Restaurant Review: Cafe Manhattan, De Waterkant village, Cape Town (8/10 rating)

My city travel companion and I sampled Cafe Manhattan’s Doritos Grande (R65) meal, as well as enjoying a cocktail each from their rather lovely cocktail menu. (I had trouble deciding on mine, they all sounded so good)

The service we received was excellent (there is also free wi-fi available, just ask a waitron for the password) and the food and drinks were sublime.

Everything was top quality – my only (rather small complaint) is that I had to clean the knives and forks that were brought with our sauces using one of our napkins. It looked like they had some of the salsa sauce of our meal (which had not arrived at this stage) on them and this is fine… assuming it was from our meal and not someone else’s but this is only a minor issue and possibly an accidental one at that.

The restaurant, established in 1994, is found at 74 Waterkant Street, Cape Town and is directly across the road from the Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village. (They also describe themselves as being “the latest addition to the Madam Zingara stable” on their website.)

The decor has a distinctly ‘Wild West’ theme to it with fake cactuses, cowboy boots mosaics and a lit-up ‘Meat’ sign, as well as saddles for bar stools.

There is a terrace with nice views of the colourful and rather quaint de Waterkant village, which always feels peaceful and quiet, but it can get pretty warm out there on summer days so the indoor tables might be better and cooler. (we sat inside for this very reason, though I wanted to take in the outdoor views)

(There also appears to be an upstairs area but I did not verify this.)

The menus are leather-bound and small, but easy-to-read.

Our meal, Doritos Grande (for R 65 you get a generous amount of crisp Doritos chips with: guacamole, salsa, sour cream, cheese & chilli. This meal is vegetarian-friendly) was more than enough for two people (we actually couldn’t finish it) and they are most generous with the cheese. It was positively divine and would be suitable as a snack or even a main meal.

My cocktail was a creamy Bourbon drink with orange infusions and cost R 40 (most of the cocktails cost between R 40 – 45) and was extremely yummy! (As a side-note: I think it was called Taking It Turkish but I’m not 100% certain as of now)

It would be just as perfect for combatting the cold on a winter’s day in July, as it was ideal on that stickily humid November day.

All in all, the Cafe Manhattan gets a big thumb’s up from me and an 8/10 review rating.

For more info, visit their homepage at: Cafe Manhattan Website

Below are some of the photos I took:


The stand-out feature: Meat sign.inside.


View of the terrace seating from inside.


A menu situated above the indoor seating.


Cowboy boot mosaic found inside.


Our cocktails (R40) – which were outstanding.


Oh-So-Cheesy: Doritos Grande (R 65) – this was absolutely divine.



Proudly Capetonian: The leather-bound, compact menus.

Author: Tamlyn Ryan

Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. And, despite a national diploma in Journalism, in her free time, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.

Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.