10 Best Tapas Restaurants in Cape Town

tapas restaurants in cape town

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When summer comes knocking, nothing beats a lazy afternoon or early evening drink in one of Cape Town’s most popular and well-known tapas restaurants.

Pair your favourite local beer or ice-cold cocktail with a delicious serving of light and fresh tapas, and get ready for a perfect start to another warm and balmy evening.

Whether you’re new to Cape Town or looking for a new spot to frequent for a mouthwatering culinary experience, continue reading as I take you on a quick tour of the Mother City’s best tapas restaurants.

1. Best Asian-Inspired Tapas – Haiku

Haiku in Cape Town is a culinary sanctuary where the artistry of Asian-inspired tapas unfolds in a stylish and sophisticated setting
  • Location: 58 Burg St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
  • Trading hours: Monday to Sunday: 12h00 to 15h00 and 18h00 to 23h00
  • Good to know:
    • Kids under 12 are not allowed at dinner service
    • Has a range of vegan and vegetarian dishes

Haiku has served delicious food to locals and Cape Town visitors for more than 20 years.

Serving top-quality Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Korean-inspired tapas, this is one of the best tapas joints in the Mother City. They offer a range of fresh, crispy salads, sushi and steamed and fried dim sum, but I’d highly recommend you try my favourites:

  • Tuna tacos: Fresh slivers of tuna served with creamy guacamole and salsa
  • Spicy lamb pot sticker served alongside a generous helping of miso
  • Duck Cheung fan: A perfectly steamed rice roll pillowed in a soft Tempura batter

Round off your visit by ordering their delicious Asian ice cream (available in mango, coconut, green tea or sesame) or chocolate spring rolls (served with marshmallows).

2. Best Spanish-Styled Tapas – La Parada

La Parada in Cape Town is a vibrant tapas haven where the spirit of Spain comes alive in a lively and stylish setting
  • Location:
  • Trading hours:
    • The Century City and Waterfront – Monday to Sunday: 11h00 to 24h00
    • Constantia Neck and Kloof Street – Monday to Thursday: 11h00 to 24h00; Friday to Sunday: 09h00 to 24h00
  • Good to know:
    • All La Parada restaurants have backup generators to ensure uninterrupted service during loadshedding
    • Caters to guests with gluten-free and dairy-free dietary requirements and also serves a range of delicious vegan and vegetarian tapas

Established in 2011, this Mother City restaurant is known for its delicious food.

A celebration of the best Spanish flavours and influences, each La Parada location boasts beautiful earthy decor, a vibrant ambience and an extensive tapas menu.

Grab an ice-cold drink and enjoy one of their most popular tapas offerings, including:

  • Wagyu beef potstickers: Seared and steamed Wagyu beef accompanied by a side serving of kimchi and an Indonesian soy sauce
  • Patatas Bravas: A generous serving of crispy fried potatoes, drizzled with garlic aioli and spicy salsa brava
  • Pork belly: Crispy pork belly and a crunchy slaw topped with toasted sesame seeds

If you have any space left, also try their delicious desserts, including their homemade churros (topped with cinnamon sugar and a chocolate dip) or chocolate popcorn smores (a mouthwatering chocolate brownie sandwich sprinkled with caramel popcorn & burnt marshmallow).

3. Best South African-Inspired Tapas – The Pot Luck Club

The Pot Luck Club in Cape Town is a culinary revelation where the world of tapas unfolds in a sophisticated and panoramic setting
  • Location: The Old Biscuit Mill, 373-375 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town
  • Trading hours:
    • Monday to Saturday: 12h30 to 14h00 and 18h00 to 22h00
    • Sunday: 11h00 to 12h30
  • Good to know:
    • The Pot Luck Club has generators and is open during loadshedding
    • The Pot Luck Club caters to vegans and vegetarians
    • Bookings are essential and are best done in advance

This establishment has become a favourite among locals and international visitors.

Known for its unique, South African-inspired tapas, The Pot Luck Club is a must-visit in Cape Town.

For a taste adventure of note – all while enjoying the beautiful views of Tale Mountain – try the following tapas:

  • Pot Luck Club fish sliders: Fresh fish sliders, a mojo dressing and creamy miso mayo
  • Pork Penang belly: Crispy pork belly with coconut and peanut curry and pickled onion
  • Sourdough Ciaatta rooster koek: A delicious South African bread served with whipped butter, a roasted garlic paste and marinated olives

For dessert, try their delicious Peanut Butter Bomb (served with creamy banana mouse and crunchy honeycomb) or a plate of traditional South African cheeses (served with a delectable range of preserves and lavash).

4. Best Vineyard View Tapas – Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia

Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia in Cape Town is a culinary gem where the art of tapas meets the picturesque beauty of the Constantia Wine Valley
  • Location: Beau Constantia Wine Farm, 1043 Constantia Main Road, Constantia Neck
  • Trading hours: Monday to Saturday: 12h00 to 14h30 and 18h00 to 20h30
  • Good to know:
    • Closed for dinner on Sundays and only serves brunch between 12h00 and 14h30
    • They also serve fresh and delicious pescatarian, vegetarian and vegan meals

Located in the Constantia Valley Winelands, Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia serves top-notch tapas in a beautiful vineyard setting.

The food is delicious, and the kitchen uses seasonally-inspired and locally sourced ingredients to create their unique tapas, including:

  • Linefish sashimi: A selection of fresh linefish served on a bed of Southeast Asian pickles and coconut creme
  • Smoked snoek and churros: South African snoek served with spiced Sherry jelly and a drizzle of paprika and garlic oil
  • Yellowfin tuna: Fresh tunatopped with a Balinese mint sambal matah and a yeast dressing

If you want to be spoiled for choice, I suggest ordering the We Eat With Our Hands option. This selection of beef tartare, liver parfait, a mushroom emulsion, and fresh flowers and herbs is a hit with many patrons and my go-to option!

For those with a sweet tooth, try the wild honey and lavender creme or The Jonesy Bar (Chef Ivor’s magical, childhood-inspired dessert).

5. Best Garden-Setting Tapas – Kloof Street House

Kloof Street House in Cape Town is a tapas haven where culinary artistry meets Victorian elegance in a charming and intimate setting
  • Location: 30 Kloof St, Gardens, Cape Town
  • Trading hours:
    • Tuesday to Sunday: 10h00 to 02h00
    • Monday: 12h00 to 02h00
  • Good to know:
    • Kloof Street House is open during loadshedding
    • Offers a range of gluten-free vegan and vegetarian-friendly dishes

Hidden away in the leafy streets of Gardens, this restaurant offers a stylish interior, live music on weekends, and an extensive tapas menu.

Order yourself a drink, sit back, relax in the serene garden setting, and feast on the wide selection of tapas they offer, including:

  • Tuna tartar: Fresh tuna tartar, avocado, a tangy soy-ginger dressing, and sesame seeds
  • Grilled halloumi served with freshly roasted vegetables, a dollop of sweet honey, and a balsamic vinegar reduction
  • Chorizo and potato empanadas: These Italian-inspired empanadas are filled with chorizo sausages and spicy potatoes – they’re always a winner in my books!

Order their salted caramel cheesecake (topped with caramel popcorn) or sticky malva pudding (with a grilled pineapple topping and a generous dollop of vanilla ice cream) for dessert.

6. Best City-Centre Tapas – Bouchon Wine Bar & Bistro

Bouchon Wine Bar & Bistro in Cape Town is a tapas haven where French-inspired culinary delights unfold in an intimate and welcoming ambiance
  • Location: 95 Hout Street, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
  • Trading hours: Monday to Saturday: 16h00 to 23h00
  • Good to know:
    • The restaurant is closed on Sundays
    • Serves a range of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free menu options

If you need to refuel after a day of exploring Cape Town’s city centre, make sure you visit Bouchon Wine Bar & Bistro.

They have a daily Three for R265 tapas special, among which I suggest getting the following:

  • Pulled duck and artichoke risotto: Tender duck served with pecorino shavings
  • Crispy deep-fried calamari, topped off with fermented chilli aioli & lemon
  • Twice-cooked pork belly smothered in a rich and tangy Asian BBQ sauce

For a cool dessert treat, try their bitter-and-sweet baked chocolate brownie (served with homemade chocolate gelato) or their delicious baked cheesecake (with a sweet blueberry compote).

7. Best Japanese-Style Tapas – Tjing Tjing

Tjing Tjing in Cape Town is a tapas sensation where culinary innovation meets contemporary elegance in the heart of the city
  • Location: 165 Longmarket St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
  • Trading hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 12h00 to 01h00
  • Good to know:
    • Tjing Tjing is closed on Sundays and Mondays
    • There is no need to make a reservation, but remember this popular nighttime spot fills up fast so it’s best to get there early

Visit this rooftop bar when you want to bid the day farewell in style.

With its beautiful views of the city and Table Mountain, Tjing Tjing is perfect for afternoon drinks and serves some of the best tapas in Cape Town. Apart from its great tapas options, this Japanese-inspired rooftop bar is also known for its indie and electronic music.

The food at Tjing Tjing is prepared with the freshest ingredients. Their selection of tapas includes:

  • Sashimi plate: Trout and tuna served with ponzu, sesame, ginger and wasabi
  • Lime nigiri: Whitefish prepared with soy, lime zest and ginger and served on rice
  • Futomaki: A generous serving of tempura carrot, cucumber and kewpie.

End of the night by ordering a serving of their delicious wasabi ice cream sando and mochi (I know it sounds a bit strange but trust me on this one!). Tjing Tjing also serves a wide selection of classic and bespoke cocktails and a range of house wines.

8. Best Fine-Dining Tapas – Foxcroft Restaurant

Foxcroft Restaurant in Cape Town is a culinary haven where the art of tapas unfolds in an elegant and contemporary setting
  • Location: Shop 8, High Constantia Centre, Groot Constantia Road, Constantia, Cape Town
  • Trading hours: Monday to Sunday: 08h00 to 21h00
  • Good to know:
    • The restaurant has backup generators to ensure a seamless dining experience during loadshedding
    • Offers a range of plant-focused menus, perfect for vegan and vegetarian patrons

If you are looking for a fine dining tapas experience, Foxcroft Restaurant should be your next stop.

Situated in the leafy suburb of Constantia, this gem has a seasonally-influenced menu and serves dishes from the freshest and most flavourful locally sourced ingredients.

Boasting an elegant indoor area and a beautiful outdoor terrace, Foxcroft offers a range of delicious and light tapas, including:

  • Yellowfin tuna tataki: Fresh yellowfin tuna with smoky, roasted sesame, fresh cucumber, seaweed and a hint of citrus
  • Crispy mushroom: Braised shitake and berbere, served with cep cream and a teff crisp
  • Risotto served with a generous hint of black pepper, guanciale, confit pork cheek, and crackling

Try their delicious tiramisu (made from Jerusalem artichoke, hazelnut, coffee, and a hint of naartjie) or creamy lime cheesecake for dessert.

9. Best Tapas For Wine-Pairing – Bistro Sixteen82

Bistro Sixteen82 in Cape Town is a culinary masterpiece where the world of tapas meets the elegance of the Constantia Wine Valley
  • Location: Steenberg Road, Tokai, Cape Town
  • Trading hours: Monday to Sunday: 09h00 to 22h00
  • Good to know:
    • Bistro Sixteen82 has backup generators in the event of loadshedding
    • Tapas is served from 17h00 to 23h00 daily
    • The restaurant also caters for vegetarians and vegans

Located on the world-famous Steenberg Wine Farm, Bistro Sixteen82 opened in 2009 and is rated as one of the best tapas destinations in Cape Town.

This innovative and interactive wine-tasting and food establishment boasts views of the surrounding vineyards and indigenous gardens. Pair their award-winning wines with their range of delicious tapas, including:

  • Tempura prawns served with a kimchi noodle salad, a creamy shitake mayo and a zesty coriander lime vinaigrette
  • Wasabi-dusted baby calamari: Tender calamari plated with avocado pulp and herby basil and tamarind vinaigrette
  • Beef tataki: Seared beef served with truffled corn, mushrooms, wild rocket, soy and chilli

End your dining experience by ordering one of the delicious desserts. Try their lemon posset (a white chocolate shortbread served with a berry coulis, yoghurt and tangy mango sorbet) or a pineapple and lemon verbena cheesecake.

10. Best American-Inspired Tapas – Rick’s Cafe Americain

Rick's Cafe Americain in Cape Town is a culinary destination where the allure of Casablanca meets the vibrant energy of the Mother City
  • Location: 103 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town
  • Trading hours: Monday to Sunday: 11h00 to 02h00
  • Good to know:
    • The restaurant offers alimited menu during loadshedding
    • Serves vegan and vegetarian dishes, including a vegetarian burger and a delicious wild mushroom and butternut risotto

If you’re looking for one of the best tapas restaurants in Cape Town, this Rick’s Cafe Americain never disappoints.

With its contemporary decor and delicious snacks and meals, Ricks offers a wide variety of mouthwatering tapas, including:

  • Tapas platter: A mix of Karoo-grown and sourced olives, chicken brochettes, fish cakes and grilled squid – the perfect platter that caters for everyone!
  • Beef carpaccio: Thin slices of beef fillet marinated in pesto and served with rocket, parmesan and caper mayonnaise.
  • Smoked crocodile: Smoked crocodile tail served with wild rocket and a zesty orange and granadilla vinaigrette

Also, try their Morrocan lime cheesecake (served with homemade Mauritian vanilla bean ice cream) or a chocolate samosa (with a 70% dark chocolate filling, ice cream and a spicy pineapple compote).


What different types of tapas are there?

Traditionally served with a fortified wine, tapas can be categorised into three main categories:

  • Cosas de Picar: Known as finger foods, the name translates to nibbles. Examples of cosas de Picar include olives, marcona almonds, and cheese slices.
  • Pintxos: Served in bars throughout Spain, pintxos means spike and refers to the toothpicks used to skewer this type of finger food
  • Cazuelas: Refers to the small, sauced dishes served in tapas restaurants. They are often cooked and served in small terracotta earthenware owls.

How many tapas must I order?

Portion sizes will differ from restaurant to restaurant. Typically, one would order two to three tapas dishes to share among guests. Three tapas dishes can be shared among two or three guests, which is a great way to ensure that everyone gets a taste of the different items.

What is the best time to order tapas?

Tapas typically refers to the late afternoon or evening drinks and snacks shared among friends. In Spain, guests meet for tapas at around 13h30 to 15h00 or 20h30 to 22h30.

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