Best Northern Suburbs Food Gems

Out of all the areas in Cape Town, the Northern Suburbs often gets a bad rep. I’ve heard many people ‘in the know’ say it offers adequate (at best) food and sub-par to slow service…

But, since I moved here in late 2017, I have made it my personal mission to disprove this theory as far as possible.

Why? Well, mostly because I want to show that, here in the Northern Suburbs – there are, in fact, some real foodie gems!


My Pick of the Best Northern Suburbs Food Gems

With this in mind, I’ve put together a shortlist of top eateries, which cover everything from cheap eats to sophisticated dining and family-friendly eateries.

And you can rest assured that the hospitality, food and atmosphere at these places is as good as any I’ve encountered elsewhere in the Mother City.

Here, in no particular order, is my pick of the Best Northern Suburbs Food Gems (so far):

Arugula Bistro and Bread: Sophisticated Dining for Couples or Families

The classy Arugula has recently changed hands (Neil Swart and Anouchka Horn now run the exciting, fine dining restaurant, Belly of the Beast in town) – but, at its heart, it remains the same excellent establishment it always has been.

I have been there twice in recent years and both times, my experience was a thoroughly good one. Food, service and atmosphere are top class.


The menu offers a wonderful assortment of cuisines – think battered fish tacos, smoked jalapeno burgers, deboned lamb rib and my personal favourites, homemade basil pesto fettuccini and pulled pork spring rolls. (Their desserts are also some of the best you’ll find anywhere – so save space for those!) Pricing is competitive, without feeling unreasonable.

Stylish Setting

Arugula Bistro and Bread is stylish, yet oddly homely and offers superb views. Inside, it is cosy and modern, with expansive views out across the suburbs.

While it is a family-friendly eatery, it is predominantly couples, friends and older families you see here. Overall, this is also one of my favourite eateries for a romantic dinner date.

Tip: It’s well-positioned at Welgemoed Forum to attract Welgemoed and Northern Suburbs proper residents. But if you’re looking for a lovely breakfast, lunch or dinner, Arugula is worth the drive from the city centre too.

Contact: +27 (021) 913 6906, info@arugulabistro.co.za

Also appears on: Restaurant Review: Arugula Bistro & Bread

Suburb/area: Welgemoed


Skรฅl Bar and Eatery: An Alternative Dive Bar


For those looking for an interesting alternative to the dive bar in the Northern Suburbs, this Brackenfell haunt is the place to go.

Since their opening a few short years ago, they have already cemented themselves as a popular hangout spot, making them ideal for casual date nights or relaxed catchups with friends.

Although I have not visited the Brackenfell bar and eatery, I have tried their food (via UberEats) and I have to say Skal has a formidable menu of options to choose from. Including breakfast meals, gourmet burgers, wood-fired pizzas, rock n rollers (like Jack’s Riblets, Disco Fries and poppers), as well as extra add-ons.

Juicy Burgers with All the Trimmings


Their burgers are excellent and come with tasty fries so it is a proper burger meal.

I tried the Original (200 grams beef steak patty with sweet tomato relish and Skal’s signature mayo and red onion) and it was a great, filling meal.

Their burgers are big and generously sized without being too huge to wrap your mouth around so they feel like a well-balanced meal.

The Original burger was deliciously smokey. It also had a really great marinade/sauce that I particularly liked and which I even mixed in with my fries.

Overall, Skal offers a tasty selection of meals for reasonable prices, especially when you take the portion size into account.

I cannot speak about the bar/eatery from an in-person dining experience, as I haven’t visited it.

However, they generally get good reviews on-site too. So it looks like quite a fun vibe, with some quirky and interesting decor to add to your overall restaurant-bar experience.

Contact: +27 (072) 794 7681, info@skal.co.za

Website: skal.co.za

Suburb/area: Brackenfell

Little Lighthouse Fisheries: Local Hidden Gem

Situated within Kenridge Centre, Little Lighthouse is a local favourite in tranquil Kenridge and its surrounds. This hole-in-the-wall takeaway spot offers speedy service, delicious, fresh food and, best of all, great value-for-money.

Their fish and chips, sushi, calamari and chili poppers are all especially popular. In addition to their Main-, Family- or Kiddies- Meals, they also offer some great Combos, Sides and Burgers and Wraps (the Calamari Burger and Chips is great!).

You can also enjoy the more commonplace hake/snoek and ‘slap‘ chips – or spice things up and try the yummy angel fish, cooked cajun-style and served with veg.


Small Eatery With a Big Heart

Little Lighthouse may be small – but it makes a big impression. What’s more, by general fishery standards, it is nice and clean to boot. And I love that the food comes in generous portions… This is something I hope they never change because it definitely keeps you coming back for more!

I really like this little eatery and support them, at the very least, every two to three months. They are consistently good and I have never had a bad takeaway meal here. Plus, I love that they are open from 11:00 am till 20:00 pm, Mondays to Saturdays!

Tip: For drinks or desserts, pop into Pick n Pay Kenridge while your food is being prepped. On average, orders normally take 10-15 minutes maximum.

Contact: +27 (021) 914 0771, info@littlelighthouseseafood.co.za

Website: www.littlelighthouseseafood.co.za

Suburb/area: Kenridge

Devil’s Peak De Oude: The Ultimate Social Eatery

Devil’s Peak De Oude is a wonderful addition to the Northern Suburbs. Whether you wish to picnic with your loved ones, share a round of their beer(s) with your mates or dine with your romantic partner, they have you sorted.


This casual-meets-chic restaurant offers great beers (as well as cocktails and wine), delicious food (everything from wood-fired pizza to meaty burgers) and some fun social events.

Better still, they are ideal for all ages and offer plenty of outdoor space and freedom for the little ones to enjoy.

The atmosphere at De Oude is cosy, relaxing and welcoming every time – what more could you want?

Tip: Wind down the weekend (or week) at Devil’s Peak De Oude… Every Sunday, you can soak up the atmosphere with a braai or family lunch, as live music acts perform.

Also appears on: Eateries to Visit in 2018

Suburb/area: Welgemoed

Important update:

Please note that since I published this review, Devil’s Peak De Oude has changed ownership and is now known as De Oude Social Club.

Contact info and other aspects have also changed – however, my review is based on the old establishment, formerly run by Devil’s Peak Brewery.

And while it is still just as lovely, just with some fresh, nice touches and slight menu changes – I have not yet had a chance to visit for a more in-depth review.

For more information, please check out their Facebook page.

Yoco Eatery: Perfect Meet-up Spot


Ever since I relocated from the Southern Suburbs in 2017, I have been eager to visit Yoco Eatery. And in recent years, I finally did just that!

In that time, this eatery has changed hands at least once that I know of – but one thing remains a firm fixture here: a cheerful, quaint eatery, with satisfyingly wholesome food offerings.

Tranquil, Quirky and Soothing

Yoco Eatery offers both indoor and outdoor seating – but, if the weather is fair, the porch and garden seating cannot be bested. It is tranquil, quirky (there are lots of points of interest around) and soothing.

The food is delicious and fresh and they also offer an excellent drinks menu.

On the day of my visit, I opted for the Chocolate Cookie milkshake (so good!) and Italian Salami sandwich. Overall, everything about my meal was blissful.

Yoco Eatery offers a beautiful setting, great food and drinks and good service. Best of all, it is the ideal place to go to enjoy some ‘met time’, treat a loved one or catch-up with friends new and old.

This eatery is, in many respects, a hidden food oasis in the bustling heart of Durbanville – and I love that about it!


Special mention: Be sure to explore the excellent Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, which Yoco Eatery shares its premises with. It is a passionate and interesting gallery experience from start to finish and a hidden gem in its own right! (I will be sharing a review on them soon.)

Contact: +27 (021) 975 6322, info@yocoeatery.co.za

Website: Facebook page

Suburb/area: Durbanville


Hussar Grill Willowbridge: Romantic/Family Dinner Winner


Hussar Grill Willowbridge is one of the best places for date night in the Northern Suburbs. It, like its fellow Hussar Grill branches, makes for impressive dining.

With branches dotted across the country, Hussar Grill’s reputation always precedes it. This is a restaurant establishment famed for its quality offerings, good service and perhaps most of all, impeccable steaks. I’m not much of a steak girl in general – but I can safely say that they do offer excellent food.

Pricing is competitive to pricey – but it’s worth it. Especially if you want to spoil your family or treat a loved one to a special night out.

What I really love about the Willowbridge branch is its sense of occasion. And yet, at the same time, it feels soothing and unhurried. Time slows as good conversation (and drinks) flow.

Quality Every Time

Another hugely appealing part of this branch is its delightful views of the outside, hill-topping houses and greenery of Elsiekraal River. So, if you can, definitely try secure a window seat.

You can expect to sometimes wait a while for your food but this is only because they are very busy (read: popular) and not necessarily because service is slow.

Given this, I suggest ordering a starter with your drinks, just to tide you over till the mains arrive. (And trust me, you will be full after the main course – because they don’t do small portions.)

Overall, you can expect a romantic, cosy restaurant experience, complemented by professional, slick service and high quality food and drinks… All in all, Hussar Grill Willowbridge is a resounding winner.

Tip: While walk-ins are welcome, I would recommend making a reservation to avoid disappointment, especially in the evenings.

Contact: +27 (021) 914 0757, willowbridge@hussargrill.com

Website: www.hussargrill.co.za

Suburb/area: Willowbridge

RocoMamas Durbanville: Gourmet Fast Food Feasts


Open from 10:00 am to 22:00 pm daily (except on Sundays, when they close at 21:00 pm) at Durbanville’s well-positioned Palm Grove Centre, RocoMamas Durbanville is one of those food finds you remember for two reasons: 1) kick-ass food and drinks and 2) dining fun from start to finish!

Here, things work a little differently than at your average fast food eatery.

First of all, you get a kind of build-your-meal-yourself menu, which you tick off – and secondly, the food is definitely larger-than-life. (I mean, just look at the size of those burgers!) Simply put: expect to feast like a fast food king/queen.


For the portion size and quality (of both their food and drinks), RocoMamas is not unreasonably priced by any means. But they are more expensive than their fellow takeaway competitors… Which, given that they are far more like a ‘normal’ restaurant, seems perfectly justifiable to me.

Feast for the Whole Family


Although RocoMamas as a franchise is undoubtedly famed for their different dining/menu approach and robust meals – this particular branch also provides a good atmosphere (you can sit inside or outside under the covered porch area) and really friendly service.

I think above everything, that is what stays with you when it comes to RocoMamas Durbanville – and it really has you craving more. (Although their feast-worthy burgers, decadent waffles and monster G-shakes are certainly a major drawcard, too.)

Tip: In addition to its standard menu, RocoMamas Durbanville also offers a Halaal option.

Contact: +27 (021) 975 5457, durbanville@rocomamas.com

Website: www.rocomamas.com

Suburb/area: Durbanville


Baconville Willowbridge: Drool-worthy Bites and a Cool Vibe

Another food gem at Willowbridge Shopping Centre is the drool-worthy Baconville.

This cosy, yet hip eatery is perfect for those quick work lunches or casual weekend treats.

As the first restaurant in the Northern Suburbs with a dedicated bacon menu, this bacon emporium does indeed live up to its name. And the result, as one would hope, is absolutely delicious.

Their portions and pricing are quite fair and no matter whether it is their food or drinks, quality comes first.

Delicious Eats Made from the Best Ingredients

I also really appreciate the fact that they use only the finest bacon, supplied by meat master himself, Richard Bosman. This bacon, in turn, has been pasture-reared and air-dried, giving a good nod to a more organic approach.

Photo credit: Baconville via Facebook

Tantalising food options include the following stand-out dishes: The BLT, Miami Vice (duck and cheese croquettes) and the Harvey Specter, which is as slick as its handsome Suits namesake.

Baconville offers good service, great food and a lovely atmosphere. They are ideal for gourmet breakfasts, tasty lunches or even early weekday suppers.

Tip: They are open from 07:00 am till 19:00 pm during the week. They are also open on weekends and usually on public holidays too. (Please call ahead to confirm this.)

Contact: +27 (082) 371 1986, marie@baconville.co.za

Website: www.baconville.co.za

Suburb/area: Willowbridge

Coco Safar at Hertex: A Sophisticated, Luxurious Cafe


Update: Regrettably, the branches in Durbanville and Gardens have now closed. Coco Safar has confirmed to me they were only intended as pop-ups.

While I am sorry to see my former, favourite locale (1987 at Hertex) go, I could not be more excited about Coco Safar expanding their Cape Town reach.

This French-style cafe is a world-class offering that first launched in Montreal, Canada in 2006.

It is the creative brainchild of South African-born Canadian, Wilhelm (Wil) Liebenberg, a South African born Canadian and Caroline Sirois, a French-Canadian. Their concept was simple, yet nuanced: “a luxury cafe like no other”, inspired by their global travel and experiences.


Thus, Coco Safar was born with a mission to take diners on a luxurious coffee- and culinary-journey.

When they first launched in the Mother City several years ago, there was great excitement around their opening. Since then, they have been the last word in quality, superior cafe-style experiences.

Their main flagship store is based in Sea Point and offers a range of luxurious experiences. Everything from all-day cafe offerings to an exciting high tea by night.


With freshly baked goods, decadent pastries and excellent coffee, Coco Safar ensures guests have an elegant, classy experience from start to finish.

In terms of decor, atmosphere and food and beverages in cafes – they honestly can’t be rivalled. Because everything about Coco Safar oozes quality and class.

The coffee is divine (and you can buy a take-home bag for yourself!), food is varied and incredible and for what they offer, pricing is reasonable too.

It might be more expensive than your average cafe/eatery – but quite frankly, this is not your average cafe or eatery.

Plans to Expand


Now, they have plans to expand to Doha and New York, as well as broadening their reach in South Africa.

Pleasant Atmosphere and Welcoming Service


I visited there pop-up store at Hertex Bellville and I was really impressed by everything from the options on their menu to the mouthwatering display cabinet and friendly service.


I tried a selection of treats during their special Valentine’s weekend – smore tiramisu (R39), rich, flavourful cappuccino (R34), strawberry shortcake (R95) and lastly, a takeaway salted caramel croissant (R55) and I have to say, it was a high quality selection that was faultless.


Honestly, there is nothing I can fault about this cosy, creative spot. And I can safely (and proudly) label it as my new locale.

Not just because it’s delightfully close to where I live – but because it is worthy of such a time-honoured title.

Contact: orders@cocosafar.co.za

Website: www.cocosafar.com

Suburb/area: Bellville


Diemersdal Farm Eatery: Quality Dining for Wine Lovers and Well-Heeled Travellers


Ah, Diemersdal Farm Eatery… now this is a glorious spot. They are one of Durbanville Wine Valley’s most highly rated wine farm restaurants – and rightly so.

Blessed with a charming lawn setting and quirky, yet cosy indoor seating, Diemersdal Farm Eatery offers a taste of former old Cape glory. This is set off nicely by a touch of modernity and creative edge.

In a Class of Its Own

At this eatery, chef Martin de Kock blends together his classical French training with Provencal, Spanish and Asian influences. Diemersdal Farm Eatery offers both a great lunch and dinner menu and they are famed for their Sunday lunches.

But it was their Mini Cheese Board, which stole my heart. Not only was this utterly mouthwatering – but it was beautifully presented too!


Pricing leans towards the more expensive side but this is only to be expected given this eatery’s quality and its award-winning home. Plus, everything from the food to the service is top notch so you are paying for ultimate quality.

Diemersdal Farm Eatery certainly enchanted me; I fell in love with its setting and interiors almost as much as its incredible food and drink options!

Tip: When you visit Diemersdal, book in advance, as they are hugely popular.

Contact: +27 (021) 976 3361, restaurant@diemersdal.co.za

Website: diemersdal.co.za

Also appears on: Durbanville Wine Valleyโ€™s Best Estate Picks

Suburb/area: Durbanville Wine Valley


Boston Coffee: Gourmet Sandwiches and a Friendly Vibe


Boston Coffee is a true favourite among locals. In fact, I have had several people rave about it to me – and most recently received a strong recommendation to visit them for a anonymous review… Which is precisely what I did. ๐Ÿ™‚

I am pleased to report that yes, Boston Coffee is indeed a local gem – and a truly vibey spot to boot. Here, you find a mix of quirky, interesting decor (think: bold wall art and an impressive blackboard menu), extremely friendly staff (it must be the coffee!) and great menu. This features coffee, milkshakes, sourdough sandwiches, pastries, all-day breakfasts and more.

Their great, freshly roasted coffee is proudly handcrafted and brewed in Boston, Bellville. And, best of all, the coffee beans are for sale in-store, along with other Boston Coffee merchandise, such as caps and t-shirts.


Extensive Coffee Menu and Tasty Sandwiches

Boston Coffee has one of the most extensive coffee menu I have ever seen. It even features Turkish coffee and my personal favourite, Affogato! The front of store even looks like a crazy coffee laboratory with all that brewing/coffee equipment!

The coffee shop’s decor is earthy and busy, with plenty to take in while you enjoy your coffee or meal. Guests can enjoy sitting inside, outside or even at the back in a closed off, porch-like area.

For my first visit, I decided to opt for one of their sandwiches (they have a tempting selection so it’s hard to pick) and a delicious Boston Mocha.

My drink was sweet enough to not require any added sugar and features a dash of hot chocolate. It was definitely yummy. My toasted sandwich, meanwhile, was equally great; I ordered the Mushroom, Feta, Cheddar Bacon one. (It’s made with rosemary, pan-fried mushrooms… so good!)


For what you get, their food, especially the sandwiches, and drinks are well-priced. Plus, I love that the sandwiches are all served on beautiful sourdough bread (my favourite), with their specialty sweet mustard sauce added.

Boston Coffee is a lovely, bustling stop and definitely draws in the locals, with many regulars seated there daily… I think I can see why too.

Tip: When you visit, remember to order up front – your orders will then be brought to your table and you can pay upfront or afterwards.

Note: Boston Coffee is closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.

Contact: +27 (076) 153 9450

Website: www.bostoncoffee.co.za

Suburb/area: Bellville


The Daily Coffee Cafe Willowbridge: Caffeine is Loading…


Conveniently located next to Checkers Willowbridge, this delightful, new coffee shop feels like a winner.

As they only opened on 3 June 2019, at the time of our visit, they were very much still brand spanking new. But given how busy they were – and buzzing with a good energy too – and how great everything seems to looks and taste… it feels like there are no teething pains here!

Honestly, the New-York-meets-Karoo decor theme (which this South African franchise group is known for) feels both decidedly homely and fun.

And not only does the place look great but it has a warm ambience and a wonderfully varied menu.

After only being seated a few moments, my friends and I had already decided: this would become our new lunchtime hangout.

Food and Drinks for All Tastes

The larger-than-life menus seem to give a nod to the Big Apple vibe with their creativeness (as do elements of the decor). But more tellingly, The Daily Coffee Cafe offers a selection of food and drinks to suit everyone.

Vegetarians are certainly catered for, given that there are quite a few noticeably vegetarian-friendly menu items, including almond milk.

To me, the food feels a bit on the pricey side… But, saying that, I will point out that it seems quite multi-layered in terms of flavour and ingredients. And it certainly looks generously portioned.

Food options include a wide range of breakfasts, cakes and sweet treats, kiddies’ meals (it is definitely child-friendly), wraps, burgers and more.

Drinks (hot and cold) are well-priced and sized. They also have a nice selection, which is far broader than most cafes. Their Tin Can Coffee (served with condense milk… yum!) and creamy, espresso-based Con Panna are really good options… And both equally tempting to look at!


I love coffee shops, which not only look and feel the part – but, in a sense, they ‘taste’ it too. And yes, the coffee here (based on this first visit) is excellent… Consisting of quality blends, with full bodied aromas. Plus, it is oh-so-good in terms of taste and presentation too!

Overall, service seems prompt and friendly, without being overbearing. You are served quickly enough (even during peak lunch hours) and then pleasantly left to enjoy your orders in peace.

So, if you are looking for a promising locale and charming cafe for a lunch break, coffee date or simply a cosy catchup, head to The Daily Cafe Willowbridge… I know I will!

Tip: The Daily Cafe is open daily. And, as it closes at 18:00pm on weekdays, it is perfect for a post-work coffee fix or meal!

Contact: +27 (083) 305 9684, willowbridge@thedailycoffeecafe.co.za

Website: thedailycoffeecafe.co.za

Suburb/area: Bellville

Soet Society Cafรฉ: Luxurious Social Spot


Dreamed up by Leigh Leonard and Zillah Brits in 2010, Soet Society Cafรฉ is one of the most popular spots in central Durbanville. It forms part of the ladies’ concept store emporium, Soet Emporium. Housed under which you can find eight uniquely varied shops. (Everything from The Winelands Art Gallery to The Hair Loft and more.)

On a Saturday especially, this posh cafรฉ heaves with customers, as a constant stream arrive at the door.

The cafรฉ is sumptously decorated. It definitely has the feel of a luxury parlor, with its plush chairs, oversized velvet cushions and trailling foliage.

Although Soet offers a range of different breakfasts, lunches and hot/cold beverages… there is no denying that this cafe-meets-bakery is most famed for their cakes. Soet Cakes sell designer cakes for every special occasion. Be it a weekend treat, birthday or wedding.

In particular, their cake platters make for a sinfully good choice.

Cake Platters – Need I Say More?

For R79 (almost a steal in comparison to most cake spots), you can enjoy four different slices of cake. These can be selected from whatever is available on the day. Cakes change daily and the flavours, designs and toppings are varied and fascinating.

I had a hard time choosing on my first visit. But eventually opted for the Hummingbird, Carrot cake log, Bar One and Rainbow cake.

The cakes were all gorgeous and fresh. The platter is an excellent concept and is ideally suited for sharing because it is very filling! (Otherwise, if you order it on your own, expect to leave with takeaway cake!)


I loved the Hummingbird most but Carrot Cake Log is one of the best I have had. The Rainbow Cake, meanwhile, was unusually nice, with good flavours. The Bar One, oddly my least favourite, is rich but smooth and lovely.

Still, for me, the standouts were definitely Hummingbird and the Carrot Cake Log.

I certainly feel that Soet is a standout for its cakes, location and opulent interiors. The interior designs add a sense of occasion to even the simplest of coffee runs.

But to me, Zillah herself adds the most wonderful, welcoming presence of all. And she is an absolute pleasure to deal with.


Overall, Soet Society Cafรฉ is cosy and vibey, with decent, strong coffee (Bootleggers) and a varied menu. Some meal options feel slightly pricey. But Soet offers plenty of selection in terms of food and drinks. Plus, vegetarians and vegans are also catered to.

Soet, as its name implies, is very much a social society spot to go with friends or family. So it is ideally suited to spoiling those you love in a classy surrounding.

Tip: To order Soet Cakes, why not use their online catering and ordering service? Or try their newest concept eatery, Soet on the Go. (It’s situated over at Village Square.)

Contact: +27 (021) 975 5294,ย  info@soetemporium.co.za

Website: soetemporium.co.za

Suburb/area: Durbanville

Cassia at Nitida: Classy, Deck-style Dining


Named for the bold, intriguing spice (also known as Asian cinnamon), Cassia at Nitida is a beautiful, stylish restaurant in the Durbanville winelands. Serving hearty breakfasts, lunches and classy dinners, it’s a great place to go for a special occasion or a fun brunch with friends.

Cassia is known and loved for its breakfasts. These are hard to choose from because they all look, taste and sound amazing!

Their poached eggs on ciabatta toast were generously portioned, delicious and beautifully presented – a definite breakfast of champions for me!


Classy Cassia

They also have lovely lunch- and dinner-menus – although these are on the pricier side so just be advised of that.

Cassia’s kitchen- and front-of-house-teams ensure you enjoy incredible food – perfect for pairing with Nitida’s own award-winning wines – and good service to boot.


When dining at Cassia, you can sit indoors or out on the picturesque deck, which overlooks the pretty dam. Before or after your meal, why not take a stroll nearby to see the vineyards or even a slow walk down to the estate’s other restaurant, Tables at Nitida? The estate is very pretty and well-worth exploring.



Cassia is also a great venue for hosting weddings, conferences and other functions and is sure to help you create lasting memories in a special spot.


If Cassia is a bit pricey for you, try their other estate restaurant, Tables at Nitida.

It’s a charming, little child-friendly spot, in a beautiful setting and is slightly more affordable than its sister restaurant. The menu is equally lovely – and they make possibly the best cakes around!


Contact: +27 (021) 976 0640, info@cassiarestaurant.co.za
Website: nitida.co.za
Suburb/area: Durbanville Winelands

Rusty Oak Bistro: Consistently Good Bistro Fare


Situated at Ruslamere Hotel, Spa and Conference Centre, a tranquil oasis in the heart of Durbanville, Rusty Oak Bistro is a consistent winner.

With its lovely, relaxed atmosphere, generously portioned meals and great, varied menu, it’s the perfect spot for a special celebratory meal, late afternoon luncheon or even a year-end function with your colleagues.

They have a nice selection of indoor, shaded/marquee and even outdoor seating, so you have plenty of choice on where to sit.

There is also a nice kiddies’ play area so they are definitely a child-friendly place. There is actually good space for kids to enjoy and the laid-back atmosphere lends itself well to all age groups.

Wholesome Meals and Dreamy Desserts

Every time I visit Rusty Oak, I am again reminded of just how versatile their menu is. Although their menu has had a revamp since my last visit and seems to have a more focused approach, it looks just as good.

I am pleased to see that some old favourites seem to have been retained. Their tasty burgers and nachos are huge so you definitely leave full and content!

This restaurant is open daily, from 11:00 am until late. Although booking is not essential, I would recommend it as they can get quite busy, especially on weekends.

Tip: Make sure you order something for dessert; they have a tempting selection of sweet treats!

Contact: +27 (021) 975 5677, manager@rustyoak.co.za
Website: Facebook page
Suburb/area: Durbanville


The Olive Bistro: Great Food and Service Every Time

Californian pizza

Now located in the heart of Durbanville, The Olive Bistro has, since its opening in 2012, cemented itself as a local favourite in the Northern Suburbs. What started out as a French-style bistro quickly adjusted to the wishes of its patrons by evolving into a relaxed, yet cosy pizzeria.

Just as well for customers too because Olive Bistro makes some of the best, thin-based, wood-fired pizzas around.

With a selection of different cuisines – everything from South African to international influences – The Olive Bistro offers excellent variety and a nice choice of starters, mains and desserts too!

I have tried their food on at least three occasions (including for a busy staff function, where they impressed with their hands-on service and catering) and been impressed every time. They are consistently good.

Incredible Pizzas and Warm Service

With everything from pastas to pizzas and burgers and lovely outdoor seating in a really relaxed, yet secluded setting, this hidden gem is perfect for memorable meals with your friends and family.

Yet perhaps what makes them truly memorable is their firm belief in good, warm service, which is always apparent. Even when you order takeaways from them.

This restaurant is open daily, making them ideal for a lovely lunch or dinner (except on Sundays when they close a bit earlier).

Tip: If you can’t visit them, order online and enjoy in the comfort of your home, as they are available on MrD.

Contact: +27 (021) 975 5082, info@olivebistro.co.za
Website: www.olivebistro.co.za
Suburb/area: Durbanville


Sweetbeet Willowbridge: Health Eats and Fun Fresh Food for the Win


In 2021, Sweetbeet opened its bright and cheery looking doors at Willowbridge – and Northern Suburbs diners have been happy ever since. If you love health-conscious food and drink, made fresh daily from the finest ingredients, then this spot is perfect for you.

Everything on their varied menu – from the breakfast bowls to the toasts and smoothies and shakes – looks and sounds excellent so choosing what to order is difficult! I also love that they have adopted a playful, fun approach to their menu names, especially their Super Shakes and Smoothies. These have cute names like Katy Berry (strongly recommended if you love smoothies!), Tropics at the Disco and Lil Wheyne.

Although I have not yet had the pleasure of visiting their Willowbridge store due to the pandemic, I have ordered from them and I absolutely loved everything about my meal.


I ordered their Crushed Avo Goodness toasts (R68 for two poached eggs, crushed avo, cocktail tomatoes and parmesan served on a slice of sourdough rye bread) and Katy Berry smoothie (R65 for the large but so worth it, it is huge! This offers mixed berries, apple juice and mixed berry sorbet and tastes divine) and both were outstanding.

I can’t wait to try more refreshing, delicious and health-conscious food and drink options from them very soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

In addition to their Willowbridge branch (Shop 42), they also have their flagship branch at Canal Walk, Shop 54. It also seems like they have plans to open a Paarl branch too in time so keep an eye on their social feeds!

Health- and Planet-Conscious


In the past few years, I have been making a careful, conscious shift towards healthier, more organic and planet-friendly eating. This means that vegan, organic and healthy meals are definitely something I gravitate towards as much as possible. Sweetbeet is a delight in this regard. They have everything from healthy food and drinks to vegan- and gluten-friendly food options.

Another thing that stands out about Sweetbeet is their bright purple-and-green packaging. Not only is this a breath of fresh air from a branding perspective – but their packaging also subtly reminds you to recycle where you can.

Tip: If you canโ€™t visit one of their branches, order online and enjoy in the comfort of your home, as they are available on MrD.

Contact: +27 (021)ย 565 0814
Website: www.sweetbeet.co.za
Suburb/area:ย Bellville


The Dairy Den: Sweet Treats with a Fun, Trendy Edge


For a while now, I have seen people posting about The Dairy Den and found myself dreaming about the day when I, too, sample their sweet treats. That day eventually came and I am pleased to report that, as the online posts showed, The Dairy Den does decadent treats and childlike fun extremely well!

This family-run business, which was created by sisters, Tasia and Lexi, has an even sweeter backstory to it. Growing with a grandfatherย  and then a father who made ice-cream and playing in the factory store no doubt influenced their dream – but at its heart, The Dairy Den was brought to life by love, family memories and creative thinking.


Now, with branches in Sea Point, Kenilworth Centre and Willowbridge in Bellville, The Dairy Den is fast becoming a household name in the Mother City. (If you haven’t yet seen their fun, playful neon store signage or decadent treats shared online, then it is only a matter of time before you do.)

With a delicious line of goods – everything from soft serves to coffee, double thick milkshakes, doughnut pops and decadent doughnuts, The Dairy Den is the perfect place to create your own special memories with family and friends, while enjoying quality, yet affordable, treats for the whole family.

Doughnut Heaven


I have only tried their doughnuts and doughnut pops so far – but let me tell you, the flavours and tastes are out of this world! With everything from Rolo gourmet and Chocolate Ganache to Cinnamon Sugar and even Turkish Delight gourmet options, there is plenty to get you drooling.


Also, the texture of the doughnuts is fresh and delicious, meaning that even the ‘plainest’ flavour tastes incredible.

I can’t wait to try the rest of their menu items… but until then, I am going to eat my way through their delicious doughnut options!

Tip: If you canโ€™t visit one of their branches, order online through either UberEats or MrD and enjoy at home.

Contact: ilovethedairyden@gmail.com (contact numbers vary per store)
Website: www.thedairyden.com
Suburb/area:ย Bellville


Tony’s Fisheries and Take-Aways: Excellent Food and Service that Has Stood the Test of Time


Established in 1991, Tony’s has stood the test of time and garnered its own army of loyal patrons who return time and time again to enjoy their excellent food. With some of the best fish and chips in Cape Town, it’s hardly a wonder either!

With everything from top quality fish and chips to calamari, burgers, rolls (everything from chip rolls to German Russian rolls), kiddies’ options and some great family combos, Tony’s offers a wonderful array of takeaway eats for the whole family to enjoy together.

They are really passionate and dedicated in what they do and not only does the food taste amazing – but service is top notch too. If you are craving amazing takeaway food, local no further than this Durbanville institution.

Wholly Satisfying Fish and Chips

I tried their Tony’s Combo, one of the family combos that offers a large hake fillet, chips and calamari with complimentary tartare sauce and I was blown away by it. Not only did everything taste amazing (without being overly oily or salty) but the portion size is generous and hugely filling.

Contact: +27 (021) 976 2498, tonysfisheries@gmail.com
Website: www.facebook.com
Suburb/area: Durbanville

Groot Phesantekraal: Upmarket, yet Wholesome Food and Drinks in a Tranquil Setting


Set slightly out of the way from the main Durbanville Wine Route, Groot Phesantekraal Wines and Restaurant is one of the valley’s hidden gems.

Here, among tranquil garden spaces and cosy indoor tables set within a beautifully restored, former stable, one finds this modern, yet laidback wine farm restaurant.


With a focus on breakfasts and lunches during the week and brunch and pizza over the weekend, this lovely eatery is the perfect place to enjoy excellent, yet still affordable, meals of note.

Picture-perfect Plating and Memorable Meals

Groot Phesantekraal Restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating, alongside the tasting room, and with either, the setting is lovely.

More to the point, though, it is their food and drinks and friendly service that leaves a lasting impression.


I have had my fair share of top class meals, yet few have impressed as much as the 200g beef burger (with added bacon and chips), iced coffee latte and incredible walnut-and-date tart that I enjoyed here.


For wine farms and general Cape Town restaurants, their pricing is competitive – but it is definitely worth treating yourself or your loved ones to a hearty meal here.

Contact: +27 (021) 825 0060, restaurant@phesantekraal.co.za

Website:ย grootphesantekraal.co.za

Suburb/area: Durbanville Wine Valley

The No Ordinary Burger (NOB): Larger-than-life Burgers


What started out as a food truck has quickly become one of the most popular restaurants (primarily takeaway but they have sit-down space too) in the Northern Suburbs.

The No Ordinary Burger, or The NOB as it is more commonly known, specialise in huge – and I mean huge – gourmet burgers.

Their burgers are a feast in and of themselves and they have a wide range of options – everything from Chilli Cheese Burger (don’t try this at home, kids; it’s very, very hot) to the Porker Burger.


Gourmet Burger Beasts

In addition to their monster burgers that are, quite literally, the size of a standard dinner plate, the NOB also sells sides, build-your-own nachos and other tasty eats.

If you are a big eater like me, try a burger with some fries – but if you are a lightweight, stick to just the burger because you will be full and that is a fact.

Overall though, these gourmet burgers – available from their Tyger Falls-based shop or via MrD and UberEats – are incredible and definitely worth their prices, which are a little above average for burgers.

Contact: +27 (084) 477 2434, foodtrendssa@gmail.com

Website: www.facebook.com

Suburb/area: Bellville


SCHOON, Majik Forest


To many in the food industry, SCHOON is an institution of note that needs no introduction. If you aren’t familiar with SCHOON – then let me elaborate.

What started as a humble, yet passionate bakery in Stellenbosch – owned and run by power couple Fritz and Chanelle Schoon – has blossomed into a series of cafรฉ-style stores across the Western Cape.

Most recently, as of December 2021, they opened a branch in the newly upgraded Majik Forest Shopping Centre, near Majik Forest.

So Good Sourdough


This latest offering can be enjoyed via their little cafe shop, where a cosy setting has been created. (Judging by the snaps I have seen online.) Alternatively, residents can order for delivery or collection via Mr D or Uber Eats.

I used Mr D to sample some of the goodies from their extensive menu.

Along with their iconic sourdough breads, they have a wide range of fresh breads, sandwiches, naked juices, rustic pizzas, pastries and hot- or cold-beverages, including decadent CocoaFair hot chocolate and mochas.

Everything is very much about sustainability, supporting local and above all, eating cleanly and with purpose, like their slogan echoes.

Not only am I a huge fan of supporting local – but I also really believe in eating sustainably and organically as far as possible. If you are of the same mind, you will love this new Northern Suburbs gem.

Healthy, Wholesome and Fresh


For my first order, I tried their iconic Sourdough Loaf (generously portioned and well-priced for R55). As well as a fresh Pain Au Chocolat (R45 and again, well-sized) and delicious Pasteis De Natas (R25).

I am a sucker for sourdough and I adore pastries. So I consider myself a good judge of quality ones – and these were certainly that.

Not only did they arrive in eco-friendly packaging, with the famous blue branding of SCHOON wrapped around them – but they tasted incredible.

Fresh and Fabulous


Both the sourdough and pain au chocolat were amazingly fresh and honestly, far bigger than expected.

The bread was fresh and beautiful, while the pastry was one of the loveliest I have had and a great size.

As for my Portuguese-style dessert, the little pasteis de natas – it is one of the best I have ever had.

Eco-friendly Packaging and Excellent Products


I loved everything I ordered. I was so impressed by both the quality and the freshness.

My products were all well-priced and excellent in terms of quality and quantity.

However, I must note that some of SCHOON’s breakfast-, dessert- and sandwich-offerings are a bit on the expensive side.

I understand the reasoning behind this. As artisanal organic or sustainable goods are always more time-consuming and costly to produce but I think some folk will baulk at the prices.

All I can say to that is: stick to what you can afford and just know you are enjoying local, high quality offerings either way.

Must-try Magic at Majik Forest


I have not visited their local branch yet (although I need to) so I cannot rate the in-store service or setting but it gets mixed reviews online.

SCHOON made clean, sustainable eating popular long before it was trendy – so if you haven’t tried their products yet, you may be missing out.

Contact: +27 (021) 981 6449, info@schoon.co.za

Website: schoon.co.za

Suburb/area: Bellville

Evert Opstal Restaurant, Everglen, Durbanville


Housed within an old wine cellar, in a local Cape Dutch landmark that dates back to the late 1600s, Evert Opstal has always been an iconic eatery in the Northern Suburbs.

In recent years, management has changed and since the new owners took over during lockdown, the eatery has grown from strength to strength. They have truly given this grand old Cape Dutch dame a revival second to none!

Reviving a Grand Old Dame


What is striking about Evert Opstal is that, everything from booking online to the setting to the food and service is impeccably tasteful, efficient and smoothly run.

Staff are warm and welcoming, making you feel like regular visitors before you even sit down. Another instantly apparent feeling is the sense of cosy homeliness that the space (both indoors and out) exudes.

It is clear how much thought and care goes into everything from the beautiful, freshly baked bread to the flower wreaths (hanging for sale near the entrance) to the delightfully wholesome, seasonal menus. Everything is carefully thought out and offered to you with care.

Stunning from Start to Finish


When we visited for lunch, even despite loadshedding, we had a flawless experience.

Seated outside in the peaceful courtyard space, which overlooks the distant Stellenbosch mountains and lush, tranquil garden, it was easy to forget that we were still in the heart of Durbanville. Rather, we felt transported to some peaceful countryside oasis.


Indoors, I sense you have the same peaceful experience – just with the added bonus of a cosy fireplace and a touch of heritage while you dine! ๐Ÿ™‚

Impossibly Good Menu Options

When eating out, it is rare for me to struggle to settle on what to order; I normally immediately set my sights on a dish. But, with Evert Opstal, I had a really hard time choosing what to order simply because everything sounds (and indeed, looks) amazing!

We visited for lunch, although they also open for breakfast (except on Sundays when they are closed for family time) – and our lunch was incredible.


Dreamy Meals in the Courtyard

I ordered the Boeren Burger (a roosterkoek burger made with 100% beef patty, cured bacon, truffle-infused mushroom sauce and hand-cut fries. (Although I swapped this out for a Greek salad on the day due to loadshedding.)

My meal was absolutely incredible – and it left us both raving. It was generously portioned, fresh and utterly mouthwatering; the perfect lunch, by all accounts.


My partner tried the Bo-Kaap Cape Malay curry (with basmati rice, roti and sambals) and thoroughly enjoyed his meal too.

I sampled a bit of the curry and I have to say, even with my Durban roots and high curry standards, it was perfect and exactly how a good curry should taste.

A Mondvol of Cake


Before our meal, we also enjoyed a beautiful cappuccino (again, perfect). Afterwards, we were hopelessly tempted by a slice of Mondvol cake and opted to share a slice.

On the day, this was a wickedly good chocolate creation, infused with some Italian cream or other and complemented by melt-in-your-mouth honeycomb chunks, crushed biscuit and a cute little flower creation.

I knew Mondvol makes excellent cakes: but wow, this is one of the best slices of cake I have had anywhere!

We will be Back


In addition to their desserts, breakfasts, lunches and hot beverages, Evert also has a great wine menu. It features local favourites from Durbanville Wine Valley and beyond.

Suffice to say, after our seamless first experience at Evert Opstal, we will definitely be back. I have too many dishes I still want to sample!

Eat In, Out or Host a Function

This is one of the best eateries around, in Durbanville and Cape Town at large – and I do not say that lightly. I cannot recommend Evert Opstal Restaurant highly enough! They are well-priced because food, service and setting is definitely generous and of the highest quality.

In addition to their eat out options, Evert Opstal also caters to eating in at home (through grazing boxes and other pre-ordered goodies etc.) and hosts tasteful functions and events.

Contact: +27 (021) 979 7186, info@evertopstal.co.za

Website: evertopstal.co.za

Suburb/area: Durbanville

Shakespeare’s Restaurant, Durbanville

Update: Regrettably, as of March 2023, Shakespeare’s has closed their doors.


Since its unveiling in 2019, I have been dying to visit Shakespeare’s Restaurant. An eatery dedicated to The Bard is beyond tempting – especially to someone who loves all things English literature, writing and of course, fiction!


In terms of ambience, decor and food, this boutique-style restaurant offers a taste of theatrics and style. It is designed to ‘enlighten’ your senses, as you enjoy a mesmerising culinary adventure. In that sense, Shakespeare’s definitely hits the mark.

An Experience of Food and Shakespearean Thrills


With its opulent decor, which includes vintage plush couches and chaise lounges, ornate mirrors, a wall of books and wines and of course, several obvious homages to William Shakespeare himself, this central Durbanville restaurant offers a unique dining experience.

It is fairly pricey (even by Cape Town standards), so be warned. However, you are paying for a dining experience and meal.

Afternoon Tea Fit for a Shakespearean Tale


However, one well-priced option worth pre-booking is their afternoon tea. Priced reasonably per person for two sharing, this afternoon tea includes a wonderful selection of both sweet- and savoury-offerings. You also have a choice of bottomless tea or coffee. (Or both, if you wish to mix things up.)

While the afternoon tea spread is excellent and generous for two sharing, their tea options are sadly lacking. They only have a choice of Earl Grey, Ceylon or rooibos tea.


However, they make up for this with their beautiful, quirky old tea sets and dainty cups and saucers. These give you a true tea experience. Their coffee is also excellent; I loved our cappuccinos. (And I adore that these are also served in a proper set!)



Teatime Treats

In terms of treats and savouries, Shakespeare’s offers four of each.



My favourites were the bruleed lemon tartlet, dark chocolate cremoux, artisan chocolate (which you choose from a vintage trolley, Hogwarts Express-style) and butternut feta and basil quiche.

I have to say that their sweet- and savoury-options are both fresh and well-made. So, in terms of food, Shakespeare’s is quality and pretty faultless.


Friendly Service in Lavish Settings

During our tea experience, our waiters were very friendly and attentive. They made sure we were well looked after and we never felt hurried at any point.

Some Room for Improvement


While service was friendly, I do have some misgivings about the restaurant’s correspondence and admin system. I had mailed queries through and booked and paid weeks in advance. However, on the day, they were still confused about our booking and payment. (Including after we had left the restaurant, which was a bit off-putting.)

To me, all channels of correspondence should be well-managed. This is a must for any top establishment, especially one marketed like Shakespeare’s. In this regard, the restaurant clearly has some room for improvement.

A Unique Durbanville Offering


Overall, Shakespeare’s is a thrilling culinary experience and I can definitely recommend their afternoon tea for two. However, I would just like to see a wider range of tea options and of course, to see slicker correspondence and admin from the restaurant.

Aside from that, though, Shakespeare’s is a wonderful experience. The Bard would be proud…

Contact: +27 (021) 569 0244, info@shakespeares.co.za

Website: www.facebook.com

Suburb/area: Durbanville


In closing:


Finally, I must concede that yes, it is not just sunshine and roses at every eatery in the Northern Suburbs.

Because I, too, have personally experienced the poor or slow service people complain about at a few other places, even if, generally, the food is great as a whole.

But in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs, there are some fine eateries, cosy coffee shops and arguably some of the best wine farm restaurants anywhere in the Cape Winelands too. Especially if you know where to look and choose to explore with an open mind.

Also, I will be adding to this list as I eat my way through Welgemoed, Bellville, Durbanville and beyond – meaning this will be an ever-expanding list.

So, if you see a big eatery or restaurant missing from this list – chances are I just haven’t visited it yet!

Which Northern Suburbs restaurant or cafรฉ should I visit next?

If you have a suggestion, please let me know in the Comments section!

About the author

Website | + posts

Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust - Travel Writing and Photography, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. Despite having a national diploma in Journalism and working as a content writer by day, 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.

2 thoughts on “Best Northern Suburbs Food Gems”

  1. Hi Tamlyn, so happy to see you doing well. You have to try Boston Coffee, the best coffee in the North. The sandwiches are fab and the coffee great!

    1. Hi Maxine,
      Thank you so much – that means a lot coming from you! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you are doing well too. Thanks! I have heard such good things about them through word of mouth – need to go there soon for a review! ๐Ÿ™‚

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