In recent years, South Africa has become known as a diverse culinary destination. It features a wealth of restaurants offering gastronomic delights, including the best restaurant in the world, Wolfgat, firmly placing South Africa on the foodie map.
The vast array of indigenous ingredients and methods are evident on many a menu, and this celebration of cultural heritage and outstanding natural produce is what makes South African cuisine so interesting and innovative. Meaning you can visit a wealth of different restaurants and experience something unique every time.
Here are some of our favourites:
Bientang's Cave - Walker Bay
An exclusive location carved into the depths of a century old cave overlooking Walker Bay creates a rustic setting for Bientang's Cave, the place to visit if you're looking to enjoy some world famous seafood at a restaurant committed to sustainability and marine ecosystems. Of course there are astonishing views over Walker Bay too, providing one of the best whale watching locations in the world to soak in whilst eating your food...try the mussels, fish of the day and traditional Malva pudding!
Chef's Table with Santi Louzán - Cape Town
A uniquely intimate affair, run by Spanish chef Santi Louzán who has worked in some of the best Michelin restaurants in Europe and the United Kingdom, A Chef’s Table feels exclusive in the historic Longmarket Street location in Cape Town city centre. The creative menu uses local produce paying attention to its footprint and promoting regional sustainable cuisine, which challenges the boundaries of tradition. A fun intimate experience with Santi taking you on a culinary journey from start to finish.
Cleopatra's Mountain Farmhouse - Drakensberg
Off the beaten track in the heart of the Drakensberg with breathtaking mountain views, crystal clear streams and the peaceful solitude of the Kwazulu-Natal, Cleopatra's Mountain Farmhouse focuses on gourmet country cooking with fresh ingredients, sometimes picked just moments before service. Chef Richard Poynton, spends hours hunting down and importing ingredients of the highest quality, flying in fresh salmon from Norway and procuring genuine Parma hams to delight the taste buds of his guests.
Enrico's - Plettenberg Bay
Sit back and enjoy the friendly and relaxed sundowners atmosphere over Plettenberg Bay as you eat your meal at Enrico’s, which is inspired by the owner’s Italian roots. This restaurant prides itself on using the freshest ingredients, taking raw natural products and creating delicious dishes – the signature ‘Fish Enrico’ uses the freshest line caught fish available, baked in olive oil, white wine, parsley and garlic. Simple but amazing!
Foliage - Franschhoek
Foliage allows you to explore the centuries old vineyards and one of the oldest towns in South Africa, Franschhoek. The focus of the restaurant is ‘from field to fork’ where wild foraged ingredients take precedence, because of this the menu is changed almost daily depending on what is brought into the kitchen. This constant diversification of the menu means you have a unique experience every time you visit, which gives you the excuse to go back time and time again…
Qunu - Johannesburg
An elegant dining experience at one of Johannesburg’s top restaurants, paying homage to its South African roots, it was named after Nelson Mandela’s Eastern cape country home, Qunu. This restaurant allows you to embark on the ultimate African grill experience, each menu is designed using the freshest ingredients which capture the essence of each African season in a warm welcoming environment. It showcases Southern Africa through homegrown seasonal produce, paired with bold flavourings and an honest approach to cuisine.
The Codfather - Camps Bay
A restaurant experience like no other, The Codfather in Camps Bay has no menus available and takes its interior inspirations from a fish market. I know what you’re thinking, but this ingenious style means only the freshest seafood is on offer and you, the customer, can see what’s going on in this interactive restaurant. Rest assured you will have highly trained staff to explain the different tastes and textures of the seafood, how it will be prepared and served according to your personal tastes. It really is an experience like no other, if you love fresh seafood or want to try your first piece of fish then this is the place for you.
Wolfgat - Paternoster
The crown jewel in South African dining, voted the best restaurant in the world and the best off the map destination in 2019, why wouldn’t you want to pay Wolfgat in Paternoster a visit. The small restaurant has 20 diners per sitting to keep the food sustainable and gastronomic. Head chef Kobus van der Merwe’s inspiration is drawn from the surrounding landscape and its seasonal transformation. The food menu comprises of a signature seven course tasting menu ranging from seafood, game, seaweeds from the local rock pools and seasonal veldkos. The whole idea like many South African restaurants is sustainability, Kobus’s philosophy is to ‘interfere as little as possible with products, keeping them pure, raw and untreated'. Wolfgat is an experience like no other where you will discover new exciting tastes in a small intimate environment with breathtaking views over the bay.