The Camps Bay “Strip” is perhaps the most glamorous corner of Cape Town: palm-lined boulevards straight out of Miami fringed by drop-dead gorgeous beaches. No wonder tourists and locals love to watch the sunset here. But once the light is gone, where to eat? There’s no shortage of restaurants, but it pays to choose carefully. Here are some of my favourites…
You could do worse than booking ahead for a table at Umi. This Japanese “small plates” restaurant is, unlike many other eateries, raised above street level, allowing for an unobstructed view of the beach and Atlantic Ocean. And the food is delicious, with a range of sushi plates and innovative Japanese options.
Next door, Del Mar does the same for modern Mexican cuisine. The décor is as contemporary as the cooking, with a decidedly upmarket take on traditional antojitos (street food). These small plates include everything from tacos to ceviche, while main courses focus on grilled meats and seafood. The grilled tuna in adobo marinade is particularly good. The prices aren’t shy, but then Camps Bay has never been a budget destination… those views don’t come for free!
Vicky Cristina’s is another good choice: inspired broadly by Spanish cuisine, the menu here combines flavours from Latin America and the Basque country into a fusion of fine fare. The highlight is the wide selection of tapas dishes, ranging from mussels in a saffron-infused cream sauce to pork riblets rubbed with coffee, chocolate and citrus. Don’t miss the traditional Catalan coca (flatbread) or the Brazilian-style beef picanha.
Of course, with that entire ocean glinting back at you, chances are you’ll be in the mood for seafood. Here your best bet is The Codfather, a restaurant set a short way back from the beach. A stalwart of the Camps Bay scene, this local favourite does top-notch seafood with a wide range of fresh fish available daily. The day’s catch is displayed up at the seafood counter, with all seafood charged per weight. Your fish or shellfish is then simply grilled, plated and served in rustic skillets. If you fancy an appetizer, there’s an excellent sushi counter.