The Lighthouse Cafe
Set on the main road is an almost indiscernible foodie find - if you blinked, you may miss it.
There is something incredibly nostalgic about Simon’s Town, besides its obvious Naval history and relevance; the town manages to retain a sense of the olde worlde in its façade and demeanour. It immediately feels as though you’ve taken a step back in time when you stroll down it’s main road, and this sense of escape will charm even the most hardened of city dwellers.
Set on the main road is an almost indiscernible foodie find – if you blinked, you may miss it. While this may seem counter-productive for a restaurant, we think possibly this may be completely on purpose, as locals may not want to share this treasure with the masses just yet. Unfortunately for them, a local birdie whispered its existence in our ear, and we couldn’t miss the opportunity to pop in.
By day The Lighthouse Café is a light, welcoming space decorated in a Cape Cod seaside feel, with accents of French Provençal. With cosy, cushioned banquette seating, sunny window seats and an overall laid-back atmosphere, it’s the perfect spot to stop in for breakfast, lunch, or a sneaky slice of cake. This busy little spot fills up quickly and is soon buzzing with chatter and friendly local bonhomie. In fact the place has become so popular that a second room has been opened to enable them to serve more diners.
By night the restaurant lights are dimmed, the chandeliers sparkle, and the fresh daytime vibe melds seamlessly into a snug, intimate dinner venue. The restaurant is run by husband and wife team Brett and Heleen, and together they have created an environment that is unpretentious and homely. Brett’s experience cooking in the south of France is reflected in elements of the menu, and often influences the specials of the day – like traditional Bouillabaisse or Moules Mariniere. Patrons are made to feel welcomed and will get the sense that they are eating in the comfy dining room of good friends.
The menu consists of a variety of options including pizzas, pastas and burgers, as well as mains such as steak, lamb chops and peri-peri chicken.
At our table we deliberated for quite some time between fish and chips, pizza or burgers, and eventually, after a nod of ascent from our neighbouring table, we all decided on ‘Louis and Gennaro’s Ultimate Cheese Burger’. What sold us finally was the promise of toppings such as melted cheese, caremelised onions and ‘gentlemans relish’ flavoured mayo. One of my dining partners had recently come across this relish while reading a Wilbur Smith book, and thus the decision was made – we simply had to try it!
The burgers were delicious, juicy and well seasoned, and served with light and crispy chips and a side salad. There was an all-round consensus that it was a definite win, and the tangy relish mayo the perfect finish.
In a sleepy spot like Simon’s Town it can be hard to find somewhere to dine that matches up to what you would expect to find in the city, but The Lighthouse Café certainly stands up.
For a well-priced meal in a cosy and comfortable environment, make sure this spot is a stop-off, on your meander through the historical streets of Simon’s Town.
Comfy & Casual