2014 is here, but my 2013 may have been the best year of eating in the history of the world, so it’s time for another Unvegan Best of. The past year included a honeymoon, an epic month-long road trip and a move from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh, so my list has broadened beyond LA and narrowing down the awesome was quite the process. Nonetheless, I encourage you all to go back through my Reviews section to see what didn’t quite make the cut. Remember that the list only includes places new to The Unvegan and bear in mind that Honorable Nods this year would probably be winners any other year. Without further ado:
On our last night in Cape Town, we were thinking Italian and headed back to The Waterfront to find Meloncino. The restaurant might just have the greatest view of any pizza place in the world, but I must admit I have not seen every pizza view in existence. While great views are available all over Cape Town, I was more curious if great pizza existed as well.
Africa kind of has a stigma attached to it regarding the people, the food and the culture. The stigma is a bit ridiculous considering it’s a whole damn continent, but it is what it is. One restaurant in Cape Town’s Waterfront blows the food stigma to smithereens. It’s called Sevruga, and it not only fancy-pants, but also tasty.
After a few days in Cape Town, we had eaten dinner every night on the Waterfront and were eager to try somewhere and something new. Fortunately, before leaving home I had looked up places to eat crazy meats in Cape Town and came upon Arnold’s. Since we still had a car for the day, we sought the place out and found it pretty easily.
You don’t often get the opportunity to drive on one of the coolest roads in the world, and when you do it is important to seize it. The Chapman’s Peak Drive between Cape Town and Cape Point in South Africa is one of those roads that offer breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the mountains. Along the way, you’ll find several restaurants where you can stop for a meal or a snack, but the one that stands out is the Chapman’s Peak Hotel, which is known for its delectable squid dish. I could go on and on about the mouth-watering food, but I’ll let the picture of the drive below do the talking.
If I had to guess, I’d say there are probably fewer than three restaurants in the world that allow you to watch wild penguins while eating. I literally have no basis for this statement besides the knowledge that the majority of penguins are in places no one wishes to eat. The penguins at Boulders Beach, however, are of the African variety and enjoy the beautiful sunshine just outside of Cape Town in Simon’s Town. Some genius built a creatively named restaurant called Boulders Beach Restaurant nearby with an awesome ocean view and occasional penguin sighting.
One of our guides in Cape Town remarked at how great The Waterfront was and wondered why anyone would leave it. There was certainly something to what he said, and in our continued, easy search for meals, we found ourselves at Mitchell’s Scottish Ale House. Now, I’ve never been to a British resort town, now do I know if such a thing exists, but if I had to picture a microbrewery in such a quintessential town, Mitchell’s would be it. The atmosphere was festive, yet subdued. The beers covered a wide range and the best-looking food was…well…curry.
A friend of mine likes to check out McDonald’s every time he leaves the country, because he is amazed that a burger can be made the exact same the world over. I like to visit McDonald’s to see what sort of regional specialty it might have, but in the case of South Africa, there was no regional specialty to be found (come on, meerkat burger!). Instead, I found a fast food burger chain called Steers.
On our first night in Cape Town, we took a stroll around the Waterfront to see what it had to offer. The answer was pretty much anything. So, like anyone in the mood for anything, we decided to park our booties at a spot called Den Anker. Purporting to offer Belgian food, the menu had some dishes I had never seen before and I started off with a Belgian beer to lubricate my senses.
There is a certain awesome feeling that comes with flying thousands of miles and arriving in a place with the food comforts of home. Such is The Waterfront of Cape Town. The place has just about every type of food imaginable, and on our first day we made our way to Ferrymans for a drink and a bite.