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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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Emily's, Plettenberg Bay

The mix of loyal locals and visiting foodies makes for busy dining hours at the Emily Moon hotel's restaurant. The setting alone—an arched dining room...more

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Doubleshot, Plettenberg Bay

Two former Lufthansa flight attendants spent their working years checking out the best coffee shops around the world before opening up their own at The Square...more

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Cornuti al Mare, Plettenberg Bay

The sign above the blue-and-white–tiled eatery still reads "Cornuti Deli," but those modest days are long gone. Cornuti al Mare has grown into one of...more

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Chutzpah, Knysna

You might be surprised to find Moroccan food crowding the five-course set menu of a restaurant with a Yiddish name. But the romantic North African vibe of this...more

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Bramon, Plettenberg Bay

Lunch at Bramon provides an introduction to the nascent wine scene along the Garden Route. The casual, bright restaurant of this small Crags-area winery has a...more

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Bientang's Cave, Hermanus

Tucked into a seaside cave and with an outdoor deck just 35 feet from shore, this might well be the world's best whale-watching restaurant. (Be sure to visit...more

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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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