**NEW BLOG** Food and Drink Experiences – West Coast South Africa


An overview of food and drink experiences available on the West Coast South Africa. All of the activities discussed are within a couple of hours of Cape Town, a city itself renowned for phenomenal restaurants, farmers markets and bars. Therefore the West Coast is a fantastic destination to add-on to any Cape Town itinerary.

Increasingly gastronomy and food and drink experiences are becoming a focus for travellers, who are looking to truly embrace the destinations they are visiting. Great quality food, unique dishes, locally owned establishments and friendly service top the list of criteria of what many travellers now seek as part of their travel adventures. Luckily South Africa has this as standard across many eateries, making it the ideal destination for foodies, wine connoisseurs and those seeking truly authentic culinary experiences.

Seafood

With an abundance of coastline it will come as no surprise that seafood is one of the first things to explore. Paternoster, a picturesque fishing village two hours north of Cape Town and just around the corner from the West Coast Marine Reserve specialises in all things seafood, and should be on the ‘must do’ list for anyone with a love of quality, fresh seafood. There are an abundance of restaurants specialising in seafood, and many also offer beautiful beach views perfect for enjoying sunset. One Kreeftegang offers delicious crayfish (in season) and a good selection of seafood sushi, the Noisy Oyster is renowned for fresh seafood in a friendly homely environment and De See Kat Restaurant allows you to build your own seafood platter!

One restaurant that is a must visit though is Die Strandloper. A rustic, seaside haven nestled along the pristine shores of the West Coast in South Africa, this renowned eatery offers a unique dining experience, where guests are invited to feast on a 10 course delectable array of seafood and South African delights while enjoying the natural beauty of the coastline. The ambience is relaxed and laid-back, perfectly complementing the fresh ocean breeze and panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. The menu boasts an abundance of freshly caught seafood, expertly prepared using traditional South African cooking methods, such as open-fire grilling and potjiekos simmering. The Strandloper’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its sourcing of local, seasonal ingredients and its minimalistic approach to cooking, allowing the natural flavors of the seafood to shine. Die Strandloper in Paternoster offers an unforgettable dining experience that captures the essence of coastal living in South Africa. Booking Essential!!

Another destination on the West Coast for devoted seafood lovers is Lamberts Bay. A small town, with an abundance of natural beauty. Top places to head for here include the Muisbosskerm which is an open-air restaurant that has historically been voted one of the “Top Ten Sea Views to Dine For” by National Geographic! The menu will depend on what has been freshly caught that day, but also includes truly traditional South African dishes such as waterblommetjie and hotnotskool bredie. Another lesser known gem in Lamberts Bay is Isabellas restaurant. Perfectly situated overlooking the small harbour and Bird Island Nature Reserve, the restaurant has been serving up delicious seafood since 1996. If you have the opportunity to visit here at sunset you definitely won’t regret it!

Rooibos Tea-Tasting

Rooibos tea, a quintessential South African brew, is cherished worldwide for its distinctive taste and myriad of health benefits. However, did you know that the Cederberg region on the West Coast is renowned as the birthplace of Rooibos tea? The Cederberg’s unique climate and soil provide the perfect conditions for the plant to flourish. Cultivated exclusively in this pristine wilderness, Rooibos leaves are handpicked and carefully processed to preserve their natural goodness. This picturesque landscape, with its majestic mountain ranges and vast expanses of fynbos vegetation, not only serve as the backdrop for Rooibos cultivation but also adds to the tea’s allure.

The Rooibos Tea House is the most famous destinations to head for to sample a variety of different flavours of rooibos, to find your favourite and to learn about the differing benefits from different flavours. However, there are plenty of other options including the wonderful Velskoendraai Farmstall that is situated right at the entrance to Clanwilliam. They offer a unique experience exploring traditional blends to innovative infusions. the tea tasting at Velskoendraai Farmstall provides a delightful journey through the diverse world of Rooibos. Visitors can explore over 100 flavoured and blended Rooibos teas within the 7 Clans collection. From natural and herbal to fruity, sweet, green, spicy, and floral varieties, there’s something to suit every palate – and you are free to try in any order that suits.

Bokkoms (Dried Fish)

Nestled along the Berg River, Velddrif epitomises the essence of a traditional fishing town on the Cape West Coast. It’s renowned as the birthplace of the local delicacy “bokkoms.” This savoury treat, beloved by locals and visitors alike, consists of salted and dried fish, typically mullet or anchovies, which are then hung up to dry in the open air. The process of making bokkoms dates back generations and is deeply ingrained in the cultural fabric of the region. Along Bokkom Laan you’ll find locals are eager to share their knowledge of this process and you’ll find rows and rows of “bokkoms” just waiting to be tasted!

Bread-making

If you have always wanted to learn how to make traditional sour-dough bread then a great way to learn the history and technique is to join a bread-making workshop at the Clanwilliam Museum. You will have to be lucky with the dates, but if you are there at the right time, this is a great way to spend a couple of hours – and you can also explore the museum too whilst in the area!

Bobotie

Bobotie, originating from the Cape Malay community, is a cherished South African dish. It features spiced minced meat, often lamb or beef, combined with dried fruits, nuts, and aromatic spices like curry, turmeric, and ginger. Topped with a savory custard made from eggs and milk, it’s baked to golden perfection. This dish perfectly balances sweet and savoury flavours, making it a favourite comfort food enjoyed by people of all backgrounds across South Africa. A great place to try Bootie on the West Coast is Geelbek Restaurant with a proud South African heritage that dates back to the 1700’s. Geelbek Restaurant boasts a rich South African legacy dating back to the 1700s. Nestled within the West Coast National Park, it overlooks the scenic Langebaan lagoon, providing stunning vistas of the park and surrounding natural beauty. Guests are treated to magnificent views of flamingos and diverse birdlife, amidst a backdrop of abundant game and wildlife.

Craft Beer Tasting

Darling Brew Tasteroom & Brewery, located in Darling, is a renowned microbrewery known for crafting some of South Africa’s finest beers. It proudly holds the title of being the first carbon-neutral brewery in Africa. Visitors here have the opportunity to witness the brewing process, indulge in a variety of beer tastings, and purchase their favourite brews to enjoy at home. Additionally, the onsite restaurant offers a delightful selection of seasonal and locally sourced dishes, making it an ideal spot to unwind and spend a leisurely afternoon.

Wine-Tasting

We can’t really complete a blog on food and drink experiences in South Africa without mentioning wine tasting! As one of the world’s best wine producing countries, wine-tasting is well-documented as a popular activity for visitors to South Africa. However, I just want to highlight one experiences that offers something that little bit special. Piekenierskloof is a true family business that makes unique wines and offers friendly and relaxed wine tasting experiences on-site. They are particularly well known for their Grenache, because the ancient, unirrigated bush vine vineyards here have endured through several generations, and consistently yield outstanding wines. It is lovely to hear about the family history of Piekenierskloof whilst tasting delicious crisp wines, and surrounding by pictureque mountains. It is absolutely worth taking the route via Piekenierskloofpas on the N7, to visit.

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