Let’s be honest, Centurion doesn’t have an awful lot going for it save the Gautrain station and SuperSport Park cricket ground. We don’t have as many diplomats and jacaranda trees as Pretoria, or as many businessmen and kugels as Joburg. But we do have some delectable dining spots primed to please the palate. Whether you’re after a juicy burger, a wood-fired pizza, a quiet tea garden or a spot to celebrate, this town has some great foodie finds.
This little Mexican restaurant makes awfully good tacos, piled high with guacamole and sour cream. The nachos and enchiladas also deserve a mention. Prickly Pear restaurant is only open during business hours during the week (it’s located inside a business park), but you’ll find its food truck at markets over weekend or some evenings.
As the name suggests, this daytime eatery serves up simple, scrumptious meals like chicken cobb or spicy beef wraps; burgers marinated in a home-made sauce; lamb shank, duck and cherry, or oxtail pies; and gourmet milkshakes – think milk tart, rocky road and Bar-One. It’s also a cake wonderland (yes, really), and you will feel like a kid in a candy store, so make sure you save space for dessert. The cakes, cupcakes, cake pops brownies, koeksisters, macarons and more are well worth the calories.
A firm favourite loved by many, The Barn Restaurant is probably best known for its bountiful breakfast buffet served in the shade of the farm’s 100-year-old oak trees. They also do a generous lunch buffet. The buffets are available on weekends only, but during the week the restaurant serves a full à la carte menu, the pies being my personal favourite, followed closely by the fresh, fluffy scones served with thick Irene dairy cream. The lawns are vast and lush, dotted with free-roaming ducks, chickens and children, so it’s a really family-friendly place.
Hands down the yummiest burgers I’ve had the pleasure of stuffing in my face in a long time. And huge. “As big as your head”, as my teenage niece described them. The menu is simple (burgers, steaks and milkshakes but good. And the setting is pretty neat too – think old-school rock ’n’ roll. Burger Bistro is currently running a killer lunchtime special too, so get while the gettin’s good. (Burger, chips, sauce of your choice, and a milkshake for 60 bucks.)
This restaurant has been around for as long as I can remember. In fact, as a kid, we lived across the road from the owners. The restaurant interior was completely renovated a few years back, and they serve really succulent steaks marinated in their own special sauce (the cheddar-melt sirloin has always been my favourite), though the menu has plenty of options. The restaurant has won lots of awards too, so its excellence is well acknowledged.
Another owner-run establishment, Pizzeria Milan serves wood-fired pizzas and freshly made pastas, along with slow-smoked meats, burgers, steaks and chicken dishes. I try not to finish my entire bowl of pasta when we dine here (it’s a generous portion), but I almost always fail. It’s just too good to give up. Besides, who likes a quitter?
This gem of a restaurant is always busy, but the good kind of busy. There’s a buzz about the place that lets you know patrons are happy. While all the food is yummy, some items stand out. The Village pizza, for example, topped with char-grilled mixed peppers, brinjals, baby marrows, onions, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, feta and fresh rocket, never disappoints. Neither does the fillet gorgonzola, a 300g beef fillet stuffed with gorgonzola, rocket and pecan nuts.
I have a large, loud family, and this is one of our favourite places to gather. The pizzas are good, the pastas are good, the specialty dishes are good, the service is good. They do gluten- and wheat-free pasta, which makes mom happy. Hubby loves the seafood pasta dish, my brother adores the Marsala fillet pasta dish. Make sure you don’t skip dessert. The Nutella pizza – which comes topped with a sinful amount of whipped cream – is so darn divine it will have you licking the plate clean. It’s a spacious and well-laid-out restaurant too, so no squeezing your post-pig-out food baby between two chairs trying to get through.
Whisk Wine Bar
This neighbourhood gathering spot is a lekker place to grab an after-work glass of wine, cocktail or craft beer (much to hubby’s delight), followed by dinner. The seventies-inspired décor is artsy and eclectic, and adds to the jovial vibe. The pepperoni and blue cheese pizza is a winner.
Cherry Berry Café
At this family-run café in a big converted house with a verdant garden and lovely covered patio you’ll feel more like you’re eating at an aunt’s house (the nice aunt, the one who always brings you sweeties) than in a restaurant. Proprietor Hein Gerber makes an in-house blended coffee range, packaged under the name Lecheimi Coffees. And his coffee never disappoints. You can buy a bag to take home.
A husband-and-wife-run establishment (he’s South African, she’s Brazilian), Vintage Coffee is also a non-profit organisation that generously donates its monthly profits to a customer-chosen charity. All its staff, from baristas to marketers, are volunteers, so they’re really here for the love of the job. They make great coffee (a blend of African and South American origin beans), and serve tasty morsels like muffins, cupcakes and gluten-free brownies. On occasion they also host barista training courses, so get in touch if you’d like to learn.
If you and the girls fancy treating yourselves to a genteel tea party, with tea served in proper teapots and delicately dispensed into dainty China teacups, and sipped slowly – pinkie finger aloft – between ladylike bites of assorted cakes and tarts, this is just the loveliest place to do so. Aside from a delectable cake selection, they also offer delicious breakfasts and light meals.
A photo posted by Carla Houzé (@carla_houze) on
Tables bedecked in crisp white linen, gleaming silver cutlery and soft, warm lighting, this is definitely the spot to celebrate special occasions. The food at this award-winning restaurant is exceptional and full of flavour, and the dishes are beautifully presented. The accompanying wine list is vast, and includes food pairing suggestions. Be sure to tell them what you’re celebrating when you book, as they like to make a fuss.