The newest hotspots and restaurants in Stellenbosch centre (and surroundings)

Stellenbosch is the place you go for the wine. But of course, you don’t drink wine on an empty stomach. That is why this blog lists the nicest restaurants and newest hotspots in Stellenbosch and the surrounding area.

Stellenbosch: amazing food and great wine

Apart from the students, Stellenbosch is all about one thing: wining and dining! The center is teeming with restaurants and outside the city you will find many more hotspots where you can eat the most amazing food! It’s a good thing that we spent a week here twice because the first few days we were quite overwhelmed by all the choices. And it’s even better that we didn’t spend any more time here because boy, we would be broke of going for lunch and dinner every day! In this blog, we start by naming our favorite restaurants in the center of Stellenbosch. We then also name the newest and best hotspots in the Stellenbosch area.

Read all about the 7 things to do in Stellenbosch in our blog!

Child-friendly restaurants in Stellenbosch

Floris, our 1-year-old son, was more than welcome in almost all restaurants. In general, the restaurant industry in South Africa is well-equipped for children. But some locations are just that little bit extra fun for families and children. For example, there are kids’ dishes, or there is a playground. If this is the case, we indicate this in the title with “child-friendly”. But don’t worry, it should of course remain fun for the parents. We therefore only describe locations that we really like!

Tip: curious about the best wineries in the area? We wrote several blogs about this: the nicest wineries in Paarl, the 9 best wineries in Stellenbosch and the 9 most beautiful wineries in Franschhoek!

Hotspots and restaurants in the center of Stellenbosch

There are dozens of restaurants in the center of Stellenbosch and many hotspots have been added since our first visit. Most places are relatively accessible, with prices that are a lot lower than in Europe. There are quite a few typical tourist restaurants. Good food, but nothing surprising. And then of course you have restaurants that are just extra special! We’ve tried out many places and list below our favorite restaurants and hotspots for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and ice cream!

Fat Butcher: popular restaurant in Stellenbosch with lots of meat!

To be honest, this is not my thing, since I don’t eat meat, but Ries was really fond of this place. If you are traveling with meat lovers, a visit to hotspot Fat Butcher cannot be missed during your time in Stellenbosch. You select your own meat here and then determine the preparation and sauces. Not cheap, but very well-prepared meat. Reservations are a must because this hotspot is popular. Click here for the location of this restaurant in Stellenbosch.

Schoon: have a nice breakfast in Stellenbosch

Schoon is located right in the center of Stellenbosch. You immediately recognize the restaurant by the blue tiles on the facade that give the restaurant a fresh clean (schoon in Dutch means clean) appearance. This place is a perfect spot for breakfast or a tasty lunch. They have very reasonable prices and tasty pastries if you want something sweet after dinner. Click here for the location of this restaurant in Stellenbosch.

Decameron: the best Italian food in Stellenbosch!

Christmas Day in a completely deserted Stellenbosch. All restaurants are closed and we, naive Dutch people, have not made a reservation outside the city. And so we stroll through a desolate city center until we enter the only open restaurant: the Italian restaurant Decameron! We have once again personally experienced the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” because the interior makes our expectations lower than low.

But boy is this delicious. Super simple but so tasty! If we close our eyes, we are immediately in Italy (where you are also served the best food under the too-bright lights with old-fashioned tablecloths on the table). The mussels here are really great, just like the Ossobucco (according to Ries the best he has ever eaten). And yes, there are more than enough restaurants in the area with good food and a beautiful interior. But if you crave simple but authentic Italian food, go to Decameron. Click here for the location of this restaurant in Stellenbosch.

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De Eetkamer: newest hotspot in Stellenbosch

The brand new, nice, and fresh restaurant De Eetkamer is our favorite restaurant in Stellenbosch. It is in the higher price range, but the dishes are delicious and without too much fuss. Just what we love!

The concept at the Eetkamer is shared dining, where 4-6 dishes are recommended. We enjoyed lunch here and chose five dishes, but even four would have been enough. Tuna, a delicious burrata with pickled pumpkin, very tasty gnocchi, and the most fantastic caramelized carrots, all so delicious! For dessert, the freshly baked Madeleines are really great! Click here for the location of this hotspot in Stellenbosch. Reservations are necessary!

Moro: the tastiest ice creams in Stellenbosch (of course child-friendly)

The ice creams at Moro are on a completely different level than any ice cream shop we have tried so far! Full of flavor and perfect for cooling down on a hot day. Ries always takes precedence over (in my opinion) the most boring ice cream flavor there is vanilla. But I have to admit, even that taste was delicious with Moro. However, Floris and I thought strawberry sorbet was even better! They have a beautiful store right in the center of Stellenbosch. Click here for the location of this ice cream shop in Stellenbosch.

Nocturne Restaurant: cocktails and good food in the middle of Stellenbosch!

New kid in town Nocturne was founded by the owners of the luxury restaurant Dusk (they are also neighbors). It was initially intended as a place where you could have a drink before or after your dinner at Dusk. But when people have a drink, they often want something small to eat with it, which is why Nocturne eventually got its own menu. And luckily it did! The tuna ceviche is our favorite, but the grilled cauliflower with tahini is also delicious (and spicy)! We went here for a glass of bubbles, but this restaurant is known for its cocktails, so we will have to try them next time. Click here for the location of this hotspot in Stellenbosch.

A very fun and child-friendly concept that many wine estates in Stellenbosch and the surrounding area offer is wine picnics. Read our blog with 7 nice places for a wine picnic in the Winelands around Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.

Warenmarkt: Child-friendly mini food market

The Warenmarkt restaurant has been in Stellenbosch for almost 10 years. It is a nice place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but also suitable for when you want to have a nice drink. With several small restaurants in one location, it is somewhat like a mini food market. We ate here with friends in the evening, perfect for an easy but tasty meal. The bakery and cakes seem to be really good here, just like the rest of the breakfast menu, so make sure you come here before 11 am. Click here for the location of this restaurant in Stellenbosch.

Sushi Box: the best takeaway sushi in Stellenbosch!

Okay, this is not a restaurant recommendation for a nice sit-down but for really GREAT takeaway sushi! We ate sushi from the Sushi Box on Boxing Day and my oh my what a delicious dinner it was. I dare to say with certainty that this is the best takeaway sushi I have ever eaten. And perhaps even the best takeaway sushi in all of South Africa! Sushibox has several locations, including in Cape Town and Somerset West.

You can also eat on-location at the Sushi Box in Stellenbosch (it is also a restaurant). But we have no experience with that. Click here for the location of this restaurant in Stellenbosch.

Other hotspots in Stellenbosch that seem to be good

Unfortunately, we were not able to try all the restaurants in Stellenbosch. Other hotspots that seem to be worth a visit in Stellenbosch:

  • Dusk
  • La CoCo C
  • Bacon & Bone
  • Meraki

Read our Garden Route itinerary blog: with our itinerary for a road trip along the Garden Route in South Africa

Our favorite restaurants in the Stellenbosch area

Almost every winery has an excellent restaurant on location. Even if we were to stay in Stellenbosch for a month and eat out every lunch and dinner, we still couldn’t have tested them all. Therefore, a small selection of our favorite restaurants in the Stellenbosch area

Rust en Vrede (star-worthy food in the Stellenbosch area)

You can get star-worthy food for a fraction of the price at Rust en Vrede. We went for the six-course menu with a matching wine arrangement, but you can also go for the much more luxurious Experience menu. A dinner at Rust en Vrede is an experience in itself, a full evening program with the most wonderful starters, main courses, fish, and cheeses. Unfortunately for us, children under 12 are not welcome and so we have to rely on our experience from two years ago. But one day, we would like to dine at Rust en Vrede again, because our first time was mind-blowing. Reservations are absolutely necessary! Click here for the location of this restaurant in the Stellenbosch area.

Babel (hotspot in the Paarl area)

There are several restaurants at the popular Babylonstoren winery; Babel, The Greenhouse, and the Bakery. We had a delicious lunch with friends at Babel two years ago. Fresh vegetables from their own garden combined with a delicious viognier and spectacular dessert. Reservations are absolutely necessary here because Babel is often full for weeks. In addition to Babel, Babylonstoren is also really worth a visit! There are beautiful gardens, animals for the kids, and a large deli. Babylonstoren is really suitable for when you travel with children! Click here for the location of this hotspot in the Stellenbosch area.

Stoep (a child-friendly restaurant in the Paarl area)

There are three restaurants at the Laborie winery in Paarl; Cucina Di Giovanni, Suzanne, and the recently opened Stoep. We recently had lunch at the latter and boy, what a treat. A casual atmosphere, a relaxed terrace outside (with a fountain and play equipment for the children to play), and a beautiful jungle look inside. The menu is simple but good. We went for a salad with fish and octopus pasta. Both delicious! The service is very friendly and loves children. Recommended! Click here for more information on this restaurant in the Stellenbosch area.

Read our Cape Town blog here full of tips about what you can do in Cape Town in 5 days!

The Cellar Door (brunch at a wine estate in the Stellenbosch area)

Jordan Winery has two restaurants. The chic “The Jordan Restaurant” and the casual “The Cellar Door”. We experienced the latter during a relaxed brunch. The menu is full of typical breakfast dishes but with a twist. I have never eaten such good “Eggs Benedict”. And the croissant with brie and fresh vegetables also looked great. You sit outside on the terrace overlooking a large pond and are surrounded by couples, groups of friends, and families. Click here for the location of this restaurant in the Stellenbosch area.

Werf restaurant at Boschendal (a popular wine estate in the Stellenbosch area)

Boschendal Winery is one of the most famous wineries in Stellenbosch. It is a large wine estate with plenty to do. From picnics (recommended!) to food trucks, a shop, a playground, and two restaurants. The Werf and the Deli. We have previously eaten delicious salads and smoothies at the Deli. But the Werf is a bit more chic. Still with a high no-nonsense attitude though.

Almost everything on the menu comes from their own garden and the dishes shine in their simplicity. Very good, tasty, and fresh food in a beautiful setting overlooking the gardens. Reservations are also a must here. Boschendal is really fun with children! The Werf itself may be a little less fitting, but the Deli, the food tricks, and especially the picnic are very kid-proof! Click here for the location of this hotspot in the Stellenbosch area.

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Tip: also read our Franschhoek blog here, full of tips for hotspots and restaurants in the Franschhoek area.

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