There is no better way to someone’s heart than through their stomach, and what better way to confirm this than by taking them out on a date to some of the most romantic restaurants in South Africa? From cliff-top dining spots with majestic beach views to candlelit dinners near a roaring fireplace, these 10 romantic restaurants will make for an unforgettable evening.
The Test Kitchen – Woodstock
The Test Kitchen is widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in South Africa and has been awarded multiple international awards. Here you can sample contemporary cuisine while taking in the stunning views of Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain.
2. Gauteng Mosaic at the Orient Hotel
The Gauteng Mosaic, located inside an impressively exotic hotel with Persian carpets and intricate wood carvings, houses an underground cave holding over 15,000 bottles of wine. The options for food include ala carte or degustation (with or without wine). We recommend going with the wine option. Besides its stunning views of the Indian Ocean, wonderful service and delicious food make this restaurant perfect for a romantic dinner date that you and your partner will remember fondly.
3. La Colombe, Cape Town
La Colombe is a multi-award-winning restaurant located in the heart of the Constantia Valley. The establishment’s French cuisine with an Asian twist earned its attention, but its setting in a famous vineyard overlooking a fountain courtyard didn’t hurt.
The food is prepared with great skill, making it an unforgettable experience for anyone who visits. La Colombe provides an incredible atmosphere for a romantic dinner date and has an extensive wine list to enjoy during your meal. The restaurant is located in the Constantia Valley and also has an outdoor terrace for dining al fresco (weather permitting).
4. DW Eleven-13, Johannesburg
This contemporary fine-dining establishment is known for its excellent food and wine. The menu features seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients that the restaurant’s talented chefs expertly prepare. The restaurant’s refined yet comfortable atmosphere makes it ideal for a romantic dinner. And if you’re looking to impress your date, DW Eleven-13 is sure to do the trick.
5. The Restaurant at Waterkloof, Pretoria
The restaurant is one of the most romantic restaurants in South Africa. Located on a wine estate just outside of Pretoria, it offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The menu features both traditional and contemporary dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients. The Restaurant at Waterkloof is the perfect place to enjoy a romantic meal in a beautiful setting.
6. Five Hundred at The Saxon
When you get off the elevator, you’ll be on ground level, and here you’ll find what feels like a part restaurant, part theatre. The exposed kitchen is beautiful and dramatic against the black walls of the restaurant, shimmering with reflections of crystal wine glasses.
Dining options include four- or six-course menus by chef David Higgs, each featuring local seasonal ingredients – many from the restaurant’s garden. Established sommelier Francis Krone will pick out the perfect wine for your meal.
7. Salt, Cape Town
Salt is one of the most romantic restaurants in South Africa. Make sure to call the restaurant in advance if you want one table by the floor-to-ceiling windows with a view of the Atlantic ocean—it’s worth it. And an added bonus: during sunset, they serve tapas and special cocktails.
The vibe is modern and elegant, with a South African-French-inspired menu. We recommend the line fish, which changes daily and is always fresh, or the Saldanha Bay mussels.
8. Firefly Eating House, Knysna, Garden Route
They built this charming restaurant into an old tin mining house that features dramatic red walls and enchanting twinkle lights. Run by mother and daughter Dell and Sanchia Hadlow. The spot is brimming with personality. The duo loves anything spicy, so expect Indian-, Malayan-, Thai-, and African-inspired dishes. Sometimes even a Mexican dish cuts. There’s a menu of unique cocktails, teas, and coffees to cool down your tongue after all that heat.
Don’t leave without trying the potjiekos (a traditional stew cooked in a three-legged pot over an open fire) or the malva pudding (a spongy, sweet dessert).
9. Level Four Restaurant at the Nelson Mandela Museum, Qunu
This restaurant is located in the historic Nelson Mandela museum and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The menu features traditional Xhosa dishes with a modern twist. There’s also an impressive wine list featuring local wines. This restaurant is perfect for a romantic dinner or a special occasion. Don’t forget to try the Xhosa beef stew, which is a signature dish.
10. Roots – Forum Homini Hotel
In the Cradle’s heart of Humankind, Roots offers a romantic atmosphere and stunning views of the African bushveld. The restaurant serves an exquisite menu of contemporary cuisine with African influences.
These romantic restaurants all offer the perfect setting for an unforgettable night out with your special someone. Whether you choose to dine al fresco in beautiful surroundings, have a romantic dinner in a cozy atmosphere, or sample innovative dishes made with local ingredients, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Bon appétit!