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SSouth Africa’s streets, shores and vineyards are lined with so many incredible restaurants, it’s a hard task narrowing them down into a short bucket list. If you can’t visit them all, this guide is the next best thing, guiding you to the ones not to be missed.
9th Avenue Bistro (Morningside, Durban)
A stalwart of the Durban restaurant scene, this bistro is run by a passionate husband-and-wife team, Graham and Gina Neilson. Seasonal and local ingredients are used to create sensational food. The tasting menu is always a winner; the prawn risotto deservedly inspires fandom.
Coobs (Parkhurst, Johannesburg)
Ethical eating is what chef James Diack is famous for at his beautiful urban bistro. Most of the produce - including the pork - comes from his family farm, so you know that what you’re getting is fresh and wholesome. Highlights on the changing, seasonal menu could include slow-braised pork shoulder or pork confit served with showstopping sides like truffled potato bake. Homemade pastas with innovative sauces also please the discerning crowds.
DW-Eleven 13 (Dunkeld, Johannesburg)
You might know chef Marthinus Ferreira’s face from his stint on TV as an ultimate braaimaster, but his domain here is beautiful and accessible fine dining in the form of seasonal tasting plates. If you’re a wine fanatic, the sommelier will look after you with choices from far and wide, but the non-alcoholic pairing option is a generous touch for those who don’t dabble.
GGemelli (Bryanston, Johannesburg)
One of the most popular neighbourhood gems of Joburg. Trendy venue, consistently superb food and bustling vibe: Gemelli has it all in spades. Inspired by Italian cuisine, the menu makes use of the best ingredients to please patrons with an array of delicious dishes like the house calamari, sharing plates, risottos, pastas and mains like tender pork belly.
The Test Kitchen (Woodstock, Cape Town)
Number one for the sixth consecutive year, this innovative hot-house is serving food that’s better than ever before. While dining at the country’s best restaurant might sound intimidating, it feels like the easiest thing in the world, and the location in gritty Woodstock helps to tone down the formality. From the warm welcome into the “dark” room through to the finale in the “light” room, the team, led by chefs Luke Dale-Roberts and Ryan Cole, will take you on a culinary journey around the world and right back down to earth in South Africa.
Restaurant Mosaic, The Orient (Elandsfontein, Pretoria)
Creative storytelling meets perfect technique at Chantel Dartnall’s enchanting restaurant at this destination hotel in Gauteng. In a special treat for the senses, her exquisite plating of seasonal South African ingredients showcases a deep love of nature and all its bounty. Award-winning sommelier Moses Magwaza is also one to watch.
RRepublik (Durban North)
Being named best burger eatery is not an accolade to be taken lightly, and Republik really delivers. Local, ethically sourced, 100% grass-fed meat forms the base of the burger heaven here. If you don’t go for the succulent beef patties, there are lamb, ostrich, chicken and veg options too, not to mention crazy condiments like bacon jam and chilli chocolate.
Marble (Rosebank, Johannesburg)
Visit Johannesburg and there’s one deck you have to check out. Chef David Higgs creates a journey themed around the grill with its wood-fired heat and smoky sear. Complex flavours range from Thai to Argentinian to South Asian to Japanese – all balanced by local touches. It’s a lavish spot that attracts the city’s hottest people. Don’t miss the hit list of wines and the fully-stocked bar of spirits.
Greenhouse, The Cellars-Hohenort (Constantia, Cape Town)
Chefs Peter Tempelhoff and Ashley Moss create art on the plate in this luxurious hotel setting. A great spot for visitors to South Africa, this luxurious space looks to the oceans, farms and orchards of our county for inspiration. Sometimes theatrical, sometimes deconstructed, always delicious, the dishes surprise and impress. Look forward to the likes of ostrich egg with Karoo truffles and celeriac.
La Colombe (Constantia, Cape Town)
A real fan favourite, this celebrated spot looking down onto the Constantia winelands has enjoyed global recognition for many years - and deservedly so. The comfortable and elegant space delivers touches of theatre in the multi-sensory journey by executive chef James Gaag and chef patron Scot Kirton. While the dishes might appear in nests or puffs of smoke, their delicious flavours and textures remain the real highlight.
AAbout the author
As the deputy editor of Eat Out Magazine, Linda Scarborough spends most of her waking hours talking about, writing about and eating the country’s best cuisine. She lists cheese among her best friends, and passionately loves everything from bags of NikNaks to delicate flavours at fine dining restaurants.
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With our country's 2500km coastline, in South Africa you are never too far away from the sea. From our tropical East Coast all the way to the sun-scorched West Coast, there's no shortage of beaches, sights and seaside life to craft the stories, that match that sun-kissed tan. Where else in the world will you find beaches littered with legends and caves? And how many other spots on earth have two oceans that embrace - one warm and the other an icy hug? This is how we South Africa. Come journey with us. There's always more to see.
Our culture is the expression of who we are and we are united in striving to express ourselves in a multitude of ways. We make the time to understand more about our country's traditional heritage, we know that the wise old ways of our ancestors will teach us where we have come from, and will guide us on our onward journey. This is how we South Africa! Come Journey with us.
Our industry has put in place globally-benchmarked health and safety protocols to ensure that all travellers and tourism sector employees are safe. We take everyone’s safety very seriously. Therefore, we plead with all travellers to embrace the new way of travelling within the COVID-19 environment, exercising patience as we have new protocols that must be observed and practiced.
With a countless number of places to see and exciting things to do in Johannesburg, everyone is bound to find entertainment to suit their tastes and their pocket. The vibrant culture and endlessly bustling hotspots are just some of the reasons why so many visitors keep coming back to the City of Gold.
With warm weather all year round, Durban, the hub of KwaZulu-Natal's leisure, business, and entertainment worlds, welcomes countless visitors to a relaxed, outdoor lifestyle where beaches barbecues, seafood and curry restaurants, clubs and upmarket accommodation establishments provide you with everything you could wish for while on your dream holiday.
At the tip of the African Continent, the Western Cape seems dazzling with more incredible scenery, attractions and sheer diversity than many other countries. From the world-famous Table Mountain to postcard-perfect valleys along the world’s most scenic wine route, a dream coastline decorated with historic towns and all of it lodged in some of the most unique and rare plant life in the world. And then there’s Cape Town, one of the world’s favourite cities, with its
From Durban – the sun, fun and entertainment capital of KwaZulu-Natal – to a magnificent stretch of Blue Flag beaches, surf spots and bustling holiday towns along the tropical to sub-tropical east coast, it’s hard to ignore this coastal treasure. And, moving inland, the Valley of a Thousands Hills and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Drakensberg Mountains ll up holiday memories. And through all this, explore nature and go on safari like nowhere else on earth at the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, or journey into the history and culture of the mighty Zulu Kingdom.
The North West’s rugged bushveld landscape overflows with wildlife and ancient history. Be inspired by canopy tours through the Magaliesberg Mountains – once lapped by the ocean’s waves, two billion years ago – safaris in the famous Pilanesberg Game Reserve with a foundation laid by volcanic rock, or trace the origins of man back 2.5 million years at the Taung Skull discovery site. And then, we invite you to experience the hospitality of Sun City, to get spoilt at the Palace of the Lost City or thrilled at the Valley of the Waves.
South Africa’s mega province provides the backroads into some of the most unique landscapes in the world – some harsh, others spectacular, and some, simply not from this world. From the towering red sand dunes where black-maned Kalahari lions roam to the bizarre halfmens plants in the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, and from a billion owers bursting to life every year in the dry land of the Namaqualand to the Augrabies Falls, known as “the place of great noise”. Then there’s the rich history of diamonds, the rustic beauty of the Diamond Coast, and the epic Big Hole of Kimberley.
The Free State is a place of wide open spaces and true South African hospitality to go with rich history, stories of battles, gold rushes, early man and even dinosaurs. With its endless blue skies and at bushveld plains, here the silence of nature simply screams out for adventure – whether it is safaris, rafting, 4x4, skydiving, inspiring nature hikes, the famous Orange River safaris and water sports on the Gariep and Vaal dams. But, highland- safari journeys in The Golden Gate Highlands National Park stand out from the rest with its iconic golden sandstone cliffs.
Gauteng is the golden heartbeat of South Africa, leader of innovation, growth, art, culture and everything big, bold and world class. Johannesburg, South Africa’s melting pot of culture is home to the best urban experiences, restaurants, and entertainment in the country. “Jozi” is also a famous apartheid struggle hub, with museums and the former home of Nelson Mandela to tell the story. And, just on its doorstep are exciting safari experiences, water sports and holidays on the Vaal River as well as the origin of our human story at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.
The Eastern Cape is a province of great natural beauty from the ancient semi-arid Karoo, to the mighty Tsitsikamma Forest, from Blue Flag beaches to the natural wonders of the mesmerising Wild Coast. Only here can you surf the world’s biggest waves at Jeffreys Bay, go on a “Big Seven” safari (including: Great White sharks and Southern Right whales) in the enormous Addo Elephant Park, visit the birthplace of Nelson Mandela, and bungee jump off the highest bridge in the Southern Hemisphere. All, in one trip.
Welcome to South Africa’s capital city. Part of the package with any capital is a fascinating history and vibrant culture. Spend some time walking through South Africa’s history at its political heart. Visit the Union Buildings and Freedom Park; spend time in the various museums and learn more about our uniquely South African cultures or take a stroll around Church Square.
The Mpumalanga province is dominated by the Blyde River Canyon – the world's third-deepest gorge; the Sudwala Caves – the world's oldest caves; and the Kruger National Park – arguably the world's most famous wildlife sanctuary. Mpumalanga means 'the place where the sun rises', and while it may be among South Africa's smallest provinces, what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in spectacular natural diversity.