There is no shortage of beautiful beaches in Cape Town, but Camps Bay Beach remains a consistent favorite with both locals and visitors for the pristine stretch of white sand and aquamarine water and the views of Table Mountain as a backdrop. But it’s also where people head when they want to get social and have a great meal and a cocktail (or three). The Camps Bay neighborhood’s main drag is right across the street from the water, which makes for a convenient, day-to-evening outing. Make sure to bring a change of clothes, though—Camps Bay is known for drawing a glamorous crowd.
Think of it as Cape Town’s version of Miami’s South Beach, where people-watching is one of the area’s favorite pastimes. Here, five of our favorite places to eat and drink...not to mention see and be seen.
Even if you aren’t staying here, The Twelve Apostles is worth a stop for a pre-dinner drink at its Leopard Bar, where the outdoor terrace overlooks Camps Bay Beach, perfectly situated to catch those stunning Cape Town sunsets. Inside, the bar’s theme is fittingly inspired by its namesake, with leopard print pillows and a bronze leopard sculpture—an exotic setting to sip a chili and cucumber margarita, made with fresh red chili and lime juice. Bonus: there’s live music Monday to Saturday.
For something a little more high-energy (and perhaps closer to midnight), head to Cafe Caprice, a Camps Bay institution and the go-to nightlife destination for the city's A-listers. Even if you plan to swing by for just a drink (try The Quagga, made with Havana Club seven year old rum shaken with fig jam, bitters and fresh lime), you’ll probably find yourself dancing away into the wee hours—and spotting a celebrity or two in the process.
On a bright, sun-splashed summer day with the azure sea in the background, the whitewashed dining room at Blues could be mistaken for Mykonos, especially when you taste the Mediterranean-inspired dishes. These include a seafood linguine with prawns, mussels and calamari sauteed in garlic, white wine and parsley; and a supremely fresh Greek salad tossed with a mint vinaigrette. The restaurant sits on the second floor of a building with an outdoor patio looking out over the water, so grab one of these tables to check out all the beach action.
A staple on the Camps Bay dining scene since opening almost 20 years ago, The Codfather specializes in excellent sushi (which draws in big crowds daily) and offers no menu. Rather, waiters explain the day’s selection at your table, which may include seafood platters of local crayfish, king prawns and calamari. There’s also an excellent South African wine list.
Up in the glens of Table Mountain, a bit removed from the humming activity right next to the beach, The Roundhouse is worth the extra trek from the water for its lovely wooded setting in an 18th-century Dutch East India guardhouse. The cuisine here is european with a South African influence, the signature being the five-course tasting menu, which might include dishes like the steamed pork belly with homemade mustard and a Karoo ostrich fillet celeriac and pickled onion flowers.