Wondering where the locals go for their favourite steaks, burgers, tapas and more in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga? No need, as the people’s favourite eateries, vetted by Eat Out’s critics for these provinces were announced at a celebration in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 24 October. (Check out the winners in the Western Cape, here.)
The winners of the 2017 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Best Everyday Eateries were revealed, after a year-long period of voting and a gruelling adjudicating process. The top names in each category were determined by star ratings given by the public on eatout.co.za, in conjunction with scoring from professional Eat Out critics.
This is the third year running that Eat Out, together with Mercedes-Benz, has invited the public to help choose South Africa’s favourite everyday restaurants. “While the winners in previous years were chosen solely based on public reviews, this year restaurant owners and food enthusiasts asked for the experts on our panel of critics to play a bigger role,” said Anelde Greeff, editor-in-chief of Eat Out. “Our critics visited each of the eligible restaurants that received enough high scores from fans to review them and give their own scores. Final results were then based on a 50-50 composite rating from the public and the critics.”
The 2017 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Best Everyday Eateries winners and highly commended restaurants announced at the Johannesburg event are:
“I love to bring friends here and surprise them with a place that is so different to all the regular eating places in the malls. We had the Moroccan magic juice and the Mukabalatt starter platter and added chicken kebabs, cheese briouats, kefta briouats to make the platter more of a meal.” – Tana van Heerden, Eat Out reader
“We just keep going back for more, be it a quick burger, steak, a delicious gin from the massive collection, or a sorbet beetroot starter dish that should not work but defies logic and just does! Having eaten magnificent steaks at some of SA’s best restaurants, I keep rating Carbon’s as possibly the best… A huge accolade for Carbon, and well deserved for such a fledgling establishment.” – Gary Hope, Eat Out reader
“The food all looks fabulous, but personally I love the burgers – the Craft Burger or Lamb Burger are both amazing. I just love the Salted Caramel milkshake, but you have to share – it is just that good and that decadent.” – Anandie Klaasen, Eat Out reader
“As an Italian from Naples who grew up with a wood-fired pizza oven at home, I was extremely skeptical when I heard of this restaurant. That said, as soon as I smelled the wood burning from the authentic pizza oven and the freshly made tomato sauce my skepticism quickly started to melt away. The pizzas at Coalition blew my expectations out of the water! The dough is exquisite, the ingredients fresh and the cooking done to perfection.” – Silvia Tanga, Eat Out reader
“The minute you step in you want to luxuriate in the old-world charm replete with starched napkins and well dressed wait staff. You should order one thing only – steak. They know what they’re doing here. This place is worth the splurge.” – Joash Narainsamy, Eat Out reader
“The most beautiful Rockets venue yet! I’ve been a fan since the old Rivonia branch days and the new venue just takes Rockets to the next level…again. I have yet to see a more beautiful venue.” – Caity Parmenter, Eat Out reader
“Where do I even begin? Momo Soko has crept deep into my heart and is currently one of my favourite restaurants in Jozi. For mains we had the Salmon Maui Poke and the Salmon Kauai Poke, which were both flavour explosions. Not only are the flavours divine, but the presentation is absolutely beautiful.” – Clarissa Morton, Eat Out reader
“I’ve read a lot of good reviews about Dukes and I’m happy to say they were accurate. It’s one of the smaller establishments in Greenside, so make sure you book before going. And yes, the burgers are huge!” – Vickesh Pitamber, Eat Out reader
We had a very rough and hot morning leading up to a decision to have brunch (closer to lunch) at Afroboer. From the minute we walked through the lush green garden, our moods lifted. Even the soft green grass looked inviting…
– Alta Strydom, Eat Out reader
“We had early dinner on Monday evening. Such a wonderful welcome from the owner, such friendly stuff, so helpful when one does not know much about Indian food. We had lamb shank that was so tender, badami ostrich, dhal, prawn biryani with mushrooms, white butter chicken, the naan to die for – soft and flavorful. Thank you Wellington, who helped us!” – Sandra Mbano, Eat Out reader
“The best restaurant to hit the food scene in Pretoria. It has a beautiful interior, exceptional art and bespoke furniture. Pasta is freshly made to order, resulting in the best-tasting dishes. Superior quality meat is prepared to perfection with sides to die for. Overall a wonderful gastronomic experience!” – Gemma Beukes, Eat Out reader
“Think sublime, mouthwatering, delicious, decadent, fresh, tantalizing, to die for, wonderful – go back for more – food, this is what Urbanologi offers. The open-plan kitchen buzzes and creates a wonderful energy on the dining room floor for patrons. Do not miss out on this one – it is more than worth it.” – Jodi-Ann Pearton, Eat Out critic
“By far the juiciest and tastiest burger I have ever tasted. My stomach was full and my heart complete. For dessert we had the deep-fried Bar-One. It was definitely made with love.” – Christy Hammond, Eat Out reader
“Seasonal flavours and locally sourced ingredients harmonise to create beautiful plates of food. This is cosy bistro dining complete with white tablecloths and a European feel. The desserts are something to look forward to and definitely something to leave space for.” – Nikita Buxton, Eat Out critic
“Such a vibey awesome Durban spot to get a good cold beer and great food. They have good vegetarian options and their vegan burger is beyond! I love their fried olives and the sweetcorn and chilli cakes are so tasty and perfect every time.” – Varsha Naidu Moodley, Eat Out reader
“This hidden gem in the heart of the Lowveld is pleasing locals and visitors with its surprising modern cuisine and some comforting classics. Chef-patron Pieter Malan is a youthful chef filled with confidence that should stand him in good stead for a long career in the restaurant business. He is very hands-on at this little bistro.” – Hennie Fisher, Eat Out critic
For the first time this year, we recognised a reader reviewer chosen from our user base across the whole country, with a goal to encourage more fair, balanced reviewing in an industry blighted by trollery. Read more about the award here, and the true cost of reviews here.)
Our editors praised his balanced reviews, which tactfully mentioned pitfalls while applauding successes. Fair, balanced writing helps users to make better dining decisions. Joash reviewed in excess of 40 restaurants on the Eat Out site during the eligible period. Read a few examples of Joash’s reviews here: Momo Soko, Brian Lara Rum Eatery, and Mamasan.
“It’s always exciting to see the results of these awards, as they give us a clear picture of where people like to dine in their own neighbourhoods. We congratulate the winners on being voted the best by those who matter most – their loyal fans,” said Selvin Govender, Marketing Director – Mercedes-Benz Cars.
The eligibility period for reader reviews for the Best Everyday Eateries was 1 October 2016 to 30 August 2017, followed by the completion of critic reviews in September 2017 for the qualifying restaurants. For each review posted on eatout.co.za, Eat Out pledges a meal for a hungry child through Rise Against Hunger, formerly known as Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa. Since the start of this partnership in November 2014, over 7 400 meals have been pledged.