South Africa's Top Destinations for Food & Wine Lovers

by Dan Allen

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday February 10, 2023

South Africa's Top Destinations for Food & Wine Lovers
  (Source:South African Tourism)

With its glorious bounty of ingredients, its rich confluence of cultures, and its uniquely talented chefs and vintners, South Africa is one of the most exciting countries in the world for aficionados of fine food and wine. From the coast to the interior, here are the top places to experience the very best in South African cuisine and vino on your next trip.

Cape Town

Long the mainstream culinary capital of South Africa, Cape Town is home to the new darling of the South African foodie scene, FYN (pronounced "fine"), which this year vaulted to number 37 on the World's Best Restaurants list, and simultaneously earned the Best Restaurant in Africa award. Opened in 2018 on the fifth floor of a 19th century silk factory at the heart of the city center, FYN's menu is rooted in traditional Japanese cuisine, but features a distinctly South African flair, and ingredients from the best Cape Town farms and fisheries.

Beyond Cape Town's great assortment of fine dining options, many of the city's neighborhoods also offer distinctly fantastic local favorites. In the famously colorful Bo Kaap district, traditional Cape Malay meals are a spicy throwback to the 17th century, when laborers from the Dutch East Indies first settled here. To the south in the suburban little harbor town of Kalk Bay, the fish and chips don't get any fresher than at local favorite Kalky's.

Cape Town is also home to a number of great annual food festivals, including the Street Food Festival in July/August, and the Cape Town Food & Wine Festival in September/October.

Beer stall
Beer stall  (Source: South African Tourism)


Two things permeate Johannesburg cuisine: Meat and open-fire cooking. And in this sprawling and fascinating city, nowhere will you find them both done more divinely than at Marble in the trendy near-north neighborhood of Rosebank. For a seriously deep dive into South African meat-eating, head to Carnivore in Muldersdrift just north of the city. Most locals agree that it's the best place in the Jo'burg area to sample game meat like kudu, zebra, giraffe, springbok, wildebeest, and crocodile.

Jo'burg's many markets offer some of the best and most fun ways to experience the city's amazing street food culture. Market on Main in the super-hip Maboneng neighborhood is one of the best.


Seaside Durban is the proud home to the popular South African snack "bunny chow," basically a hollowed-out loaf of white bread filled with curry, and originally the creation of the city's Indian community. Since that community is so large and diverse, Durban's about much more than bunny chow, offering a veritable smorgasbord of authentic Indian cuisines. Of the countless places to try them, two of the best are Mali's and The Little India Restaurant. For street food lovers, Durban also has a strong selection of tasty stalls ready to please any palate.

The Franschhoek Wine Tram
The Franschhoek Wine Tram  (Source: South African Tourism)


Pretoria may be best known as South Africa's administrative capital, but locals and visitors alike know that the city is also home to an exploding culinary scene. At Fermier Restaurant, the hyperfocus is on sustainability — its eight-course menu comes from an entire ecosystem that does its best to close all gaps between produce, farm, and final scrumptious product. Crawdaddy's in the Brooklyn neighborhood serves a delicious mashup of ingredients and cultures, including local, Mediterranean, Thai and Portuguese cuisines.

Throughout the year, the Fijnwyn Food and Wine Festival brings numerous events to greater Pretoria, offering the chance to taste amazing wines from South Africa's top boutique wine estates alongside food from the area's top street vendors.

Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth)

It was known as Port Elizabeth until it officially changed names in 2019, but now the biggest city in South Africa's ruggedly beautiful Eastern Cape region is called Gqeberha — pronounced something like "guy-BARE-ha," but with a Xhosa click at the beginning. One thing hasn't changed though, and that's this city's superb sushi scene. The options are plentiful, with Suki and Toro being a couple of the best.

Cape Winelands

For wine connoisseurs, few places on earth compare to the Cape Winelands region just east of Cape Town, home to the picturesque wine-making towns of Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl, as well as some of the country's most phenomenal wine estates, like the truly exquisite Delaire Graff. The Franschhoek Wine Valley boasts more than 40 wine cellars, not to mention a very fun wine tram that can transport you between them.