At first glance, the food scene in Centurion might seem bleak and lacklustre when compared to Johannesburg or that of the ever-growing one in Pretoria, but look a little deeper and you will find a several spots that are well worth a visit. Of course you will find the franchises (they are abundant), but there are also classic steakhouses, quaint coffee shops, spots for a lazy family lunch, rustic Mediterranean restaurants and places doing great fusion food. As varied as the growing population living there, Centurion has something for every palate, budget and occasion.
The Barn Restaurant at Irene Dairy Farm
The restaurant set in an old barn on this beautiful dairy farm is a delight to visit. Kids can play on the beautiful lawns and watch as the cows get milked while parents enjoy their meals in peace. The Sunday breakfast buffet is a big hit and you’ll need to get there early if you’d like to get a spot in the shade of one of the old Oak trees.
This restaurant offers fabulous breakfasts, great lunches (including their popular harvest table) and fantastic cakes. The perfect spot for girly breakfasts or high tea with friends. The “Farmer’s Omelettes” with a range of fillings and their newly launched “French toast rolls” are both great options. For the health conscious, their coconut-infused nut granola served with Greek yoghurt and berry coulis won’t disappoint.
Visiting this fabulous coffee spot feels good on all levels. Not only are you drinking fantastic coffee, but this non-profit business also donates a large portion of their profits to a charity every month, giving back to the city they love so much. They offer a range of great coffees, teas and a few select nibbles including a sandwich of the day and pastries.
This quaint coffee shop offers delicious breakfasts and lunch options like home-made pies, quiches and beautiful cakes. Their cinnamon buns in particular are a crowd favourite. There is also a deli where you can pick up tantalising treats and a décor shop filled with beautiful finds for your home.
The Big Red Barn
This beautifully designed restaurant situated in a modern barn is great for a lazy lunch. It is also the perfect child-friendly spot with its expansive lawns and an adventure obstacle course situated right next door. The menu consists of wood-fire cooked pizzas with creative toppings, burgers, sandwiches and salads.
You’ll have to look long and hard to find a more gorgeous setting for a restaurant. Situated next to the Hennops River, Al Fiume is a popular restaurant serving a wide variety of dishes. Favourites like carpaccio of beef, rack of lamb and panna cotta all make an appearance, but it’s the lamb shank curry that steals the show.
If you’re looking for Mediterranean food (especially Portuguese) done with flair, O’Galito won’t disappoint. They have amazing lunch time specials which include peri-peri chicken, prawns, calamari and sushi. A good all-rounder with friendly service and tasty food and perfect if you’re dining with a big group of people all with varied tastes.
Situated at the Leriba Lodge, Hemingway’s offers a small but creative menu with a variety of dishes to tempt you with. Interesting options like the crocodile bobotie or duck confit vetkoek are must-try’s and you can’t go wrong with the springbok shank or pork belly for mains.
If you’re in the mood for good Italian food, this is the place. Antonio’s specialises in pizzas with thin crust and a variety of fresh toppings and pasta that is made in-house, every day. Choose between spaghetti, fettucini, fussili or their delectable gnocchi and top it with anything from meatballs in a plum tomato sauce to chicken livers in a peri-peri cream sauce. If you’re prone to ordering pizza, the funghi with its basil pesto base, black mushrooms and truffle oil won’t disappoint.
The Restaurant at Prue Leith Chefs Academy
The students of this prestigious chef’s academy run the Prue Leith Restaurant and pour their passion into the food, service and ambience of this unique establishment. The menu is small and planned around seasonable produce. A must if you’re ever in the area, but booking is essential as they are not open all year round and limited space is available.
Kammy’s Indian delights
Visit Kammy’s in the Doringkloof mall who is known for, what could be, the best samoosas in Tshwane. They also offer a range of fresh, delicious curries, rotis and other Indian delights, but make sure you go early because by lunchtime you’ll have to queue for their scrumptious food.