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Garden Route restaurants

Garden Route restaurants have come a long way from the old roadside stalls selling homey baked goods. Now you'll find wineries, olive farms, and artisanal cheese-makers, and kitchens dishing out inventive fare from locally grown organic produce. The restaurant scene is still experiencing growing pains—some menus are more nouvelle than cuisine—but standouts dot the region. The best food is centered on Knysna, a town famous for its oysters (but, curiously, with two great restaurants that serve spicy Asian cuisine). Numerous restaurants on the Garden Route offer lamb from the Karoo, which lies slightly inland, and the close proximity of the Indian Ocean means seafood tops most menus. Caught up with their very recent success, some eateries try too hard to be fancy, while their simpler fare is great. So it's generally best to stick to straightforward dishes that let the local ingredients speak for themselves.

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Zachary's, Knysna

Split into a quartet of restaurant, terrace, private dining room, and more casual lounge, Zachary's in the Pezula Resort is all warm golds and ochers (inspired,...more

Editors' Pick
Sand, Plettenberg Bay

The star attraction at the restaurant at the Plettenberg Hotel? The retractable glass walls showcasing the spectacular sea views. Coming in a close second are...more

Editors' Pick
Riverside Kitchen, Wilderness

In this thatched cottage on the Touw River, about a mile east of the town of Wilderness, diners tuck into eclectic South African and European fare that draws...more

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Ristorante Enrico, Keurboomstrand

The Italian fare and idyllic location—on the rocks at Kettle Beach—compete for top billing at this large, simply decorated restaurant in...more

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Phantom Forest Boma, Knysna

Not a guest in one of the hotel's tree-house suites? Then make a reservation far in advance and arrive early to soak up the beauty of the surrounding...more

Editors' Pick
Knysna Oyster Tavern, Knysna

Established in 1949, this no-frills tavern offers garlicky mussels, snoek pâté, fish and chips, and, as the name implies, a great selection of...more

Editors' Pick
Île de Pain, Knysna

This hip bakery and café has a Vietnamese-inspired breakfast and lunch menu that keeps locals and visitors alike lining up—in spite of its location...more

Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
The Grand Café and Rooms, Plettenberg Bay

Half the experience of the Grand Hotel's restaurant is the quirky decor. There's a 1920s cabaret vibe, with big sofas and lavishly appointed tables softly lit...more

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Fu.shi, Plettenberg Bay

The menu at this sleek, modern restaurant traverses the culinary map of Asia, from the dim sum and vegetable tempura on the lunch menu to the slow-braised chile...more

Editors' Pick
Firefly Eating House, Knysna

The bright red cottage of the Firefly Eating House—located on the causeway leading out of Knysna—takes the "fire" part of its name to heart....more

Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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