According to Google’s annual roundup, the world searched for restaurants more than recipes last year. (The top recipe search, in case you were wondering, was pancakes. Here’s one to save you the effort.) Google doesn’t tell us which restaurants people searched for most – but we have our own data to share in that department. Here are the restaurants that piqued your interest most in 2014 on eatout.co.za.
- Five Hundred (Sandton)
This Sandton restaurant might be pricey, but as the number two restaurant in the country (it held steady at number two at the 2014 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards), and as the highest-placed restaurant in our country’s most populous city, it makes sense that you were searching for it.
Five Hundred. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.
- DW Eleven-13 (Dunkeld West)
Marthinus Ferreira’s fine dining restaurant re-entered the Top 10 in our 2014 awards. Flavours here are big and hearty – and it’s another of Jozi’s best fine dining options.
The interior at DW Eleven-13. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.
- Jaipur Palace (Durban)
Our most viewed Durban restaurant is set in a huge house, and serves up a crowd-pleasing curry buffet.
- Social on Main (Bryanston)
This spot is popular for after-work drinks and serves up some tasty bar and snack food, plus some winning pulled pork burgers with pickles and home-cut fries.
- Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient (Elandsfontein, Pretoria)
Chef Chantel Dartnall was crowned Eat Out S. Pellegrino Chef of the Year at our awards in November 2014 – and with good reason. As the finest of Pretoria’s fine dining spots, Restaurant Mosaic’s appearance on this list is no surprise.
The interior at Restaurant Mosaic. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.
- Restaurant Parreirinha (Rosettenville)
With a reputation for excellent prawns, cod and trinchado, this Portuguese restaurant is an authentic, family-run favourite. Make sure you book in advance.
- Perron Mexican Restaurant (Illovo)
This Jozi restaurant opened up in May 2014, and was welcomed by a bevy of Mexican food fans. Think sweet potato tacos, ceviche, pork scratchings and chilli poppers.
- The Test Kitchen by Luke Dale-Roberts (Woodstock)
It’s been Restaurant of the Year for three years running – and last time we checked, was booked up until June 2015.
The Test Kitchen. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.
- The Grand Café and Beach (Granger Bay)
With tables spilling out onto its own personal beach, this restaurant has one of the best locations in the country. It’s pricey and the service can be chaotic, but it’s a winner with the tourists and the fast set all the same.
- La Parada (City bowl)
The sociable ambiance and bar tables spilling onto Bree Street strike just the right note for the inner-city crowd.
La Parada. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.
- Il Leone Mastrantonio (Green Point)
Romantic and classy, this Mother City restaurant has some gorgeous Italian comfort food, and indecently delicious gnocchi.
- The Thirsty Scarecrow (Stellenbosch)
An affordable, family-friendly restaurant located on the Mooiberge Strawberry Farm, The Thirsty Scarecrow draws in the crowds with a tapas-style menu and craft beer on tap.
The Thirsty Scarecrow. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.
- Ashley’s Family Restaurant (Goodwood)
This neighbourhood restaurant might look a little basic from outside, but it’s certainly got a loyal following in this neck of the woods.
- The Leopard (Melville)
The bistro took home our award for Best Bistro in 2013 and, unsurprisingly, Andrea Burgener’s quirky but delicious food keeps pulling in the crowds.
The Leopard. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.
- Clico Boutique Hotel (Rosebank)
Smart, casual and homely all at the same time, Clico serves up fine dining food with a more traditional slant. Think springbok loin with red wine jus and chocolate fondant.
Clico Boutique Hotel. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.
- Lefty’s (City Bowl, Cape Town)
It was sort of amusing to watch the sudden flood of hipsters rush to this dive bar. To be fair though, the food is downright delicious and the ribs are some of the best in Cape Town.
- The Pot Luck Club (Woodstock)
Perched on top of the old grain silos at Woodstock’s Old Biscuit Mill, Luke Dale-Roberts’s other restaurant pairs knockout city views with the best tapas you’ve ever eaten in your life.
The Pot Luck Club interior. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.
- Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant (Observatory)
Two things, namely cheese and frozen margaritas, make this a favourite with students. It can be loud, and is not remotely authentic, but it’s booked up most nights of the week nevertheless.
- The Steamworks Gastropub (Fourways)
With its steampunk theme and craft beer, it would be easy to write this off as a hipster joint, but the food is fresh and flavourful and relatively good value for money.
The interior at The Steamworks Gastropub. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.
- Craft (Parkhurst)
Popular for after-work drinks, this 4th Avenue restaurant boasts tables spilling out onto the sidewalk – and you’ll find them fully booked on most nights. Wood-fired pizza, burgers and salted caramel cheesecake don’t go amiss.
- Rust en Vrede (Stellenbosch)
Offering elegant fine dining of the white-tablecloth persuasion, this restaurant came in at number seven in the 2014 Top 10. Food is strikingly plated and beautifully balanced.
Rust en Vrede Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.
- The Grand (Rivonia)
Yes, this is actually a strip club, and yes, we have questions. We’ve heard that the food is also a big focus for them, though, and actually very good. So perhaps you had just heard the same?
- tashas (Melrose Arch)
This particular branch of tashas received some unwelcome publicity thanks to the Oscar trial, but it’s also totally possible that you were searching for some truly excellent brunch in Joburg. Let’s go with that.
tashas (Melrose Arch). Photo courtesy of the restaurant.
- Burger Bistro (Pretoria)
A 1950s rock ‘n roll theme creates a charming backdrop for inventive burgers like the Miss Piggy with halloumi, bacon and salami, and the Mr Miyagi with wasabi mayo, rocket and mushrooms.
Burger Bistro. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.
- Foundry (Parktown North)
Gastropub food, over 50 craft beers and hipster décor: it’s no wonder that this deck is always buzzing.