‘Tis the season to get toasty! Bring out the red wine, hearty dishes and cozy up to our top restaurants with fireplaces this winter. From roaring hearths to sleek gas features, we have rounded up the most memorable of the crackling lot. Choose your ideal nook and nestle in.
Best for: Fusion flair
Consistently rated as one of Cape Town’s best restaurants, Aubergine combines rich history with contemporary flair, not to mention their world-class wine list! In winter, they light up their charcoal fireplace, which warms up the interior of their sophisticated and historic spot in Gardens (the former home of the first Chief Justice of the Cape). We recommend taking advantage of their excellent Winter Bistro Menu, and selecting a hearty red to savour while the fire crackles.
See more: https://www.aubergine.co.za/
2. Kloof Street House
Best for: Date night
This Kloof Street must boasts three fireplaces, so your chances of nabbing a seat next to one of them is fairly high. It is also one of the most well-loved and iconic places to dine in Cape Town, a collection of different rooms and spaces each bursting with an assortment of eclectic decor and character. Enjoy a candle-lit dinner and tuck into the likes of the roasted beets and fried goat’s cheese salad, pan-fried calamari, Norwegian salmon, bouillabaisse or ostrich fillet. To end, always have the baked cheesecake, served with caramelised popcorn.
See more: http://www.kloofstreethouse.co.za/
Best for: Jazz, cocktails and tapas
The sister restaurant of Kloof Street House, this petite palace on upper Kloof unfolds from a living olive tree in the centre of the sultry spot. The open fireplace warms the dimly-lit interior where Cape Town’s glamorous set enjoy cocktails and tapas to the sounds of the live jazz bands they play host to. Sip on one of their legendary cocktails (the Orchard Breeze is recommended), and snack on their sharing plates and tapas while you huddle around intimate tables and while away the evening in swinging style.
See more: http://asoka.za.com/
4. Cape Grace Library
Best for: Afternoon tea
Heavy curtains sweep the soft carpets of the hushed library of Cape Grace, where we serve our delectable Afternoon tea – a time-honoured tradition. Pause next to the elegant fireplace and nibble on fresh, crumbly scones piled high with jam, lemon curd and cream, cucumber and salmon sandwiches, irresistible macaroons and artisanal pastries, while you sip on a selection of loose-leaf teas, served in delicate glass teapots. If you’re feeling festive, or simply celebrating life, add a glass of bubbles to your order and toast to some of the best views in Cape Town.
5. Bascule Bar
Best for: Whisky and tapas
Take refuge ‘below deck’ in the nautically-inspired Bascule Bar at Cape Grace. Pull up a leather chair while you browse the whisky menu – one of the most extensive collections in the southern hemisphere! Once you have selected a dram, snack on tasty morsels or go big with the Bascule Speciality – a Wagyu beef burger served with all the trimmings.
6. Societi Bistro
Best for: A comforting culinary journey
Cornerstone of the Cape Town culinary world, Societi Bistro has long been the favourite of locals and visitors alike. Must be something to do with their combo of fantastic (and ever-changing) menus, admirable red wine selection, and simple interior that is all about the wooden floors, exposed bricks, and multiple fireplaces of course. Grab a seat in the main restaurant and enjoy the exceptional staple, the mushroom risotto; or be bold and venture across the globe with Chef Robert Giljam, as he presents 21 menus featuring modest and traditional meals from around the world, each only available for 4 days, and paired with exceptional South African wine. Indulge in the chocolate nemesis to end – it is wickedly good.
See more: https://societi.co.za/
7. Beau Constantia’s Chefs Warehouse
Best for: The views and every little morsel
Bookings fill up fast for this Southern suburb gem that boasts arguably some of the best views in the Cape. In summer, it’s best to spend time outdoors, but winter means no deprivation as the floor to ceiling glass allows for panoramic views of the vineyards while you dine, huddled snugly nearby one of two warming fireplaces. Speaking of which, expect the same glorious set menu that made them famous – Chef Ivor Jones a master at tapas and small plates. Read our full review here.
8. The Codfather
Best for: Seafood and sushi
The Codfather in Camps Bay is an unpretentious seafood-lovers dream. The model is simple, and the menu is non-existent. Instead, you are chaperoned to the seafood selection where you choose your favourite slices of the freshest shellfish and fish, which is then grilled to perfection and served to the table along with fat-cut fries, rice and greens. The large wood fireplace separates the main part of the restaurant from the equally as appealing sushi bar if that is more your scene. Whatever your choice, do not skip dessert – the brownie is one of the best around!
See more: https://www.codfather.co.za/
9. Cafe Paradiso
Best for: Hearty Italian fare
Cafe Paradiso on upper Kloof Street offers a beautiful setting and a menu that combines classic Meditteranean fare with some South African favourites. In summer, sit outside in the courtyard and soak in the mountain views, and in winter, snuggle up to the fireplace (a feature in all of the Madame Zingara restaurants). Choose a wood-fired pizza, risotto, or truffled pasta, bring along the family (they are very kiddie-friendly) and enjoy!
See more: https://www.cafeparadiso.co.za/
10. The Village Idiot
Best for: Fun and frivolity
The Village Idiot is one of Cape Town’s favourite watering holes. The charming colonial fireplace, booths and leather seats are ideal for chillier nights, where you are invited to dive into a beer and enjoy traditional South African cuisine, inspired by ‘braai’ culture. Do not forget to wave at Oskar – the resident ostrich and ‘village idiot’.
Blog by Tarah Darge