Did you know?
South African beer bottles come in two sizes. A standard 340ml bottle and a 750ml quart.
German restaurants in South Africa have had to adapt their menus to local variances in the availability of traditional German ingredients, and to suit local diner’s tastes.
The result is that almost every German restaurant in South Africa serves Eisbein, a dish that South Africa diners have enthusiastically adopted, and eat served with mashed potatoes, or fries, in place of traditional sauerkraut. Austrian schnitzel’s are another ‘German’ dish adopted into mainstream South African cuisine.
In South Africa, German food is a broad term that covers cuisine of Bavarian and often Austrian, Swiss, and sometimes Italo-German origin. Restaurants serving East German style dishes are rare. However, charcuterie from across Germany is increasingly available in specialist German butchers.
Most German restaurants in South Africa stock a range of imported German wines and schnapps, preferring not to sell the local equivalents (although some are excellent), along with imported beers and cheeses. Local fish, venison, duck, and seafood also feature on South African-German restaurant menus.
German restaurants in South Africa typically cater for lunch and dinner only. German breakfasts, or Frühstück, are to be found at some of the larger hotels and German-speaking guesthouses.
The Western Cape has the highest concentration of German-speakers, so expect to find hearty German fare in restaurants like the Alpenstube restaurant in Hout Bay, in Cape Town.
In the Cape Winelands, German dishes are served at Gubas de Hoek in Robertson and Wilderer’s Distillery in Paarl.
On the Garden Route, the Schwabinger restaurant at the Alpine Inn Hotel at Fancourt near George has a beer garden, and serves traditional German home cooking.
In Port Elizabeth, the Old Austria restaurant has been pleasing diners with Austrian and German classics for nearly 40 years.
Located outside of White River in Mpumalanga, Oliver’s Restaurant keeps local and international fans of Austrian home-cooking coming back for more, year after year.
In Gauteng, for authentic Germanic fare, the Schwabinger Stuben in Randburg serves generous helpings of Sauerbraten, goulash soup, Spätzle, and more.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0)21 790 2059
GuBas de Hoek
Tel: +27 (0)23 626 6218
Between Paarl and Franschhoek
Tel: +27 (0)21 863 3555
The Alpine Inn Hotel, George
Tel: +27 (0)44 870 7643
Tel: +27 (0)41 373 0299
Oliver's Restaurant & Lodge
Between White River and Hazyview
Tel: +27 (0)13 750 0479
Tel: +27 (0)11 787 2550
Best time to visit
Most German restaurants in South Africa are open six days a week, all year round. Check with the individual establishment when booking.
You’ll need a car, or hire a metered taxi, to reach the restaurants mentioned.
What will it cost
An average main course will cost around R80 – R120, excluding wine; prices vary per province and per establishment.
Where to stay
German-speaking hotels and guesthouses are increasingly available, and establishments advertise this on their websites and brochures.
Oktoberfest is celebrated in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Cape Town.