No meal is complete without a view of the Knysna Lagoon, The Heads, or the Indian Ocean from your table.
A scrumptious breakfast, lazy lunch or dining al fresco – there are restaurants in Knysna, Brenton, Buffalo Bay and Sedgefield which offer every conceivable type of cuisine coupled with stunning vistas of the dramatic surroundings. Here are some recommendations….
Restaurants on Thesen Harbour Town look onto the Thesen Islands canals and beyond to the Knysna estuary (commonly referred to as the Knysna lagoon), The Heads and Featherbed Private Nature Reserve. Island Café at The Turbine has a contemporary a la carte menu with new dishes added frequently. Tapas & Oysters has a wide selection of Spanish, Mediterranean and South African tapas, an extensive sushi menu, and, true to its name, fresh oysters (Eat, see & learn about the Knysna oysters)! Sirocco’s menu includes a variety of burgers, poke, sushi, seafood, steaks and salads. Upstairs from Sirocco, The Project Bar is touted as Knysna’s freshest cocktail bar. Enjoy your cocktails with poke, dim sum, foccacias, oysters and a 180deg view of the Knysna lagoon.
Take your pick of a handful of restaurants at the Knysna Waterfront Quays – all with spectacular dockside views of the small harbour, where boats from around the world rock gently on their moorings. 34 South serves all day breakfasts, specialises in oysters and sushi, and boasts a huge menu for all day dining, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Drydock Food Co’s menu includes seafood, salads, sushi, fusion cuisine and sinful desserts. On the upper level of the Knysna Waterfront, O Pescador restaurant is famous for its Portuguese cuisine.
Further out of Knysna, on the Eastern Head, East Head Café has the most stunning views of any location in Knysna. Diners seated outside on the deck will have panoramic views of the sea and the lagoon with Featherbed Nature Reserve directly opposite, while below the waves crash onto the rocks of the Knysna River mouth. This is a great place to watch boats enter and leave Knysna through The Heads and enjoy a delicious brunch or lunch. The fish and chips are legendary.
Combining a cruise on the lagoon and dinner, The Paddlecruiser is a wonderful dinner venue – leave at sunset, see the Heads at twilight and return under the stars. With magnificent 360˚ views of the lagoon, great sundowners and speciality Mediterranean cuisine, you cannot go wrong! It is fully enclosed, so the cruise is not dependent on the weather.
Simola Hotel’s Lungalo Restaurant on the first floor of the hotel is glassed in on three sides, offering sweeping views of the golf course and beyond to the Knysna River valley, the lagoon and The Heads. While you are enjoying the views, you can indulge in a fine dining a la carte menu.
In Brenton-on-Sea, Butterfly Blu Restaurant at the Brenton Haven Beachfront Resort has windows which fold open to offer dramatic and unobstructed views of Brenton Beach with the waves crashing over Castle Rock. On a clear day the vistas extend to Buffalo Bay. The contemporary menu has a Croatian pizza selection.
The Waterfront Restaurant at Buffalo Bay
beach has outdoor seating on an elevated deck with unmatched views of the bay looking across to Brenton. Menu offerings include burgers, seafood and pizzas.
With moonlit lagoon views, or cosy fireplaces, Caroline’s bistro at Belvidere Manor offers an a la carte menu each evening featuring seasonal produce and locally sourced ingredients – including freshly caught seafood. Enjoy the history of Belvidere House dating from 1849 and raise a glass to Thomas Duthie, Belvidere’s founder! Caroline’s is named after his great love and the lady of the house. Reservations essential.