The 25 most popular restaurants in South Africa

Could these be the country’s most popular restaurants? Here are the spots that pulled in the most traffic on our site in July.

1. SŸN @ 47 (City Bowl, Cape Town) ?

It’s no surprise to see this intriguing new restaurant on top of the list. Located at the trendy Villa 47, SŸN comes from chefs Warwick King and Rikku Ó’Donnchü, previously of the theatrical Gåte at Quoin Rock, and you can expect more of the same from SŸN, which aims to astonish.

? Available for online bookings on the Eat Out app.

“Fruits of the ocean” at SŸN. Photo supplied.

2. Saint Restaurant (Sandton, Johannesburg) ?

It wouldn’t be a most-popular list without perennial cool-kid Saint. David Higgs’s Italian restaurant is ever-popular, with its offering of creamy burrata, fluffy gnocchi and meaty mains. (And stunning décor to boot – Saint was the 2019 winner of the coveted Eat Out VISI Style Award.) If you find yourself at Saint, though, you’re probably there for the perfect pizza, with simple options like the Neapolitan and margherita having you coming back for more. (Zola Nene, our foodie editor at large, found herself in pizza heaven while trying Saint’s sirloin steak pizza. Watch below.)

Available for online bookings on the Eat Out app.

3. San Deck at Sandton Sun Hotel (Sandton, Johannesburg)

A rooftop bar in Sandton – need we say more? Go for breakfast, lunch and dinner (all with cocktails, of course) or enjoy Thursday to Saturday nights with a live DJ spinning you into the weekend.

4. Views at Twenty5 (Morningside, Durban)

Shisa nyama and craft cocktails are the name of the game at this Durban restaurant that serves as the ultimate weekend spot, opening only from 5pm on a Friday.

5. Truffles on the Park (Sandton, Johannesburg)

This botanical space in the middle of the city is a favourite for its gin cocktails and picture-perfect dishes.

6. Billy G at Suncoast Casino (Marine Parade, Durban)

This buffet restaurant is a winner when it comes to feeding big families. Enjoy everything from carvery and casseroles to seafood and salads galore.

7. Jeera Restaurant at Suncoast Towers Hotel (Marine Parade, Durban)

Promising authentic Durban cuisine, Jeera is popular for its array of curries (from fish to chutney lamb, plus a gourmet bunny chow) and tandoor oven offerings. If you’re going all out, try the millionaire’s curry, featuring crayfish, prawns, scallops, crab, mussels and line fish.

8. The Wing Republic (Braamfontein, Johannesburg)

This popular spot pulls in the crowds for its saucy chicken wings, ribs and burgers. If you’re one of those who used to travel all the way out to Braamfontein to get your fix, you’ll be happy to know that another branch will be opening in Pretoria in August.

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9. Thali (Gardens, Cape Town)

This must-visit Gardens restaurant comes from chef Liam Tomlin of Chefs Warehouse. It’s an oldie but a goody, offering a spectacular feast of modern Indian cuisine and décor to match.

10. The Athletic Club & Social (City Bowl, Cape Town)

Athos Euripidou, who hails from Durban and was behind Station Drive’s Fortune Coffee, is the brains behind this hot new speakeasy-style bar. This perfect spot for after-work drinks or a cosy date night serves up Greek and Mediterranean cuisine like charred aubergine, home-made labneh and roasted lamb shoulder with tzatziki.

One of the cosy areas in The Athletic Club & Social. Photo supplied.

11. Time Square – Food and Wine Bar (Florida Road, Durban)

This new food-and-wine bar’s offering includes an extensive cocktail, beer and wine selection; easy-eating grub like pizzas, pastas, burgers and small bites; and large indoor and outdoor seating areas with televisions to catch any live sporting action.

12. Mustang Sally’s Pub & Diner (Hatfield, Pretoria)

If you want an American diner experience, this is the place to get it. Mustang Sally’s offers giant burgers, mac-and-cheese balls, Southern fried chicken, and freakshakes topped with everything from entire doughnuts to mounds of candy floss.

13. Macau Asian Tavern (City Bowl, Cape Town) ?

Here you can expect everything from maki and massaman curry to paratha, chorizo and dim sum. The menu is based off true Macanese cuisine, which is unique, consisting of a blend of southern Chinese and Portuguese cuisines.

Available for online bookings on the Eat Out app.

The crispy duck pancakes and dim sum at Macau. Photo by Nikita Buxton

14. Shucked Oyster Bar (Craighall, Johannesburg)

If an oyster bar in Jozi sounds like a dream, this is the perfect spot for you. But if you’re the only one in your friend group who doesn’t like oysters, you won’t be disappointed either. Alongside its oyster options, Shucked has a gastropub-style menu with offerings like fantastic kingklip and chips.

15. The Royale (Craighall, Johannesburg)

This Cuban-inspired bar and eatery has a food offering that’s fuss-free, inexpensive and unpretentious. Pair with one of the rum-based cocktails and your Friday night is set.

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Our heart is in Havana….

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16. The Burner (Bellville, Cape Town)

This curry spot in Cape Town’s northern suburbs is known for its generous portions and fantastic bunny chows. Pop in for a lamb, chicken, bean or mince kebab bunny, plus dessert of soji or sago.

17. The Restaurant at Waterkloof (Somerset West) ?

SA’s number one restaurant is no stranger to this list. Even those who’ve already been lucky enough to dine here are planning their next sojourn. Magnificent food on inspired plating (as well as a not-to-be-missed wine pairing) makes this one for the books. (Watch head chef Gregory Czarnecki make his famous bon bons below.)

Available for online bookings on the Eat Out app.

18. Momo Soko (Illovo, Sandton)

The little sister of Momo Baohaus, Momo Soko serves up sublimely delicious Asian street cuisine with a modern twist. Be sure to try the soko – tender marinated skewers of protein and vegetables grilled to perfection and seasoned in various ways – and the fluffy bao.

19. Momo Kuro (Rosebank, Johannesburg)

The newest Momo boasts bold flavours and delicious tapas options in a gorgeous open restaurant space. Be sure to try the Formoso calamari with mint, basil and ginger; the Siu Mai open dumplings; the crispy salmon ceviche tacos; the Szechuan prawn wontons; the pulled beef brisket; and the Peking duck.

20. Saigon Suzy Asian BBQ & Rock ‘n Roll Bar (Parkwood, Johannesburg)

This rock ‘n roll bar features cocktails and street food inspired by countries like Thailand, Vietnam, China, Korea and Japan. Try the pho or one of the broken rice BBQ bowls.

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Send noods. #saigonsuzyjhb #suzysays

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21. The Village Buffet (City Bowl, Cape Town)

This halaal buffet spot is affordable and offers everything from ribs and chicken to seafood and pizza.

22. Angelo’s Café (Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth)

This seaside café has a fantastic view, plus good coffee – what more could you ask for?

23. Big Bad Wolf – Pizza Bar (Midrand, Johannesburg)

Putting the words ‘pizza’ and ‘bar’ together can only result in joy, and this Midrand restaurant proves it. It focuses on doing just a few pizzas well, with dough made with 00 flour and topped with fior di latte mozzarella.

24. The Test Kitchen (Woodstock, Cape Town)

The number two restaurant in the country from Luke Dale-Roberts continues to draw repeat visitors locally and globally. Recently it also launched pop-up pub lunches, meaning you can enjoy understated yet incredible fish, chips and peas at a Top 10 restaurant.

25. Market Restaurant (Essenwood, Durban)

This contemporary eatery has breakfast served all day long, as well as gluten-free, vegan and banting options. (See our full list of all-day breakfast spots here.) Overall, Market Restaurant embodies seasonal freshness and innovation, meaning the menu can change between visits, but the quality and dedication to craft remains unequivocal.

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Vanilla cheesecake for dessert, maybe?

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