Our Top 6 Stellenbosch Restaurants You Just Have To Try
As you may well know, Stellenbosch is quite a tourist destination! If you're not tasting wines at one of the 130 farms in the valley, you're probably strolling through the charming streets, admiring the Cape Dutch architecture and - again - being spoilt for choice with restaurants. While there certainly are (many) hidden gems, here are our current top 6 local-approved Stellenbosch restaurants you have to dine at during a stay with us.
Spek en Bone
Bertus Basson, South Africa’s Eat Out San Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Chef of the Year 2019, is nothing short of a local legend. Spek en Bone is just one of his many successful restaurants, however this one being a bit more quirky and playful than the others. Named after his pet pig (Spek - meaning bacon), and pet dog (Bone - meaning beans), this eatery is situated in the heart of Stellenbosch, nestled beneath the wrinkly arms of the region’s oldest fruit-producing vines. A culmination of seasonal fresh produce and handpicked local wines, the sumptuousness of these sharing-style small plates make it hard to share at all!
Dutch for “commodity market,” this 18th-century historical building houses various different traders of primary - rather than manufactured - goods. With something for just about everyone all under one roof, it definitely is a feast for all senses. From oysters and bubbly, to green juice and waffles, each marketplace has a personality of its own, immersed in South African flair. Why not grab a fresh bunch of flowers with your coffee to go, and pick up some interesting artisan condiments on your way out? Pop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and look out for the monthly wine tasting events hosted by local wineries - you certainly, won't be disappointed that's for sure!
Step back in time, straight into olden-day Italy with Renaissance paintings covering every inch of wall space, unified in their mismatching antique frames. Enjoy lazy sundowners sipping ice-cold Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio on the terrace as you watch the world go by - just as locals do. Established in 1987, the friendly face of the owner, Mario, has been a regular appearance over the years. His extensive menu boasts a variety of authentic Italian dishes, from the usual pizzas and pastas to Italian-style steaks, carpaccio, calamari, tiramisu and panna cotta to finish. This restaurant is so popular and well-known it doesn't have an official website, as lets just say, they don't exactly need marketing! However, we can make a reservation for you.
Eike, meaning oak trees, is another one of Bertus Basson’s brainchildren. Offering only a gourmet set menu, dining at an elite 30-seater restaurant is an experience worth forking out for. Showcasing local flavours inspired by our beautiful land and the diversity of its people, Bertus aims to take traditional recipes passed on for generations and present them in a modern and creative way. Eike placed seventh in South Africa at the 2019 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards.
A hugely popular brunch spot, Ya-Ya Cafe serves both mimosas and kombucha. Their rustic menu offers healthy and indulgent options and a delectable range of freshly baked cakes and pastries. A place to meet and catch up over a good cappuccino, or hide out from the town’s hustle and bustle and read the paper or check emails. Freelancers, this is definitely a place to work from if your home office is uninspiring.
For an explosion of Japanese flavours, Genki is best known for its sushi - but don’t underestimate the rest of the menu! Dumplings, ramen and steamed bao buns are firm favourites, all made fresh to order with only the freshest ingredients and sustainably sourced seafood. Relax in the courtyard under oak trees during the day and admire the stars at night. If you're lucky, you may even be treated to some street performances to accompany your meal.