Did you know?
In Basotho tradition, it is up to the women to grind the maize and make beer for mealtimes.
Eating out in Mangaung/Bloemfontein is an absolute pleasure, especially for those with adventurous palates.
In the city of Bloemfontein BaSotho and Afrikaans food traditions merge on a plate. Portions are big and red meat is the name of the game so make sure that you arrive at your Free State dinner dates feeling hungry and carnivorous.
If you want to meet gregarious locals, visit Get Together on Nelson Mandela Drive. Don't be put off by the fact that the eatery is situated inside a converted car wash attached to a busy petrol station, rather concentrate on the delicious, Afrikaans style fast food delicacies such as vetkoek (deep-fried fritters filled with spicy mince).
If haute cuisine is your style, treat yourself at De Oude Kraal Country Estate, 35km south of the city. It is situated on a merino sheep farm that dates back to 1885. There are blesbok and black-headed herons in the gardens and five-course set menus in the dining room. Free State food traditions are reflected in caramelised sweet potatoes, clove-rich denningvleis lamb and malva pudding taking star roles in a gastronomic performance deluxe.
Another treat is the food at Seven on Kellner in Westdene who serves up reasonably priced Mediterranean-style food. Whether you pick wood-fired pizza or Harissa-rubbed lamb loin you are sure to find comfort and flavour on your plate.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Nelson Mandela Drive, College Square, Bloemfontein
Tel: +27 (0)51 444 3179
De Oude Kraal Country Estate
N1, 35km south of Bloemfontein
Tel: +27 (0)51 564 0733
Seven on Kellner
7 Kellner Street, Westdene, Bloemfontein
Tel: +27 (0)51 447 7928
How to get here
Bloemfontein is situated in the central interior of South Africa and is easily accessible along major road networks. The most popular route is along the N1.
Best time to visit
Winter is an excellent time to visit Bloemfontein as days are generally sunny and mild. One should take along a warm jacket for evenings.
Tours to do
Township tours are always a good opportunity to get to know a bit more about local culture.
What will it cost
Restaurants range in price but expect to pay around R150 for a main meal and a glass of wine. At Get Together, a vetkoek filled with mince will cost you a modest R32.
What to pack
Casual elegant gear for eating out at some of the more upmarket restaurants.
Where to stay
There are a number of city hotels, guesthouses and backpackers, and if you want some variety enquire about township stays.
What to eat
Local boerekos, traditional Basotho cuisine or chocolate with everything at Coco C's at the Loch Logan Waterfront.
Try out traditional African beer.