The beating heart of one of the most renowned winemaking regions in the world, Stellenbosch is a charming fusion of old-world Euro flair with South African sun and sass. It’s because of this diversity that it’s nearly impossible to jot down only a few names of absolute must-eats here, so we’ve gone to great lengths – and even greater slices of pizza – to bring you the top five of everything worthwhile in the Matieland.
If you’re after a more intimate breaky, take your Someone Special to this French café in Ryneveld Street for divine French toast with crispy bacon.
Students who are able to rise before 10am flock to Lebanese chef Jean Bou Jebrayel’s sidewalk café for their R15 breakfast fix. Enjoy the buzz and try the classic lamb breakfast or the decadent seasonal fruit platter.
The Postcard Café
Cyclers and outdoorsy types love to stop at this restaurant in Jonkershoek for a healthy (or hearty) breakfast. Be warned, however, that breakfast can easily turn into all-day lounging on the riverbank.
Schoon de Companje
There are many reasons to visit Fritz Schoon’s medieval-style marketplace. Two of them are the wild mushrooms and gruyere on sourdough and the bone marrow breakfast.
Enjoy a champagne brunch overlooking the ever-changing, and ever-beautiful vineyards. The setting is also great for small parties – and little tots are welcome, too.
Après Bistro and Pizzeria
A more refined student hangout with straightforward pizzas that would make any true Italian proud. The delicious pub-fare, served in baskets with fries, should be mentioned, too. They serve many locally brewed beers on tap.
Café Blanc de Noir
This café is located on the Brenaissance wine farm about 10km out of Stellenbosch. There are only five pizzas on the menu. Try them all.
The expected good service and food, but what makes this branch different is an Italian-style piazza setting, complete with a tranquil water feature in the cobblestone square.
25 000 students can’t be wrong. All SGT. Pepper’s pizzas are amazing, but the Tant Doori with peri-peri chicken is by far the favourite. This laid-back joint is perfect for drinks, too.
This wine farm has taken the term ‘family restaurant’ to a new level. While kids play their hearts out in the fully supervised carnival area, mom and dad can indulge in the best pizza within a 10km radius.
This quaint classic has the most elaborate burger menu in town. They serve anything from the American classic with pickled cucumber to The Rooster, a grilled chicken burger topped with an enormous black mushroom. The veggie burgers are out of this world.
The gourmet burger specialists in town. The patties are huge, drenched in creative sauces and served with round-cut crisps and fresh salad. Pray that the tequila burger is still on the blackboard – it’s absolutely to die for.
Trust a steakhouse to make the perfect beef burger. The best part (in a student town) is that you can bring your own bottle of wine and pay no corkage fee.
The five-spice grilled chicken burger. Enough said.
The Slug & Lettuce
The burgers are the best. They’re simply delicious, every time. (This restaurant could sneak onto the pizza list, too.)
This classy new hangout is the perfect place to have cocktails before a party. The décor is modern, yet comfortable, and the drinks are reasonably priced. They also serve great pizza.
The Blue Crane & The Butterfly
Hipsters and young professionals rush to this quint café on Dorp Street. The daily fare changes with the season, but you won’t be disappointed any time of year. Interesting flavours, like their zucchini cake, keep regulars intrigued.
The Jolly Roger
Students love this laid-back pub-like franchise in the heart of town. The Jolly Roger serves delicious pizza to go with plenty of beer and other booze. Great for an after-work drink or large casual celebrations with a fun group of friends.
The Open Kitchen
This lovely little café recently sprouted up on a sidewalk in Plein Street. It’s a stunning breakfast spot with a European feel. A heads up to hungry students: they sell frozen home-style meals.
This restaurant open in 2012 and has quickly become a classic. The menu is seasonal, and one of the owners usually comes to every table to explain where they’ve harvested or hunted what they serve. You won’t find anything more proudly South African on a plate.
Stellenbosch Street Soirees
Once a month on a Wednesday evening (until the end of March 2014) Lower Church Street is locked down for cars. Winemakers bring their finest wines, and pop-up stalls sell delicious food.
The Thirsty Scarecrow
This beer and tapas joint opened in 2013 and is rapidly gaining momentum. Live music adds to their laid-back vibe, and the parties usually go on till late. If you’re lucky, they’ll even open up the jacuzzi…