Looking for something fresh to try in the Western Cape Winelands? Here are the new hotspots that have foodies talking, from Stellenbosch and Somerset West to Franschhoek and beyond.
Did I miss a spot? Pop your recommendations in the comments below! I am always keen to try something new.
Bellevue Estate Restaurant & Tasting Room
Bottelary Road, Koelenhof
Bellevue Estate has recently introduced a new restaurant and wine tasting area where you can enjoy down-to-earth comfort food like wood-fired pizza, beer-battered fish & chips, burgers, steak and pork belly ribs. They also have a small selection of salads and one or two dishes that are suitable for vegetarians. They’re also reasonably priced and kid friendly, so make a day of it.
For more, visit bellevue.co.za
De Vrije Burger
61 Plein Street, Stellenbosch
Bertus Basson, who recently earned Eat Out Top 10 status with his restaurant Overture, has opened a brand new joint in the heart of Stellenbosch. De Vrije Burger joins his growing family of restaurants that also includes Bertus Basson at Spice Route, The Deck and Spek en Bone in Dorp Street, Stellenbosch. This joint heroes the humble burger with a seriously simple menu: A 200g free-range beef burger with all the trimmings, a small selection of sides, and soft serve. It’s a tiny hole in the wall so drop by for a quick fill-up.
For more, visit bertusbasson.com
Cnr Market St & Dorp St, Stellenbosch
This new spot is the passion project of brothers Danie and Moskou, who you might recognise as members of Afrikaans band Spoegwolf. The menu promises to be original and heart-filled, including dishes like butter chicken bunny chow with a turmeric brioche, and smoked pasta lasagnette tossed in egg yolk with slow roasted vegetables. Or how about a white chocolate and bay leaf crème brûlée with bay leaf dust and white chocolate ice cream. Sounds decadent to me.
For more info, visit drumstellenbosch.com
Kunjani is a brand new name on the Stellenbosch wine route, built on the idea that good food and good wine can bring people from all languages and cultures together. Their small selection of wines go well with their seasonal menu, with options like Asian Braised Pork Belly, Pan Fried Steak or Homemade Tagliatelle with Basil Pesto.
For more, visit kunjaniwines.co.za
The Backyard Braai by Hudsons
77 Dorp Street, Stellenbosch
The Backyard Braai takes up the courtyard behind the Hudsons on Dorp Street in Stellenbosch, serving up South African braai classics. Think Springbok potjie, slow-smoked brisket, and locally farmed trout cooked on maple boards. They are also pouring 10 craft gins with a variety of tonic options, and naturally you’ll get your favourite craft beers as well.
For more info, visit theburgerjoint.co.za
42 Huguenot Road
Chef Oliver Cattermole has left his post at the Leeu Collection to run his own show. The menu at Bovine shows off the carnivorous, hearty dishes he has become known for, from Smoked Sweetcorn Nuggets with Chipotle Mayo to Oudtshoorn Ostrich with Onion Jam and Stellies Blue Cheese. It sounds like just the spot for a winter-time indulgence.
For more, visit bovinerestaurant.co.za
Chefs Warehouse at Maison
Maison Estate, on the R45 before Franschhoek Village
Chefs Warehouse took over the kitchen at Maison Estate in December, the fourth establishment from Chef Liam Tomlin. Chef David Schneider is leading the pack in the kitchen, creating a range of exciting, mouthwatering tapas that Chef’s Warehouse is famous for.
For more, visit maisonestate.co.za/restaurant/
Le Coin Français
17 Huguenot Rd, Franschhoek
After years running the show as Exectuve Chef at Grande Provence, Chef Darren Badenhorst has finally set up his own restaurant. Le Coin Français shows off elegant French cuisine paired with the best local wines. I’ve long-since been a huge fan of Chef Badenhorts’s food, which is both visually striking and packed with flavour. I expect great things from this new venture.
For more, visit lecoinfrancais.co.za
The Franschhoek Beer Co.
On the R45 before Franschhoek Village
The Franschhoek Beer Co. is a joint venture by Alex McCormack, Frank Rodriguez and Ruben Riffel brings finely crafted beers to the Franschhoek wine valley. You can sip on 5 different styles of beer, or venture into their beer cocktails, while sampling delicious dishes off the menu at Tap|Eat. Chef Nick Oosthuizen, previous Sous Chef at Foilage, is creating seriously creative dishes, using fresh, seasonal produce, most of which comes straight from their own garden.
For more, visit franschhoekbeerco.co.za
Nom Nom Eatery
Nom Nom Eatery has replaced Benguela on Main, offering a more laid back dining experience. Headed by Chef Sebastian Smith, the eatery will serve reshly brewed coffee, daily baked sweet treats, signature cocktails and wines. They also have a Benguela Cove wine bar where you can pop in for after-work drinks and snacks. The eatery will be open from 10am till late and they have free Wi-Fi for the people who are looking for a space to work.
For more, visit nomnom.co.za