Wind: 14.48 km/h
Knysna & Sedgefield has some of the best and internationally recognised restaurants on the Garden Route. Whether this is your honey-moon vacation or you are looking for delicious meals on a budget Knysna will have something for you. You will love the exotic array of cocktails and lists of fine wines, put your feet up and watch as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean. Whether you’re looking for a home cooked meal or a buffet to feast the eyes on, Knysna’s eclectic range of restaurants will leave you with fond memories and an appetite to return. If Sunday lunch is your favourite meal of the week, head out to one of Knysna’s many Sunday lunch options. Pick from a range of lamb and beef roasts, hearty roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings.
Benguela Brasserie & Restaurant
The Lakeside Lodge, nestled on the banks of the Swartvlei invites you to linger over alfresco lunches of beautifully plated local cheeses, meats and olive oil with fresh bread; caprese linguine; and banting-friendly pork parmigiano with cauliflower purée, truffle oil and vegetables. The wine list is a showcase for the lovely wines of Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate in Walker Bay. (There’s a chocolate and wine pairing, too).
044 343 1844 /www.lakesidelodge.co.za – Lakeside Drive, Swartvlei, Sedgefield
Trattoria da Vinci
The marvellous food of this much-loved trattoria is the result of over 20 years of Leah and Steve Baletta’s hands-on approach and insistence on quality. Favourites include lamb shank al forno; chicken or veal schnitzel; roast pork with crackling; fresh tagliatelli; and crusty pizzas. The outdoor patio is a comfortable space on all but the coldest nights.
044 343 1867, 074 103 8322 – Woodpekker Mall, Main Road, Sedgefield
This casual French bistro-type fare takes the form of generous plates of pita with dips; a lovely starter of scallops; bobotie rolls; baked camembert; rich duck confit with duck-fat potatoes; and fish of the day in lemony meunière sauce. Desserts like poached pears and cheesecake are generously portioned.
044 386 0201 / 5 Phantom Pass Road, Knysna, Western Cape / http://www.knysnariversidelodge.co.za
East Head Café
This Knysna restaurant’s fish and chips are as crisp as ever and the seafood specials, which may include a piquant Cape Malay seafood curry, are top notch. Guests can enjoy splendid views of the Knysna estuary as it meets the Indian Ocean, and children have a roomy play area off the patio.
044 384 0933 / 25 George Rex Drive,The Heads, Knysna, Western Cape / www.eastheadcafe.co.za
Grain Mill Organic Bistro
There’s a focus on local, sustainable, organic and free-range ingredients, starting with the spelt flour ground on the premises and baked into loaves, cheesy pizza bread, brownies and tasty pastas at this bistro. Your best bet is the chalkboard menu of specials. A charming patio meanders around the building, and inside, long wooden tables are great for large parties.
Muse Fusion Food
Here you can look forward to an array of casual dishes with an emphasis on seasonal, good quality ingredients and flavours. Wood-fired pizzas are delectable, as are chilli poppers; juicy, free-range chicken skewers; and the Orange is the New Black cake. The converted house has inviting lounge areas that are perfect for groups, and gardens wind around the backyard with picnic tables under the trees.
044 382 0804 / 152 Old Cape Road, Knysna, Western Cape / https://www.facebook.com/museliving.co.za
Pembrey’s offers an adventurous, pleasing menu produced with confidence and know-how. Seasonal produce, herbs from the garden and local produce and seafood feature prominently. Signature dishes include butternut-and-almond ravioli with sage butter; pan-fried baby calamari with a Thai dressing; and roast duck leg confit with seasonal sides like roasted figs or balsamic-caramelised peaches. The restaurant feels like an old-fashioned farmhouse, and warm evenings allow for leisurely cocktails on the garden patio.
The VegTable Private Dining Room
Brett Garvie’s background as a botanist serves him well. He forages for mushrooms, gathers pecans from the orchard and procures rich harvests from local farms and gardens in Rheenendal. The menu is ever-changing, but you could be served a honey-mustard roasted pear salad; dukkah-crusted butternut with orange-glazed carrots; silky cannelloni filled with spinach and gorgonzola; and meaty porcini mushroom risotto. What could be more enchanting than a candlelit cabin in the woods? This is a magical venue for private parties of up to 20 people.
074 833 9516 / Rheenendahl Road (5.7km from N2, turn right at the Mother Earthworms sign, outside Knysna / www.vegtable.co.za
Located high up in the hills above the Garden Route town of Knysna, this golf & country estate is a world apart. Fairways merge seamlessly with lush indigenous vegetation and forests creating an evocative vista of undulating green hills and dales descending gently down to the Knysna River