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 two years ago, 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 two 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.
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, email@example.com
Also appears on: Restaurant Review: Arugula Bistro & Bread
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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, I have been eager to visit Yoco Eatery. And almost two years later, 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, email@example.com
Hussar Grill Willowbridge: Romantic/Family Dinner Winner
Hussar Grill Willowbridge is one of the first places I enjoyed for date night in the Northern Suburbs and honestly, it’s also one of the most memorable experiences too. 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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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, email@example.com
Koffi Terapi: My Best Cake and Cafe in Bellville
Koffi Terapi has been steadily and consistently wowing locals for a while now.
But in the past year or two, it has been sweeping in the food accolades and recognition on an even larger scale… and I couldn’t be happier for them!
Customer service is excellent, the coffee and cakes (oh, the cakes!) are to die for.
They have a lovely menu consisting of both delicious food and drinks – but you cannot leave until you have had a slice of cake!
One thing that really stands out about Koffi Terapi is that everything here is done with passion and love… Their slogan is “where clients become friends” – and quite frankly, that sums it up perfectly.
Contact: +27 (072) 679 1052, firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, everyone’s favourite coffee shop is back operating from an exciting new premises.
After failing to renew their lease at their original Durbanville location in June 2020, Koffi Terapi temporarily closed its doors and began to do online, home-based food deliveries during lockdown.
But fast forward to September 2020 and they have reopened their doors at the lovely Willowbridge Shopping Centre in Bellville. Now, guests can enjoy the same old Koffi Terapi… Just in a new location. 🙂
I can’t wait to visit them again in time for more friendly service, good coffee and amazing cake!
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.
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, email@example.com
1987 Eatery at Hertex: Sophisticated Hangout for Coffee Addicts and Health Food Fans
1987 Eatery at Hertex might be one of my more recent (almost chance) discoveries – but it’s arguably one of my favourite to date. I will be frank about it: I absolutely adore this stunning eatery.
In terms of decor, atmosphere and food and beverages in cafes – they honestly can’t be rivalled. Because everything about 1987 Eatery Bellville 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.
Pleasant Atmosphere and Welcoming Service
Service, courtesy of a close-knit team, is pleasant and welcoming every time; something which only adds to the experience! (Another great thing is that they often run great specials.)
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.
Tip: 1987 Eatery also has a Gardens branch in town, so be sure to pay it a visit too.
Contact: +27 (021) 914 0851, firstname.lastname@example.org
Also appears on: My New Favourite Locale: 1987 Eatery at Hertex 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, email@example.com
Also appears on: Durbanville Wine Valley’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. 🙂
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
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Soet Society Café: Luxurious Social Spot
Dreamed up by Leigh Leonard and Zillah Brits in 2010, Soet Society Café 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 café heaves with customers, as a constant stream arrive at the door.
The café 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 Café 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, email@example.com
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!
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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, email@example.com
The Olive Bistro: Great Food and Service Every Time
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sweetbeet Willowbridge: Health Eats and Fun Fresh Food for the Win
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! 🙂
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 can’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) 565 0814
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 grandfather 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.
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 can’t visit one of their branches, order online through either UberEats or MrD and enjoy at home.
Contact: email@example.com (contact numbers vary per store)
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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, email@example.com
Suburb/area: Durbanville Wine Valley
The No Ordinary Burger (NOB): Larger-than-life Burgers
What started out as a foodtruck 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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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 cafe should I visit next?
If you have a suggestion, please let me know in the Comments section!
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.