Ferdinando’s in Observatory seems to be a Cape Town institution that has gone unnoticed by me until now. This is possibly because it’s one of those hip/cool/trendy places that your’s truly would only stumble upon if invited by one of his cool friends. Boy oh boy, am I glad I went!
Address: 205 Lower Main Rd, Observatory
Hours: 4pm-11pm Tue-Sat, Closed Sun-Mon
In order to understand the unique history of Ferdinando’s, you have to read Kiki’s menu, which is more like a fantasy/fairytale/romance paperback than an actual menu and had me feeling like I had serious relationship goals to achieve.
To sum it up, Ferdinando is a dog that was born in Hout Bay, Diego is a proudly Italian self-taught chef, and Kiki is an artist who plays hostess at the eatery.
Let’s cut straight to the chase:
Their food is PHENOMENAL (there is a “but” and we’ll get to that in a bit…)
Their signature vegan item is the Vegana pizza which has no cheese, thick tomato base, sesame seeds, peppers, baby marrow, cherry tomatoes, avocado, aubergine and red onion jam (R100). And an extra R10 will buy you vegan cheese (probably the cheapest in Cape Town!).
They also have a Vegan Platter, which consists of aubergine, baby marrow, artichokes, baby tomato, rocket and olives (R90).
For an extra R20 you can also get a gluten-free pizza base.
Their pizzas are wood-fired, made with proper Italian flour, and topped with a seriously good garlic aioli. Taste/flavour/texture – sensational!
Waiting time… FOREVER. Part of me wants to forgive the hour it took for the food to arrive because it was THAT good. But all the tables were waiting and growing more impatient as time passed.
My suggestion is to go there when you aren’t ravenous like we were. Take your time, have a drink or two or ten, and then be prepared to wait, and wait and wait. Because – it will be worth it in the end.
Ferdinando’s Pizza is also available on Uber Eats.