A couple of hours spent by the sea is sure to keep that holiday feeling alive just a little bit longer. Pair that experience with a plate of fresh seafood, sushi or perfectly grilled sirloin and you have a match made in salty-breeze heaven. For those who enjoy grabbing a bite within sight, sound or smell of the ocean, we’ve compiled a list of five beautiful beachfront restaurants in South Africa.
Located along Durban’s scenic South Beach Promenade, Afro’s Chicken is a proudly local takeout serving up juicy chicken braaied to perfection over a fire grill. Next time you’re strolling along the promenade, drop by Afro’s for one of their famous chicken burgers and chips or tender chicken strips and chips (R36; add R9 for a 330ml cool drink). Both burgers and chicken strips are served with your choice of sauce – hot (peri peri) or koel (lemon) – and can be ordered with perfectly cooked hand-cut potato tjips with their skins on.
Few settings showcase the heart of Cape Town quite like Brass Bell. What started out as a council ‘tea room’, the Kalk Bay beachfront restaurant is now a landmark establishment offering a choice of seven different dining venues: Brass Bell Grill, Captain’s Deck, Cabin Pub and Bistro, The Water’s Edge Terrace, Pavilion, Beach at the Bell, and the vibrant Bikini Deck cocktail bar and live music lounge. The Terrace menu is an eclectic mix of freshly caught seafood, meaty grills and wood-fired pizzas. Highlights include the gourmet crayfish platter for two with grilled linefish, grilled hake, prawns, Cajun calamari, West Coast black mussels in white wine and garlic herb sauce, Cape Malay seafood curry, fresh live oysters and a whole crayfish served on crisp salad, rice and chips with lemon, garlic and peri-peri sauces (R790); sticky pork ribs basted in homemade barbecue sauce and served with chips (R135 for 500g; R155 for R750g); the freshly caught linefish served grilled with chips, salad and a choice of peri peri, garlic or lemon sauce (R145); and, finally, the crowd-pleasing rib and peppadew wood-fired pizza piled with barbecue pulled pork, peppadews, feta and fresh rocket (R98 for medium; R120 for large). The Terrace menu is served in The Waters Edge Terrace, The Bikini Deck, The Pavilion, The Brass Bell Grill, The Cabin and the Captains Deck. Enjoy the festivities further by grabbing a cocktail off their impressive drinks menu.
Located along the scenic West Coast, Die Strandloper is situated on the water’s edge overlooking the magnificent Langebaan lagoon. When it comes to dining, this open-air restaurant does things a little differently, offering guests a three to four hour traditional seafood braai experience centered around an open fire. For R260 per person, you can have succulent, freshly caught seafood served in up to ten individual courses. To the accompaniment of live guitar music, guests gather around the roaring fire with their cooler boxes and help themselves as the seafood comes off the braai. Traditional treats include fish curry, mussels in wine and onions, snoek with potatoes, waterbloemmetjie bredie, smoked angelfish, stompneus, fresh bread with farm butter and homemade jams, and tea and coffee. Lunch kicks off at 12pm, dinner at 6pm and booking is absolutely essential.
With stunning views over the Knysna lagoon towards the famous Knysna Heads, this spot has quickly become a landmark destination among locals and visitors alike. Perched on the water’s edge on Thesen Island, the restaurant overlooks a jetty where guests can moor their boats. The tapas menu features a selection of Spanish, Mediterranean, South African and ‘rest of the world’ tapas along with freshly shucked Knysna oysters, salads, sides and desserts, while the sushi bar caters to those with a taste for fresh rolls and cuts. Highlights include the prawn melinzana (R48), South African frikkadelletjies (R30) and the Chiquila oyster, a cultivated oyster topped with an onion and tequila reduction, jalapeño mayonnaise, cucumber and red caviar (R22 each). This particular bivalve dish was voted best oyster at the 2013 Knysna Oyster Festival. A decent wine list, succinct cocktail menu and various beers on tap will keep the festivities going late into the night.
Experience Jeffreys Bay is all its glory as you seat yourself at a wooden picnic table, tuck into delicious seafood and grills, and look out onto the ocean as the waves crash below. Located on Clapton’s Beach, Die Walskipper is the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely afternoon lunch or festive evening with friends. The menu features a range of starters, a kiddies’ menu and prime choices of ‘food from the land’ and ‘fresh from the sea’. A clear highlight is the shellfish pan for two (SQ) which is piled with oysters, abalone, crayfish, scallops, prawns, calamari, mussels, crab and langoustine, while carnivores will also enjoy the springbok steak with pear red wine and feta (R155). For dessert, try the decadent peppermint crisp tart (R30).
Tell us about your favourite seaside restaurant in the comments selection below.