The cheap list: Best budget restaurants in Joburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town

Waiting out the first few months of the year for your wallet to recover from the festive season hangover can be tough. But we’ve got good news: your city is packed with trendy eateries, quaint cafés and quick takeaway spots that will fill the belly without breaking the bank. In anticipation of payday, we compiled a list of cheap eats to enjoy in your city.

All the venues marked with a star (*) are personal recommendations from our lovely Facebook followers.


A Churrasqueira (Alberton)
Their recent move from Rosettenville to Alberton means that this classic Portuguese favourite in the South of Johannesburg has a slightly smarter new venue, but they still serve up authentic, rustic Portuguese flavours. The restaurant is often packed with several generations of Portuguese families keen to sample the fare. Appearing alongside the perhaps less wallet-friendly offerings such as grilled peri-peri Mozambique prawns, calamari and steak, the humble chicken burger served with chips is a real bargain at R49.

A Churrasqueira. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

A Churrasqueira. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Bundu Coyote Bar (Hartbeespoort) *
The Bundu Coyote Bar was one of the first pubs built in the area in the 1960s and has become a hugely popular watering hole for locals and travellers alike. Their large menu features bargains like the bundu burger with a homemade patty, relish, onion, salad and your choice of two toppings (R58) and a large, thin-based pizza with your choice of any three toppings (R65). If you’re feeling particularly hungry, the 500g T-bone steak with chips and crispy onion rings is a steal at R78.
Recommended by Katy-Ann Hay on Facebook.

Ciro Umberto (Douglasdale) *
Nestled in the suburb of Douglasdale, this cosy restaurant specialises in authentic Italian and Portuguese cuisine. While the food is not altogether cheap, the homemade pastas and pizzas are affordable and available to order in regular or large portions. Pasta fans will love the baked lasagne al forno (R65 half portion; R79 full portion) and vegetarian cannelloni (R55 half portion; R69 full portion), while pizza lovers are spoilt for choice with almost 20 pizzas with prices ranging from R55 to R110. Recommended by Gabriela Palacios-Flusk on Facebook.

Dosa Hut (Fordsburg)
Most restaurants in Fordsburg will probably have main dishes under R60, so venture out and explore. Dosa Hut offers great vegetarian curries such as green pea masala, potato podimas, and roasted brinjal, tomato and onion curry, all retailing around R45 to R55 – and of course there are also other options such as prawn, crab, and lamb curries. The dosas – unceremoniously brought to the table on large stainless steel platters – are most people’s first option, and you can choose from 14 different options ranging from around R 25 for masala and onion dosa to the mutton dosa at R 65.

The food at Dosa Hut. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The food at Dosa Hut. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Elm Street Café (Edenvale) *
Tuck into the legendary chicken prego (R59) or beef prego (R65) served on ciabatta, or the chicken breast stuffed with ham and cheese and served with mushroom sauce (R79). Also a bargain is the 200g fillet steak, served with your choice of chips, Greek salad, vegetables (spinach or roasted vegetables) or rice for only R89. Recommended by Nadine Aspeling on Facebook .

Gema Trattoria (Kensington)
None of the pasta al forno dishes (lasagne, chicken lasagne, cannelloni or the parmigiana) exceeds R60, and they are all worth the 20 minutes preparation time, because this is classic Italian fare at its best. One could try the Napoletana, Arrabbiata or the beautifully simple Carbonara pasta for under R60 too. Only a few pizzas, such as the Mario with prosciutto crudo and the Mediterranean with bacon and spinach and feta exceed R60 – the rest are all around the R58 mark and are authentic and worth making the trip to Kensington.

Luca’s Ristorante (Sunninghill) *
While the veal, seafood and grills section of this Italian trattoria’s vast menu is not what you’d call low budget (in price or quality), there are always the classic pizzas such as the margherita, regina (ham, mushroom and origanum) and Napoletana (anchovies and olives) for R75. Recommended by Jane Kotze on Facebook.

The Mariner Seven Seas (Randburg) *
This seafood haven can help a budget-watcher out with light meals such as the scrambled egg, bacon, mushroom and feta cheese wrap (R50) or the wrap filled with crispy chicken, avo, lettuce, cheddar, tomato and 1000 islands sauce (R56). The hungrier can opt for the decent beer-battered fish and chips (R77). They also do half-price sushi on Sundays. Recommended by Camilla Iyakanoo on Facebook.

The Mariner Seven Seas. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Mariner Seven Seas. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

North Foods (Cyrildene)
Considering the variety of smaller restaurants vying for attention on Cyrildene’s famous Asian food strip, people have no doubt identified their own favourite gems tucked between all the others. North Foods is worth looking out for; they serve dishes from the northern provinces of China, so do not be surprised to see a bowl of duck and potato stew heady with spices such as cloves, cinnamon and star anise. Most dishes retail around the R60 mark, and for those not quite up to the adventure of trying ox pizzles (don’t ask), there are many delicious and slightly safer choices such as deep-fried shredded pork with garlic sauce, sautéed diced chicken with chilli, or any of the vegetarian dishes.

Park Cafe (Parkwood)
This cute cafe serves up a variety of light breakfasts and lunches. For breakfast on a budget, order avo on toast for R32 or a croissant with jam and butter for R20. There are also creamed eggs on toast for R40. All eggy and speciality breakfasts are also available in half-portion sizes for R20 less. If you’re looking for lunch, try the hot dog for R35 or toasted sarmies with a side salad for R35-R50 depending on topping – and R10 less if you forgo the greens.

Prime Grill & Butchery (Fourways) *
Mondays are now a cause for celebration at the Prime Grill & Butchery where you can get two 200g steaks with fries and salad for R150. Recommended by Jacqui von Loggenburg on Facebook.

Satori (Linden) *
With modest prices and a welcoming, unpretentious ambience, Satori lives up to its reputation as a favourite neighbourhood restaurant. Owner Lloyd Newton offers a menu packed with authentic Italian pizzas with crispy, thin bases and creamy pastas. A highlight is the oven-baked ravioli served in a creamy napolitana sauce (R70). Recommended by Fiona Angus Wilke on Facebook.

The Wolfpack. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Wolfpack. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Wolfpack (Parkhurst)
Any Mediterranean would be in heaven with their special platter comprising grilled artichoke, marinated tomatoes, olives and pickled chilli at R45. Ask for a round of pitas and you’ll have a very satisfying, healthy meal. Burgers are a little pricier at an average of R70. But, who doesn’t love a trendy, comfortable spot where you can choose from a number of great MCCs by the glass or from their carefully compiled list of craft beers and ciders?


Afro-boer (Willows)
Michelle Cronje-Cibulka is the chef and owner of Afroboer, and with her young and enthusiastic team runs a superb bakery and ‘garden park’ eatery. Try the spinach Caesar salad (R50) of baby spinach leaves, anchovy dressing, croutons, poached egg, and parmesan, or other options like roast beef salad, asparagus salad or roast nectarine Salad. Soups (served from 11am onwards) include cauliflower with mustard seed and chilli oil (R40). Their yummy sandwiches (all at R60) have fillings including meatballs, pulled chicken, shredded lamb, biltong carpaccio and boerie.

Boston Bistro (Hazelwood)*
Pop in for a budget breakfast with two fried or scrambled eggs, bacon, tomato, sauteed potatoes and toast for R29. Lunch pancakes – with fillings such as bacon and cheese, bolognaise or chicken mayo are yours for R55 and there are also a selection of toasted sandwiches with chips and a ‘petite’ salad for R45. More substantial mains include the ‘Jan-ny’ chow for R35, a cheeseburger with chips and onion rings for R59, beer battered hake and chips for R59. Recommeded by Benita Cooper-Jonker on Facebook.

Burger Bistro (Villeria)
It’s heartening to see that not only fine-dining restaurants generate passionate followers. The Burger Bistro is always packed to the rafters, and it’s no surprise why: they sell some of the best burgers at affordable prices at their unassuming, retro-inspired store. All burgers are made with 200g pure beef flame-grilled patties, a sesame bun, lettuce, tomato, their bistro mayo and a substantial portion of superb chips. (You can replace the patty with a chicken fillet at no additional charge.) Apart from a number of interesting variations – the Breakfast Burger is super filling, with a fried egg and bacon; and the Elvis has bacon and a peanut butter sauce – the standard burger at a mere R44.50 is one of the best value burgers in Pretoria.

Das Gasthaus (Capital Park)
Treat yourself to a lunch barbecue buffet Monday to Friday from 12 noon to 3pm for only R69.50 per person. Grab one 300g item from the grill (club steak, pork chops, chicken espatada, spare ribs, German sausages or crispy Eisbein [extra R10 surcharge]) and help yourself to pepper, mushroom or peri-peri sauce; sides of chips, rice or pap; as well as veg of the day and salads. On Sundays from 12 noon, enjoy the German buffet plus a live band for R100 per person. Bookings essential.

Eisbein and Co. (Willows)
This classic German restaurant has a Thursday evening special of wiener schnitzel, chips and vegetables at R69.90. The sizzling hot schnitzel is a substantial portion, which should satisfy the needs of those needing a meat fix. Eisbein is owned and run by chef Ronald Kruger and his wife, Juta, who have between them many years of restaurant experience in Pretoria and are always willing to share an anecdote or two.

Good Stuff Café (Maroelana) *
This charming little spot served favourites like the Lighter Side Breakfast of honey-kissed bacon, one egg, grilled cherry tomatoes and toast, with filter coffee or a cup of tea for only R30. The Big Deal Breakfast of honey-kissed bacon, pork sausage, two eggs, grilled cherry tomatoes, black mushrooms, toast, and a cup of filter coffee or tea, goes for only R55. Another popular choice is the Viva La France of French toast with crispy bacon, grilled banana, maple syrup and chopped pecan nuts for R49. Recommended by Benita Cooper-Jonker on Facebook.

Food at the Burger Bistro. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Food at the Burger Bistro. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Grounded at Echo (Villeria)
This spot is brand-spanking new with all the trendy interior details, situated in what would have been the filling station’s shop or office. The menu is still under development, but the current offering consists of a selection of salads (all made with a base of lettuce, rocket and pickled vegetables) that may include smoked chicken mayo and Danish feta (R52), as well as wholesome sandwiches on either a health roll, ciabatta or croissant with toppings like bacon, cheddar, pesto, aioli, lettuce and vegetable pickle. Their coffees are top-notch, too.

Hillside Tavern (Lynnwood)*
This pub is known for their meat, but check out the ‘light meals’ section of the menu for some affordable and substantial meals. You can get your hands on lasagna for R55, cottage pie for R52, a hamburger for R57 or half a spring chicken for R64. Recommended by Benita Cooper-Jonker on Facebook.

Puttanesca (Waverley)
This delightful ristorante and pizzeria in the unassuming Waverly Centre serves an array of classic Italian fare at reasonable prices, but from Mondays to Fridays between 11am and 4pm they have a fantastic selection of great lunch specials. With a 400g T-bone steak and chips at only R60 you wouldn’t expect fabric tablecloths and napkins, let alone this friendly service. (At this price it’s understandable that sharing is discouraged and deviations will be charged for.)

Taste of Greece (Menlo Park)
Nothing on the menu at this tiny, light and bright Greek street café exceeds R50. In fact, a little early evening meal consisting of four delicious dolmades, two slices of grilled halloumi with a pita to share as starter; followed by keftedes stuffed in a pita with tomato, cucumber, onion, parsley, cabbage and tzatziki; another pita with mixed meats (including sheftalia, a Cypriot sausage); two soft drinks; ending with delicious homemade baklava, galaktoboureko and two coffees, came to a ridiculously low R210. This is super food at incredibly affordable prices. Situated across the road from the University of Pretoria men’s residences in the Varsity Bakery Shopping Centre, they offer many Greek grocery items too, and pre-prepared food items as takeaways.


Café Abyssinia (Berea)
At this unpretentious Ethiopian restaurant, tucked away in a converted garage, owner Charity Asfaw waits tables, joyously explains the dishes from her home country and prepares each meal from scratch. It’s super casual and the café is unlicensed, so arrive clutching your alcoholic drink of choice.

Capsicum Restaurant at the Britannia Hotel (Durban central)
This is one of the city’s best spots for an authentic curry. They are served unpretentiously in rotis, bunny chows or with rice in the surprisingly handsome restaurant. The well-priced selection of spicy fare is matched by a list of quaffable yet affordable wines.

Capsicum Restaurant at the Britannia Hotel. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Capsicum Restaurant at the Britannia Hotel. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

China Plate (Durban North)
This eatery is much loved by Chinese expats and locals chefs. Szechuan specialities are supplemented with standards like chicken chow mein that come in under R70. Set menus offer great value and, although the wine list is price-conscious, regulars regularly arrive with their own bottle.

Delfi (Morningside)
This family-operated neighbourhood gem is well priced and casual. Sisters Maria and Dodi Terranes prepare authentic Greek food and exude warm hospitality, so you feel instantly at home.

Freedom Café (Greyville)
Dine alfresco at this iconic urban hideaway between the tiny kitchen and restaurant interior, which is a re-purposed shipping container. Inspired flavours are celebrated with the likes of prawn summer rolls (R65) or olive and halloumi tabouleh salad (R59) and classics include New Yorker hot dog (R60). A well-priced wine list delivers quality selections too.

Freedom Café. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Freedom Café. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Mooki Noodle Bar (Glenwood)
Worshipped by Glenwood locals, Mooki serves Asian inspired cuisine in a funky interior that’s reminiscent of a comic book. The succinct menu allows you to choose your favourite noodle, protein and sauce. Also recommended is the dim sum.

Surf Rider’s Food Shack (Berea)
Teaming a top seaside location with a casual, budget-friendly menu, this daytime restaurant offers breakfasts like a sesame bun filled with poached eggs, gouda and chorizo gravy, baked in the pizza oven and topped with Hollandaise sauce (R36) and comfort food like burgers (R45 to R55) and pizzas (R45 to R70) – all served in biodegradable containers.

Mooki Noodle Bar. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Mooki Noodle Bar. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Cape Town

Barristers (Newlands)
A darling Cape Town destination, Barristers pub and restaurant offers an everyday pub lunch special from 12pm to 6pm. For just R50, you can choose a hearty lunch from the special menu, including calamari, fish and chips, the Barristers burger, cottage pie, chilli con carne, pork chops and chips, bangers and mash, and more. If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, show up for Monday Madness where you can buy any main dish and get one free.

BeerHouse (CBD)
While some of their craft beers may not suit your budget, Beerhouse’s new lunchtime specials are definitely worth the trip. For R50, you can enjoy a meal and a frosty 330ml beer or soft drink. The menu changes weekly, but you can expect dishes like red onion and field mushroom tart tatin with feta cheese; mezze platters with chilli poppers, mushroom risotto balls, and a falafel; and spicy chicken livers with toasted ciabatta and onion marmalade.

Beluga (Green Point)
This trendy restaurant and cocktail lounge is a hit with the after-work crowd due to their legendary half-price sushi, cocktails and dim sum special that runs Monday to Saturday from 12pm to 7pm and all day on Sundays.

Bread Milk and Honey (City Bowl) *
Healthy wraps and gourmet sandwiches are the order of the day at this charming lunchtime eatery. Try the flaming veg wrap with butternut, slow-roasted tomatoes, feta, pumpkin seeds and balsamic reduction (R34); the bacon, rocket and tomato chilli chutney gourmet sandwich (R36); or homemade hummus sandwich with cucumber, avo, rocket, peppadews and olives (R36). Recommended by Desry Scott on Facebook.

Café Extrablatt (Green Point)
Set on a bustling sidewalk with spectacular views of the Green Point stadium, Café Extrablatt offers a large menu with several well-priced options. Enjoy a freshly baked pita bread packed with salad, tomato and fillings like Cajun chicken and sour cream; roasted vegetables and sour cream; barbecue chicken; or tuna with garlic mayonnaise (all for R54.90). Alternatively, a club wrap stuffed with cheese, ham, bacon, boiled egg, lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream is bound to hit the spot at R52.90. Pizza fans to be spoilt for choice on a Monday when you can get two regular pizzas for R99.

Cafe Extrablatt. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Cafe Extrablatt. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Craft Burger Bar (Sea Point)
While very basic décor-wise, this burger bar will barely affect your balance with their ‘build your own burger’ option. For R49, you can enjoy a burger with your choice of patty, cheese and a choice of up to four toppings. The cheeses include a choice of Fairview blue, Danish feta, cheddar, mozzarella or camembert, while toppings may include lettuce, tomato, red onion, olive tapendade, gherkin, chillies, grilled pineapple, and sautéed onions. A selection of sauces and premium toppings or a side of chips, vegetables, deep-fried yams, fried onion rings or salad is available at an extra R12.

Craft House Eatery (Milnerton) *
This attractive eatery tucked away on Woodbridge Island and offers a superb selection of all-day breakfasts, salads, appetisers, and craft-your-own sandwiches, pizzas and burgers. A craft breakfast with two free-range eggs, two pieces of streaky bacon, mushrooms, rosa tomatoes and two slices of rye toast with jam and butter will set you back R35, and you can compile your own gourmet sandwich with a tasty selection of fillings and dressings for just R50. A menu of baskets is also on offer and features snacks like phyllo pastry poppers (R45), half-moon poppers (R45) and calamari rings and chips (R60).
Recommended by Janice Roode on Facebook.
Update: pop down to Craft House Eatery on Saturdays and Sundays to enjoy three beef sliders (cheese, bacon and chorizo) for only R50.

Craft Burger Bar. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Craft Burger Bar. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Eastern Food Bazaar (CBD) *
Serving everything from large shwarmas bursting with fresh meat and spices to fiery bunny chow and chicken masala dosa, Eastern Food Bazaar is the go-to spot for those looking to indulge in flavours of the East for low prices. The portions in this canteen-style eatery are generous too, with very few dishes exceeding the R40 mark. Choose to sit down in the bustling hall or grab a couple of takeaways.
Recommended by Casey Hunter on Facebook.

Gourmet Boerie (Gardens)
This trendy eatery has taken the boerie roll to a new level. Here you can enjoy hearty portions of locally made boerewors with a wide selection of novel toppings and a side of crunchy shoestring fires for between R48 and R75. Those waiting for payday will enjoy an old-school boerie with caramelised onions (R48) or a tomato madness boerie with sweet and spicy tomato relish and mixed greens (R56). Alternatively, split the bill and order something to share with the signature boerie sliders, a selection of seven mini boerie rolls served with shoestring fries (R78).

Gourmet Boerie. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Gourmet Boerie. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The trendy Parisian-inspired steakhouse, bar and lounge serves up half-price tapas and bar snacks every Thursday. Served in the bar, lounge and courtyard only, the menu features delicious plates like chorizo balls with risotto, parmesan and smoked truffle aioli; smoked salmon parcels with cucumber, chives and sweet chilli cream cheese; and butternut and sage wontons with blue cheese sauce, parmesan and a basil oil. Half price, the snacks typically cost between R18 and R60.

Hudson’s (Green Point)
This vibey burger joint offers real value for money with generous portions and a wide selection of nibbles. Stretch your budget further with half-price beers, appetisers and cocktails during happy hour on weekdays from 4.30pm to 6.30pm or peruse their regular menu for meals that are as reasonable as they are filling. The appetiser of calzoncini filled with creamy peri-peri chicken and mozzarella makes for a surprisingly satisfying meal at R48. Alternatively, choose from a wide selection of burgers with a 180g or 250g patty. The 180g cheese burger topped with tomato relish, onion marmalade and cheddar cheese is a worthy contender at R48, as is the Meridian vegetarian burger made with a chickpea and lentil patty and topped with mustard mayo, tomato relish, red onions and zingy jalapenos for R45.

Hudsons Burger Bar. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Hudsons Burger Bar. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Knead (Kloof Street and Muizenberg)
This artisan bakery cafe is warm and inviting with the aroma of freshly baked bread. Apart from a great selection of all-day breakfasts, including the dipped brioche French toast with streaky bacon, chunky tomato sauce and roasted field mushrooms (R58), Knead cooks up a fine selection of thin and crispy pizzas in their wood-fire oven. Try the spinach, feta and rocket pizza for R68. A great option for sharing is the baker’s board, which arrives piled high with aubergines, pan-fried cherry tomatoes, roasted artichokes, kalamata olives, Danish feta, rocket and walnut pesto, served with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a selection of freshly baked artisan breads (R70).

Knead Kloof St. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Knead Kloof St. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Lime Tree Café (Bergvliet) *
Enjoy contemporary café-style fare and a deli packed with free-range goodies. Most menu items are reasonably priced, but it’s the juicy burgers that offer real value for money. Apart from the popular vegetarian earth burger, which is made with chickpeas, ricotta and fresh garden herbs (R66), all burgers patties are made with 100% grass-fed beef. Try the Lime Tree burger served on a brioche with fries and homemade tomato ketchup (R68) or the Bull Dog, a foot-long Russian sausage on a baguette with homemade celeriac, horseradish and dill relish, and a serving of fries (R66). Recommended by Rael Abramowitz on Facebook.

Lime Tree Cafe. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Lime Tree Cafe. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Masala Dosa (City Bowl)
Tucked away on Long Street, this hidden gem serves up hearty portions of traditional South Indian cuisine for reasonable prices. Try their traditional masala dosa ‘pancake’ with potatoes sautéed in onions, curry leaves and mustard seeds (R55) or tuck into a vegetarian curry of chickpeas, mixed beans or vegetables served with salsa, raita, rice and papadums (R58). They also have a vegan menu.

Narona (Gardens)
Enjoy a pizza topped with chicken, pineapple, peppadews and garlic (R54 medium; R69 large); tuck into a cheese burger hot off the grill (R36); or munch on a filling cheese and tomato tramezzini (R38).

Old Cape Café (Gordon’s Bay) *
When it comes to ambience and affordability, this casual beachfront café is a real gem. Early risers can enjoy a selection of breakfasts ranging from R25 to R48, while those popping in for lunch are treated to a selection of toasted sandwiches, open sandwiches, tramezzinis, quesadillas, and croissants, most of which range from R30 to R70. If you’re not watching your wallet, enjoy a choice of grills, seafood and café specialties. Recommended by Kayla Burger on Facebook.

The Olive Bistro (Durbanville) *
Enjoy inexpensive bistro-style dining at this cosy Durbanville eatery. The menu features a great range of bruschetta for R55 – enjoy toasted ciabatta lightly brushed with garlic and olive oil and served with any of the following topping combos: smoked chicken, marinated peppers, jalapeños and Thai dipping sauce; smoked salmon, crème fraîche, deep-fried capers and gherkins; marinated roast peppers, basil pesto, feta, olives, cherry tomatoes and balsamic cream; or sautéed wild mushrooms with crème fraîche, truffle oil and parmesan. Their caprese salad is a treat at R49, while an affordable selection of mezze is great for sharing. Recommended by Niel De Beer on Facebook.

Orchard on Long (City Bowl)
Tuck into the Orchard Fresco sandwich with avocado, hummus, tomatoes, cream cheese, red onion, rocket, sunflower sprouts, basil, greens, and French dressing on 70% rye bread (R38); crunchy quinoa salad with red quinoa, cabbage, pumpkin seeds, coriander, garlic, ginger, tamari, coconut oil, honey, lemon juice, organic peanut butter dressing (R38); or the Orchard wrap of a wholewheat tortilla with lentils, red kidney beans, onion, green pepper, yoghurt, feta, greens, garlic and spices (R38).

Pajamas and Jam Eatery (Strand) *
Located in Strand, this quirky deli and eatery extends into a treasure trove of vintage collectables. Enjoy a menu packed with freshly baked goods and comforting fare, including breakfasts, sweet and savoury croissants, wraps, toasted sandwiches, gourmet sandwiches and cakes. Their lunch items rarely exceed the R60 mark, with the exception of some of the gourmet salads. Try a gourmet ciabatta sandwich with pesto, camembert, mozzarella, pastrami and onion marmalade (R60) or a buttery croissant filled with smoked ham, mozzarella, rosa tomatoes and rocket (R50). Recommended by Sandra de Villiers on Facebook.

Pajamas and Jam Eatery. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Pajamas and Jam Eatery. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Peter’s House (Tamboerskloof) *
With a focus on home-cooked food and fresh, locally sourced ingredients, this charming neighbourhood haunt is the perfect place to grab a wholesome lunch without breaking the bank. Mac and cheese Mondays is a huge attraction – pay R30 for a helping of homemade macaroni and cheese from 6pm – and Wednesdays make for a great date night with two pastas and two glasses of house wine for R150. Recommended by Andrea Meyer on Facebook.

Petit Fours (Bloubergstrand) *
Housed in an old heritage site, Petit Fours is a French-inspired bistro and delicatessen with a local West Coast twist. Along with over 30 different pastries, cakes, cupcakes, tarts and quiches, this popular eatery serves up a fusion of French and South African cuisine, with interesting takes on salads, sandwiches, pastas, burgers, steaks and melts. The selection of salads deserves a mention: tuck into a chicken Waldorf salad with green apple, fennel, celery, shred cooked chicken and chunky pecan nut dressing (R32); the Countryside salad with baby spinach, sliced apple, sliced pear, crispy bacon, mixed herbs, strawberries, roasted chopped nuts, yoghurt, pear and rosemary dressing (R25); or the Moulin Rouge salad with tomato, beetroot, radish, red cabbage, mixed berries, white cheddar shavings, crystallised basil and berry and beetroot dressing (R28). Recommended by Inge Engelbrecht on Facebook.

Pine Garden (Gardens) *
A secret haunt amongst the locals, this inconspicuous takeaway spot isn’t much to look at, but their fresh, inexpensive sushi and Chinese food is a real treat. Sushi platters range from R65 for a 14-piece vegetarian platter to R388 for a 58-piece party platter. Their Chinese takeaways arrive in huge portions with a choice of rice or noodles and fall between R48 and R60 – the crispy duck is an exception at R75. Try the cashew nut chicken (R52) or the spicy pork (R52). Recommended by Marli du Toit on Facebook.

Sakura (Rondebosch) *
It’s not often you can tuck into a huge selection of sushi and Chinese food without upsetting your bank balance, but Sakura offers just that. Daily sushi specials offer 20% off California rolls, fashion sandwiches, maki rolls, nigiri, hand rolls and deep-fried sushi. Those in the mood for a bigger meal can enjoy generous portions of crowd-pleasers like Thai green chicken curry (R55), sweet and sour pork (R60), and fried beef with vegetables and oyster sauce (R65). Recommended by Kayley Gordon on Facebook.

Sakura. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Sakura. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Salushi (Claremont)
At first glance, this trendy sushi and cocktail bar may send your wallet into a spin, but their special value sushi menu will soon put you at ease. Every day from 12pm to 5pm and all day on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, you can enjoy signature sushi for great prices. Four California rolls retail for under R26, while you can savour eight prawn rainbow rolls wrapped in salmon and tuna for R54. Alternatively, enjoy nine fashion sandwiches wrapped in salmon and topped with mayo and caviar (R50), or four prawn fashion rolls deep fried in batter and topped with teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo and spring onion (R28).

Xiang Yuan (Sea Point)
This secret Sea Point haunt offers phenomenal value for money in the form of discounted sushi, platters and generous portions of Chinese food. Enjoy half-price sushi from 11am to 11pm daily and a selection of main meals served with rice or noodles for only R39. Think sweet and sour prawns, pork with oyster sauce, and spicy kung pao chicken.


Bistro 13 (Stellenbosch) Take advantage of the ‘buy one get one free’ breakfast special or make Saturday night a memorable one with a succulent steak and glass of wine for R115. Both specials are valid until 21 June 2015.

Franschhoek Station Pub (Franschhoek)
This historical pub serves tasty breakfasts, mains and traditional pub grub. The filled spuds are a deal at R45 and come with a choice of fillings like chicken mayo, curried mince, cream cheese and chives, or bacon, onion and mushroom. If it’s a burger you’re pining for, then the chicken burger topped with fresh pineapple is a steal at R60. The pub also has a kiddies’ menu featuring everything from chip baskets (R20) to beef burgers (R35) and chicken burgers (R30).

Giuseppe’s Pizzeria (Somerset West) *
Italian-born Giuseppe Donini prepares authentic homemade pizzas made with the finest Italian ingredients and baked in a large wood-fired oven. The quaint pizzeria and coffee shop offers a reasonably priced takeaway and sit-down menu featuring a variety of wood-fired pizzas, paninis, toasted sandwiches, pastries and beverages. Compared to the prices at most pizzerias, these authentic Italian pizzas are a steal. Try the classic margarita (R48), quattro stagioni with tomato, mozzarella, ham, mushroom and onion (R70), or vegetarian with tomato, mozzarella, potatoes, mushrooms, black and green olives, and onion (R70). Recommended by Jeanine Smal on Facebook.

Java Café (Stellenbosch)
This vibey café is a popular student hangout due to its reasonable prices and the Tuesday burger special. On Tuesdays, enjoy a classic beef patty basted in homemade sauce, topped with lettuce, red cabbage, tomato and gherkin, and served on a Portuguese roll with potato wedges and onion rings for only R38. Alternatively, the creamy alfredo pasta with pan-fried mushrooms, ham, garlic and cream sauce is a great option at R65.

Man'oushe. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Man’oushe. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

La Grapperia @ Spice Route (Paarl)
Tucked way at Spice Route in scenic Paarl, La Grapperia offers a wide selection of wood-fired pizza and signature tapas. The tapas is available as a half or full portion, making it incredibly affordable. You can enjoy a Franschhoek salmon trout on toast with fine onion rings, horseradish, capers and lemon (R28 half portion; R48 full portion), crumbed and deep fried camembert cheese with Moroccan zing chutney (R28 for half portion; R42 for full portion), and a wide selection of pizzas ranging from R52 to R89.

Man’oushe (Stellenbosch) *
If you’re in the mood for great, affordable Lebanese fare and a warm, inviting atmosphere, then Man’oushe is the place to be. Chef Jean Bou Jebrayel cooks up a storm in the kitchen, serving up authentic favourites like Lebanese bread sandwiches, lahme (meats), salads and a great selection of mezze. The traditional lahme isn’t cheap, but there are plenty of sandwiches and mezze plates under R80 that won’t break the bank. Recommended by A-J Norval on Facebook.

Ocean Basket (Paarl)
This popular franchise is known for their huge portions and reasonable pricing. Order their famous hake ‘feesh and chips’ (R49) or take advantage of their affordable sushi menu featuring items like six spicy tuna maki for R39, or four tempura prawn rolls for R24.

Slug & Lettuce (Stellenbosch)
A hit with students and visitors alike, this bistro-pub offers quality pub grub and cheesy pizzas for reasonable prices. Tuck into 250g fried calamari strips with lemon wedges and mayo (R58), a tropical ham and pineapple pizza (R58), or a variety of snacks and tapas, like vegetable spring rolls with sweet chilli dunking sauce (R39).

The Trumpet Tree Social Café (Stellenbosch)
Tucked behind landmark Oom Samie se Winkel and sheltered by an old trumpet tree is one of Stellenbosch’s best-kept secrets. Breakfasts are reasonably priced, with options like the classic Trumpet Breakfast with bacon, eggs, hash brown, oven-roasted tomato and toast (R36), and the breakfast salmon wrap with scrambled egg, smoked salmon trout, rocket, cream cheese and balsamic reduction (R40). For lunch you can enjoy comfort food with a Southern twist like waffles and Southern fried chicken with brandied honey glaze, creamy garlic dressing and tri-colour slaw (R59), and pulled pork tacos served three ways (R59). There’s also a scrumptious selection of pizzas, which retail between R69 and R79.

Have we missed your favourite neighbourhood cheapie? Share your secrets in the comments section below.

Please note that while we take care to ensure the accuracy of this information, some items may change without our knowledge.


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