It seems our best dining experiences are on offer in the Winelands. The Western Cape is consistently home to the majority of restaurants listed in the Top 10, but many of those restaurants sit in Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and the like.
Of course it does help that most of these restaurants are situated on estates that also offer wine tasting. Wine tasting makes everything awesome, especially as we have such great wines in South Africa.
We all know the famous restaurants that are regulars in the Top 10, like Jordan Restaurant, Terroir, Overture, Tokara, etc. But there are many gems out there that provide a fantastic experience despite not having framed awards on their walls. We’ve had amazing meals at Glen Carlou, Babylonstoren, Noble Hill, Spier, and many others.
Several new restaurants have opened in the winelands during the last few months and some of these certainly look like the beginnings of something special. Here are some of these restaurants that are well worth a visit.
Tuk Tuk – (Main Road, Franschhoek)
This microbrewey is also a ‘taqueria’, purveying Mexican inspired ceviche, nachos and tacos. A collaboration between Leeu Collection and Cape Brewing Company, Tuk Tuk is a fresh new addition to the Franschhoek offering.
Restaurant Jardine – (Andringa Street, Stellenbosch)
After a few successful years at Jordan Wine estate, George Jardine has expanded his portfolio and opened a small restaurant in Stellenbosch town. Open Wednesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, Restaurant Jardine features a focused menu showcasing local and organic producers.
Floreal Brasserie – (Marianne Wine Estate, Stellenbosch)
If you’re looking for hearty fare, the new Floreal Brasserie is the perfect excuse to visit Marianne Estate if the great wine didn’t get you there already. Delicious dishes like open springbok lasagne and lamb bobotie will make choosing what to order quite difficult!
Orangerie – (Le Lude Wine Estate, Franschhoek)
This family run wine estate and restaurant is making waves in Franschhoek. The passion and love that has gone into making their wine is also evident in the restaurant. The restaurant looks beautiful (see feature image above), as does the food. Do call ahead to book.
Café Pavé – (Camberley Wine Estate, Helshoogte Pass)
Camberly is a small estate on Helshoogte Pass that has always been overshadowed by neighbouring monoliths like Delaire Graff and Tokara. But people who enjoy a more relaxed and personal experience have always made the effort to seek out this little winery and those same people will probably also enjoy a visit to Café Pave for breakfast or lunch.
That should keep you busy for a while. Be sure to let us know about your experience at these new spots in the comments below and tag us in your pics on social media (@Food24_sa).
We’d also love to know about your favourite hidden gems. Share your winelands gems with us in the comments below.