What to order at chain restaurants

Stuck at the airport, or find yourself with the family at the mall? No need to fear for your culinary safety – we asked some chefs, critics and the Eat Out team to reveal their favourite dishes at chain restaurants.

Spur ribs

Spur ribs, chips and onion rings. Photo supplied.

Spur spare ribs, with chips and lots of onion rings. But like only once or twice a year. *hides*

– Malibongwe Tylio, Eat Out critic

Banana and ice-cream waffle from Spur.

– Marthinus Ferreira, chef-patron at DW Eleven-13 and The Grazing Room in Johannesburg

Nando’s is the best. I order depending on mood, but my two favourites are the chicken livers meal (hot!) and the chicken pita meal.

– Abigail Donnelly, Eat Out editor


A photo posted by Mongezi Shongwe (@manbear_motie) on


The King Steer burger is awesome; Nando’s hot quarter chicken and wedges is always a winner; Spur spare ribs are delicious (haven’t had them in years, but I want them now); and Ocean Basket fish and chips are nice and crispy.

– Werner Hayward, Eat Out business manager  

  A photo posted by Jia Zhe (@jiazheee) on


I’m a Nando’s addict. Quarter chicken – hoooot! With peri-peri spinach. Heaps of it. And the homemade chilli sauce from Andiccio 24.

– David Higgs, chef at Marble in Johannesburg

I love the double quarter pounder from McDonalds, the rich peppermint crisp tart at Mugg & Bean, and the upsized Pollo Pesto at Primi.

– Lauren Josephs, Eat Out editorial assistant

Primi Piatti ribs.

– Kelly Cloete, Eat Out account director

Tom yum goong (prawn tom yum soup) from Simply Asia.

– Virgil Kahn, chef at Indochine at Delaire Graff Estate in Stellenbosch

Usually an ice cream of sorts. My favourites are the Kream Ball from KFC or Oreo McFlurry from McDonalds.

– Siba Mtongana, food writer, TV chef and judge for the 2015 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards

I once had a KFC burger and it was totally amazing. I imagine that that’s what taking drugs is like. I saw shooting stars and unicorns and rainbows. I had a food hangover for about a week, though. My body just cannot with all the sugar and the salt and the fried things. Also, the McDonalds cheeseburger; mostly I just love the cheese. So plastic! So melty! So salty! Also the mayo – so much sugar – and the tangy little pickle.

– Katharine Jacobs, Eat Out online editor


Pizza from Dominos (any kind).

– Ané Wait, chef at Brasserie de Paris in Pretoria

Nando’s veg pita and peri-peri wedges, extra hot. The veg patty soaks up all the flavour of the chilli, making it a tasty bite every time. Or paneer tikka with dhal makhani and paratha bread at Jewel of India.

– Marcus Viljoen, Eat Out advertising designer

Spur’s Cheddamelt Burger. It’s been my standard Spur order since I was 10. It takes me back to Friday nights with my folks at the old Dean Street Spur. Good memories and still a pretty good burger. The only difference is now I have replaced the choc shake with wine…

– Cailine McCann-Smith, Eat Out senior digital sales executive

Spur Goodie Burger is always a winner for me, or Chicken Campagnola at Primi Piatti.

– Mandy Petim, Eat Out brand manager

Without missing a beat, ribs from Sticky Fingers & BBQ in Obs every Tuesday.

– Arno Janse van Rensburg, chef at The Kitchen at Maison in Franschhoek

Spur cheeseburger and fries (with basically a whole bottle of their white sauce) is a winner every time!

– Lise Avis, managing editor of Yuppiechef TABLE magazine

I love the good old cheeseburger at Steers; it’s my absolute favourite! Must be the flame-grilled patties that get me every time.

– Liesl Nicholson, Eat Out managing editor

A photo posted by (@amg_5) on

A Steers burger and chips – with that evil/genius spice – is the best. I’m also partial to a McDonalds Big Mac if I’ve had a ‘late night’. Something about the creamy mayo and the shiny cheese with lashings of sugar-loaded ketchup sings in my blood stream – in all likelihood a signal of impending diabetic coma.

– Linda Scarborough, Eat Out copy editor

There you have it! (If you sneak out to a drive-through after reading this, we won’t judge.) Please spill some of your recommendations in the comments below.


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