona, Kalk Bay
I really do love this funky venue below Harbour House in Kalk Bay harbour. Grab a couch, sip cocktails and enjoy the warmth of the fireplace whilst watching the waves crash onto the rocks right outside the window. You can choose to dine at a table or just munch on snacks in the lounge area. If you’re lucky you’ll visit on the weekend night when a live band entertains guests.
Contact: +27 (0)21 788 7162
Go: Harbour House, Main Road, Kalk Bay
Societi Bistro, Gardens
Even better than dining outside in the sunshine, is having a table beside the crackling fire whilst enjoying your wine of choice or hot beverage. Their winter menu is reason enough to get out of bed; sirloin, garlic snails, lamb shank, ostrich and oat burgers and more. Best call to book a table as you’ll find others have already discovered this winter gem.
Contact: +27 (0)21 424-2100
Go: 50 Orange Street, Gardens
Photograph: Societi Bistro, Gardens, Cape Town
El Burro, Greenpoint
If you’re in the mood for spicy Mexican cuisine (and who isn’t), a raging fire and margaritas, El Burro in Greenpoint is where you’ll want to be. Get there early so you get a place indoors and keep the cocktails and fiery foods coming. They also usually have salsa dancing evenings, another brilliant way to get the blood flowing.
Contact: +27 (0)21 433 2364
Go: 81 Main Road, Green Point
Café Paradiso, Upper Kloof Street
Come rain or shine, this old home converted into an idyllic gem continues to have a special place in my heart and stomach. Who doesn’t want to smell fresh bread baking, taste hand-churned butter and eat pasta that’s just been made in their pasta machine? Their laid-back farm style setting is such a romantic place for couples but also great for families.
Contact: +27 (0)861 623 263
Go: 110 Kloof Street, Cape Town
Photograph: Polona, Kalk Bay
Galbi, Cape Town Central
After living in Seoul for two years, I was so surprised to find a Korean BBQ restaurant in the heart of Cape Town. Even better, they fuse a local flavours and meat. Each table has its own little fire and grill where you can cook your own marinated meat and share it with a couple of side dishes. Bring friends and family and keep warm around the table as you each take a turn to grill together.
Contact: +27 (0)21 424 3030
Go: 210 Long Street, Cape Town Central