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The 15 best restaurants in Franschhoek

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In the Western Cape’s own French corner, there are almost too many options for mouthwatering meals. We’ve narrowed it down to the 15 spots to cross off your Franschhoek bucket list first.

This selection comprises all the Franschhoek restaurants that made the cut for the 2019 Eat Out 500, the list of best restaurants in the country as rated and reviewed by our panel of critics for the 2019 edition of Eat Out magazine (on sale now). But we know there are many more great spots in the area. Please tell us about your favourites in the comments at the end!

Big Dog Café (Main Road)

The menu is a mix of classics and fresh, healthy options. Look forward to an all-day breakfast featuring dishes like mushrooms on toast (a Big Dog favourite, with sautéed mixed mushrooms on toasted sourdough, white bean and truffle hummus, poached free-range eggs, ancho chilli and coffee hollandaise with crispy onions and dill). Other highlights include the Togarashi fried chicken and waffles with a labneh, ginger and orange pickle and a daikon and honey miso sauce; lamb burger with radicchio and citrus salad, feta yoghurt, jalapeno sauce, crispy onions and hand cut twice-fried potato chips; and a treat of buttermilk red velvet sweet waffle, strawberry cheesecake semifreddo and lemon butterscotch sauce.

Bistro BonBon (La Petite Dauphine Estate)

Situated at the beautiful La Petite Dauphine Estate, Bistro BonBon (formerly Café BonBon), offers a mix of seasonal bistro classics and traditional South African favourites. Expect classics like the English breakfast with two eggs, bacon, pork banger, mushrooms, caramelised onions, tomato smoor and potato rosti. Also enjoy a wholesome lunch and dinner menu with dishes like steamed West Coast mussels, toasted ciabatta, white wine and cream sauce; free range chicken with a bacon and sweetcorn risotto; and malva pudding with crème anglaise and a roast apple puree.

Available for online bookings on the Eat Out app.

 

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Café Des Arts (Reservoir Street)

The extensive food menu at this rustic and relaxed restaurant in the heart of Franschhoek features a light meals section, as well as more substantial menu items for those who come hungry. Highlights from their winter menu include South African traditional dishes like bobotie, tomato bredie and frikadelle. Other comforting winter dishes include the starter of bean soup simmered in a rich beef stock with toast and marrow bone.

 

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Chefs Warehouse at Maison (Maison Estate)

Expect a fresh, seasonal and signature tapas-inspired menu prepared by dynamic chef duo David Schneider and Liam Tomlin. Highlights from the menu include a ‘Pap en Vleis’ dish with Karoo lamb soute ribbetjie with soft mature cheddar pap; the famous Maison risotto; and the glazed pretzels served with the first course beef pastrami dish.

The Dining Room at Leeu Estate (Leeu Estate)

This restaurant offers diners a delicious three-course winter menu. Highlights include a smoked snoek bitterballen with angel hair leeks and aïoli; parmesan chicken with spinach, haricot and black beans and tomato relish; and a decadent twice baked chocolate and croissant pudding with crème.

Available for online bookings on the Eat Out app.

Manor House at The Dining Room at Leeu Estates. Photo Supplied.

Foliage (Huguenot Street)

The menu at Foliage could include delicious dishes like smoked snoek ravioli; a bramble berry vinegar and quince jelly-glazed lamb sweetbreads with cep puree, fiddlehead fern and pine needle toasted ragout; or a myrtle and wild sage foam with pea shoots and bitter sorrel. Finish off with a vegan chocolate mousse, apple-and-basil gel, molasses granola, caramelised banana ice cream and apple chips for dessert.

A dish from Foliage. Photo supplied.

La Petite Colombe (Huguenot Road)

Situated at Le Quartier Français Hotel in Franschhoek, La Petite Colombe offers a variety of menus, like the gourmand and reduced menus (both have vegetarian variations). Highlights from the gourmand menu include caraway sourdough bread with home-churned butter, sesame and roasted yeast; yellowfin tuna with aubergine, miso, naartjie and avocado; rich gochujang-glazed pork with scallops; or celeriac with wild garlic and horseradish. It’s a must-try.

A dish from La Petite Colombe. Photo by Andrea van der Spuy.

Le Coin Français (Huguenot Road)

Lunch kicks off with a delicious bread course of cheese puffs, served warm with soft butter. This is followed by an amuse bouche of porcini cured springbok tartare accompanied by a palate cleanser of fresh beetroot. The butter-poached langoustine starter, served with a cheese-and-snoek velouté, is sophisticated in appearance and flavour. Mains comprise an 18-hour confit Karoo lamb enrobed in a deep and rich sauce enriched with marrow. For dessert, opt for the speculaas-and-pumpkin dessert offering, before the meal ends with a dramatic dry ice presentation of a truffle flavoured with grape jelly. The wine list consists of a selection of local Franschhoek wines.

An elegant French-inspired dish from Le Coin Français. Photo Supplied.

Le Petit Manoir (Huguenot Road)

The lunch menu features dishes like vindaloo chicken curry with apricot cous cous, poppadom, cucumber samble and spiced yoghurt; tagliatelle pasta carbonara with bacon and parmesan; or cream of sherry tagliatelle with spiced crisp calamari and mussels. They also have a cheese and meat platter with a selection of cheeses, cold meats, freshly baked breads, pesto, olives, pickled, preserves and flavoured butter.

Available for online bookings on the Eat Out app.

 

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Marigold (Huguenot Road)

Indulge in north Indian cuisine, starting with the palak chaat, a delectable dish of crispy spinach leaves in gram flour batter and topped with sweetened curd, tamarind, chilli and onion. Then order the thali taster featuring tandoori lamb kebabs; palak chaat; cucumber and tomato raita; cucumber, tomato and onion salad; basmati rice; murgh makhani (butter chicken); dal tadka (yellow dal); and naan bread. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with the trio of kulfi (Indian ice cream made with boiled milk, sugar, fruits and fragrant spices). Flavours could include cinnamon, fennel coconut and mango. The wine list is extensive and priced very reasonably. Make sure you try a lassi – mango, plain sweet or savoury.

Available for online bookings on the Eat Out app.

Pierneef à La Motte (La Motte Wine Estate)

Chef Eric Bulpitt has infused a new energy into Pierneef à La Motte with a brand new offering of a French inspired menu in the spirit of the annual Bastille Festival. The menu features dishes like salt baked celeriac lasagne with mushrooms and hazelnut browned butter; aged sirloin côte du boeuf with garlic butter and jus; and a delicious Van Ryn crème caramel, brandy syrup and chocolate tuile dessert to finish off the meal.

Inside at Pierneef à La Motte. Photo supplied.

Protégé (Huguenot Road)

Chef Stephen Raaff hits all the spots here with his refined, flavour-packed approach to casual fine-dining, a concept that seems to be on the rise lately. Diners can choose between a selection of small (and some not-so-small) plates designed for sharing, or opt for the chef’s menu, a selection of seven of the chef’s favourite dishes for the table. Highlights from The Chef’s Winter Special Experience include dishes like tuna tataki and tartare, chipotle, ponzu, avocado, umami broth and sweet potato; Korean fried chicken with coriander and buttermilk; and a strawberry, vanilla panna cotta with meringue and macadamia nut.

The Restaurant at Grande Provence (Grande Provence Estate)

Led by chef Marvin Robyn, the menu is a testament to South African heritage. The ox tongue starter is served with sweet mustard and pickled butternut is a pleasant surprise. Main courses include the signature butter-poached crayfish served with grilled cos lettuce and orange hollandaise. Desserts include malva ice cream with a cheesecake mousse, plum jelly and nut marzipan.

 

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On today’s menu @grandeprovence deconstructed sushi bowl #resturants #sushi #winelands

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Reuben’s (Daniel Hugo Road)

The fare here is the most triumphant return to form for chef Reuben Riffel. There are so many great options that ordering a wide selection for the table seems like the only sensible thing. Some starters could also be ordered as the main, such as the yellow fin tuna tataki served with a ponzu dressing, pickled mustard, avocado and wasabi. You’ll be itching to get stuck in the soft herb risotto with English spinach, sautéed mushrooms, roasted butternut and balsamic cream, but none will quench your venison craving like the springbok steak with walnuts, butternut honey, pancetta candy and preserved cherry gastrique. On top of the famous gooey chocolate fondant there’s also a fresh seasonal dessert of the day and dulce de leche créme brûlée. There’s a decent scope of wines, with emphasis on Franschhoek farms, plus brandies and gins.

Available for online bookings on the Eat Out app.

The Werf Restaurant at Boschendal (Pniel Road)

This is modern dining with a light and local touch. It probably doesn’t get much more seasonal and local than this – unsurprising, considering The Werf is the winner of the 2018 Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award. Up to 90% of the items on the menu are either produced on the farm or sourced from the valley. The dishes are designed for sharing, but you may find that difficult. For mains, a beautifully grilled Angus steak served with red onion and pickled kale. On the sweet side, Jersey milk mousse is served with dulche de leche, and malted milk sorbet is a wonderful combination of tastes and textures. The wine list is on the expensive side; it features the wide range of Boschendal wines, as well as other local heavy-hitters.

This selection comprises all the Franschhoek restaurants that made the cut for the 2019 Eat Out 500, the list of best restaurants in the country as rated and reviewed by our panel of critics for the 2019 edition of Eat Out magazine (on sale now). But we know there are many more great spots in the area. Please tell us about your favourites in the comments below.

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