The 10 most popular pubs in the Western & Eastern Cape: The winners of the SAB #BESTPUBLUNCH competition

If you’ve ever gone in search of a really great pub lunch, we have good news for you: we may have just found the most popular pubs in the Western and Eastern Cape. Over the past few months, SAB ran the #BESTPUBLUNCH campaign. Users rated their favourite pubs on value, coldness of beer, ambience and service over at Now that the competition is over, we can reveal the 10 pubs with the most reader votes – and the top three of those, as rated by Eat Out critics.

Without further ado, here are the Top 3, who all take home great prizes from SAB.

1. The Royal Oak (Tableview)

The Royal Oak's cosy interior. Photo by Greg Landman.

The Royal Oak’s cosy interior. Photo by Greg Landman.

A much-loved 23-year-old local watering hole, The Royal Oak is intimate in the manner of a typical English village pub – always full of locals, who love the wood and horse brasses on the walls. It’s loaded with atmosphere thanks to leaded windows, wood, brass and framed pictures of all the other Royal Oak pubs around the world. Our critic was impressed by the warm service, excellent macaroni cheese and Castle Draught, which was on offer, during the campaign, for an incredibly good value price of R55. (Note that this pub only serves food at lunch time.)

2. Shenanigans (George)

The entrance to Shenanigans. Photo by Sue Shulze.

The entrance to Shenanigans. Photo by Sue Shulze.

Situated in a part of George not often associated with restaurants, this popular pub surprised our critic with generous portions of tender steak and plentiful chips. The staff were well-versed in the lore of beer, and were warm and friendly and food came out the kitchen promptly. The pub is large, industrial in design with long, clean, gleaming counters, and plenty of flat screens that are popular with the rugby-watching crowd. At R60, the steak and cold draught on offer for the special were incredible value.

3. Fireman’s Arms (Green Point)

Inside Fireman's Arms. Photo by Jan Ras.

Inside Fireman’s Arms. Photo by Jan Ras.

This popular hangout has good quality food. The menu features good, hearty food in decent portion sizes. For the SAB campaign, the pub offered any of the main meals with a pint of Castle Tank beer – or any other SAB beer from their black board of options – for an additional R25. Our critics loved the bacon and cheese burger: a pure beef patty served with golden chips and tasty sweet mayo (a combination of mayo, sweet chilli sauce, chopped tomato and onion) for R105. The chicken and mushroom pie was equally delicious, with a crispy and fluffy golden pastry covering the delicious filling. Decked out with plenty of paraphernalia including firemen’s hats, flags – and for Christmas, plenty of tinsel, and lights, the pub has plenty of ambience – and with four flat-screen TVs and an overhead projector, is also a great place to watch the rugby.

And the runners-up? These are by no means the only great pubs in the Cape – here are the 10 other pubs who were voted tops by the public.

1. Royal Oak (Tableview)
2. Shenanigan’s (George)
3. Fireman’s Arms (Green Point)
4. Seafarer Pub & Grill (Strand)
5. Speakeasy (Durbanville)
6. Barn & Barrel (Port Elizabeth)
7. Rascals (Kenilworth)
8. Fergie’s (Tableview)
9. Vasco de Gama (Green Point)
10. Gringo’s (Bellville)


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