Lefty’s Dive Bar, Cape Town


Lefty's is a cross between a 1950’s American diner and a South London gastro pub.

Opening hours:
11h00 – 01h00

105 Harriington Street, Cape Town

021 461 0407 | e w


Lefty’s is the latest addition to the Cape Town food scene in the hardly salubrious, but up-and-coming, east end of town.  Nothing to look at from the outside ­– in fact, were it not for the brightly coloured ‘Lefty’s’ sign above the door and the delectable aroma of roasting pork wafting out on to the sidewalk, one could easily drive by without even realising that it is there.

Inside, it’s a cross between a 1950’s American diner and a South London gastro pub – an eclectic mix of assorted tables and chairs, clocks and paintings balancing precariously and resting against the walls, with a tangible energy and vibrant buzz in the air in spite of the restaurant being relatively quiet at lunchtime. Fully booked every evening, it comes alive with hipsters and diners happy to hang out in the relaxed and vibey space, enjoying delicious food at unbelievably reasonable prices.

Inspired by ‘dude’ food, pub and street food, Lefty’s is the brainchild of Ryan McDonagh (of Hello Sailor in Obs fame) and Jan Davids (owner of Marvel on Long Street). Together they’ve created a unique space serving good food and drinks at really reasonable prices.

The menu is very limited but items on the chalkboard change from time to time to keep things interesting. Word of how amazing the ‘Sticky Baby Back Ribs’ are made my choice easy and the pile of tender, juicy, finger licking, fall-off-the-bone, delectableness did not disappoint. Crispy, matchstick fries made for a satisfying meal at a really good price.

The food is largely American-style and I was really hoping that my lunch partner would choose the ultimate ‘Kentucky Chicken Waffle’ so that I could ‘steal’ a taste. Restaurant manager, James, described it as “breakfast, lunch and supper all in one meal…” Made up of layered waffles, fried chicken and bacon drizzled with maple syrup I could understand what he meant.

He chose the ‘Pulled Pork Sammich” instead – delicious, tender, soft braised pork nestled inside a slightly sweet and not too heavily ‘bready’ roll on a bed of salad greens and teamed with red cabbage – heaven on a board.

Service is warm and friendly – the waitrons, the chef and the kitchen staff are rushed off their feet on a busy nights.

It’s a vibey local with great atmosphere, service and delicious food… get on down there, if you can.

Vibey, comfy & casual