Much like Cape Town, the Cape Winelands offer a true gourmet feast for foodies with top restaurants dotting the verdant valleys and vineyards of this world class wine region.
The working farms and estates that are home to these fine eateries are some of the most exquisite in the country, with mountain and vineyard vistas for days. They also have the best climate, topography and soil conditions not only to grow award-winning wines, but also to grow fresh produce of the highest quality. Most often, the food you’re eating in the Cape Winelands is a true farm-to-table experience. This means the food is harvested at the peak of its freshness and is bursting with flavor.
Our team has compiled a list of the top 10 Cape Winelands restaurants for the discerning epicurean looking to have a gourmet experience in the country’s wine valley.
Situated just outside of Franschhoek on the picturesque Babylonstoren Estate, Babel Restaurant embodies the ‘farm to fork’ philosophy that has made this iconic farm so popular.
Housed in an old cow shed, the restaurant marries old Cape Dutch architecture with a contemporary twist creating a chic, vibrant atmosphere. Creative dishes that reflect the seasons and the restaurant’s ‘pick, clean, and serve’ approach are packed with flavor and unconventional combinations that are guaranteed to leave diners wanting more.
La Petite Colombe, situated at Leeu Estates on the outskirts of Franschhoek, is one of those restaurants that have true foodies giddy with joy. Positioned amongst the top restaurants in the world, the award-winning restaurant serves tasty, innovative dishes to discerning palates.
La Petite Colombe sees chef-proprietors Scot Kirton and James Gaag working closely with John Norris-Rogers to present guests with beautifully executed food paired with excellent wines. The elegant eatery is renowned for its contemporary fine-dining fare and is the special occasion destination of choice for some of South Africa’s most discerning diners.
Chefs Warehouse at Maison, situated on the beautiful Maison Estate along the R45 en route to Franschhoek, is the Winelands application of Chef Liam Tomlin’s award-winning tapas concept, with the kitchen under the stewardship of Liam’s protégé, David Schneider. Here, it’s all about experiencing food like you’ve never encountered it before and immersing yourself in the sheer pleasure of taste. Sit back in the contemporary dining room or make your way outside to dine al fresco on the lawn, and prepare to delight in a singular, seasonal, small-plate experience.
Named after the legendary South African artist, Cecil Skotnes, Skotnes Restaurant in Constantia is the perfect culinary addition to the Norval Foundation – a contemporary art museum & sculpture garden in the Constantia Winelands.
Executive Chef Phil de Villiers serves South African inspired dishes with a twist using locally sourced ingredients from small batch suppliers, intended to uplift local communities. After browsing the exhibition spaces, take in the views of the sculpture garden while dining on sugar bean frikadelles or braaied rhubarb and cinnamon magwenya to name just a few of the innovative dishes on offer.
La Motte in Franschhoek is home to the Pierneef à La Motte restaurant. The name of the renowned eatery is inspired by the owners’ passion for iconic SA artist Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, whose works can also be viewed on the premises. The space comprises a wide, open terrace perfect for lingering al fresco lunches, and an elegant indoor dining area suitable for romantic dinners. The menu features modern interpretations of traditional flavors and techniques, served with creativity and authenticity. The 5-course dinner and wine pairing comes highly recommended!
Please note: La Motte is in the process of rediscovering all that is dear to them and have inspired some exciting changes at the estate. Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant is currently closed for renovations and will be reopening in 2023.
Designed to complement their delicious range of wines, the cuisine at De Grendel Restaurant is a delectable marriage of flavor and freshness. The exciting menu sees classic ingredients served in innovative combinations with a contemporary, inventive twist.
Ingredients are sourced from the estate’s own vegetable garden or hand-picked artisanal suppliers with a strong focus on the Cape’s unique culinary heritage. From springbok loin to chocolate malva pudding with Amarula ice cream, guests can experience local flavors and innovative dishes never before seen on South African menus.
The Cavalli Restaurant, situated on the beautifully manicured Cavalli equestrian farm between Stellenbosch and Somerset West is renowned for being the first South African eatery to be awarded the coveted MICHELIN Green Star – an annual distinction which highlights restaurants at the forefront of the industry when it comes to their sustainable practices. Guests can expect fresh, contemporary dishes that put a delightful spin on heritage recipes. The creative chefs at the helm of the kitchen take great pride in sourcing the best ingredients from ethical producers, and using them to create nourishing dishes that honor the seasons. Cavalli is a must on our list!
Tokara Restaurant is located on top of the iconic Helshoogte Pass just outside of Stellenbosch.
The restaurant is both a feast for the eyes, as well as the taste buds, offering diners modern cuisine, award-winning wines and sweeping views over Stellenbosch and False Bay.
The building in which the restaurant is housed is a Cape architectural icon innovatively constructed with glass, steel and stone. Tokara includes a bar with a clear view of the masterful action in the kitchen and the sun setting through a picture perfect window.
For a truly exceptional gastronomic experience, look no further than award-winning Jordan Restaurant, proudly brought to you by Chef George Jardine. Located in a renovated tobacco curing house surrounded by vineyards, the restaurant focuses on locally sourced seasonal cuisine with a contemporary flair. Some signature dishes include the Saldanha mussels, Chalmar sirloin, and honey and poppyseed soufflé, along with an ever-changing menu of mouthwatering fish and vegetarian delights.
Please note: Jordan Restaurant is currently closed for renovations and will be reopening in September 2022 under the new management of Chef Marthinus Ferreira
Delaire Graff Restaurant in the Winelands offers guests a taste of classic bistro favorites with unique South African twists. Expertly crafted plates bursting with flavor feature fresh, seasonal vegetables, herbs and microgreens picked straight from the Estate’s own greenhouse.
Delicious food, paired with exceptional wines in breathtaking settings guarantee a truly outstanding Winelands dining experience.
The incredibly vibrant restaurant scene in Cape Winelands is constantly evolving with exciting eateries opening that are guaranteed to leave you hungry for more.
Be sure to contact your LuxVenture® Designer who will book you a seat at one of the top Cape Winelands restaurants today. No trip to South Africa is complete without this unforgettable and indulgent add-on!