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Cape Town Restaurants: Tripadvisor vs. Eat Out

In the tiny, insular world of Cape Town foodie journalism, an even smaller question has arisen.  Who do you trust for restaurant reviews?

Eat Out is a local publication which has traditionally stood its ground – making the Top Ten list was music to any restaurateur, or more likely their bankers.  The award had credence as it was a joint vote among a number of renowned critics.  A few years ago that changed, and the list was compiled by the editor Abigail Donnelly alone.  Obviously they were under cost pressure.  I empathise: as a long time reader and supported of Eat Out, I haven’t bought the magazine in 3 years.  That’s what the internet is for.  The local pay TV network, DStv is bailing them out.

So this year they invited an international judge, Bruce Palling, to join in.  He issues some rather tart tweets which got up the nose of some local commentators, who struck back.  In particular he referenced certain cetacean trolls, (cetacean meaning marine mammals like dolphins and whales) who pursued him with vigour.

Our experience with international visitors, looking for great food, is that they tend to trust Tripadvisor.  A quick search shows that some of the bloggers who are most active in this area hate Tripadvisor, because they own establishments which have been trashed on that site.

For the record, here are the two lists:


  1. Le Colombe
  2. Myoga
  3. Miller’s Thumb
  4. Beleza
  5. La Mouette
  6. Catharina’s at Steenberg
  7. Fork
  8. Bizerca

Eat Out (Cape Town, from top 20 list) not in order

My ten cents worth:

These are 2 very different criteria.  Eat Out represents the opinion of one or two very opinionated foodies.  Tripadvisor represents the group vote of all sorts of travelers.  Miller’s Thumb would never go on an Eat Out list – it’s simply too hearty.  Internationals, even the most sophisticated, love its huge plates of fish – try getting that in Europe.

To the contrary The Roundhouse offers wonderfully sophisticated food, but you leave starved.

Constantia Uitsig: Noe that's a view

Constantia Uitsig: Noe that's a view

Nov 7, 2012Cape Town Tourism, News, Restaurants, Things to do