If you’re due to visit South Africa’s sunny shores, or perhaps you’re a resident Saffa in search of a decadent dining experience, you won’t have far to look. While South Africa is world-renowned for its unique and multi-cultural cuisine that includes delicacies such as the infamous braai chop, boerewors, biltong, and more, it is also known for its fine dining experiences. And you only have to check out the list of the 50 best restaurants in the world in 2022 to see we are not telling a fisherman’s yarn!
There are however no South African Michelin star restaurants, simply because the Michelin’s inspectors do not operate in South Africa.
Not content to take just one spot on this prestigious list, South Africa has managed to land three prominent positions, with the restaurant Fyn in Cape town taking the highest spot at number 37.
Let’s check out these gorgeous restaurants in South Africa in more detail to appreciate the culinary genius that has them ranked so highly around the globe.
South African restaurants
# 37 Fyn – Cape Town
If you are looking for a gastronomic sensory experience, Fyn is the restaurant to head to when visiting the Western Cape. Nestled in the heart of CapeTowns’ city centre, Fyn caters to every discerning palate. Owned and managed by a dynamic trio, Peter Tempelhoff, Jennifer Huge, and Ashley Moss, Fyn truly tops the list of South African restaurants.
Perched five floors above the bustling city, Fyn provides uninterrupted views of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head. Why not sip on a glass of perfectly paired wine as you absorb the ambiance of the African-inspired menu and decor infused with inflections of Japanese beauty?
The menu is engorged with delectable treats such as Outeniqua Springbok, Abalone, Sashimi, Ostrich egg, and Guinea Fowl. Alternative dining experiences, including plant-based and pescatarian menus, are also available, containing delights that include wild mushroom wonton, salt baked celeriac, Obsiblue prawn hand roll, and more.
Book a table today.
# 56 La Colombe – Cape Town
Next on the list of top South African restaurants is none other than La Colombe. This iconic South African restaurant has won a host of awards both locally and internationally, so it’s no wonder it’s ranked among the world’s best! You can find this treasure clinging to the side of Table Mountain, near the peak. From its lofty position twixt sky and earth, La Colombe welcomes guests to enjoy its mountainside setting, languishing on the Silvermist Wine Estate surrounded by blue gum trees.
Here French cuisine melds with African culture as seamlessly as if it were always meant to be. Executive chef James Gaag invites guests to tantalize their taste buds with gourmet treasures on the menu, such as Malay-style snoek, sweet potato bread, truffled porcini, Alaskan king crab, and truffled cherry parfait.
The restaurant is part of the La Colombe Group, which consists of five restaurants, three of which are situated right on the V&A ( Victoria Alfred) waterfront in Cape Town. Great news if you don’t manage to nab a table at Silver mist!
Book a table today.
# 90 Wolfgat – Paternoster South Africa
Steeped in history and surrounded by archaeological and geological meaning, Wolfgat restaurant is the epitome of South African heritage. Situated in the quiet, sleepy fishing town of Paternoster, guests can enjoy views of the nearby ocean from the outdoor terrace.
The quiet setting and intimate dining experience, with space for only twenty diners at a time, is ensconced by walls dating back 130 years. Nearby, the dim interior of Wolfgat Cave lends further credence to this site’s heritage, filled with ancient archaeological remains dating back 2000 years. Sustainability is at the hub of this restaurant’s kitchen and head chef Kobus van der Merwe infuses his menu with local and sustainable ingredients.
Guests can expect culinary delights on the menu, such as Saldanha Bay mussels, venison, local lamb, locally sourced wild herbs, garden produce, and seaweed.
With the current global warming crisis and the drive to reduce our environmental impact, Wolfgat firmly embraces a planet-friendly ethos. The restaurant boasts a set menu of seven courses cooked for a maximum of 20 guests – they aim to keep things small and sustainable.
Book a table today.
The Final Morsel
We all know that the true South African restaurants are the ones no one has heard of. The ones right in your own backyard centered around the smokey braai under the corn-flower-blue sky of South Africa. Just ask any Saffa, and they would agree! On the menu, guests can expect sizzling steaks, gourmet chops, and braai – broodjies fit for a king, followed by lashings of syrupy koeksisters and, of course, an ice cold klippies and cola! Who could ask for more on a menu?
You might ask why they don’t rank on the top 100 list if they are so good. The answer is simple; unfortunately, there isn’t enough space on the list for every Ouma’s kombuis to be ranked on the list of the world’s top 100!
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