Cape Town’s secret season is finally here! As any local Capetonian will tell you, winter in the Mother City is our favourite little secret. Yes it rains, but rainy days are made cosy with fireplaces and enormous glasses red wine. And of course, our favourite restaurants finally have some free tables! Let me tell you, there’s nothing quite as cosy and delicious as winter in Cape Town.
One of my favourite things about winter in Cape Town is the opportunity to eat at some of the city’s best restaurants at very special winter rates. Most of the top restaurants around the city run winter specials in a bid to entice the locals out of hibernation, which means we can dine at some of the best restaurants in the city for a fraction of their normal rates. Bring on the stretchy pants!
The Best Winter Restaurant Specials in Cape Town 2019
1 Grub & Vine
Celebrity Chef (and my friend) Matt Manning’s stunning inner-city restaurant is light and bright with a simple but delicious menu that keeps fans going back again and again. And the wine list – don’t even get me started! Every bite, from the homemade bread down to the last sweet bite of dessert is “mmm” good. His new Sunday lunch menu is just what this city needs, so book your table and enjoy a long, wintry Sunday feast.
Winter special offer: Weekly winter hot plate lunch (soup, oxtail cottage pie or curry depending on the week) for only R90 | Two-course weekday lunch (plus complimentary canapés) for R150 | Five-course Sunday lunch menu (featuring creamy soup and homemade bread starter, a fish and veg course, the roast of the day – either lamb, pork belly, chicken or beef – with crispy golden potatoes and lashings of rich gravy finished with dessert) for R425 | Weekday walk-ins welcome | Bookings advised for Sunday lunch
2 The Stack
The perfect place to enjoy a hearty dinner in front of the fireplace. The style of food is what I call “classics done very right” (the perfect steak and chips, succulent rack of lamb). Bistro style food with flair. It’s worth springing for the three course menu – because why not? And of course the pre-dinner cocktails are some of the best in the city, so arrive early for a little aperitif before the main event.
Winter special offer: Two-course lunch or dinner for R235 | Three-course lunch or dinner for R275 | Available Monday to Sunday | Booking is advised
3 The Food Barn
This is one of my absolute favourite places to spend a long lunch on the weekend! The drive out to Noordhoek via Champan’s Peak is almost as beautiful as the laid-back fine dining-style food served by chef Franck Dangereux in his converted barn restaurant. This is a really great place to go if you want to feel like you’re out of the hustle and bustle of the city, and the service is impeccable.
Winter special offer: Two-course lunch or dinner for R295 (or R265 without wine) | Three-course lunch or dinner for R345 (or R305 without wine) |Available all week, including weekends and public holidays | Booking is advised
4 Kyoto Garden Sushi
By far the best sushi restaurant in town (and officially the best Asian restaurant in South Africa), Kyoto Gardens is a small and intimate space offering perfectly executed dishes of authentic Japanese cooking. The food is clean, pure and honestly, just so so good. It’s one of my favourite places to go for a date night or a catchup with a friend and I normally visit at least once a month during winter.
Winter special offer: Three-course dinner (plus a glass of wine) for R230 | Available until 31 August 2019 | Booking is essential
5 La Colombe
Consistently ranked as one of the top restaurants in South Africa, La Colombe is actually more than just a restaurant – it’s a dining experience. Normally we’d reserve a visit for a special occasion like an anniversary, but this winter special provides the perfect time to indulge. It’s not very often that you get to experience dining at a restaurant of this high standard for this reasonable price, so it’s well worth booking your table asap.
Winter special offer: Four-course lunch for R495 per person (or R945 per person with wine pairing) | Available from Monday to Friday (including public holidays) for lunch only |Available until 30 August | Booking is essential
6 La Mouette
One of the most consistent establishments in Cape Town, La Mouette has long been serving one of the best tasting menus in the city at possibly the most reasonable price in the city. I’d recommend eating there at any time, but this winter offer is particularly sweet.
Winter special offer: Five-course winter special menu for R295 (or R545 with wine) | Booking is advised
7 Tjing Tjing Momiji
Personally, I consider this the best deal on the list. Not only because of the (very very reasonable) winter special, but because I consider Momiji to be the one of the finest (if not the finest) restaurants in Cape Town. Granted, I love Asian food, but the entire Momiji experience just cannot really be faulted. It’s something that just has to be experienced to fully appreciate. The dining room is intimate and calm, and the 2 hour dining experience is like a food meditation of sorts. Each and every dish is prepared with signature Japanese precision, resulting in food art you are unlikely to find anywhere else in Africa. If there’s just one winter special you cash in on, this should be it.
Winter special offer: Ten-course signature Kaiseki set menu for R595 | Booking is essential | 12,5% service charge added to your bill | Available Thursday to Saturday from 6 June – 31 August 2019 (except from 15-29 July, when the restaurant will be closed)
The easiest way to book your table for any of these restaurants is through Dineplan. They have a very handy app for Apple and Android, so you can book quickly and easily on your phone.