The Garden Route and the Little Karoo Restaurants

Most medium-size towns along the Garden Route offer a decent selection of restaurants, and the smaller towns of the Little Karoo usually have one or two good restaurants and a handful of lesser eateries. On the Garden Route the emphasis is often on seafood in general and oysters in particular. (Knysna has an oyster festival in July.) Restaurants in the Little Karoo feature fresh ostrich meat and organic mutton or lamb, which is delicious accompanied by a good South African red wine. Look out for farm shops between towns. These make excellent comfort stops where you can buy traditional home-baked fare, dried fruit, and other snacks for the road.

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  • 1. Ile de Pain

    $$

    Almost every South African you meet along the Garden Route will tell you to visit Ile de Pain. Its stellar reputation is well deserved, because...Read More

  • 2. Serendipity

    $$$$ | South African

    Start your evening at this award-winning restaurant with pre-dinner drinks on the patio overlooking the river, then move inside to a candlelit...Read More

  • 3. Zucchini

    $$

    This popular spot is all about free-range, organic, locally sourced, and seasonal ingredients, and chances are the garnishes on your plate will have been freshly...Read More

  • 4. 34° South

    $$

    Right on the water's edge in what appears to be a former warehouse, bustling 34° South manages to combine elements of a fishmonger, a bar,...Read More

  • 5. Café Gannet

    $$$

    Mossel Bay's premium seafood house serves fresh oysters and seafood alongside inventive dishes like ostrich fillet with caramelized onions and port-soaked apricots. In summer, it's...Read More

  • 6. Cornuti Al Mare

    $$ | Italian

    The blue and white tiles on the facade of this popular, casual Italian eatery—a favorite with locals that's usually pretty full—give the place...Read More

  • 7. Delfino's

    $$

    With tables on the lawn right next to the beach, Delfino's has a fantastic view of the bay and the Cape St. Blaize lighthouse. It's...Read More

  • 8. Enrico's Ristorante

    $$$

    The chef always makes an effort to come out of the kitchen to greet patrons at this popular Italian eatery perched above the rocks on...Read More

  • 9. Jemima's Restaurant

    $$$$

    Named after the mythical guardian angel of love, good taste, and good cooking, this restaurant would not disappoint its muse. All the ingredients are sourced...Read More

  • 10. Marilyn's 60's Diner

    $

    Slick back your hair, put on your blue suede shoes, and sashay into this red-and-white checkered diner for a burger and fries or an indulgent...Read More

  • 11. Meade Café

    $

    In an 18th-century townhouse, this light and airy bistro-style restaurant has a lovely outdoor seating area. The kitchen serves breakfast and lunch favorites like eggs...Read More

  • 12. Pomodoro

    $

    Friendly service, great food, and good value are the highlights of this eatery serving authentic Italian food with a local flavor. Try the pizza with...Read More

  • 13. Ski Boat Club

    $$

    Fishing boat crews, ski boat skippers, and other folks who are in the know frequent this casual eatery located right on the beach. Expect a...Read More

  • 14. The Deacon House

    $

    A lovely colonial-style house is the setting for this charming restaurant. Eat beneath shady umbrellas in the lush gardens where inviting paths are flanked by...Read More

  • 15. The Fat Fish

    $$$

    This place is favorite with both locals and visitors, and you’ll realize why the minute you tuck into some of the freshest, tastiest food in...Read More

  • 16. The Kingfisher Seafood Restaurant

    $$

    Painted kingfisher blue, this popular seafood restaurant overlooking the beach and the St. Blaise lighthouse is where the locals hang out. Head to the deck...Read More

  • 17. Wilgewandel

    $$

    At the turnoff to the Cango Caves, Wilgewandel serves well-cooked simple fare like hamburgers, sandwiches, and ostrich steaks. Shady outdoor tables overlook a big lawn...Read More

  • 18. Zachary's Grill Room

    $$$$

    At the Pezula Resort Hotel and Spa, Zachary's Grill Room is well worth the 10- to 15-minute drive from Knysna. Although its locally known as...Read More

  • 19. Kalinka Restaurant

    $$ | Eclectic

    Set in a lovely old stone house with a small but tranquil garden and a glass conservatory, this is a pleasant option for dinner. Try the African...Read More

  • 20. Fushi & BoMa

    $ | Asian

    Plett's slickest, sleekest eatery is all clean surfaces and classical lines. Start with a cocktail and Asian snacks at BoMa, the alfresco terrace...Read More

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