Exceptional quality and even better value are the hallmarks of South Africa’s thriving wining and dining scene. Wherever you eat, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to locally sourced wine and craft beer.
t An elegant dish at one of Franschhoek’s many fine-dining restaurants
You’ll find a cosmopolitan selection of high-end restaurants in larger cities such as Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, and prices tend to be very reasonable. The mecca for serious foodies, however, is the tiny Winelands town of Franschhoek – regarded as the country’s culinary capital, it’s home to a number of award-winning restaurants that also serve a great selection of local wine. Try Le Quartier Français or Haute Cabrière for a treat.
What could be better than sipping a glass of world-class wine in a sunshine-soaked vineyard? The Winelands of the Western Cape are packed with scenic estates offering tasting sessions to visitors – perennial favourites include Boschendal, Lanzerac, Vergelegen, Neethlingshof and Spier.
The local African staple is a stiff maize meal porridge called mealiepap or sadza, usually eaten with a plain stew. You can try it at many African restaurants, along with the Dutch-Malay fusion cuisine known as Cape Malay. Bursting with flavour, this includes curries, a lamb-based waterblommetjiebredie (water-flower stew), sosaties (kebab in a fruity marinade) and bobotie (a baked mincedmeat dish). Biltong, a dried strip of salted and spiced beef or game meat, is so popular that most malls have at least one shop devoted to it.
South Africa’s beer scene is blossoming, thanks to a proliferation of small independent breweries. Roughly half of the country’s 150 or so craft breweries are concentrated in the Western Cape, where most self-respecting bars and restaurants now stock a few different options, bottled or on tap. Top picks include the Cape Brewing Company, Darling Brewery and Devil’s Peak Brewing Company.
If any meal transcends social barriers in South Africa, it’s the braai, an outdoor ritual that enlivens many a weekend afternoon. Steak, chicken, lamb or sosaties might all end up on the grill, but no braai, or barbecue, is complete without a generous roll of boerewors (spicy “farmers sausage”). A variation is potjiekos, a meat and vegetable stew cooked slowly over a fire in the small black pot (potjie) for which it is named.
DISCOVER South Africa Your Way
Sample pan-African dishes from as far afield as Morocco, Ethiopia, Zanzibar and Senegal, as well as from South Africa, at these recommended restaurants.
Marco’s African Place
⌂ 15 Rose Lane, Bo-Kaap, Cape Town ∑ marcosafricanplace.com
⌂ Branches in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban ∑ moyo.co.za
⌂ 7th Ave, Melville, Johannesburg ∑ luckybeanrestaurant.co.za