The city of Cape Town is perched on a peninsula of South Africa's West Coast and surrounded by the ocean, making it a prime spot for fabulous fresh fish. A seafood lover’s haven, with much of the product sourced directly from the nearby Atlantic waters, Cape Town offers diners some of the freshest eats in Africa. Given the wealth of local seafood options available, Cape Town chefs have become wizards at crafting menus that showcase sushi or take a seemingly humble slab of salmon to the next level. You can feast on succulent prawns and kingklip just about anywhere in the city, but when I'm craving a decadent seafood dinner, I usually head out to one of these five specialists. Most are widely revered and beloved; some are formal and high-end, while others are simple and unassuming. The one thing they all have in common is impossibly fresh, delicious fish dishes.
Lucky Fish & Chips
This new chain has five branches (three in Cape Town and one each in Kalk Bay and Muizenberg) selling just what the name suggests, a gourmet spin on the perennially popular fish-and-chips. Each small, whitewashed space has a homey feel, and the calamari and chips roll is always a winner.
Codfather Seafood & Sushi
The ocean views from this popular eatery in trendy Camps Bay are sublime, and all the better to remind you of where your dinner is coming from. And what a dinner it is: you'll find cases filled with gleaming fresh langoustines, yellowtail, swordfish, and more to choose from (most of it sourced from the waters beyond), and your selection is grilled and served with garlic button, apricot chili, peri-peri, or lemon butter. The sushi selection is also a favorite with the locals—many credit Codfather with being the sushi pioneer in the area.
It's easy to dismiss many of the restaurants in the V&A Waterfront as being touristy, but the sleek, stylish Baia is a cut above the rest. Book a table on the terrace, order a pumpkin-seed-crusted Norwegian salmon, and wash it down with a glass off the extensive wine list—you'll quickly forget that you're in the middle of a massive mall.