where to go for the best work lunches in cape town
When you're chained to your desk at your 9-5, lunch is often an afterthought – whether you opt for a greasy takeaway meal or a lacklustre sandwich you threw together in the morning. Because we've been there too, we decided to list our favourite spots for grabbing a delicious and healthy midday bite in the Mother City. Give them a go; you won't be sorry.
On Loop Street is where you'll find Bardough, brought to you by the same mind behind Jason's Bakery. Not only do we love the early-morning coffee special (R15 before 9am) and delicious selection of pastries, but the lunch menu also keeps us coming back for more. From a three-cheese grilled sandwich to the most delicious BLT we've ever had – complete with thick-cut, maple-glazed bacon – all of their sandwiches are served with your choice from a range of freshly baked breads, including a moreish sourdough.
With its contemporary interior and beautifully styled dishes, Hemelhuijs is the place to go for work meetings or lavish lunches when you deserve a treat. For winter, this slice of heaven on Waterkant Street has a range of warming soups such as a bone-marrow broth with shaved beef, green papaya and soft-boiled egg. If you're after something more substantial, we'd recommend the ricotta and swiss chard naked ravioli with truffle butter and Parmesan. And, as if you needed more convincing, they serve breakfast all day, which means that brekkie for lunch is certainly on the cards.
At lunchtime, health-conscious Capetonians descend upon Sababa for a Mediterranean-inspired buffet. With a wide range of delicious and good-for-you meals, this spot is great for an on-the-go lunch, but they do offer an eat-in option too. We love their pitas stuffed with falafel balls and veggie pickles and if you're feeling like a sweet treat, opt for their freshly baked chocolate rugelach – they're like petite croissants but rolled from buttery yeast dough.
Serving simple yet delicious dishes, Smak has a warm and welcoming atmosphere, which is always a nice way to interrupt a stressful work day – even if only temporarily. The menu constantly changes according to the season, and makes use of only the freshest local ingredients. We had the wild-mushroom risotto, and although it's a tricky dish to pull off, Smak executes it perfectly. Plus, the service is so fast you'll be in and out in a jiffy.
Mixing Mediterranean and Asian cuisine, Villa 47 consists of two eateries, Locanda and Stuzzico. While Locanda serves a host of meals from breakfasts of Uova alla Benedict to paninis, platters and all kinds of mains, Stuzzico serves tapas and sharing plates – all delicious and all healthy. We can't choose just one and would happily go back there again and again until we've sampled the entire menu.