Long Street may be renowned for its buzzing nightlife and bohemian shops, but it also offers some of the city’s best dining experiences. From Korean barbecues to Middle Eastern cuisine, here are the best restaurants on Long Street.
Mama Africa offers diners an African experience in a laidback setting. The staff are friendly and attentive, and a live Marimba band will have you tapping your feet in the evening from 8pm. The menu features a wide selection of traditional meat and seafood dishes from around the continent. For starters, try the meat platter consisting of Mozambican chicken livers, game kebabs, East Coast mussels and homemade veggie samosas. For mains, try the lamb curry, Moroccan lamb pot roast or the game potjie.
Royale Eatery is a quirky, diner-style restaurant that serves more than 50 gourmet burgers and a range of delectable milkshakes. The two-floor venue boasts a relaxed setting, with retro furniture and a variety of artwork and ornaments decorating the walls. Choose from a wide selection of beef or vegetarian burgers, which are prepared fresh on-site, as well as pizzas and salads. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, be sure to try one of their delicious double-thick shakes, like the Jack Daniels & Peanut Butter or Lemon Cheesecake. Royale also serves cocktails, beer and wine.
Galbi offers a Korean barbecue with a South African twist in a bright and modern setting. The menu is inspired by both Korean and South African cuisine, and all mains are flavored with special recipe marinades. Each table features a small grill on which diners can cook their own game, meat, chicken or veggie dish, along with a delicious side. In addition to food, the bar serves a wide variety of beer, wine, cocktails and Korean specialties.
Café Mojito is a lively Cuban-themed restaurant and city watering hole with live music and sidewalk tables, where you can soak up the infectious energy of Long Street. The well-stocked bar whips up more than 20 colorful cocktails and a barrage of shooters, and it also caters to wine and beer lovers. On the food menu, you’ll find everything from breakfast fry-ups and gourmet burgers to the tastiest tapas and pizza. Stop by for happy hour from 4pm to 7pm, or on Wednesdays for the two-for-one burger special.
Mesopotamia was the first Kurdish restaurant to open its doors in South Africa, offering patrons a truly special dining experience. At Mesopotamia, you can take off your shoes and recline on genuine kilim cushions around antique copper tables. The venue is richly decorated with Kurdish artifacts, and the ambiance is cosy and relaxed. For starters, diners can share a selection of meze and naan bread, before diving into the delicious main courses, which are cooked on a traditional tandoori wood fire. Belly dancers provide entertainment on most evenings, and shisha smoking is also available.
Fork is one of very few Cape Town restaurants dedicated to tapas. The contemporary menu offers tasty bite-sized morsels ranging from meat and pork to vegetables and fish. Each dish is beautifully presented and ideal for sharing. The restaurant interior is stylish and inviting, with dark wood furniture, high beamed ceilings and exposed brick walls. A large mural of Greenmarket Square in the 19th century covers one of the walls, reminding patrons of the city’s colonial past.
Situated in an old Victorian building with large bay windows, Long Street Café is an institution on the popular nightlife and restaurant strip. The restaurant and bar boast a relaxed setting, with sleek red booths indoors and wooden tables and chairs lining the sidewalk. Its bistro-style menu is well priced and caters for all tastes with a selection of breakfast dishes, pizzas, burgers, salads and grills. When it comes to drinks, the extensive cocktail and wine list will not disappoint. Try the famous Long Street Café Iced Tea — a local version of the potent cocktail.
Obi is an authentic Japanese restaurant and bar run by Cape Town’s much-loved sushi specialist Hatsushiro Muraoka (or Papa San, as he is affectionately known), along with his chef partner Ben Bettendorf. Sushi-lovers can delight in traditional ramen, tempura, noodles and, of course, a wide range of mouthwatering sushi served on beautiful Japanese crockery. The majority of ingredients used by Obi are sourced directly from Japan, and all dishes are freshly prepared on site. Obi is hugely popular among the Cape Town crowd, so reservations are essential.
Restaurant, Fusion, Vegetarian, Vegan, South African, $$$
Lola’s occupies a refurbished Victorian building on the corner of Long Street and Buiten Street in the city center. The airy, relaxed venue offers bistro fare with fresh, South African flavors. From 7:30am, diners can dig into a selection of scrumptious breakfast dishes ranging from eggs benedict to scrambled eggs served with roasted tomato and basil pesto. While the lunch menu changes regularly, you can expect a variety of gourmet sandwiches, salads, pastas and meat dishes. Lola’s also serves excellent coffee and fresh fruit juice blends.
Orchard Juice & Health Bar is the go-to on Long Street for a nutritious meal and drink. The tiny place serves a range of refreshing cold-pressed juices, kombucha and energy-boosting smoothies, along with wholesome organic sandwiches, wraps and salads. If you’re feeling peckish, there are plenty of healthy snacks on the menu, including kale chips, homemade health bars and dried fruit to keep you satisfied until dinnertime. And if you’re too busy to sit down, you can order your juice or meal to go.