11 Best Restaurants in The Northern Cape, South Africa

Klein JAN

$$$$ Fodor's choice

Guests at either of Tswalu Kalahari Reserve's lodges are treated to a dinner at Klein JAN, the first restaurant in the country by Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen (South Africa's only Michelin star–awarded chef), though others do drive (or fly) in when the eight-course lunch with wine-pairings is offered. The setting is a century-old farmhouse, and meals are experiential and immersive—eye-opening introductions to the produce, culinary traditions, and flavors of the Northern Cape, with every morsel or sip seemingly designed to surprise as well as satisfy you, to fire up not only all your senses but also your imagination. By the time you leave, you know your taste buds will never again experience such an extraordinary culinary adventure.

Farm Korannaberg 296, Van Zylsrus, Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, 8467, South Africa
27-053-781–9441
Known For
  • Breathtaking inventiveness
  • Setting and experience unlike anything else—anywhere
  • Food that truly captures the specialness of the Northern Cape and its produce
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Bookings are essential unless you are a guest at Tswalu, Prix-fixe for multiple courses, wine pairings, and other drinks

Caffe Bella

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What a nice and welcome surprise! Good coffee is generally hard to find in such remote parts, but the owners here have got this right. Though they are not quite baristas, their "flat whites" nevertheless taste like real coffee. The café is also a deli, stocking yummy chutneys (try the peach), relishes, and more. It's got a nice atmosphere and serves good, hearty lunches (it closes at 5). One interesting fact to know is that the owners' husbands work for opposing engineering firms, but that hasn't hindered their cooperation. If you're headed toward Springbok, it's worth calling ahead for a table; there are not many good places to eat here.

Die Kerkmuis at Orange River Cellars

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The name of this laid-back cellar/tasting room, which spills out onto an open terrace and garden where children can run around and play, means "The Church Mouse" and a nod to what is a humble venue that is always striving for greatness. Service is incredibly friendly, and the food ranges from must-try pancakes stuffed with milk tart to delectable sirloin steaks, pork ribs, or gourmet burgers (made with two types of meat). It's a welcoming place, whether you come for a full meal, a serious tasting of the wines made using grapes grown along the Orange River, or a snack of decadent sweets accompanied by wine or coffee.

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Die Koker Kombuis @ Die Mas

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This lovely, casual restaurant at Die Mas van Kakamas Vineyards is a good place for a long, languid, pizza-and-wine lunch or a wine, brandy, or gin tasting that you can combine with the menu's reasonably priced and lovingly prepared pasta dishes or steaks. While waiting for your order, you can sit on the terrace overlooking the vineyards, and children can take a short stroll along a wooden walkway to see farm animals and a herd of springbuck that live nearby. The amenable cellar staff will show you around and discuss the wine-making and distilling processes. A second branch of this restaurant, Koker Kombuis, is at the quaint, quirky Die Pienk Padstal (The Pink Farm Stall) along Augrabies Road on the outskirts of Kakamas town. It's also wort of a visit, especially if you want breakfast or would like to buy boxes of grapes or some of the tastiest dates you'll ever eat.

Doc's Tea & Coffee Café

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Cecil John Rhodes used to stop for a drink at Halfway House, halfway between the Kimberley and Bultfontein mines, and because he was short, and it was difficult for him to mount and dismount, he was served on his horse. Today, Halfway House is a lively hotel with several restaurants—the best of which is Hussar Grill, a nationwide chain that many regard as the best steakhouse in Kimberley—and this lovely, relaxing courtyard café, where you can get excellent coffee, pizzas and flatbreads, and lovely cakes.

Dros

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You can drop in for a meal or just a drink at the bar in this large, rowdy, and rustic franchise steak house and wine cellar. Wine bottles are packed into the walls from floor to ceiling, and numerous archways give the place a Mediterranean feel. A South African institution, Dros is best-known for in good hearty steaks, whilst other specialties include burgers and pizza. Overlooking a car park and a mall, there is seating outside and inside, and it's open daily from 9 am until late.

Kalahari Sushi & Cocktail Bar

$$$$

The current owner of this restaurant was so impressed by a sushi-cum-cocktail bar in Cape Town that he bought it and moved it—plus the barman—to the table-grape farming town of Kakamas. Rave reviews (even in the New York Times of all places) are probably due more to its novelty value. But it's a fun place, and although local menu additions like springbok won't appeal to everyone, real sushi is served here, and there's a good cocktail bar. It's definitely worth a visit. There are also rooms for rent in the hotel.

Kimberley Diamond Brewing Company

$$

After a 20-minute drive out of Kimberley, you arrive in a blip-on-the-map farm town known as Ritchie, where George van der Merwe grows pecan nuts and brews a range of beers named for key moments and figures from Kimberley's history. He also has a restaurant where you can sample some beer; join George for a brewery tour; and settle in for steaks, burgers, or pizza. The vibe is extremely casual, with George's three doe-eyed dogs making the rounds and a large lawn that stretches down to the river where children can run around.

1st Ave., Ritchie, Kimberley, South Africa
+27-066-212–7090
Known For
  • Crafts beers and artisanal gins
  • Relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere
  • Tranquil setting
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. to Thurs.

Pump House Bar

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Finish off your tour of Barkly West with a drink or light snack at the Pump House Bar, on the important Vaal river and within a stone's throw of the museum. It's a great place to meet locals, enjoy a good steak or other pub fare, and contemplate the waters of the Vaal River.

Red Ox Steakhouse

$$$$

Burgers made with the finest ingredients, slabs of meat grilled to perfection, and absolute pride taken in making every plate a miniature masterpiece—Red Ox has high ambitions, as evidenced by both the food and the smart decor, which features lots of mirrors and a collection of paintings by the late landscape artist Walter Meyer. In addition to the menu of meat dishes (vegetarians note that, the menu states, quite explicitly, "No Meat, No Life"), there's a Sunday breakfast buffet, daily chalkboard specials, and options inspired by local tastes.