The sun is shining, the sky is blue, there’s not a cloud in sight and the glorious outdoors is beckoning. When the weather is this good, there’s only one thing to do – pack the cooler box, grab some wood and head for your favourite braai spot in Cape Town.
Braais – like rugby, biltong, and sunny skies – are among the defining elements of the South African way of life. Those who have visited our shores and been introduced to the braai have no doubt also grown to love this traditional pastime.
Cape Town has plenty of hidden (and not–so-hidden) gems, and everyone has their favourite braai spot, a place they can go to spend a quiet afternoon with friends and family to just relax and unwind.
Though, for those yet to pin down their top fire-and-coals destination (or simply for those who want a change of pace), we’ve gathered our favourite braai spots around the Cape Peninsula.
Don’t forget to bring that grid, wood and firelighters before you venture out into the great outdoors – most spots don’t provide these things. And if you need some inspiration for the actual cooking bit, here’s the man who braais for a living and his advice to help you make the most of this South African tradition.
NOTE: Wild Card and My Green Card holders get in for free at many of the below spots; do call and confirm that this is the case before visiting as select parks are not covered by the special cards.
Spend the afternoon braaiing up a storm amongst larger-than-life pine trees in this serene forest setting. Tokai Forest is a Sunday favourite amongst Capetonians looking for a way to unwind before a hectic week. The forest is a great family spot as there’s plenty of room for the kids to run around and work up an appetite, leaving you with an opportunity to sit back and relax with a cold one.
Entrance is R20 per adult, R10 per child and R20 per car. Tokai Forest braai area can be found on the right-hand side of Tokai Road, just before the Tokai Manor House. For more information, contact the Tokai Forest picnic area on +27 (0)21 712 7471.
Times: 7am – 6pm (October to March) | 8am – 5pm (April to September)
With the gorgeous fynbos-clad slopes of Table Mountain as a backdrop, Silvermine braai and picnic area is arguably the most beautiful BBQ setting in Cape Town. This is a fantastic braai spot for an ultra sunny winter day as braaiing isn’t allowed during the hot summer months as it is a fire risk. The official braai areas are situated alongside the Silvermine reservoir, and each clearing boasts a large and relatively private picnic space for its users. There are also plenty of trails and bird watching perches as well.
Entrance is R40 for adults and R20 for children (ages 1 to 11). The entrance to the Silvermine braai and picnic spots can be found on the Constantiaberg side of Ou Kaapse Weg. For more information regarding the park , call the office on +27 (0) 21 789 2457.
Times: 7am – 6pm (October to April) | 8am – 5pm (May to September)
Forests make for great braai spots – there’s something about the combination of the smell of pine trees and the sweet smell of chops on an open fire that gets the mouth watering. In this case, there are also formal picnic areas that make Newlands a grand grilling destination.
Entrance is R20 per adult, R10 per child and R20 per vehicle. A secure parking bay within the fenced-in braai area will cost you R10. The entrance to Newlands Forest can be found along the M3 freeway near the University of Cape Town; watch out for a small sign on your right indicating directions to the forest. For more information, contact Newlands Forest on +27 (0)21 422 1601/2.
Times: 8am – 6pm (October to April) | closed during winter
This gorgeous oceanside spot lies between Clifton and Glen beaches and has great views of the sea and mountains. There’s a tidal pool for swimming and big boulders for sunbathing. There is also a grassy area to sit on and various braai places available to the public for free.
Open all year round
Just 20 minutes from Cape Town, Little Bay in Blouberg is a great spot for families. This area is ideal for kite flying, kite surfing and windsurfing, and the view of Table Mountain is postcard perfect. The braai area is on a lawn for those who prefer not to have sand in their food, and best of all, entry is free! Go on a wind-free day as this area can get rather blustery.
Open all year round
This sheltered and incredibly scenic beach is tucked away between Camps Bay and Llandudno. There are multiple somewhat private braai areas halfway down the hill with seating and a view of the sea. It’s a great swimming beach as the cove is sheltered from big waves, and there are a few small grassy areas where children can play as well as boulders for them to climb. It’s also a nice place for snorkeling as the water is calm. Entrance costs R35 per adult and R15 per child. Those looking for more information can call +27 (0) 21 438 9555.
Times: 7am – 6pm (October to March) | 7am – 6pm (May to September)
Perdekloof Picnic Area
Just 45km outside of Cape Point, this quaint little picnic spot is a hidden gem. If you’re looking for a quiet place to have a braai and see the spectacular views that the Western Cape has to offer, then this is it. There are concrete tables and braai spots, and as is the case with other spots, those visiting will have to bring wood, braai grids and all the necessary gear to get a fire going. Please note, the picnic area does not allow portable braais or dogs. Entrance is R10 per adult and R5 per child. For more information call +27 (0) 21 780 9204.
Times: 9am – 5pm (October to March) | Closed in winter
Situated on the hills of the Helderberg Mountain just outside of Stellenbosch and Somerset West, this family-orientated farm is a hive of activity perfect for keeping both young and old busy and entertained. Build up an appetite with a hike, test your off-road skills with one of the 4×4 routes, feed the animals in the Farmyard Nursery or run around in the play park. Whatever your preference, you’ll be sure to find respite in the beautiful surroundings of the farm.
What’s more, the Granny Forest is excellent for braaiing in both summer and winter – its towering poplar trees provide ideal shelter for fire-making and boerewors cooking. Entrance is R40 for adults, R25 for children between 5 and 18 years, and R20 for pensioners. It costs R40 per braai area, and it is essential to book a braai spot beforehand due to popular demand. For more information contact the Helderberg Farm at +27 (0)21 855 4308.
Times: 8am – 6pm| Open all year round
The Backyard Grill Lounge
This laidback Sea Point joint is giving space-deprived locals and curious foreigners the chance to gather ‘round the fire for an authentic South African braai in the urban jungle. While the chilled-out restaurant is situated on the Atlantic Seaboard suburb’s crowded main road, just beyond the front door, the interior of the eatery explodes into a massive backyard area with picnic tables, loungy nooks, an enclosed bar and, of course, a sturdy braai. The meat is of the highest quality, and visitors can choose their cut and weight from the counter at the front, alongside typical braai-style sides. There are also options for vegetarians and pescetarians as well as for those who’d rather forego the flame-grilled grub altogether in favour of an oven-baked or pan-fried starter and main. Do note, the braai area is partially covered and wind free, so no matter the weather, you can have your boerie and eat it too.
72 Regent Road | Sea Point | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 433 1296
Wynberg Park is where the spring of the Krakeelwater River begins. With over 22-hectares of ground, the park is a popular spot throughout the year, and in summer, it boasts an attractive display of hydrangeas. The grounds also host several braai and picnic spots as well as a fully equipped kids play area, all of which make the greenway a great family destination. Entrance to the park is free. Wynberg Park can be found on the corner of Klaasens and Trovato Link roads.
Times: 8am – 6pm| Open all year round
Buffels Bay and Bordjiesdrif in Cape Point.
These braai spots can be found within the breathtaking Cape Point Nature Reserve and provide a great mixture of sun, sea, and relaxation. Both areas boast beaches and tidal pools as well as grassy picnic and braai spaces. Baboons are also common visitors, so be wary of your food (don’t feed the animals!).
Entrance to the reserve is R110 for adults, R55 for children and student while pensioners apply at the parks discretion. Cape Point can be found near the seaside town of Kommetjie – visit capepoint.co.za for directions to the Cape Point Nature Reserve. For more information call +27 (0) 21 780 9204.
Times: 6am – 6pm (October to March) | 7am – 5pm (April to September)