Going through the Kitchen.net restaurant directory, it is a complete pleasure to actually see the vast amount of diverse restaurants Cape Town has to offer. It’s another facet of the Mother City and South Africa as a whole that demonstrates our diversity. These restaurants are highly rated and each has great character making them unique and giving us an opportunity to add something different to each weekend.
To spice up ones life, one can experience many different cultures, flavours and surroundings each weekend, from Indian to Italian, Cape Malay to African, fine dining to casual fast food diners. There are restaurants ideal for dates, families and large functions.
One place that demonstrates this vastness so perfectly is Long Street in the centre of Cape Town. This popular, vibey, busy road draws crowds like no other. Its one of the funkiest places to be in the Mother City and it’s easy to see why. Standing at one end of the road and looking down as far as the eye can see, the senses are overwhelmed by colour, sounds and best of all, aromas. When I was working in the travel industry, people from different parts of the world would ask me about Long Street, so it’s clear that it has quite a far-reaching reputation.
Thinking about all the culinary options, one does not know quite where to start, so I shall begin with the place I know of best, where I have gone to with family for Sunday lunch and friends for post-clubbing, munchy eating at four in the morning – Food Inn. This Indian and Asian inspired restaurant draws customers with their exotic spicy fragrances, staying open 24 hours a day. They have a vast variety of Indian and Asian dishes that are extremely tasty and filling and the vibe is warm and relaxing.
A more African inspired restaurant that draws tourists and locals alike is Mama Africa. Here you will find warm African hospitality, traditional African art and decor, entertaining live bands, a bar and ethnic African food. If you haven’t yet been, you have not had a true African culinary experience.
A place with great history and fabulous food is Long Street Café which is pretty much considered “the cornerstone of Cape Town”, with its traditional Victorian Style building and bistro menu that draws crowds throughout the day and into the night.
The Royale Eatery, is the “Burger Kingdom” of Long Street, offering their customers fantastic burgers that are not easily forgotten. The simple décor and Bohemian art as well as their memorable milkshakes make this a place to talk about.
For those who prefer some sophistication, there is L’Apero at the Grand Daddy Hotel, situated in a colonial style building with a more urban and chic ambiance and style.
There is such diversity in Long Street, that you will even find an authentic Irish Pub, The Dubliner. This traditional looking pub looks like it came straight from the shores of a quaint Ireland county, making its mark on our South African land. Here you will find live talent as well as local and international beers and spirits.
And while we are on the topic of alcohol, even though I am not an alcohol drinker, it should probably be noted that some great (or so I hear) places for a drink and chilled atmosphere are Café Mojito and the Beerhouse.
These are just a fraction of what Long Street actually has to offer in the form of eating out, but the greatest thing about this is you don’t even need to know yet what you are actually in the mood for. Take a leisurely stroll with your partner or friends and whatever draws you most will be your choice for the night. Tomorrow night or next weekend will be the time to try somewhere new. And even if you are not in the mood for the hustle and bustle of Long Street, a short drive away is Green Point with its array of restaurants and a little further on is the V&A Waterfront mall with its own variety of restaurants.
So, the next time you are home and contemplating your culinary choices, consider grabbing a friend and starting your choice making in Long Street. Whatever you decide will transport you to another culture or lead you somewhere familiar. Either way, you will have an entertaining and flavourful night.
Featured Image: Magic South Africa, 2012, Cape Town, Long Street, viewed on 11 June 2014, from http://magicsouthafrica.blogspot.com/2012/11/cape-town-long-street.html
Long Street with Mama Africa: Cape Town Guide, n.d., Long Street Cape Town, Shopping, Music, Bare & Theatre, viewed on 11 June 2014, from http://www.cape-town-guide.com/long-street-cape-town.html
Delicious food from Food Inn: Groupon, n.d., Daily deal Cape Town, viewed on 11 June 2014, from http://www.groupon.co.za/deals/cape-town/Food-Inn/29211257