Eat your way through the wondrous West Coast

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Known for its fresh seafood plaaskombuise (farm kitchens), the South African West Coast coastline highlights other homegrown delicacies like bokkoms, artisanal cheese, fine wine, foraged veldkool, crayfish and roosterkoek served with cheddar, fresh butter and apricot jam. The crisp, salty climate has not only produced fine foods and wines, but its people have also cultivated a cuisine that is the perfect amalgamation of nature and soul.

Roosterkoek is the West Coast pie

Route 27 Roosterkoek (Yzerfontein)

By the time you’re this far outside the Mother City, you’ll need a toilet break, caffeine in the form of a moerkoffie, and a ‘pie’ – AKA a roosterkoek,made over open flames at Route 27 Roosterkoek. There’s absolutely no better breakfast. Experience the joy of simplicity with quick and friendly service as you sit outside and take in the fresh air while cheesy music blares in the background. This is West Coast fast food at its best.


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To fuel up on coffee and carbs

Rosemead Artisan Bakery (Yzerfontein) *Closed and will re-open on 9 November 2019

This spot is worth the drive from Cape Town to Yzerfontein for the sourdough breads alone. Tucked away at the very edge of this lovely beach town, it’s also known for making some of the best pasteis de nata outside of Lisbon – a proper sugar binge awaits you as you wander through these doors.


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Weskus Spens (West Coast Peninsula)

Selling arguably the best farm-fresh hand-kneaded bread baked in the area, the Weskus Spens is a quintessential farm stall. Here you’ll find locally made goods like enamelware, pickled everything, bread, bokkoms, and a generous helping of farm breakfast for next to nothing.


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The Hart Breadhouse and Eatery (Melkbos)

You’ll find this cosy café sitting pretty on Beach Road in Melkbosstrand. Stop for a light bistro-style pressed sandwich on fresh ciabatta, or make it your coffee pit stop – there are some delicious (and strong as brake fluid) coffees available.


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For cheese and wine

Kokerboom Cheese (Velddrif)

You’ll find Velddrif’s finest cheese room inside this converted fisherman’s cottage. These artisanal cheeses are all named after flora and fauna endemic to Velddrif. Because Kokerboom is situated in the salty climate of a coastal town, its cheese has an almost crispy bacon-like flavour that’s heavenly.


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For a five-star breakfast

Oep ve Koep (Paternoster)

What could very well be the most beautiful farm stall on the West Coast isn’t any run-of-the-mill padstal. The upmarket four-course breakfast and lunch tasting menus make for a booking-only five-star experience. Sit in the tranquil bistro-style garden as chef Adél Hughes wows you with her naturalist Strandveld-style dishes that change daily according to seasonality and availability of produce.


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For foraged fine dining

Wolfgat (Paternoster)

Chef Kobus van der Merwe makes food with purpose, not pretence, at this Top 10 restaurant. His dishes are unusual, but speak to the essence of the West Coast and Paternoster. His tasting menu is a love letter to this part of the world, with the menu comprising local and foraged ingredients like bokkoms flaked in butter, rooibos-smoked yellowtail, soutslaai, klipkombers, dune celery, smoked mussels, and Teubes and Cape Rock wines from Vredendal. Ensure you book far in advance.


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For the best seafood

Charlie’s Fish Shop (Saldanha)

Make your own West Coast seafood buffet by parking off in Saldanha Bay and grabbing some of the freshest fish for a braai or mussel pot at your self-catering stay. With great prices and value, it’s one of the best places to grab a quick fish-and-chips takeaway.


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Muisbosskerm (Lamberts Bay)

The West Coast is dotted with seafood plaaskombuis-style restaurants. Muisbosskerm sits right on the beach and offers patrons a relaxed, open-air venue with unparalleled sunset views and courses upon courses of traditional West Coast fare that includes mussels, waterblommetjies, crayfish, angelfish, fresh bread and koeksisters served to you by smiling locals. BYOB, lather on the sunscreen and settle in for the day.


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On The Rocks (Paternoster)

If you can’t afford the high-end eateries in Paternoster or are simply in the mood to keep it simple, go to On The Rocks for the humblest greasy fish and chips. Sometimes there’s nothing better than freshly fried hake, slap tjipssprinkled with salt and vinegar (plus a drizzle of pink sauce), and an ice-cold Coca-Cola.

For day drinking

Fryer’s Cove (Doringbaai)

Spot Fryer’s Cove from the main road of the tiny coastal town of Doringbaai, far up the West Coast. This might be the world’s closest vineyard to the Atlantic Coast and, interestingly, the wine is made in a disused fish factory. It’s no wonder you can truly taste the ocean in the wine. Fresh and salty, all the wines are worth trying, but Fryer’s Cove is renowned for its Bamboes Bay sauvignon blanc. Sip it in the sun, feel the breeze and then go chow down on simple fish and chips at the adjacent kitchen run by locals.


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Groote Post (Darling)

Groote Post is a historic 18th century farm on the Cape’s West Coast, with some unique aspects and cool climatic conditions that repeatedly yield superlative fruit. Shop some of their Brut bubblies on your way up the coast, or get the Groote Post Seasalter Sauvignon Blanc 2019, an elegant well-balanced wine showcasing typical Darling minerality.


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Kookfontein Wines (Lamberts Bay)

Known for its sauvignon blanc, this boutique winery is located near the rustic seaside town of Lambert’s Bay. It’s the ideal accompaniment for fish dishes, long afternoons staring out at the ocean from a veranda or fresh oysters.


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Nieuw Brew (Clanwilliam)

Drive inland to Nieuw Brew for a tasting or find a variety of their beers – from spicy pumpkin ale to stout and smooth delicious blondes – in liquor stores scattered around the West Coast. All can be beautifully paired with West Coast crayfish or snoek bought on the side of the road.


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Teubes (Vredendal)

This is the gem of Vredendal, and for good reason: the Teubes family has been making quality wines close to the Atlantic Ocean for half a century. Whether it’s the Karoosbossie Brut MCC or the Teubes sauvignon or chenin blanc, all are excellent on a hot day with grilled seafood.


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Did we miss your favourite West Coast eatery? Let us know in the comments below and remember to review your experience on our free app

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