The Bungalow, Clifton
Between Maiden's Cove and Clifton, Bungalow sits perched overlooking the ocean. It's the ultimate beach side outdoor venue with loungers, white table cloths and an outdoor bar. With Mediterranean-style decor, the chic setting can take you from cocktails after the beach to a sit-down sunset dinner, before getting you into the party vibe that Bungalow is also known for. Food focuses on seafood and grills and includes a sushi menu and signature burgers.
One of Cape Town's oldest restaurants, opening in 1955, Maria's serves a loyal following of diners. They sit in the charming Dunkley Square where a couple restaurants open their doors and set up tables outside for the warm summer days and nights. Maria's is complete with fairy-lit trees, and tasty, authentic Greek food. Try the calamari, the vegetarian meze platter and lamb youvetsi.
The Company's Garden Restaurant, CBD
Owned by the Madame Zingara group, the iconic restaurant was revamped a couple years ago but stayed true to its history and loyal customers. It's a restaurant for all ages, and a place to take in the beautiful and peaceful surroundings. Sit under the trees and enjoy classic café-style food like sandwiches, freshly baked cakes, salads and comfort food like burgers and fish and chips. Make sure you pick up some peanuts to feed the squirrels afterwards.
Bistrot Bizerca, CBD
Bizerca is a classic French-style bistro with a big South African and Australian influence on the food. The restaurant is owned by a couple, Cyrillia and Laurent, who immigrated from Australia and opened Bizerca in 2007. The food shows off Laurent's classical French training and features creative dishes that change seasonally, along with some bistro staples. The outdoor area sits in a quaint quart yard on Heritage square, and epitomises a European al fresco dining scene, perfect for balmy nights.
Café Paradiso, Tamboerskloof
Café Paradiso, opens from breakfast to dinner and is a must visit for anytime of the day. A hidden outdoor setting sits on Kloof Street surrounded by greenery and high trees shading the pretty scene. It offers a lovely view of the city and mountains and is an ideal country setting, in the middle of the city. The food is sophisticated café-meets-bistro fare with highlights including pastas, risotto, open sandwiches and antipasti platters to share.
The Grand, The Waterfront
The Grand has recently been revamped taking it into a more stylish and on-trend era but keeping the same old ever-popular essence of the restaurant. The beach setting is a mix of Cuba and the Mediterranean with an undeniable air of all things local. Tables and chairs sit right on the sand were you can enjoy seafood or their signature large rectangular pizzas. This place is also known for their parties so be up for a few cocktails at the bar.
The Rumbullion at The Round House, The Glen
This is a must for tourists who want to experience a high-up view of the ocean connecting with Table Mountain. For locals, this one has been around for years and is a reliable spot for a summers day for families or friends. This is a place for boozy lunches where you're instantly put at ease surrounded by nature and the most exquisite view. The food is the opposite of The Round House's fine dining, with picnic-style, easy-to-eat food, like burgers, pizzas, wraps and tapas.
Postcard Café, Stellenbosch
Postcard offers superlative views of Jonkershoek valley, sitting right in the valley itself next to an expansive pond. The outdoor seating is really on another level, with tables right on the grass overlooking the spectacular vistas. The menu offers a variety of light lunches that have taken flavours from many different cuisines. You'll find an Asian pork belly salad, a teriyaki beef burger, a Greek lamb stew with couscous and other comforting dishes.
The Table at De Meye, Stellenbosch
This spot is really special, both in its location and the restaurant concept as a whole. The entire seating area is outside under tall shade-providing trees, with dining being moved inside the farm house on cold days. Each tree also offers intimacy to the spread out tables that sit right next to the vineyard - its simply beautiful. The food is served on large plates so that groups share with one another, as one would over a family lunch. The menu is solely based on availability and season, so from one week to the next its constantly changing. The produce is farmed right on De Meye so make sure you check out the impressive vegetable garden when you visit.
Orangerie at Le Lude, Franschhoek
Orangerie offers modern country French dining amongst exquisite greenery and flora. Large white tables sit beneath white umbrellas in a pretty and orderly garden. The boutique winery is known for their MCC, and this, with dishes like souffle and muscles, will make you feel like you're right in the middle of the warm French countryside.
A restaurant that needs little introduction in South Africa, featuring multiple times on Eat Out's top 10 list, Terroir combines the elegance of fine dining with a relaxed outdoor setting. The food is undeniably superior with ingredients being sourced as locally as possible and dishes changing with the seasons. Outside white umbrellas and tablecloths set the most peaceful scene beneath old oak trees.
Constantia Glen, Constantia
Constantia Glen has grown exponentially in popularity over recent years with their affordable, quality wines and signature cheese and charcuterie platters. The setting is outdoor perfection, sitting just below Constantia Nek with a view of the rolling hills of vineyards and mountains. There are two outside areas, one for bookings and the other for walk-ins. After your lunch, the Constantia Glen team will gladly continue to serve you on a nearby patch of lawn.
Ferguson's 5th Floor, Illovo
Ferguson's is a recent addition to Sandton and offers an escape from the busy business district. High-up, overlooking the trees, the rooftop deck sits proudly watching the stretch of city. They serve great breakfasts, like crumpets and French toast as well as lunches which includes a harvest table and crispy thin-based pizzas.
View and Flames at The Four Seasons
View is the Four Seasons fine-dining hotel restaurant which sits on top of a hill in Westcliffe. Flames offers a more relaxed dining experience in the same unrivaled location. The palatial building benefits from the superb vantage point that allows panoramic views of Joburg. Both restaurants enjoy a spectacular terrace. Flames focuses on braai food, and wood fired pizzas, while View offers a stylish setting, with haute cuisine dishes inspired by the seasons.
Il Giardino at 44 Stanley
This spot might be in the middle of a giant metropolis, but the setting takes you straight to the country side. The idyllic space sits beneath various trees with antique French-style garden chairs and tables - it's no wonder that its a popular space for weddings and other celebrations. The food is rustic Italian combined with traditional South Africa cuisine like Karoo lamb and babotie. On the Italian side there's crispy pizzas, pastas and antipasti platters.
The Hill Café, Constitution Hill
Sitting on one of Joburg's most historic landmarks, The Hill Café offers a peaceful place to relax and enjoy lunch. The café sits on an open air deck covered with white awnings that add to the overall tranquility and allow just the right amount of sun on the tables. The food is simple yet sophisticated café fare and includes a pulled pork burger, chicken phyllo pies and other light lunch options. They also have chess boards, table tennis and Wi-Fi to enjoy!
La Cucina di Ciro, Parktown North
This place is all about traditional and hearty Italian cooking. The chef, Ciro has been in the business for over 30 years and is passionate about the food he prepares. The indoor and outdoor space are fluidly connected thanks to large foldaway glass doors. Outside, tables dressed in white table cloths sit beneath tall trees, creating a lovely romantic ambience, the only way to enjoy all things Italian.
Papa's Real Food, Hatfield
Papa's is a good honest restaurant that takes care in their food preparations. The decor is unpretentious, eclectic and homey, with rustic finishes. The courtyard is a prominent feature and has a lot of seating space. At night the romantic, yet vibrant mood is set with hanging fairy lights and live music. Its a brilliant place for any special occasion which is why Papa's has played host to many weddings.
Blos Café, Faerie Glen
Blos is the prefect mix of retro and contemporary design. The large multi faceted building shows off old-world foundations but with brilliant modern flare. Different rooms within the café provide a different look and feel but overall the structure and decor is sleek and one of a kind in Pretoria. The deck outside holds many seating arrangements and is a potential space for parties. Blos encourages people to visit for any occasion whether its a work session (they have wifi), sundowners, or a leisurely lunch or dinner.
Alfie's Pizzeria, Hazelwood
The food is authentic and so is the atmosphere and general good vibe of Alfie's. The deck sits proudly in the sun, shaded with umbrellas, and there's extra seating outside below the deck as well. Its an ideal spot for a lazy lunch. Their antipasti platters are perfect for summer days, enjoyed with wine of course. The traditional Italian pizzas are also outstanding.
The Chartroom at Algoa Bay Yacht Club
You can't get much closer to the sea than The Chartoom, which has an unrivaled view of the marina filled with moored yachts. It's certainly the place to be for seafood with an extensive variety of fresh fish and shellfish. They also do pizzas, sushi and some grill options.
Grass Roof, Sardinia Bay
A multi-functional estate, Grass Roof has become very popular with its versatile offerings. The property has a lovely farm stall, vegetable garden and restaurant that all sit on beautiful, well-cared-for grounds. The restaurant serves country food with a focus on homemade artisan breads, wood fired pizzas and insanely decadent cakes and pastries. The outdoor area overlooks a spacious play area for children, so its an ideal family spot.
Something Good Roadhouse
This one is based on the classic American Roadhouse where travelers stop off for a good meal and a drink to carry them on their way. Something Good does just that, but as the added bonus of having a beautiful view and outdoor seating. The food is simple and ideal for family lunches with items like pizza and toasties as well as kid-friendly milkshakes and soda floats. Seafood is also a prominent part of the menu but depends on availability.
The Big Easy, central
Situated in Durban's city, The Big Easy offers a hidden escape from central Durban with their outdoor terrace. The area is surrounded by lush trees and has various seating areas like loungers or regular chairs and tables. It's a great place to bask in the sun when Durban's humidity is kept at bay. The food alone is a draw card featuring South African favourites like gourmet burgers, bunny chow, steak and boerie sliders
Surf Riders Café, South Beach
Surf Rider's Café is right on the promenade, ideally located for people watching and beach days and offers a typical Durban experience. The food is all about comfort and indulgence, where nothing is spared and everything is full on flavour. They have a bit of an American diner influence with over-the-top milkshakes and a focus on breakfasts and gourmet fast food. Because they are right by the sea, you can expect fresh, quality seafood as well.
The Shed, Litchi Orchard
The Shed's location is perfection, sitting beside bountiful greenery at KZN's renowned Litchi Orchard. The Litchi Orchard is a country escape just off the N2, where they host many markets and permanent eateries. The Shed is a stand-out in this regard with quality soul food that's made for sharing. The food ranges from burgers packed with toppings, to bacon wrapped chili poppers, to pulled pork flatbread and more. The Shed itself holds no barriers between the inside and outside sections of the restaurant, its totally open-plan, so even if you're under-cover, you're still enjoying the outdoor air.
Beach Bums, Westbrook
Beach Bums takes your right on holiday. A short ride from Durban's centre and you're basically on a tropical island complete with cocktails and palm trees. The restaurant sits right beside the beach and has a brilliant outdoor setting that will instantly put you at ease. The food is laid-back, easy-to-please type of food like gourmet burgers and pizzas. Later in the evenings Beach Bums turns into a more vibrant nightlife scene.
Die Walskipper, Jefferey's Bay
Die Walskipper is right on the shore with bench tables on the sand. The mood and food is rustic and fully authentic to the Eastern Cape region. Seafood is cooked over open fires and in clay ovens, and offers a huge variety and is served with home-baked bread. The whole experience at Die Walskipper feels like a mini holiday and truly South African. The overall unique experience is why Die Walskipper hosts many celebrations, from birthdays to weddings.
This is a one of a kind experience and something uniquely South African and if you're unsure, read our review. Chef and owner Kobus van der Merwe, acquired extensive knowledge of the West Coast's edible offerings from fynbos to the the shore and to the sea. You'll find delicate dishes of seaweed, fynbos, shellfish and other indigenous food from the region's earth and sea that are defined both by their simplicity and intricacy. The setting must be one of the most tranquil in the whole country, sitting just up from the beach overlooking the gentle ocean - simply breathtaking.