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Where to Find Authentic African Food in Cape Town

Authentica African Food in Cape Town



Take a stroll along Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront or Kloof Street and you’ll find restaurants ready to feed the international appetite. From Japanese to Italian to Mexican – there’s no shortage of impressive restaurants with delicious food.

But for those looking for a truly authentic African culinary experience, eating at a traditional African restaurant is a must. The diversity of African culture is mirrored in the diversity of flavours and tastes. Dining at a traditional African restaurant makes for a truly unforgettable experience. We’ve put together a list of restaurants in Cape Town that will take you on a culinary journey from Tunisia to Cameroon to the traditional South African ‘braai’ itself. 

Here are our top five places to eat African food in Cape Town:

1.   Marco’s African Palace

A gem in Cape Town’s culinary scene, Marco’s African Palace offers a truly South African dining experience. With a variety of delicious, traditional foods accompanied by live African music, Marco’s has something for everyone. A South African meal deserves a South African wine – Marco’s offers wine from South Africa’s best wine regions.

Recommended dishes:

  • Pan-African platter (pan-grilled fillets of Springbok, Ostrich and Kudu)
  • Umleqwa (traditionally prepared chicken)
  • Umngqusho (samp and beans)

2.   Mama Africa

Opened in celebration of South Africa’s vibrancy and diversity, Mama Africa is a restaurant where tourists and locals come together. Most nights feature live African music that will have you tapping your feet while you enjoy the hearty, genuine cuisine. The menu is diverse and features flavours from across Africa.  

Recommended dishes:

  • Mozambique Chicken Livers
  • Mama’s Moroccan Prawns
  • Mama’s Malva Pudding

3.    GOLD Restaurant

For those of you looking for a high-end African dining experience, GOLD is the perfect restaurant. A true celebration of Africa – expect an interactive dining experience with singing, puppetry, dancing and drumming. The 14-dish tasting menu allows you to enjoy a variety of African dishes. As you taste, you’ll learn about the country of origin, cooking techniques and flavours.  GOLD is a must for experiencing the sophisticated and layered flavours of African cuisine.

Recommended dishes:

  • South African Vetkoek
  • Tunisian Harissa Spiced Chicken Wings
  • Cameroon Braised Butternut and Coconut

4.   Bo-Kaap Kombuis

Dive deep into the Cape Malay culture at Bo-Kaap Kombuis nestled snugly on Signal Hill. Owners, Yusuf and Nazli, are Bo-Kaap locals who prepare food that reflects the area’s history, heritage and love for people from all walks of life. The tasting platters allow you to sample Boboti and various Malay dishes. Otherwise, you can dive right in and enjoy one of the fragrant and flavourful Cape Malay curries. 

Recommended dishes:

  • Tomato Bredie Curry
  • Denning Vleis-Lamb
  • Kombuis Special Frikkadel
  • Boboti

5.   Mzoli’s

The embodiment of an African eating experience, Mzoli’s is a glimpse into how the locals like to do it. You haven’t tasted South African food until you’ve had braaivleis (BBQ) and Mzoli’s is the place to do it. The on-site butchery offers a choice of beef, pork, chicken and sausage which is then grilled African-style. Enjoy your food in the outside eating area whilst interacting with locals and listening to house music and a live band. It’s energetic and lively but not the typical restaurant experience so go with an open mind. Take your own drinks and side dishes and enjoy a ‘lekker braai’.

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