The Cape Town epicurean scene never fails to impress and whatever your culinary inclination, foodie satisfaction in the Mother City is almost guaranteed. While the city’s flagship restaurants maintain impeccably high standards, new Chefs and eateries emerge onto the gourmand scene, leaving local and visiting patrons indulgently spoilt for choice. Recently added to the fold is the trendy Silo District at the V&A Waterfront, an area that rose to prominence with the opening of the ZeitzMOCAA late last year.
Africa’s largest museum of contemporary art, and a partnership between the V&A Waterfront and Jochen Zeitz, it has brought with it the rapid development of a space that until the turn of the millennium was at the heart of operational harbour life. Today this grain silo and heritage structure, once the tallest building in Cape Town, has entered into a new era with the combination of art and industrial design drawing international praise, and interest. A distinct blend of business and culture, the V&A Waterfront’s Silo district offers a variety of experiences. From the not to be missed cutting-edge art collection at the museum, to the fine hotels, eateries and world-class shopping it is now home to.
But when exploring the area, where do we eat? Be it a delicious lunch or afternoon tea overlooking Table Mountain, sundowners on the rooftop, or grabbing a quick working lunch or coffee, these are your choices in the city’s new artistic hub.
The Silo District is a love at first sight kind of place.
The Silo Hotel
Arguably the most luxurious hotel in Cape Town, The Silo Hotel offers a wide range of dining experiences in The Willaston Bar, The Granary Café and The Silo Rooftop. Here Executive Chef Veronica Canha-Hibbert and her team have crafted a number of casual and contemporary menus that include lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and a wonderful Sunday Roast. Chef Veronica believes in good, honest and delicious food that showcases seasonal and local ingredients.
Both found on the sixth floor, the aqua-hued Willaston Bar is ideal for enjoying a cocktail or bar snack, while The Granary Café offers a more formal dining experience with gorgeous interiors and cityscape views to enjoy. The popular Silo Rooftop with its incredible 360-degree views of the city and reclining seats is ideal for sipping on champagne; splurge on fresh oysters and watch the sun go down.
NOTE: Prior reservations are required in the Granary Café and on The Silo Rooftop. No reservations are possible in The Willaston Bar.
RED Roof at Radisson RED Hotel
Right next door is the stylish new Radisson RED Hotel with it’s the bold colours and fresh unique approach to hospitality that is inspired by all things art, music and fashion. There is a strong focus on sustainably too. The stylish rooftop is a casual spot to see out a Summer evening, with drinks served from the food truck bar and the menu offering giant burgers, pizza, delicious vegetarian options and cheese and charcuterie boards. Prepare to be wowed by the panoramic views of the city, Table Mountain and the Waterfront.
OUIBar + KTHCN are the ground floor dining option at the hotel with a similar menu to the rooftop bar, including toasty broccoli broom, prawn boxes with chilli, sirloin with baked new potatoes and cowboy butter and all day breakfasts. There’s also an impressive beverage list with some trendy local labels.
The Yard at Silo
You’ll find this stylish new drinks-and-dinner concept store just below the ZeitzMOCAA. Offers pre-prepared food and sit-down dining with a menu that features Mediterranean, Indian, Oriental and Middle Eastern-influenced dishes. The sociable platter-style food makes for a good after-work drinks spot with some reasonably priced wines and beers from Spice Route and the Cape Brewing Company.
Founded by people with heritage, The Yard at Silo is the brainchild of the dynamic retailer and hospitality visionary, Abigail Bisogno, and her business partner, the successful restaurateur, GP Singh. Blending the influences of their diverse upbringings, Bisogno’s in the Cape Winelands and Singh’s in Punjab, India, the flavourful menu embraces modernity, yet constantly looks to their ancestors for the inspiration behind the dishes. In the shop, you’ll find a curated collection of handmade deli items, fine jewellery, original art pieces, clothing and homeware.
A tried and tested tapas spot, at Si! Cantina-Sociale you’ll find a selection of grills, whole vegetables, fish, meat, crispy flatbreads, colourful vegan dishes and salads. The sharing-style plates make this an excellent option for groups. At Si! they take great pride in ethical, locally sourced ingredients and adopt a “farm-to-table” approach – using organic produce where possible. The wine list and cocktails are designed to invite this to be your local hangout.
A beautiful mural dominates the interior wall and commands attention, or a quick Instagram post, and compliments the rustic and relaxed interiors. Although you may prefer to take up one of the outside tables so that you can people-watch from this Silo District focal point. An ideal place for a light meal, to hang out with friends after work, have a business lunch or do some work over coffee.
The trendy Sushi Box concept store is an ideal grab-and-go and sit-down spot, featuring a brand new menu with an exciting selection of fresh and healthy options including poké bowls, signature sashimi plates and winning box combos.
Woolworths NOW NOW
Woolworths-owned NOW NOW offers a fast, healthy and locally sourced solution to a speedy midweek lunch. Breakfasts range from oat, muesli, and flapjack pots to egg buns and toasties, while lunches feature soups, hearty bowls, burgers, wraps and mash pots. The coffee to go may fill the gap and energise you between meetings.
Lindt Chocolate Studio
Everybody loves chocolate, and the Lindt Studio in the Silo District is the perfect place to buy your favourite chocolate bar, Lindt balls and Lindt bunny. Alternatively, handpick your choice of pralines from the glass display case. They also have macaroons as well as nougat, hand-made chocolate and Lindt hot chocolate. The studio runs chocolate classes that range from basic to professional, that offer insight into the secret world of chocolate making.
Newest on the Silo restaurant scene and offering home-style cuisine reimagined, FOOD at the actual ZeitzMOCAA museum is inspired by truly South African and local flavours. It ticks all the right boxes: SASSI (South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) friendly, carb-conscious, healthy and delicious. Focused on the creative power of the flavour, you’re likely to become addicted to the clever use of ingredients and the homey goodness that is poured into each dish. Given that it is on the level six floor of the museum, it may be worth investing in annual museum membership in order to gain access to the restaurant whenever you want.
While you’re in the area, remember to allow some time at the ZeitzMOCAA, home to contemporary modern works. Join a guided tour, meet the curator, walk on the glass roof, take time to watch the films and pay attention to the details. With 100 galleries spread over nine floors, it’s hungry work, but you now know how to take care of that.
** Photos sourced from properties. ZeitzMOCAA pic credit ArchiLovers.