As anyone on the internet will tell you, university students are in a perpetual state of hunger curbed only by their lack of funds. While a McDonald’s meal will set you back by a mere R50 at most, sometimes you need more than a 1mm thick patty made of questionable ingredients. Fortunately for the starving, broke or bored, Cape Town has a variety of restaurants that offer deals even we can afford. Here you’ll find my official list of restaurants that will fill your stomach without emptying your wallet.
If you haven’t heard of two-for-one Mondays at Spur you have definitely not been living your best life thus far. Every Monday, Spur has a burger special where patrons can order a burger meal and receive another for free. If you’re dining with a partner you’ll essentially be paying half of what you usually would be. That is, unless you plan on eating two meals by yourself. No judgement.
2. Banks Burger
Banks is a fairly new family restaurant in Newlands that values home-made-quality food and as such, they bake their own buns and source their ingredients responsibly. The menu is limited to burgers, fries and soft drinks but they have perfected what they do at an affordable price. On Wednesdays, they offer regular burger meals for R50. This includes a burger, chips as well as a drink. The service is friendly and the wait is surprisingly short considering they make everything from scratch.
So far we’ve covered your burger needs, but a little variety is needed to keep you going. Barristers is a pub and restaurant that has a daily pub lunch special. The pub lunch menu includes favourites such as steak and eggs, macaroni and cheese, chicken schnitzel and chicken livers just to name a few. The food ranges from fancy to familiar and even the pickiest eater can find something they like here. The portions are full-sized but a meal will only cost you R65 excluding drinks. The atmosphere is warm and the addition of the bar makes it a relaxed but refined eating spot. Pro-tip: this is a great place for a first date, so long as you’re still able to pronounce your order.
4. Da Vinci's on Kloof
We can all appreciate a restaurant that understands the student struggle. Da Vincis is one such restaurant. They offer R50 lunches from Monday to Saturday, and while the selection is small, it’s quite varied. The drinks here are incredible and affordable and the availability of crayons is an important feature. My friends and I had a drawing competition while we waited for our food so it is definitely the place to go if you’re socially awkward. You can focus on drawing your butterfly instead of making small talk with your family and explaining why you’re still single and/or unemployed.
5. Trenchtown Obz
This trendy restaurant and event venue holds a bottomless pizza and drinks night every Monday. The entry fee of R100 covers pizza and drinks (soft and alcoholic) from 6pm to 10pm. Other menu items are available in the restaurant area as well. The tables are long, the pizza is fresh and the atmosphere is cosy. A variety of pizzas are served (including margheritas for the picky eaters. I feel you). Considering you’re getting as many drinks and slices of pizza you can consume for four hours, R100 is a great deal.
6. Copper Club Eatery
Copper Club is a new restaurant in Newlands that serves a variety of food such as pizza, pasta, burgers and salads. Every weekday they offer a lunch special that gives you a burger and a side of chips for R50, and with this special there is an additional special on beer for R15. The burgers are flavoursome and filling, and the chips are served with a side of mayo that touches your soul. The venue has posh décor but still has a casual atmosphere, and works well as a quick lunch spot or dinner party location. Bonus: it’s in Dean Street within walking distance of the Jammie.
This yellow landmark in Long Street boasts one of the biggest beer menus I have ever seen, so beer lovers should definitely try it out. Beerhouse has a special from Monday to Friday where meals are priced at a meagre R50 and the price includes a 330ml glass of beer or cider to complete the meal. From the balcony, you can look out onto Long Street and get an awesome view of the buildings that line it. The staff are friendly and know all about beer so even amateurs like myself can feel at home.
8. Nomad Bistro Fusion
For R50, this steam-punk restaurant offers a different meal each day and serves free coffee with breakfast orders. The special is on from Mondays to Saturdays for lunch and breakfast so anyone in Bree Street or the surrounds can pop in for a meal. Previous patrons have described the staff as being helpful and insightful and the restaurant continues to get positive reviews.
The popular food chain offers several specials throughout the week but the most exciting offers have to be on Tuesdays on Thursdays. On Tuesdays, they offer a buy one get one free special all day. You only have to pay for the most expensive item. Tuesday is a great day for a date in this case. Thursdays offer bottomless pizza for R74.90 per adult, served by the slice. This is only available after 5PM but it is still worth the price considering how much time you have to take advantage of the special.
Now this is a real South African stalwart. On the rare occasion that you can actually find a Wimpy (I have tried and failed) you will be pleasantly surprised by how affordable most of their meals are without specials. However, they’ve sweetened the deal by offering a two for one special on Best of Both Worlds breakfast meals. They also have a daily coffee special where you receive a second cup free. A large coffee only sets you back by R30 so two of these power packs will be R15 each. Heaven knows that will help come exam season.