/ 23 December 2022

South Africa’s top five restaurants

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The Living Room won the Restaurant of the year award.

South Africa has some of the best hospitality spots — our restaurants and wines are revered by the world over. The combination of quality local ingredients, globally trained chefs and the best wine make for a culinary delight. In a celebration of the South African fine-dining experience, we’ve compiled a list of the top five restaurants in South Africa. 

The LivingRoom at Summerhill Guest Estate 

Situated at Summerhill guest estate, the LivingRoom is one of Kwa-Zulu Natal’s finest dining destinations. Chef Johannes Richter showcases the province’s culinary diversity from garden to plate, expressed through his French training and passion for Asian techniques. Richter cultivates his own fruit, vegetables and herbs in the Summerhill garden to use in his dishes, and the ethos of sustainability is a focus of his work. The fine-dining restaurant also has a programme overseen by Johanna Richter (his wife), which offers a comprehensive list of premium South African wines. Additionally, Johanna offers non-alcoholic drinks made with in-house syrups and tonics, kombuchas and juices. The LivingRoom at Summerhill Guest Estate received three stars at the Eat Out Awards — the only KZN restaurant out of the five winners — and also clinched the industry’s top-spot as Restaurant of the Year.

Salsify at the Roundhouse 

Executive chef and co-owner at Salsify (pronounced sal-see-fee), Ryan Cole, has made a name for himself as a pioneer in the South African restaurant industry. Cole amassed foodie fans when he was head chef at The Test Kitchen. The award-winning chef ventured into his own by opening Salsify at the Roundhouse in 2018. Cole serves up modern-classical cooking in the historic space with sweeping views of the ocean and Lion’s Head as a backdrop. The Camps Bay restaurant has two menu options — the reduced menu which comprises six courses and the 10-course chef’s menu, curated by Cole. The 10-course menu is an elegant study of local ingredients and unexpected flavour combinations which are paired by Cole and award-winning sommelier Victor Okolo, with interesting and often rare and unusual wines. Salsify has had an incredible year, on 1 November it was honoured with the Best Restaurant in South Africa at the Luxe 100 Best Awards 2022. Okolo also walked away with the Eat Out WCellar Wine Service Award at the same ceremony.  


Wolfgat restaurant in the small fishing village of Paternoster is just a two-hour drive from Cape Town. Situated in a charming revamped fisherman’s cottage on the Atlantic coastline, the restaurant is named after the nearby Wolfgat cave, an archaeological wonder containing remnants of an ancient culture and rumoured gateway to underground passages. The sophisticated west coast eatery enjoyed by none other than South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa was named a three-star restaurant at the 2022 Eat Out Awards. In 2021 Wolfgat was also named Africa’s Best Restaurant at The 50 Best Restaurants 2021. The coastal restaurant has won everyone over with their unique dining experience showcasing a selection of indigenous ingredients specific to the coastal location and expertly executed by chef Kobus van der Merwe. Book in advance. 

La Colombe Constantia 

One of the best restaurants in South Africa, this exclusive fine-dining restaurant is located in Constantia, Cape Town. Prepare to get swept away by anart-in-a plate experience and exquisite panoramic views. The “Grand Dame of Cape Town restaurants” has undergone substantial changes over the years, but it seems the move from Constantia Uitsig to Silvermist Estate in 2014, along with the rejoining of head chef James Gaag, set the restaurant on an award-winning streak. A recipient of several awards, this year they were placed 56th on the World’s Best Restaurant list, received three plates at the JHP Gourmet Guide, named Trip Advisor’s Best Fine Dining Restaurant in Africa and received three stars at this year’s Eat Out Restaurant Awards. The contemporary restaurant offers an extensive chef’s and vegetarian menu with local ingredients with French flair. 

Pier Restaurant 

Pier is owned by the La Colombe Group, which runs some of the best restaurants in the Western Cape. The restaurant opened in December last year at the V&A Waterfront and has been very well received by locals and tourists. At the helm of Pier is head chef John Norris-Rogers. The restaurant offers an intimate, multi-course, fine-dining experience. Norris-Rogers focuses on acquiring the finest local produce and was named Chef of the Year at the prestigious 2022 Eat Out Restaurant Awards. Pier restaurant also claimed three stars at the same event, an outstanding accomplishment for a restaurant that’s only been open for a year. 

Visit these websites for inquiries;

La Colombe – https://lacolombe.restaurant/ 

PIER Restaurant – https://pier.restaurant/food 

Wolfgat – https://www.wolfgat.co.za 

Salsify at the Roundhouse – http://salsify.co.za/reservations/

The LivingRoom at Summerhill Estate – https://summerhillkzn.com/livingroom/