From excellent Italian restaurants to vibey sushi bars and country-style eateries with sweeping vistas, Bloemfontein has plenty to offer in the culinary department. These nine eateries made it into the 2017 Eat Out magazine, a guide to the top 500 restaurants in the country as rated by our panel of professional critics.
Avanti La Mia Famiglia
This new offshoot of Avanti caters for the whole family with wood-fired pizzas (think topping combos like anchovy, chilli flakes, olives and capers or slow-roasted lamb with minted yoghurt), and favourites like calamari and affogato with cashew-nut brittle. Kids can play outside with child minders and create their own pizzas.
Bella Casa Trattoria
This warm, homey restaurant is a good option for a relaxed meal. Tuck into fantastic pastas (the chicken-and-chorizo fettucini comes highly recommended) and succulent fillet steaks. The wood-fired pizzas are also popular. Try the one topped with bacon, blue cheese, poached pear, rocket and pecan-nut brittle.
De Oude Kraal Restaurant
Just outside Bloem, off the N1, this grand old dame of old dining serves up modern food. A five-course menu is freshly prepared daily based on what’s freshest at the market, but might feature the likes of pork belly with apple sauce, butternut soup with truffle oil, and fillet with shiitake sauce.
Feast at De Oude Kraal Country Estate and Spa Huge glass panels overlook the dam and surrounding veld at this new-ish restaurant on a working sheep farm. Understandably, lamb is the star of the menu, appearing in dishes like lamb salad with pecorino and salted nuts, and pizza with lamb, caramelised onion, camembert and rocket. Finish with the famous milk tart.
Full House at Preller
Low lighting and sushi make this a very popular spot on weekends and after work. In addition to the great salmon rolls and tuna roses, there’s good sweet-and-sour pork, and deep-fried ice cream for pud.
Jack & Jill Food Co.
An upbeat vibe attracts a great mix of people for breakfast and lunch. Café-style food includes oven-roasted toasties of cheese and djion mustard, the Kitchen Sink salad and the beef burger. Also on offer is a variety of cupcakes and bakes, including New-York-style baked cheesecake.
The food at this longstanding restaurant is tasty and helpings are generous. Try the Hudson River kingklip flambéed in white wine with shrimp and mushrooms, and the fillet steak Diane. Décor-wise, think art deco meets the eighties, with carpeted floors and romantic cubicles.
The restaurant will sadly be closing at the end of February 2017, but until then, head here for views over Loch Logan and great French toast. Try it with bacon, mushrooms, tomato and avo, or with berries and cream. For lunch, the brandy-flambéed fillet with mushroom sauce and chips is a highlight.
Seven on Kellner
Chef-patron Kim Brackenridge has handed over the reigns to Francois Koekemoer, but this remains a great spot for a quality lunch or dinner. Offering everything from fresh oysters and caramelised brie with preserves to wood-fired pizzas, the menu never disappoints. In summer, there’s outside seating in a beautiful garden, and in winter, crackling fires inside the beautiful old house.
These eateries made it into the 2017 Eat Out magazine, a guide to the top 500 restaurants in the country as rated by our panel of professional critics. Tell us about your favourite spots in the City of Roses in the comments below.