The Best Braai Spots In Cape Town

best braai spots in cape town

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One thing I’ve learned living here is that South Africans always love a good braai. For those who don’t know, a braai is simply a barbecue but South African style. It’s about grilling meats over open flames, but it’s also a social event that’s woven into the nation’s fabric.

Braais are where stories are shared and laughter echoes under the open sky. In Cape Town, the art of braai is taken to another level, with spots offering breathtaking views and a vibe that can’t be matched. Join me as we explore the top braai spots in Cape Town, where the grills are hot, and the scenery is even hotter. Here’s a quick snapshot of the best braai spots in Cape Town:

  • Oudekraal
  • Newlands Forest
  • Silvermine Nature Reserve
  • Tokai Forest
  • Maiden’s Cove
  • Wynberg Park
  • Berg River Resort
  • Buffels Bay and Bordjiesdrif
  • Blue Waters
  • Little Bay

The Significance of Braaing in South Africa

Like I just said, braaing is a huge part of the South African experience. It’s more than just grilling, it’s a cherished ritual that brings people together, breaking down cultural and language barriers. The term ‘braai’ itself has Dutch roots, but in South Africa, it signifies much more than cooking over a flame.

It’s about the camaraderie that comes with sharing a meal, the stories exchanged by the fire, and the collective joy found in simple, smoky flavours. Whether it’s a spontaneous gathering or a planned feast, there’s something for everyone at a braai and it perfectly captures the essence of South African hospitality. That’s enough time-wasting, let’s take a closer look at Cape Town’s best braai spots.

10 of the Best Braai Spots in Cape Town

1. Oudekraal – Best for sea views

Oudekraal, Cape TOwn
  • Location: Oudekraal, Table Mountain National Park (Just past Camps Bay)
  • Contact: +27 21 712 0527
  • Entry fee: R35 to R128
  • Opening hours: 8 am to 6 pm (September to April), 8 am to 5 pm (May to August)

Oudekraal has earned its reputation as easily one of the best braai spots in Cape Town, especially for those who can’t get enough of the sea. Located between boulders and the ocean, it’s the spot for a serene day out where the views of the Atlantic are as tantalizing as the scent of sizzling boerewors.

Locals tipped me off to this treasure and I’m so grateful that they did. Oudekraal is where the horizon stretches seemingly endlessly, and the waves function as a tranquil soundtrack to a leisurely braai.

Here, the braai areas are sheltered by milkwood trees, offering respite from the sun as you grill with the ocean breeze as your companion.

Unique selling points

  • Protected braai areas
  • A sense of seclusion
  • Unobstructed ocean views
  • Clear waters for snorkelling before your braai

2. Newlands Forest – Best for forest ambience

Newlands Forest, Cape Town
  • Location: M3, Newlands Forest, Newlands, Table Mountain National Park
  • Contact: +27 21 689 7438
  • Entry fee: R35 to R140
  • Opening hours: 7 am to 7 pm (September to April), 8 am to 6 pm (May to August)

Newlands Forest wraps you in a blanket of green tranquillity, which is why it’s one of the best braai spots for a forest ambience and a favourite among those seeking a braai with a difference. Tucked away under the canopy of age-old trees, Newlands Forest is where the city’s noise fades into the background and is replaced by the sounds of nature.

I’ve heard the locals saying that “it’s where you come to breathe”. The forest floor, a carpet of fallen leaves and pine needles, adds a rustic touch to the experience. This spot has designated braai and picnic spots, as well as built-in fire pits.

Unique selling points

  • Ideal spot for hiking and braaing
  • Lush forest setting
  • Family-friendly environment
  • Well-maintained braai facilities

3. Silvermine Nature Reserve – Best for panoramic landscapes

Silvermine Nature Reserve, Cape Town
  • Location: Silvermine Nature Reserve, Table Mountain National Park, Ou Kaapse Weg, Westlake
  • Contact: +27 21 712 7471
  • Entry fee: R35 to R140
  • Opening hours: 7 am to 6 pm (September to April), 8 am to 5 pm (May to August)

Silvermine Nature Reserve, another part of the Table Mountain National Park, is the definition of an ‘escape’. It has panoramic landscapes and is undoubtedly one of the premier braai spots in Cape Town.

You’ll find it perched high above the city and the views stretch across the valley to the ocean, offering a feast for the eyes as much as for the stomach. It’s the kind of place where you can spend hours just gazing out at the horizon, braai tongs in hand.

As cliched as it sounds, this is the type of place that makes you feel like you’re on top of the world, so why not share it with others in the form of a braai? The braai areas are dotted around a reservoir, which is perfect for a refreshing dip before tucking into your meal. Trust me, when you visit, you’ll see the beauty of the Cape flora is on full display, and if you’re lucky, you might spot some wildlife too.

Unique selling points

  • Breathtaking 360-degree views
  • Tranquil reservoir for swimming

4. Tokai Forest – Best for shaded braais

Tokai Forest, Cape Town
  • Location: Tokai Forest, Table Mountain National Park, Tokai Road, Tokai
  • Contact: +27 21 712 0527
  • Entry fee: R15 to R140
  • Opening hours: 7 am to 6 pm (September to April), 8 am to 5 pm (May to August)

Tokai Forest is one of the few well-shaded braai spots in Cape Town, offering a cool retreat under the towering pines. It’s a slice of paradise in the Table Mountain National Park that a lot of people tend to overlook. At Tokai Forest, the sun filters through the branches, creating a play of light and shadow perfect for a leisurely day out.

Here, you can lay out your spread on one of the many picnic tables and fire up the braai in the middle of the sounds of the forest. It’s important to know that the area is well-equipped for families, with ample space for kids to run around.

The tall trees not only provide shade but also a sense of seclusion and intimacy, making it an ideal spot for those looking to escape the city’s glare and enjoy the cool, forest air.

Unique selling points

  • Abundant shade
  • Family-friendly amenities
  • Serene forest atmosphere

5. Maiden’s Cove – Best for photographs

Maiden's Cove, Cape Town
  • Location: Maiden’s Cove, Victoria Road, between Clifton and Camps Bay
  • Contact: +27 21 438 8212
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Opening hours: Always open (Best visited during daylight hours)

Maiden’s Cove is, in my opinion, a truly underrated spot nestled between Clifton and Camps Bay. Unlike many other spots in Cape Town, Maiden’s Cove isn’t just your typical braai spot, it’s a photographer’s dream canvas. It’s one of those places in Cape Town where every snapshot is postcard-worthy, capturing the dramatic contrast between the rugged coastline and the serene sea.

Here, you can grill your heart out with the iconic backdrop of the Twelve Apostles mountain range on one side and the Atlantic Ocean’s shimmering expanse on the other. Before I visited, the locals wouldn’t stop raving about the breathtaking sunsets that paint the sky in hues of fiery orange and soft pink. So naturally, I had to see this for myself.

If you’re up for a braai that’s a visual feast as much as it is a culinary one, then look no further than Maiden’s Cove. Believe me, you’ll want to keep savouring this spot long after the coals have cooled.

Unique selling points

  • Always open
  • Ample space for picnicking
  • Great spot for whale and dolphin-spotting
  • Unmatched views for photography enthusiasts

6. Wynberg Park – Best for convenient suburban braais

Wynberg Park, Cape Town
  • Location: Wynberg Park, Corner of Klaassens and Trovato Link Roads, Wynberg
  • Contact: +27 21 710 9403
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Opening hours: 8 am to 6 pm daily

Wynberg Park is a suburban sanctuary and one of the most convenient braai and picnic spots in the heart of the Southern Suburbs. It’s a place where families gather on the weekends to enjoy the simplicity of a good braai in a setting that feels like a green oasis in the middle of a concrete jungle.

With its expensive lawns and duck-filled ponds, Wynberg Park offers a slice of countryside charm. It’s one of the few places where you can fire up a braai, watch the kids play on the jungle gyms, and maybe even join in a game of cricket on the grass. For nature lovers, the park’s historic conifer garden provides a serene backdrop for a leisurely stroll before or after indulging in your braai.

Unique selling points

  • Relaxed atmosphere
  • Child-friendly facilities
  • Easy access from various suburbs

7. Berg River Resort – Best for a full-day outing

Berg River Resort, Cape Town
  • Location: Berg River Resort, R45, Paarl
  • Contact: +27 21 007 1852
  • Entry fee: R100 to R120
  • Opening hours: 8 am to 6 pm daily

Berg River Resort stands out as one of the most versatile braai spots in Cape Town, perfect for a full-day outing. This resort comfortably tucked into the winelands is a place where you can immerse yourself in a variety of activities from swimming to boating, all while your braai simmers away.

It’s important to know that this spot caters for the whole family, with facilities that ensure everyone, from toddlers to grandparents, has a memorable day. The resort’s expansive grounds mean you can find your own little nook by the river for a private braai experience, or join the communal buzz where local stories and laughter are as abundant as the braai smoke.

Unique selling points

  • A range of activities on offer
  • Incredibly family-friendly
  • Ample space for large groups

8. Buffels Bay and Bordjiesdrif – Best for beach braais

Buffels Bay and Bordjiesdrif, Cape Town
  • Location: Buffels Bay and Bordjiesdrif, Cape Point Nature Reserve, Cape Point Road
  • Contact: +27 21 780 9204
  • Entry fee: R85 to R340
  • Opening hours: 6 am to 6 pm (October to March), 7 am to 5 pm (April to September)

Buffels Bay and Bordjiesdrif are spots that not many braai spots in Cape Town can compare to. It lets you dig your toes into the sand while you braai, which is why these two gems in the Cape Point Nature Reserve are so popular among both locals and visitors.

They are the very definition of beach braai bliss, where the sound of the waves perfectly complements the sizzle of the grill. One of the key selling points of these spots is the stunning coastal scenery that surrounds you as you cook. It’s worth mentioning that this spot is rife with wildlife, so nature lovers will absolutely love this spot.

Here, you can indulge in the fresh ocean breeze and the occasional seagull’s call, all while enjoying the warmth of the fire. It’s essential to know that these spots are popular, so arriving early to claim your spot is wise, especially during the summer months.

Unique selling points

  • Direct beach access
  • Diverse wildlife
  • Stunning natural surroundings

9. Helderberg Farm – Best for rustic vibes

Helderberg Farm, Cape Town
  • Location: Helderberg Farm, Klein Helderberg Road
  • Contact: +27 21 855 4308
  • Entry fee: R50
  • Opening hours: Generally open from 9 am to 5 pm

Heldeberg Farm, situated at the base of the Helderberg Mountains, is a rustic retreat and undoubtedly one of the best braai spots in Cape Town for those who yearn for the charm of the countryside. Here, the serenity is your companion as you light up the braai amid vineyards and ancient oak trees.

The farm offers a nice escape where the simplicity of rural life enriches the braai experience. From the clucking of chickens to the rustle of the wind through the foliage. For the city dweller seeking a taste of farm life, Helderberg Farm provides an authentic rustic vibe that’s hard to find elsewhere.

Unique selling points

  • Authentic farm atmosphere
  • Scenic mountain views
  • A variety of farm activities

10. Little Bay – Best for coastal braais

Little Bay, Cape Town
  • Location: 7 Popham Road, Bloubergstrand
  • Contact: +27 21 550 1204
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Opening hours: Always open (best visited during daylight hours or just before sunset)

And last but certainly not least, I present to you: Little Bay, another jewel among the best braai spots in Cape Town, where the Atlantic breeze adds a unique zest to your outdoor cooking. At Little Bay, the wind carries tales of seafarers and the briny scent of the ocean, setting the stage for a memorable coastal braai.

The rugged coastline here is a dramatic background for the often windswept flames, making it a thrilling challenge for even seasoned braai masters. It’s the kind of spot that invigorates the spirit and whets the appetite, so it’s perfect for those who appreciate the raw beauty of nature while they cook.

For the adventurous at heart, Little Bay offers a braai experience that’s as lively as the waves crashing against the shore.

Unique selling points

  • Dramatic coastal scenery
  • Invigorating sea air
  • A less crowded alternative for a more intimate braai experience

Tips for Having a Braai in Cape Town

Before you rush off to get the charcoal lit, here are some things to remember for your next braai:

  • Check the weather: Cape Town’s weather can be unpredictable, with the Cape Doctor, otherwise known as the South Easter wind, known to pick up quickly. Always check the forecast before you head out to braai and picnic spots. Also, choose a spot with windbreakers or bring your own shields.
  • Bring your own gear: Many braai spots in Cape Town are ‘bring your own’ – from wood or charcoal to the grid and tongs. Make sure you’re fully equipped to avoid any hiccups.
  • Respect the environment: Keep it clean by disposing of your waste properly. Cape Town’s beauty is its natural heritage, which we all have a responsibility to protect.
  • Be mindful of local issues: Cape Town is a city that struggles with homelessness, which can be more visible on public beaches. In this sense, be respectful and considerate, a small act of kindness can go a long way.
  • Secure your spot early: Especially on the weekends and public holidays, braai spots can fill up fast. Get there early to claim a prime spot.
  • Watch out for baboons: Yep, you read correctly; baboons. They’re known to occasionally enter sites like the Tokai Forest, and trust me when I say they aren’t friendly. Be very mindful and cautious of their presence, especially if you have small children.
  • Stay safe: Always keep an eye on your belongings. Although Cape Town is a friendly city for the larger part, it’s wise to be cautious, especially in more secluded areas.
  • Understand the rules: As you’ve seen from what I mentioned previously, some of these spots have specific regulations, from fire safety to alcohol consumption. Familiarise yourself with these to avoid fines or disruptions to your day.
  • Embrace Local Flavours: Visit a local butcher to get the best cuts for your braai and try some traditional South African recipes.
  • Stay hydrated: The African sun can be unforgiving. Pack plenty of water alongside your braai feast to keep everyone hydrated and happy. This is particularly important for those who plan on consuming alcohol.

FAQs

What goes first on a braai?

Starting a braai is a bit of an art. Typically, you’d begin with meats that take longer to cook, like chicken or thick steaks. These need time to sizzle to perfection. I always throw on the chicken first for safety, but I also feel like their fat drippings kick-start a flavour fest for the rest of the meats to come.

Is alcohol allowed at Tokai Forest?

Tokai Forest is a family-friendly spot, and while braaing is allowed, alcohol isn’t. To avoid needless issues or potential fines, always confirm the rules of a spot before you go, as rules are always subject to change.

What should be included in a braai?

A proper braai isn’t just about the meat, like your borewors, patties, and sosaties (skewers). You need to have a variety of sides like braaibroodjies (braai sandwiches), salads, and maybe some ‘mielies’ (corn on the cob). Don’t forget the drink to wash it all down. Remember that it’s a feast that’s mainly about sharing, so go for items that can be easily shared.

You might also want to pack some items to snack on while you braai, so you don’t get tempted to eat the meat before the braai is done.

How do you know when a braai is ready?

You’ll know your braai is ready when the coals are white-hot with no flames leaping out. That’s when you can masterfully cook without charring your chops. It’s all about that glow, not the flames – that’s my cue to start the braai magic. The general rule of thumb is to be able to hold your hand over the coal or firewood, at a moderate height, for seven to 10 seconds without getting burnt.

What is the purpose of National Braai Day?

National Braai Day, or Heritage Day, is about unity. It’s a day when South Africans fire up their braais, regardless of their background, to celebrate their rich heritage and shared love for this national pastime. It’s a day that turns every meal into a communal celebration of diversity.

Conclusion

Wrapping up this braai journey around Cape Town, it’s clear that the city’s braai culture is as sizzling as the coals on a warm summer evening. Maiden’s Cove, with its stunning backdrop, and the lush Newlands Forest nature reserve, are just a few spots that stand out among the best braai spots in Cape Town.

Remember, for a successful braai, you can’t just wing it, preparation is key. From checking the weather to being aware of local issues, the tips I provided will ensure your braai is an event to be remembered.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a local or a visitor, these spots offer a taste of the true South African spirit, where the food is hearty and the company is heartier. So grab your tongs, pack your cooler box, and let the smoky aroma guide you to the perfect braai.


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