There’s no doubt that Cape Town flaunts its fair share of upmarket fine dining establishments as well as a host of cheap chain restaurants. But it’s somewhat difficult to find eateries that fall within an attractive middle ground, don’t you think? I’m talking about restaurants that serve up top-notch food and have an inviting ambience, but won’t drain your wallet. Enter my guide to first-rate budget-friendly places to enjoy a meal! These spots are sure to satisfy your champagne taste when you’re on a beer budget.
#1: Bread Milk and Honey
If healthy wraps and gourmet sandwiches are your thing, you’ve got to pay this charming lunchtime eatery a visit! Try the Flaming Veg Wrap (with butternut, slow-roasted tomatoes, feta, pumpkin seeds and balsamic reduction for R34) or the Homemade Hummus Sandwich (with cucumber, avocado, rocket, peppadews and olives for R36). They also serve up a fabulous breakfast buffet between 7am and 11am every day for R14 per 100 g, and a lunch buffet between 11:30am and 2:30pm for R15 per 100 g. And, as if that isn’t enough, you can grab a fresh green juice to go with your meal for only R30!
10 SPIN STREET, CAPE TOWN CBD
This vibey Parisian-inspired steakhouse, bar and lounge offers half price tapas and bar snacks every Thursday. Served in the bar, lounge and courtyard only, the menu features drool-worthy plates like parmesan and smoked truffle aioli, chorizo balls with risotto, smoked salmon parcels with cucumber, chives and sweet chilli cream cheese, as well as butternut and sage wontons with blue cheese sauce, parmesan and basil oil. The best part? You can enjoy these delicious snacks in this trendy setting for between R18 and R60 each! Another thing your wallet will love is the cocktail menu, which offers drinks starting at just R55.
100 SHORTMARKET STREET, CAPE TOWN CBD
Darlings, at first glance, this ultra-modern sushi and cocktail bar may send your wallet into a spin, but, I promise you – their special value sushi menu will quickly put you at ease! All day long every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and between 12pm and 5pm from Wednesday through Saturday, you can indulge in signature sushi at brilliant prices. Four California rolls go for under R26, while you can savour nine fashion sandwiches wrapped in salmon and topped with mayo and caviar for R50. Alternatively, you can enjoy eight prawn rainbow rolls wrapped in salmon and tuna for R54, or four prawn California rolls deep-fried in batter and topped with teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo and spring onion for R28.
INTABA BUILDING, CORNER PROTEA ROAD & CORWEN ROAD, CLAREMONT
#4: Craft Burger Bar
This burger bar is very basic décor-wise, but that’ll barely affect your balance with their “build your own burger” option. For just R49, you can enjoy a succulent burger with your choice of patty, cheese, and a choice of up to four toppings. The cheeses you can choose from include Fairview blue, Danish feta, cheddar, mozzarella and camembert. Toppings, on the other hands, include lettuce, tomato, red onion, gherkins, sautéed onions, olive tapenade, chilli and grilled pineapple. For an extra R12, you can dress your burger up even more with a sauce, premium topping or side of chips, vegetables, deep-fried yams, fried onions rings or salad.
82 REGENT ROAD, SEA POINT
A darling Cape Town destination, Barristers pub and restaurant offers a great everyday pub lunch special from 12pm to 6pm. For only R50, you can tuck into a hearty lunch from the special menu, which offers calamari, fish and chips, cottage pie, chilli con carne, the Barristers burger, pork chops and chips, bangers and mash, and more! Is that not enough to whet your appetite, Darlings? Then show up for Monday Madness, where you can buy any main dish and get one free. Their beers and wines are also very reasonably priced, you’ll be glad to know, with a bottle of vino starting at just R70. Plus, you’ll just adore the laidback atmosphere in the heart of leafy Newlands!
CARDIFF CASTLE, KILDARE ROAD, NEWLANDS
This buzzing burger joint offers real value for money with generous portions and a wide selection of delicious nibbles. Stretch your budget further with their half-price beers, cocktails and appetisers during happy hour on weekdays from 4:30pm to 6:30pm, or peruse the regular menu for meals that are as reasonable as they are tasty and filing! The appetiser of calzoncini filled with creamy peri-peri chicken and mozzarella makes for a surprisingly satisfying meal at R48. The 180 g cheese burger topped with tomato relish, onion marmalade and cheddar cheese is also a worthy contender at just R48, as is the Meridian vegetarian burger made with a chickpea and lentil patty and topped with mustard mayo, tomato relish, red onions and zingy jalapenos for R45!
CORNER MAIN & UPPER PORTSWOOD ROAD, GREEN POINT
And there you have it, darlings… Six fabulous restaurants in Cape Town that won’t break the bank! Because we’re all familiar with those dreaded end-of-the-month feels, right?