Now that the Cape Whale Coast has been named the first gastronomical Creative City in Africa, we asked local guru Frieda Lloyd to put together a list of places to go eat, drink and be merry. While the list is detailed, she adds, it is by no means complete. Starting from the Cape Town side, take either the coastal road through Gordon’s Bay or the N2 across Sir Lowry’s Pass.
Farm stalls dotted along both coastal and mountain roads are a must. Just beyond Gordons Bay and the banks of the Steenbras River, lies the new Grille Shack @ Pitstop. Bold vintage car parts serve as decoration, and bumper burgers vie with vegan options. In Kleinmond, Die Bloubakkie collects the best of the best from surrounding farms. One can’t help walking out with bags filled with seasonal fare and a custardy milktart. On the Hemel-en-Aarde road Onion Shed is a fairly new farm stall with loads of of well priced vegetables, coffee, cakes and light meals.
On the N2, two legendary farm stalls are Peregrine and Houw Hoek, which has the best chicken pie you will ever eat.
FISH, FISH, FISH
At Gansbaai Harbour, indulge in baked fish that has been freshly caught. Ocean Fisheries in Kleinmond is a hidden gem, a family-run takeaway right next to the owner’s home on Kalkoentjie Street. Also in town is KabelJoe’s. At On the Edge Restaurant in Betty’s Bay, you can eat while watching the wildlife at the Stony Point Penguin Colony. Hook Line & Sinker in Pringle Bay has been around for many years, fresh food with that personal touch. And in Hermanus, where whale-watching season is from June to November, try Harbour Rock and Bientang’s Cave.
The Restaurant at Newton Johnson is in the Hemel en Aarde Valley, with chef Rickey Broekhoven using produce grown and foraged on the farm. Creation Wines, the wine farm in Walker Bay, is in “Top 50 Worlds Best Wine Tasting Experiences.” Enough said. (A separate story on the region’s wine farms will follow shortly.) Chef Rudolf van der Berg of the oldest restaurant in Hermanus, Burgundy – their seafood pasta is legendary j- has just added Tapas Burgundy. Innovative and always supporting sustainable efforts, cookbook writer Shane Sauvage is at La Pentola. The gorgeous Manor House Restaurant is part of Stanford Valley. At Pear Tree in Hermanus chef Petri (pear tree, get it?) Hendriksz comes up with new dishes that have diners clamouring for more. Benguela Cove, a wine estate on the Botriver lagoon, has a sculpture garden, the Moody Lagoon restaurant, regular art exhibitions, high tea and great coffee.
Newly opened in Stanford is Madre’s Kitchen. Madre has shown her talent at a number of eateries over the years. Blue Goose in Gansbaai does a mean monthly High Tea. Tables laden with delectable food prepared by owner Riaan Franken. Nearby is Thyme at Rosemary’s, another Gansbaai institution.
Heartbeat Cafe in Onrus is the size of a postage stamp but jam-packed. People travel from far away – especially for the breakfast and coffee – to Marietjie’s Pub and Grill in Baardskeerdersbos, which is great to try when the town’s Art Route weekend is on. For the real deal of country food, try Moggs Country Cookhouse in Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. At the Springfontein wine estate near Stanford, Michelin-star Chef & Forager Jurgen Schneider is in charge of a kitchen that produces inspirational dishes. At Blue Goose in Gansbaai, local Riaan Franken cooks up a storm, while the nearby thatched-roof Great White House serves up its locally sourced delicacies.
Going from west to east, if you need your caffeine driving from Cape Town:
In Hermanuspietersfontein, Mikro Coffee Company, a small-batch roastery that opened last year.
In Hermanus, The Beanery and Tulip.
In Stanford the Ou Meul Bakkery, part of a chain in the region but it’s still like your grandma’s kitchen.
In Gansbaai, the Gansbaai Coffee Company.
Pickle & Smoke in Kleinmond is on the road to the harbour. Lemon & Lime Deli in Pringle Bay offers the best produce with a selection of décor products. In Hermanus there is Oskars Café and Bakery, the food fresh and yummy, the shop a collective effort by Sanmarie Swanepoel and her daughters. Martin’s Deli in Stanford has gourmet pork sausages, burger patties, and unusual speciality products.
CHOCOLATE, COOKIES AND MORE
At GaBoli Chocolates in Betty’s Bay Master Chocolatier Gaspar Bossut crafts chocolates with Edward Wohlmuth. Appetite Knight @ Gallery Café in Hermanus is where Emilia Knight – Appetite Knight – creates inspirational food and some great vegan options. Vergin makes non-alcoholic gin in the Overberg that is distributed in Hermanus. Tickle Mouse Country Fare in Pringle Bay sells biscuits and rusks at its small factory. Hemelrand Olives and Olive Oils is in Hemel-en-Aarde. Sarah Niemand of Buffelsjagsbaai makes a suurvytjie (sourfig) jam that is plated at Creation Wines as part of the tasting menu and is also couriered all over the country due to popular demand.
Frieda Lloyd is based in Hermanus and has been the Cape Whale Coast Tourism Manager for the past year. For more information, click here.