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Eating Out in Cape Town

Cape Town is fortunate in having no dearth of reasonably priced restaurants that boast a relaxed, easy-going atmosphere. While there is such a thing as indigenous Cape cuisine, (thanks to recent conscious efforts in that direction), it is not the only type of food that you are likely to come across on your visit. Restaurants are mainly in the central district around the City Bowl, Sea Point and the Waterfront. There is food from all over the world here; the choice of healthy, creative dishes is amazingly wide and increasing all the time.

Seafood is a huge plus point, and you should make sure you sample some cold-water fishes like snoek that are not easily found elsewhere.

Wine-sampling is almost mandatory in the Cape area – popular Cape wines grown indigenously are served all over the area, except in restaurants serving Cape cuisine – these are usually owned by Muslim teetotalers. There is also a growing number of continental-style cafes springing up all over the city and the Cape coastline, offering the chance to linger endlessly over coffee and snacks, accompanied by fabulous views over the sea.

Entertainment in Cape Town pales in comparison to the well-known nightlife and cultural scene of Jo’burg. The idea of a night out for most Capetonians is usually a quiet dinner and/or a movie. Segregation harking back to the apartheid era is still practiced in some clubs and bars, inhibiting the growth of a truly cosmopolitan urban culture. In fact, Cape Town is probably one of the best places in South Africa to discover Afrikaner culture. Step back in time and get a taste of this culture at classical music concerts or local events organized by Constantia Winelands families. More standard nightlife can be found in the City Bowl area, with pubs and bars lining Kloof St. Long and Loop Streets are the city venues highest on adrenalin (and pheromones!), offering loads of drinking and dancing pubs/clubs for locals and tourists alike.

The one entertainment must-do in Cape Town, and perhaps the only authentic form of culture here, is Cape Flats jazz, found in the coloured Cape Flats area, and often accompanied by a jazzing, a heady dance mix of tango and bossa nova. The weekly Mail & Guardian has listings on exhibitions, movies, music and performance in Jo'burg, Durban and Cape Town. The Cape Weekend supplement to the Weekend Argus, which is published on Saturdays is better for more local, even provincial listings.

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