Taste of the Western Cape

Image Title
Taste of the Western Cape
Add to Bucket ListAdded to bucket list
Taste of the Western Cape
Add to Bucket ListAdded to bucket list

Home to some of the world’s most bountiful vineyards and boasting numerous award-winning restaurants, Cape Town and the Western Cape is a gastronomic wonderland, with a history intrinsically tied to the vine. The six regions of the Western Cape are, of course, all very different to one another, each enjoying a unique vibe and flavour. From the lamb in the Cape Karoo to the roosterkoek in the Cape Overberg, we invite you to discover the tastes of the Western Cape.

Cape Town

Cape Town is a foodie mecca witha huge variety of restaurants to choose from, but if you’re looking for a true taste of the city, the Cape Malay cuisine is definitely where you need to be looking. The Cape Malay culture has influenced a wide variety of culinary delights in South Africa and its aromatic splendour is due to the variety of spices used in the recipes. Cumin, coriander, star anise, tamarind, cinnamon, cardamom and turmeric, to name a few, give the Cape Malay dishes an exception, unrivalled taste.

What you have to eat before leaving

Koesister: Spongier, plumper and spicier than koeksisters (spelt with a “k”) – and never plaited – these traditional Sunday morning Cape Malay treats are not to be missed. Think of a doughnut, spiced with ginger, naartjie peel, cinnamon and aniseed, cooked in syrup and sprinkled with coconut.

Restaurant tip

The Test Kitchen

The country’s number one restaurant, The Test Kitchen, is based at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock and is the brainchild of award-winning chef, Luke Dale-Roberts. While the restaurant is renowned for its menu, the venue is not uptight or overly elaborate. The experiences take you around the world, starting off in the Dark Room, before finishing up with the full taster and wine flight experience in the Light Room. This is more than a meal, it’s an experience. Booking essential.

Garden Route and Klein Karoo

The Garden Route and Klein Karoo is a region as diverse as it is large. Famed for its oysters and champagne – you HAVE to attend the Knysna Oyster Festival in July – and its port and ostrich meat delicacies in the Klein Karoo (you haven’t eaten steak if you haven’t sunk your teeth into an ostrich steak in Oudtshoorn).

What you have to eat before leaving

Ostrich pie: Sink your teeth into a succulent ostrich pie in the Klein Karoo before heading home. Not only is it delicious, but also healthier than other meat pies!

Restaurant tip

Paddler Cruiser

The Paddle Cruiser is South Africa's only paddle-driven vessel, offering a unique and unforgettable experience on the Knysna Lagoon. Sit back, relax and take in the splendour as the boat slowly cruises the tranquil lagoon, taking in the magnificent 360 degree views of the Knysna Heads. Two full bars and a menu catering for all dietary requirements.

Cape West Coast

The Cape West Coast is a massively diverse region, as renowned for its pristine beaches as it is for the boulders and mountainous outcrops in the Cederberg. The same goes for the food, with a large array of flavours ever-present, but if there is one thing the area is really known for, it is its seafood, with a number of amazing restaurants based in coastal towns such as Langebaan and Paternoster. Grab some crayfish for lunch, the catch of the day for dinner, or do both. You won’t be disappointed.

What you have to eat before leaving

Bokkoms: a whole, salted and dried mullet, this is a well-known delicacy from the region and something you NEED to tuck into before leaving.

Restaurant tip

Wolfgat, Paternoster

This iconic West Coast restaurant takes guests on a food adventure, with seven tasting courses designed to showcase indigenous ingredients that are specific to the West Coast. Focusing on seafood – for which the area is famous – Chef Kobus van der Merwe brings his foraging skills to the table with local plants and seaweed added to the dishes.

Cape Overberg

Lying between the Cape Peninsula and the Garden Route, the Cape Overberg is widely considered to be the ‘breadbasket’ of the Cape, because of its wheat fields and large harvest of fruits. The Elgin Valley produces around 60 percent of the total annual apple crop for the country.

What you have to eat before leaving

Roosterkoek: Balls of bread dough cooked on a grid over the coals - best eaten piping hot. Traditionally served at a braai (barbeque), the tasty treat comes with a variety of fillings or toppings.

Restaurant tip

The story of Creation Wines is as old as the hills - dating back to when Mother Nature created South Africa’s beautiful Hemel-en-Aarde. Enjoy carefully crafted cuisine with some of the best wines the Cape Overberg has to offer. Family-friendly, Creation has a range of unique pairing option, including one for the kids with fruit juice and tasty treats.

Cape Karoo

The Cape Karoo is a world of its own, possessing both a unique beauty and charm. This is an area that will have you searching over every hill, wanting to discover what lies beyond and it also happens to be a place with the best lamb dishes on the planet!

What you have to eat before leaving

Lamb! You will not find more succulent lamb than in the Cape Karoo, where the sheep graze among fragrant shrubs and grasses, making it the most fragrant and tasty as well.

Restaurant tip

The Lord Milner Hotel

The Lord Milner Hotel is popular attraction as well as the London Red Bus, which will take you on the shortest tour in the country accompanied by the local tour guide, Johnnie, this humorous and informative tour is a must when visiting. Lasting no longer than 10 minutes, you will be back in no time for a quiet pint at the Laird’s Arms pub right next door to the hotel. End your evening in The Dining Room at the hotel, where we recommend you order the lamb, sourced from the local Karoo farmers. The Dining Room at The Lord Milner Hotel has been serving its guests for the last 120 years; and boasts the same historic ambience found throughout Matjiesfontein. Dine in a Victorian setting filled with period antiques and let the red-jacketed porters welcome you and offer a selection of fine wines from across the Western Cape region.

Cape Winelands

The Cape Winelands is an area that is famed for its outstanding wines. In recent times, however, its gastronomic offerings have caught up with the wines. Valleys such as Franschhoek and Paarl have outstanding offerings and the combination of wine and food is second to none.

What you have to eat before leaving

Wine pairings: The towns that make up the Cape Winelands all have a taste of their own with signature flavours – both in terms of wine and food – and we recommend you try a wine pairing – or three – before you leave the area.

Restaurant tip

Foliage

Based in the famed gastronomic wonderland of Franschhoek, Foliage is a comfy, casual and a family friendly venue offering dishes with the freshest local ingredients. Chef Chris Erasmus is well-known for his foraging abilities and at Foliage he uses a variety of indigenous flora and fauna to create something quite incredible and unique.

Related Places

Image Title
Cape Overberg
Read more
Image Title
Cape Overberg
Read more
Image Title
Cape Karoo
Read more
Image Title
Cape Town
Read more
Image Title
Garden Route and Klein Karoo
Read more
Image Title
Cape West Coast (Weskus)
Read more
Image Title
Cape Winelands
Read more