East Head Café, Knysna Heads

Seafood is an experience in Knysna

Get ‘shellfish’ about Knysna’s seafood.

Nothing says ‘seaside vacation’ quite like fresh seafood. The greater Knysna area  will spoil you for choice when it comes to selecting seafood to savour while enjoying your Knysna holiday. From line fish like hake and kingklip to calamari, prawns, crayfish and oysters, you’re sure to net something special for any meal.

Fish & Chips

Fish & chips. Just reading those words lets you smell the vinegary chips, taste the fresh saltiness of the lightly battered fish and hear the distant cries of seagulls. Most restaurants do takeaway meals, but for the best in fresh takeaways visit Mr Kaai  in Sedgefield, or Blue Lagoon Fish and Chips in Knysna. For a famous sit-down fish and chips experience, visit PiliPili Beachfront Restaurant in Sedgefield. Fancy your fish and chips served in style? East Head Café’s fish and chips are famous among locals and return visitors.

Freshly caught, grilled, fried or smoked - you're in for a treat

With a menu that offers a serious smorgasbord of seafood, visit Freshline Fisheries for an authentic, feet in the sand kind of meal. Butterfly Blu in Brenton-on-Sea has panoramic sea views and offers fresh seasonal produce made with locally-sourced ingredients.

The Anchorage Restaurant is not only the self-proclaimed oldest restaurant in Knysna, but also a traditional seafood restaurant that happens to be known for its steaks too.

If you like tapas style eating, a great place to get your seafood fix is at  Tapas & Oysters. Situated on the quayside at Thesen Island it not only offers great views, but a wide variety of fingerlicking seafood too.

With so much fresh fare available, most of the restaurants in the area have a seafood section on their menus that is sure to set your mouth watering.

Top Tip: The Goukamma Seafood Braai at Blackwaters River Lodge includes oysters, a mussel pot, line fish, prawns with side dishes.  Booking is essential so make sure to call +27 (0) 72 252 6871 to book your table.

Oysters and more...

A trip to Knysna is incomplete without indulging in some fresh oysters, readily available at most restaurants. Oysters R Us just outside Sedgefield serves fresh oysters with various toppings. Forget funny photos at the Leaning Tower of Pisa, take an impressive selfie at their 4.73m tall leaning tower of oyster shells – the tallest one in the world.

34 South is known as the “Home of the Knysna Oyster” and serves not only oysters dressed in various ways, but a whale of a seafood menu. Think everything from paella to sushi, calamari to line fish, seafood curries and sushi. You can also find a variety of seafood to cook at home in their deli section. Also at the Knysna Waterfront, The Dry Dock Food Co offers its own version of a seafood explosion and is a must for sharing romantic platters as the sun goes down.

Top Tip: 34 South is famous for its Linefish and Prawn Espetadas, so make sure to try these while you are in the area.

Oysters at Tapas&Oysters

Sushi anyone?

Knysna is known as a sushi destination and the wide selection on offer will definitely meet your sushi craving!

34 South at the Knysna Waterfront has  kaiten-sushi or a sushi conveyor belt (as the locals call it). If you prefer your prawn tempura with a side of vibe, visit Tapas & Oysters . Or, if you’re looking for a more serene sashimi with a view that complements your California roll, reserve a table at Sirocco. Fresh and expertly made, sushi is available at many of the local restaurants and even some supermarkets.

A notable seafood chef yourself?

Make your own! You can buy your own marine morsels for a seaside braai or delicious meal at your self-catering accommodation. Find it fresh at Freshline Fisheries or O’fish’ally Hooked. 34 South also sell fresh oysters, cultivated and coastal, to enjoy at home.

Oysters on a yacht in the lagoon

Catch your own

If you think you’re a lucky fish, why not catch your own? A variety of species ranging from white steenbras and mullet to black musselcracker and shad school along our coastline and estuaries, with freshwater species like bluegill, carp, tilapia and largemouth bass found in our lakes and rivers. You can harvest mussels and oysters from the rocks at low tide, and even search for octopus in the rockpools. A day at the beach is a fun family activity – even if you come home empty handed. In that case, simply cast your line at one the many seafood eateries in the area and reel in the big one.

* Written by Jacques Marais –  June 2021