The Eastern Cape hasn’t historically had a reputation for its culinary scene, but that is fast changing with the influx of new and exciting restaurants around the province.
Here is a guide to some of the best new restaurants, cafes and bars in the Eastern Cape today:
Brioche Food & Coffee is an arresting sight on Walmer Main Road with its French themed red and white candy cane striped walls. Most popular for its amazing fresh breads and pastries. The venue itself is suitably impressive – it is housed in a historical building, which was built in 1884. The original deed for the building is actually framed and hangs on the wall to this day.
Named for the bitter sweet saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, Life with Lemons is a charming coffee shop venue in Walmer. It is the perfect spot for either a restorative cup of coffee and snack or a meal with family or friends.
The Hedges Coffee Shop is a hidden gem in Walmer. Starting out in the early 1900’s as a place for a tea stop, it has come a long way to become a proud fixture and one of the longest serving restaurants in Port Elizabeth. Make a visit yourself to find out what keeps people coming back!
Kingston Farm Restaurant specialises in delectable French and fine dining cuisine. Located just outside Bathurst, this couple-owned establishment is also an Appaloosa horse farm and guest house. Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance as everything is tailor made on a daily basis.
The Red Café is located on High Street in the heart of arty Grahamstown. The Café focuses on organic and wholesome dishes. As an added bonus, there is also a great second hand bookshelf on site and a wool and craft shop downstairs, so you can shop before or after your meal.
Revelations Coffee Shop is almost two venues in one – a cosy coffee shop by day and a trendy eatery with a sociable vibe by night. Since Revelations provides all patrons with free Wi-Fi, it is also a popular temporary study or work venue. The freshly baked cakes are a must.
Sanook Eatery in Beacon Bay is the second in the family, following on from the success of Sanook Café in Berea. It has quickly become ‘the’ place to go in East London, offering small but delicious and hearty menu selection.
Lavender Blue is situated at the popular Lavender Blue Farmer’s Market in East London. It is considered by many to be ‘the’ place for breakfast or brunch on a Saturday. After your hearty breakfast, enjoy shopping for titbits like nuts, jams and preserves, freshly baked organic breads and more in the buzzing market.
With rolling lawns, a child friendly play area, a chic rustic laid back atmosphere and delectable cuisine, The C Club in Cintsa is another family favourite. The C Club blends into the surrounding indigenous bush, and boasts a separate bar, a wide stoep overlooking the outdoor areas and great service.
Country Bumpkin is nestled in the gorgeous Floradale Nursery in Beacon Bay on the Sunshine Coast. The restaurant itself is situated in the quaint old farm house, with quirky decor and local art on its walls. The beautiful garden is complete with a play area for the kids.
The Cricketer is owned by ex-professional cricketer Tyron Henderson and his wife Alison. As you might expect, it is playfully but tastefully decorated with cricket memorabilia. The restaurant is tucked away on the 2 Swans Wedding Farm in Gonubie, 17km from East London. The home-made ice cream is a must!
Marisol Restaurant specialises in Mediterranean and Afro- Portuguese cuisine. What makes this establishment unique is that all dishes are made from scratch with great love, care and time. The restaurant itself is relaxed and cosy, with warm Mediterranean style decorating and furnishing.
At Cafe D’vine in Grahamstown, crisp salads and light meals are the name of the game. The beautiful garden and courtyard setting provide the perfect venue to while away a sunny afternoon.
Pinecreek Restaurant and Farmstall is the newest restaurant in East London and a veritable haven for families. The venue is huge, with a large outside play area for those rambunctious children. The restaurant itself is housed in a large Cape Dutch style farmstall. The cuisine is a selection of signature dishes, classic European and Asian favourites.
Starting with a single location in 2005, the ZZ Group has grown to operate Port Elizabeth’s trendiest restaurants and bars. Zest Urban Café is just such a destination, with a well-priced menu, an impressive cocktail selection and extended hours seven days a week.