Kloof Street, Cape Town
Written by Lucy Corne
Cape Town wears many hats, and thanks to its host of innovative restaurants, it is the chef’s hat that many visitors particularly want to see donned.
For years, Long Street has been the road recommended to Cape Town visitors, but while bustling Long Street is known for its tourist-filled party vibe, its sister street, Kloof, is lined with boutique eateries and bespoke stores, mostly frequented by local residents. “For me it’s true Cape Town,” says celebrity chef Reuben Riffel. “It’s a street just to walk up and down or sit at a cool little restaurant and watch the variety of people that go by.” The street, with its hip clientele, is a great place to spot local celebrities, alongside everyday Capetonians.
As you leave the city behind, try a boerewors roll at Gourmet Boerie, a local take on the designer burger fad. Here you can choose your toppings and sides to go with the traditional South African beef sausage. As you continue south, you reach the quirky Kloof Street House, an eclectic restaurant in a magnificent Victorian mansion, which Reuben recommends for a romantic dinner. As you continue to climb – for Kloof Street sits in the Tamboerskloof district of town, clinging to the lower slopes of Table Mountain – you reach Café Paradiso, a long-running restaurant best known for its sumptuous garden setting. “It’s a lovely spot for al fresco dining and maybe some celeb spotting,” says Reuben. “Cape Town is quite busy with international movie productions being shot in and around the city.”
The street is best known as a gourmand’s paradise, but it’s not all about food, food, food. “There are many art galleries, quirky shops, interesting décor shops, and very cool clothing stores,” says Reuben. Among them you’ll find interior-design boutique LIM, Mr & Mrs, featuring jewellery and fashion from South African designers, and the outstandingly idiosyncratic This is Not a Post Office, a party store that’s part of the Madame Zingara family – a company better known for its circus-like dinner theatre.
Once you’ve shopped and scoffed, you’ll find Kloof Street happily sandwiched between some of the city’s finest attractions: continuing south – and you’ll want to get some wheels – you eventually reach the Lower Cableway Station, where the rotating cable car whizzes you atop Table Mountain. At the northern end of Kloof Street sits the Company’s Garden, once the vegetable patch for European sailors and now a world-class city park edged by excellent museums.
Cape Town, South Africa
Reuben Riffel is a South African celebrity chef, whose flagship restaurant, Reuben’s, is a stalwart of the Winelands dining scene. He has since opened four more restaurants, including one at the luxurious One&Only Cape Town. As well as penning a number of bestselling cookbooks, Reuben is one of the judges on the popular TV programme MasterChef South Africa.