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Best restaurants for tourists: where to eat and drink in South Africa

The summer season is upon us and that means that family, friends and holidaymakers from around the world are making their way to South Africa’s sunny shores. Whether you’re entertaining the cousins from snowy Europe, or just feel like being a tourist in your own city, food is always part of the adventure. From restaurants with killer sea views to inner-city dives with delicious local flavours, we’ve got a hot list of some of our favourite tourist-friendly restaurants around the country.

Johannesburg

Flames deck at Four Seasons The Westcliff (Westcliff)

This stop is always first on the list for the late afternoon to appreciate the astonishingly tree-lined park that is Joburg. Although the sun goes down behind the hotel, the view is stunning at any time of the day. The food prices range from a soup at R50 to a Wagyu sirloin at R680. Flames Restaurant is all about food cooked with fire in true South African fashion. This summer there’s a champagne and oyster offering after 4pm, plus elegant locally inspired tapas.

Flames Terrace at The Westcliff. Photo courtesy of the  restaurant.

Flames Terrace at The Westcliff. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Cheese Gourmet (Linden)

Here are over 140 handmade South African cheeses. Here you can truly find out about local cultures while you chat cheeses with the knowledgeable owners and staff. But, best of all, you can eat them, too, in the café. Cheese platters (R70) can be shared, breakfasts are very good, including professionally turned out omelettes. Their scones are delicious and so are the desserts, especially pancakes. Linden is quite fun to explore after that, for local craft and design.

Inside at the Cheese Gourmet. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Inside at the Cheese Gourmet. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Hill (Braamfontein)

It’s not often that an enormous tourist lure, like Constitution Hill, also features a knockout restaurant. This is quite a casual-seeming place, but it’s good for the freshest, responsibly sourced (even grown in the planters alongside the deck) ingredients, excellently turned out meals and coffees. It also functions as a local chef and barista training school. Have their perfect sweet-potato savoury pancakes or lovely carpaccio of local meats, spending anywhere from R40 for a breakfast to R100 for their short ribs. Everything is made from scratch – the breads, sauces, and even the cheeses.

The Hill. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Hill’s outdoor section. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Joe’s Butchery (Alexandra)

This shisa nyama and lounge-club is one of the most popular spots for Alex yuppies by night. Well-known local DJs and musicians perform regularly. Choose your cut of meat and it will be cooked on flames outside and piled onto your plate with pap and salad. There are wines but the drink of choice is beer. Get over the facts that Aromat is part of the cooking process and rare meat is not done here much and you’ll have fun and fit in.

Picnic on top of the Carlton (CBD)

Meet Main Street Walks at Maboneng on market day, Sunday, and after stuffing your picnic basket, provided as a gift, you walk together to the Carlton (kids have backpacks) and take the lift to the 50th floor. There are telescopes on the viewing deck. There is also always an expert booked to give an interesting and short talk. The meal you buy at the market is up to you and any wine you bring is fine too. The walk and event is R220 for adults and R90 for children. It’s different every time because of your choice of market fare and rotating speakers.

Nirox Foundation Sculpture Park (Cradle of Humankind)

For your art-loving visitors, the 15 hectares of gardens and rivers within the Khatlhampi Private Reserve are studded with outdoor artworks by South Africa’s most important artists. There’s a restaurant on the property and, depending on the style of the exhibition, picnic baskets are made up or themed lunches hosted at tables near the river. Music events are often curated to be meaningful with art by the likes of Willem Boshoff, Caroline Bittermann, Pryanka Choudhari and about 57 more artists. A serene experience in unforgettable surroundings, always with relevant food.

Orbit Jazz Club (Braamfontein)

Look forward to every kind of African jazz, especially South African, from afro-pop to trad funk. Book a table near the act, if you can. A chicken and apple salad with a citrus-ginger dressing and almonds is R65, with the most expensive main of Karoo lamb rib, dry cured with mustard and curry, slow roasted and finished on the grill, going for R160. The place is full of South Africans of all ages and creeds, and the atmosphere is elegant.

The Orbit. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Musicians performing at The Orbit. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Pata Pata (Maboneng)

Named after a favourite Miriam Makeba song, this is a good place to hear South African live music and eat some local cuisine, as well as easy burgers and salads for the less adventurous. From soups (R45) to the best steaks (R170) and the best mogodo (tripe), it’s all good fare. In the evenings it has a nostalgic Sophiatown vibe.

Pete’s Boerewors Rolls (Sandton)

The spot for the ultimate boerewors roll with chakalaka dished out of a potjie at a roadstall under a thorn tree. Often found on Witkoppen Road, Pete’s stall (076 349 2547) serves best-of-all-time boerie rolls to red-tanned farmers and construction men in bakkies. R30 for a small boerie roll and R50 for extra-big. (No man in khaki shorts ever orders small.)

Sir James van der Merwe (Kramerville)

Tourists won’t believe the collection of crazy African artefacts on the walls and tables at this enormous restaurant and bar. Then there’s the view, looking out towards the sunset of Sandton and way beyond. It’s rated as one of the best bars in the world, so the drinks are excellent, the cocktails elegant and the food always supplied by a trendy caterer (Word of Mouth at the time of writing). Settle on a sofa or at any table and tuck into dishes like planks of meats, pestos and mustards for R180 (or a vegetarian version for R160) and admire the people, the décor and that view.

Thrive Café (Soweto)

All visitors want to go to Vilakazi Street; not all visitors want to be trampled or fed tourist trap food. Thrive is a double-story beauty with a cool balcony for looking out over Soweto, opposite ex-archbishop Tutu’s house. Here you can sip cocktails, lovely wines or expertly made coffees and enjoy freshly baked croissants or an untouristy lunch. There are some nods to the traditional, like the rich oxtail stew (R110) and the malva pudding (R35). Sunsets are stunning from here.

Pretoria

Monument Restaurant (Monument Park)

Even though this restaurant, which nestles in the shadows of the Afrikaner Voortrekker Monument, operates only on Sundays, it is the place to take visitors to experience authentic inland Afrikaner food in a massive buffet. The selection changes often, but usually include pâtés served with yeasty, home-baked breads, and possibly even jam; veg such as pumpkin, spinach and beans; a soup, even on the hottest of Pretoria days; a variety of cold cuts and salads; tongue in mustard sauce; a carvery of beef, lamb and pork (a stampede might ensue for the pork crackling); and tripe. Lastly, the dessert table, which will transport those of a certain age back to the church bazaars of their youth, groans under such delights as sago pudding, malva pudding and sweet dumplings. R170 for adults, R150 for pensioners, R85 for children under 12, and R42.50 for preschool kids.

Savanna Restaurant (CBD)

Since there are few authentic indigenous South African restaurants in the capital – bar the odd shisa nyama – we have to make do with Pan-African restaurants serving food from the larger continent.  At Savanna, chef Felix Okochi serves food from the Congo, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Nigeria, Benin and Mali. The restaurant is centrally located, almost on the doorstep of the Pretoria Art Museum. To quench your thirst, ask for home-made lemonade with fresh ginger called yamamkongui, and try the jolof rice, okra stew served with semolina, a cassava and couscous dish, fried plantains or egusi, a stew made from calabash seeds. Bring visitors to this lovely little restaurant to hang out with diplomats and listen to chatter in myriad different languages.

La Madeleine (Lynwood Ridge)

For the past 40 years, feeding tourists has been a regular feature of La Madeleine’s monthly roster. If you do not enjoy the lilt of foreign tongues and a packed restaurant, it is best to go on a day when there’s no large bus parked outside the restaurant. Start with a lovely authentic mushroom soup, followed by Wildebeest tongue poached in stock, served at room temperature with a sharp vinaigrette made with gherkins, parsley and red onions. A little vermillion fish from Mozambique served with beurre blanc could follow, or kidneys of kudu served with a port sauce. For dessert a slice of banana cake made with rum is served with an orange sauce. Owner Daniel Leusch recently sold his shisa nyama restaurant in Silverton, but is an ardent fan of travel throughout our continent and has a deep love for its people and their cuisine.

La Madeleine. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Poolside seating at La Madeleine. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Afro-boer (Die Wilgers)

This modern, light and airy restaurant offers a space and familiar atmosphere in which to experience Pretoria cuisine for those who might find the idea of a township restaurant slightly daunting. The staff enjoy kitting themselves out in traditional beads and headgear on Heritage days, and rugby jerseys or miner hats and boots to show support for one of our sports teams. Staff members gladly don items referring to Venda, Shona and Sepedi culture, and there have also been the odd Basotho blanket or Protea here and there. They open shortly after 7am, when you can order excellent cappuccino, made from beans all the way from Tanzania, or tea from a farm in Malawi. Later in the day in the day, opt for an icy cooler made from cranberries and traditional rooibos. For breakfast, choose a hearty breakfast of fried pap wedges with traditional boerewors and eggs; baked oats with whiskey and cream; sardines on toast; or tomato tart or butternut fritters. Lunch items that may interest the out-of-town guest are liver in sour sauce; spinach lamb salad; smoked pork flatbread with roast apples and farm-style mustard; a shredded lamb sandwich with Mrs. Balls chutney; or farm-style fishcakes. They’re famous for their delicious baked goods, so it would be sin not to have a sweet ending such as granadilla tart, coconut mulberry tart or koeksisters.

Afroboer's outside section. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Afroboer’s outside section. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Durban and surrounds

9th Avenue Bistro (Morningside)

This popular Durban bistro has been serving up sophisticated, flavoursome food for more than a decade. Tourists who flock to this coastal city are often taken to 9th Avenue for a real gourmet treat. Chef Charlie Lakin has joined forces with Graham Neilson to produce elegantly plated dishes such as grilled pork rib-eye with truffled macaroni cheese, red onion tarte tatin with wildebeest bresaola, roast lamb rump, and smoked cob brandade with new asparagus. The wine listed is brilliant, as is the friendly and efficient service.

9th Avenue Bistro. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

One of the dishes at 9th Avenue Bistro. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Bel Punto (Umdloti)

For views of the glittering ocean and sumptuous seafood and Italian dishes, this seaside restaurant is a perfect summer location. Enjoy succulent mussels in a white wine sauce, clam and prawn filled marinara pasta, or heavenly risottos. For something different, try the calamari stuffed with prawns, red pepper and spinach and then topped with Napoletana sauce and baked in the wood-fired oven. Desserts might include homemade tiramisu, espresso crème brûlée, and creamy panna cotta.

Bel Punto. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Dining al fresco at Bel Punto. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Dropkick Murphy’s (Berea)

This buzzing bar on Durban’s Florida Road is known for a great craft beer selection and knockout pub grub. It’s a great place to bring visitors for a taste of vibrant Durban night life. Sports fans will love this spot, with its tons of specials and screens showing major games. On the food side, the bowl o’ bacon and deep-fried mac ’n cheese balls are an absolute must. More substantial dishes include gourmet burgers and hearty sandwiches.

The bar at Dropkick Murphy's. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The bar at Dropkick Murphy’s. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Gorge (Port Shepstone)

With a spectacular setting, overlooking the gorge and surrounding game reserve, this is a definite tourist spot. The food is modern contemporary with a country twist. Expect mouthwatering dishes such as lemony roast chicken with umami gravy, flaky fish goujons with a crunchy golden crumb, and an ending of moist Tunisian orange cake with creamy honey.

The Gorge. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Views from The Gorge. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Ile Maurice (Umhlanga Rocks)

For a taste of Mauritius, this Umhlanga stalwart is known for lush, aromatic curries and flavoursome seafood. Try grilled kingklip topped with prawns and mushrooms, laced with bechamel sauce, baked and served with a cheese topping; plump king prawns with Creole rice; and authentic daube de poisson (filleted fresh line fish baked in a coconut milk and tomato sauce). The restaurant is conveniently near the Umhlanga promenade and is perfect for an early post-beach supper.

Ile Maurice. Photo by Jan Ras.

The interior of Ile Maurice. Photo by Jan Ras.

Jeera (Durban Beach)

Visit this authentic Durban restaurant for a taste of spicy South Indian curries. The curries are served in shiny silver pots with condiments to pair with every mouthful. Aromatic options include lamb chettinad with black pepper, coconut and tamarind paste, served with garlic naan, or the millionaire’s curry filled with a feast of crayfish, prawns, crab and line fish and simmered in a unique curry sauce. Further menu options include the usual suspects such as butter chicken and kormas.

La Lampara (Balgowan)

Take a relaxing trip to the Midlands and stop by this popular Tuscan-style restaurant for outstanding thin crust pizzas and pastas. Try the risotto ai funghi or gnocchi formaggi for truly decadent dishes, or take a pizza to go and meander your way through the countryside.

Outside La Lampara. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Outside La Lampara. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Moyo (uShaka Marine Walk)

Offering a taste of Africa, this vibrant beachfront restaurant is perfect for after a long walk on Durban’s Golden Mile. Settle down for fried mopane worms, Somalian butternut rice cakes, West Coast mussels, and hearty grills served with African spinach. Sides also show South African flavour in the form of pap, samp and beans and spiced mielies.

Pintxada (Umhlanga Rocks)

A trip to Durban isn’t complete without a buzzing night in Umhlanga Village. Before heading out for drinks, take a spot at this newcomer to the food scene. Sibling restaurant to Havana Grill and Little Havana, this tapas eatery serves meltingly tender meatballs with stroganoff sauce; cheesy, creamy risotto; crunchy croquettes; and spicy patatas bravas. Finish off with a zesty lemon posset or a bowl of sugary churros.

The Lighthouse Bar The Oyster Box Hotel (Umhlanga Rocks)

For the ultimate end to your day in Durbs, head up to this swanky bar at the top of the luxurious Oyster Box Hotel. Gorgeous views of the ocean and striking lighthouse with a few tipples and snacks, and some jazzy live music make this an elegant holiday spot.

The Ocean Terrace at The Oyster Box. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Ocean Terrace at The Oyster Box. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Cape Town

Bistro Sixteen82 (Tokai)

For a brunch before wine tasting or tapas after a long day of bubbly, this is a beautiful spot to bring wine-loving out-of-towners. The estate makes some of the best vino in the country and is nestled in between green indigenous gardens, vineyards and stone mountains. Bistro-style dining is perfect for lazy summer weekends and offers options such as luxurious eggs Benedict for breakfast and light antipasti or fresh oysters for lunch.

Dessert at Bistro Sixteen82. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Dessert at Bistro Sixteen82. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Cape Point Vineyards Market (Noordhoek)

This Thursday market has not only the best views, but it also offers up some of the most mouth-watering savouries and treats. Situated at the Cape Point Vineyards, the foodie fair offers everything from sushi, spring rolls and oysters to gnocchi, flatbreads and pulled pork buns. Purchase a bottle of Cape Point Vineyards Isliedh and savour it on the green lawns overlooking the sparkling Atlantic Ocean.

The Company’s Garden Restaurant (City Bowl)

One of the city’s most enchanting and child-friendly restaurants invites you to sit under the shade of old trees in the historic Company’s Garden and enjoy hearty breakfasts and teatime favourites. Offerings include simple toasted sandwiches and buttery scones or showstoppers like the beer-battered camembert fritters and sirloin with béarnaise and chunky fries. Sweet treats include beautifully displayed cakes and pastries as well koeksisters with fig preserve. Take a stroll around the gardens for a refreshing post-meal exercise. It gets busy, so do book to secure a seat outdoors.

The Creamery (Claremont, Mouille Point, Salt River)

Whether it’s for a late night waffle at the leafy Southern Suburbs branch, a refreshing scoop after a stroll through Woodstock, or a cheeky cookie and ice cream at the Altantic Seaboard shop, this ice-cream coloured dessert parlour is a serious treat for those with a sweet tooth. Top tip: All branches are closed on a Monday, but their stall at the V&A Market on The Wharf is open and ready to scoop.

Outside The Creamery's Mouille Point branch. Photo courtesy of the store.

Outside The Creamery’s Mouille Point branch. Photo courtesy of the store.

De Grendel Restaurant (Durbanville)

Just a quick 30-minute drive from Cape Town’s city centre, this picturesque wine farm restaurant offers fine dining with exquisite views of Table Mountain. Chef Ian Bergh uses fresh, local ingredients to create beautiful plates. Starters include cured salmon served with radish, fennel and beetroot slivers, or pan-fried calamari and prawns with spicy chorizo. For mains, look forward to dishes such as the sous-vide pork belly with pork medallions and bacon. Enjoy a wine tasting on the sunny terrace beforehand to decide what wine to pair with your meal.

De Grendel's wild mushroom risotto. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

De Grendel’s wild mushroom risotto. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Foodbarn (Noordhoek)

A family-friendly restaurant with an elegant touch. Chef Franck Dangereaux combines fine-dining dishes with local flavours in dishes such as goat’s cheese fritters, bouillabaisse, risotto, curried oxtail tripe and outstanding crème brûlée. The light and airy bistro also offers a delicious-sounding kiddies’ menu and overlooks a sweet little play area for the little ones.

The interior at The Foodbarn. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The interior at The Foodbarn. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Harbour House (Kalk Bay)

This stylish must-stop for seafood has gorgeous sea views, too. A variety of ocean delights are on the menu, with the specials blackboard tempting with more options. Try the warm tuna niçoise; a starter of ceviche or black mussels; luxurious grilled prawns; a seafood platter; or simple calamari with smoked paprika. Staying in the city? Try their branch at the V&A Waterfront with gorgeous harbour views.

Views from Harbour House. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Views from Harbour House. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

IceDream (Hout Bay)

Take a trip to this little gem and grab a decadent gelato before driving up Chapman’s Peak. Italian ice cream flavours include flavours such as hazelnut, mint choc chip, rum and raisin, tiramisu, and peanut butter.

Jason Bakery (City Bowl)

A city-dweller staple, this hip bakery has pavement seating on Cape Town’s trendy Bree Street where you can enjoy views of Lion’s Head with your morning Deluxe coffee. The menu might include decadent filled doughssants (Saturdays only), heavenly brownie cookies, bacon croissants, and lush handmade pies filled with mac ’n cheese or crayfish. Sandwiches on offer are beefed up with meat from Frankie Fenner and made with glorious breads and brioche rolls.

One of the pies at Jason. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

One of the pies at Jason. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Kalky’s (Kalk Bay)

A favourite for locals and tourists alike, this classic fish ’n chips shop is a go-to for great calamari, beer-battered fish, and vinegar-drenched chips. Grab a takeaway and find a place to sit on the harbour wall overlooking False Bay.

The fresh catch arriving at Kalky's. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The fresh catch arriving at Kalky’s. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Knead (Muizenberg)

Situated on Surfer’s Corner, this is the ideal spot for a scrumptious brunch and good coffee. Delve into brioche French toast with crispy bacon or Nutella, or enjoy a heart portion of scrambled eggs with creamed spinach and slow-roasted tomatoes. After the mid-morning feast, head to Muizenberg beach for a refreshing swim and walk.

La Colombe (Constantia Nek)

With chef Scot Kirton winning chef of the year at the 2015 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards, La Colombe should be on everybody’s hit list. Views of Constantia Valley are the backdrop to his sophisticated food with a playful touch. Look forward to dishes such as seared tuna tataki, a hen’s egg with poached salmon, fillet of beef with fondant potatoes, open vegetable lasagne, and guava parfait with lime ice cream and geranium.

Views from La Colombe. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Views from La Colombe. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Lefty’s Dive Bar (East City)

This inner-city dive bar offers something a little different. Tuck into classic comfort food such as fried chicken and waffles, a pulled pork sandwich on a brioche bun, sticky chicken wings, or meaty burgers. Not your scene? Head upstairs to Downtown Ramen for some seriously good noodle and broth bowls with delicious umami flavours.

Mondiall Burger Bar (V&A Waterfront)

For a quick, affordable takeaway that doesn’t skimp on the quality, head to this sizzling hatch for some of the best burgers around. The burgers are made to order and are served up with a portion of perfectly crisp and golden chips. Try one of the daily specials such as the 100% pure Angus beef patty with bacon, mushroom and cheese, or a chicken bun with avo and chipotle mayonnaise. Grab your burgers and take a stroll around the Waterfront or sit on one of steps near the harbour and watch the boats come in.

Views of Table Mountain from the harbour side of Mondiall. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Views of Table Mountain from the harbour side of Mondiall. Photo by C Gunn.

Mzoli’s (Gugulethu)

A list for tourists could not be complete without a stop at Mzoli’s. Serving authentic shisa nyama, it’s a culture trip for the senses and a fun outing for serious meat-lovers. Select your meat in the attached butchery and then hand it over to the talented chefs who cook it over the coals: expect steak, chicken wings, lamb chops or boerewors marinated in a special sauce and braaied to perfection. Eat it with your hands with pap, salads and delicious house chakalaka. As for the drinks, bring your own in a cooler box or buy them from the shebeen across the road.

A table at Mzoli's.

A table at Mzoli’s.

Neighbourgoods Market at Old Biscuit Mill (Woodstock)

A trip to Cape Town is not complete without a visit to this famous market. Offering everything from poached eggs, flammkuchen, paella and curries to fresh breads, vegetables and gorgeous flowers, this is a one-stop shop for food lovers. There are also delicious cocktails, icy craft beers and bubbly by the glass on offer. After feasting on the food stalls, get some shopping done from the range of local crafts, clothing and jewellery. Get there early to avoid the crowds.

Outrage of Modesty  (City Bowl)

From the team behind The House of Machines, this new bar is the hippest cocktail spot in the Mother City at the moment. Serving edgy, bold cocktails made with top-notch ingredients, this a real treat for before- or after-dinner drinks. Dreamed up by Aussie bartender Luke Whearty – who runs an underground bar in Singapore – the cocktails are pricy, ranging from R90 to R100, but they’re like nothing you’ve ever tasted before.

A cocktail made with amasi and white chocolate at Outrage of Modesty. Photo courtesy of the bar.

A cocktail made with amasi and white chocolate at Outrage of Modesty. Photo courtesy of the bar.

Rumbullion at The Roundhouse (Camps Bay)

This ticks the boxes for delicious pizza and knockout views of Camps Bay and Twelve Apostles. Find a spot on the lawns and watch the sun sink into the ocean while you sip on cocktails and enjoy thin-crust pizzas. Charcuterie platters and tapas in jars are also wildly popular and pair well with a great wine list.

The Pot Luck Club (Woodstock)

Perched on top of the silo at Woodstock’s Old Biscuit Mill, this super stylish eatery boasts sweeping views and full-on-flavour tapas. Street-food style dishes are transformed into fine dining with options such as springbok carpaccio, lip-smacking smoked beef fillet with café au lait sauce, and zingy fish tacos. Book in advance to avoid disappointment. It’s a great place for bigger groups.

The interior at The Pot Luck Club. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The interior at The Pot Luck Club. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Test Kitchen (Woodstock)

TTK recently secured its spot as the number one restaurant in the country for the fourth consecutive year at the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards, making it a truly special dining experience for any travelling foodie – if you can get a table! Chef Luke Dale-Roberts plates up visually exciting dishes that are layered with beautiful textures, aromas and flavours and can be paired with wine or tea. Guests are invited to indulge in the discovery, gourmand, or vegetarian menus, with dishes like the springbok ‘rose’ of liver; chawanmushi with langoustine, pickled shiitake and mirin tea; or the light curry-glazed kingklip with carrot-and-cashew purée and carrot beurre noisette. You’ll need to book several months in advance – so plan ahead, or ask to be put on the waiting list in case of cancellations.

Winelands

Boschendal (Franschhoek)

Take your visitors to this picturesque wine farm for a beautiful summer picnic under the oak trees, surrounded by vineyards and mountains. Choose from either the Rhone Picnic or the Werf Garden Picnic with delicious pates, artisanal breads, seasonal salads, cold meats, cheeses and tempting desserts.

Bertus Basson at Spice Route (Paarl)

The Spice Route estate has a wealth of highlights, like the biltong shop, Wilderer Distillery, Cape Brewing Company, and wine tasting, not to mention Bertus Basson’s modern South African-themed eatery. Tuck in to family dishes such as Ouma Jossie’s baked tongue and slaphakskeentijies (onion salad), braai-spiced Chalmar sirloin, and roast fish with almonds, capers and macadamia cream. For dessert, there’s Tannie Hetta’s apple pie, or mom’s recipe for custard and vanilla ice cream.

A dish at Bertus Basson at Spice Route. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

A dish at Bertus Basson at Spice Route. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Bread & Wine (Franschhoek)

This popular eatery nestled between whistling trees and flanked by Môreson’s vineyards is a relaxed location with tasty food. The handcrafted charcuterie is a specialty, studded with inspired ingredients such as toasted hazelnuts and cardamom. Hearty mains include slow-cooked lamb neck or a perfect-for-summer ploughman’s board that pairs beautifully with an ice-cold glass of bubbles. Head to the tasting room after feasting and savour the excellent Môreson wine range.

Camphors at Vergelegen (Somerset West)

On summer days, book a table on the patio under the camphor trees or sit inside in the plush dining room. The restaurant was a nominee for the 2015 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards, so expect great quality fine dining. Food is created to pair with Vergelegen’s award-winning wines and includes interesting options such as scallop ‘potjie’, hearty venison, and lamb loin with herb-crusted lamb saddle. You could spend the whole day here, walking through the Camphor forest, Camellia and rose gardens, and visiting the estate’s historic buildings.

The forest floor dish at Camphors at Vergelegen. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The forest floor dish at Camphors at Vergelegen. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

De Warenmarkt (Stellenbosch)

Situated in a beautiful heritage building in the heart of Stellenbosch, De Warenmarkt is a mixture between an artisanal food market and a laid-back local restaurant. Visitors can pick and pay for mouth-watering morsels from the different stalls and either sit down to enjoy them in the communal eating court, or head to a favourite picnic spot and enjoy them in the sun. There’s also a pop-up restaurant concept with rotating chefs (currently, it’s Nic van Wyk of Bistro 13) serving up seasonal dishes to match the great drinks selection at the Market Bar.

Green House at Babylonstoren (Franschhoek)

After a stroll through the gorgeous Babylonstoren gardens, snag a seat in the bright and beautiful greenhouse or a comfortable spot under the trees and enjoy a selection of dishes and juices made from the farm’s harvest. Options include build-your-own sandwiches made from fresh breads, local cheeses and cured meats, and served with vibrant seasonal salads. For refreshing sippers, enjoy a bottle of Babylonstoren wine or try one of their freshly made vegetable and fruit juices.

Jordan (Stellenbosch)

For gorgeous views and unpretentious but stupendous fine dining food, this is the place. Guests can take in the wine farm scenes of the Jordan estate and tuck in to celebrated chef George Jardine’s dishes. Showcasing a mix of local flavours, the menu boasts dishes such as steamed Saldanha Bay mussels, double-herbed springbok loin, lightly salted East Coast hake, and honey-and-poppy seed soufflé. For a take-home treat, stop by The Bakery for some decadent morning pastries.

A beetroot dish at Jordan. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

A beetroot dish at Jordan. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Terroir (Franschhoek)

Ideal for travellers who want a tranquil breakaway from the chaos of the busy city and a wind-down Sunday lunch. Guests can sit under the shade of the trees and look out over the calming views of the estate. Chef Michael Broughton’s food is unfussy yet delicious and bursting with flavour. Order a bottle of Kleine Zalze MCC and try dishes such as his zesty, melt-in-your-mouth yellowtail ceviche, silken risottos, roasted line fish, or hearty lamb dishes.

Schoon de Companje (Stellenbosch)

For a pre-wine tasting brunch, visit this old-fashioned yet hip bakery. Superb bread, pastries and artisanal Fanny Chanel ice cream are on offer, including a breakfast selection of luxuriously creamy scrambled eggs, cheesy croquet madame, and decadent brioche French toast.

Please note that some of these restaurants may be fully booked or closed at times during the festive season. It’s always best to phone ahead to secure a table! We take care to ensure that our information is accurate, but some details may change without our knowledge.

Have we left out your favourite tourist go-to? Please tell us about it in the comments below. 

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