The Overberg boasts a slew of fabulous eateries, some of which offer the opportunity to gaze at mating and calving southern right whales while you enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner. While Hermanus is still a first choice for many, it’s worth venturing further afield to nearby Stanford, Sandbaai and the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, where some surprisingly lovely restaurants await. These are our favourite restaurants in the Overberg.
Have you visited any wonderful spots in the area? What’s your favourite? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
1. LIZETTE’S KITCHEN
Set in a renovated, turn-of-the-century farmhouse, this buzzy bar-restaurant on the Voelklip circle combines all the elements that make country hospitality so comforting, which is probably why Reuben Riffel rated it as one of the Cape’s hidden gems. Now in its sixth year, Lizette continues to offer quality gastro fare in warm surrounds.
The indoor fireplace is cosy in winter, while the outdoor deck beckons on sunny days – you’ll always find locals relaxing on the stoep with a chilled beer, watching the world go by.
Opening times Monday – Thursday, 9am – 10pm
Friday – Saturday, 9am – 10pm
Sunday, 9am – 9pm
Contact 028 314 0308, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 20 on 8th Street, Voelklip, Hermanus, Western Cape
2. ORIGINS AT THE MARINE
A metre or so from the famous cliff path – which offers some of the best whale-watching vistas in the world – this elegant eatery offers a variety of small plates and mains from a crafted, seasonal menu. Inspired the earliest inhabitants of the area, the Khoisan, the menu includes items such as “Shoots, Stems & Leaves” and “Hunted and Gathered” and, being so close to the ocean, seafood dishes are abundant.
Good to know The Chef’s Blackboard, chosen by executive chef Peter Tempelhoff, offers three exciting new dishes each day. In addition to Origins, The Marine Hotel has two other dining options: The Pavilion, where breakfast is served, and The Sun Lounge, which offers afternoon tea and other baked treats.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 2.30pm; 6pm – 9.30pm
Contact 028 313 1000, email@example.com
Where to find it The Marine Hotel, Marine Drive, Hermanus, Western Cape
3. FABIO’S RISTORANTE
This Italian family-owned hotspot is a favourite among locals (and out-of-towners) seeking a meal like mamma used to make. Situated under a crop of green trees with an ocean view from the sidewalk deck, this buzzy locale in the village centre serves everything from antipasti to zuppa del giorno, with pizza, pastas, salads, meat, seafood and traditional dishes, too. The extensive winelist is a mix of Italian imports and Overberg gems. You’ll feel like you’re in a cobbled alleyway off the main piazza in Roma.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 11am – 10pm
Contact 028 313 0532, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 60 St Peters Lane, Hermanus, Western Cape
4. FISHERMAN’S COTTAGE
As its name implies, this authentic 19th-century cottage specialises in the ocean’s bounty. The gigantic seafood platters are what it’s famous for, but other popular dishes include smoked pork belly with cured hake; seafood curry; and flourless chocolate torte for dessert. There is also a daily selection of blackboard items, should you so desire! Sit outside on the wooden benches when the sun’s out, or inside the cosy interior on chilly evenings – decked with colourful paraffin lanterns and seaside antiques.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 6pm – 9pm
Friday & Saturday, 12pm – 3pm
Contact 028 312 3642, email@example.com
Where to find it 3A Harbour Road, Hermanus, Western Cape
5. THE BAREFOOT COOK
This quaint bistro-style restaurant in the back streets of the village has an adjoining interior decorating shop, that you can browse between courses. In summer, ask for a table in the charming shaded courtyard; in winter we recommend you sit near the open fireplace. The ever-changing menu draws its inspiration from the changing seasons, but fresh is always the order of the day.
Opening times Tuesday – Friday, 11am – 4.45pm; 6pm – 9.30pm
Contact 028 312 4681, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 12 Aberdeen Street, Hermanus, Western Cape
6. BURGUNDY SEAFRONT RESTAURANT
On the edge of the bay and only a few metres away from the historic old harbour, Burgundy restaurant offers front-row seats to the greatest whale show on earth – with tasty home cooking to boot. The menu is extensive and original, and during whale season (July to December), you’ll bear witness to the whale crier blowing his kelp horn to alert visitors to the majestic creatures frolicking nearby.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 9pm
Contact 028 312 2800, email@example.com
Where to find it 7 Harbour Road, Hermanus, Western Cape
7. ROSSI’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT
Located in a restored Fisherman’s Cottage built in 1924, and in business since 1985, Rossi’s is somewhat of a Hermanus institution – having been dubbed the oldest operating restaurant in the seaside town. Rustic decor and a friendly atmosphere are part of the vibe, but Rossi’s pizzas (gluten-free options are available) are its major drawcard. Not a fan of pizza? There’s steak, chicken, pasta and seafood dishes to choose from. Sit on the street-facing pavement in summer, or cosy up against the pizza ovens during winter. It’s the perfect spot for a family meal or date night.
Opening times Sunday – Thursday, 11am – 9.30 pm
Friday & Saturday, 11am – 10pm
Contact 028 312 2848, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 10 High Street, Hermanus, Western Cape
8. PARADISO RESTAURANT
Situated seaside, overlooking the lapping waves of Walker Bay, this casual eatery is a popular grazing spot for diners seeking a tast Mediterranean-inspired meals with a side of sea air. The interior, kitted with cosy heaters and glowing pizza ovens to keep you warm in winter, still boasts its original sandstone walls and wooden floors, while causal white wooden tables are scattered under umbrellas outside – perfect for a leisurely glass of wine and a plate of fish and chips when the sun’s out.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 10am – 9pm
Saturday & Sunday,10.30am – 9pm
Contact 028 313 1153, email@example.com
Where to find it 83 Marine Drive, Hermanus, Western Cape
9. PEAR TREE BISTRO
This cool-creative bistro located on the popular oceanside Piazza of Hemanus has just as quirky a story about the origins of its name – coming about after UK colleagues of owner Petri Hendriksz dubbed him ‘Pear Tree’ due to the fact that they struggled to pronounce his name. A funny anecdote and a food dream later, and this wonderful eatery was born. Together with scenic seaside views and a selection of lovely, light locally-sourced bistro fare, not to mention the fact that it’s open for both lunch and dinner, this spot is a wonderful choice for a meal any time of day.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 11.30am – 10pm
Contact 028 313 1224, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 2 Godfrey Cottages, Village Square, 81 Marine Drive, Hermanus, Western Cape
10. HARBOUR ROCK
Perched high on a cliff overlooking the working harbour, with views of the coastline towards Gansbaai, The Rock is a great place to spend a few leisurely hours whale-watching while enjoying some Asian-inspired fare, friendly service and great views. The fresh fish dishes and sushi are still the most sought-after dishes, yet it’s the breathtaking seaside scenery that is the main attraction.
Opening times Lunch: Monday – Sunday, 11.30am – 4pm
Dinner: Monday – Sunday, 6pm – 10pm
Contact 028 312 2920, email@example.com
Where to find it Suite 24A, New Harbour, Hermanus, Western Cap
11. GROVES CAFÉ
Known for its delicious breakfasts, friendly service and welcoming atmosphere, this causal café in the Village Square is a favourite. In addition to the selection of freshly baked cakes and pastries, diners can enjoy hot breakfasts, and a number of wholesome light lunches. Slide into a brown leather booth inside or enjoy your cappuccino outside in the sun, next to the ocean.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 5pm
Contact 028 312 4277, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 5 Village Square, Marine Drive, Hermanus, Western Cape
12. BRASSERIE SOUTH
Located in a historic farmhouse that’s been painted bright red, this popular high street locale is difficult to miss. Unpretentious, wholesome meals are the order of the day, and diners can enjoy a delicious selection of light meals and starters, steak and venison mains, fresh seafood, salads, burgers and much more. Sit inside the cosy, colourful interior next to the fireplace when the weather gets chilly, or sip on crisp cocktails and craft beer at the wooden tables outside overlooking Walker Bay in the distance when it’s warm. Either way, this is lovely spot for any occasion and a locals favourite.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 8am – 9pm
Sunday, 8am – 3pm
Contact 028 312 4259, email@example.com
Where to find it 25 High Street, Hermanus, Western Cape
13. LA PENTOLA
In addition to serving some lip-smacking seafood and grills, the breathtaking Walker Bay panoramic views at this seaside gem make it an experience in itself. Executive chef Shane Sauvage creates a series of fusion dishes that marry local flavours with his favorite international cuisines, each made with produce from the surrounding Overberg.
In addition to a selection of light lunches, diners can enjoy daily-caught fresh seafood, prime cuts of beef, exotic game dishes – and for the non-meat eaters, there’s a flavour-packed range of vegetarian options, too. Sip on a wonderful selection of wines from the neighbouring Hemel-en-Aarde valley as you keep an eye out for whales.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 11am – 10pm
Contact 028 313 1685, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Shop 4, Ocean View, 87 Marine Drive, Hermanus, Western Cape
14. THE CLASSROOM RESTAURANT
A popular wedding and function venue, The Classroom is a great spot to enjoy a meal with a side of, well, class. Located in Sandbaai in the Hemel-en-Aarde village (just before the entrance to the valley), this lovely venue served top-notch seasonal dishes created by the talented graduates of Warwick’s Chef School.
Open only on Sundays for a generous three-course set-menu lunch, the venue is also available for conferences, birthdays, weddings and other events during the week.
Opening times Sunday, 12pm – 3pm
Contact 028 316 3582, email@example.com
Where to find it Hemel-en-Aarde Village, Sandbaai, Hermanus, Western Cape
15. THE MILKWOOD RESTAURANT
Within striking distance of the white-sand beach at Onrus, this seaside restaurant is the perfect location for a day out with family and friends. Watch the feisty seagulls and breaking waves while enjoying a wholesome breakfast or scrumptious lunch, or enjoy a plate or two of tapas at the bar. with a cocktail or local craft beer in the late afternoon sun.
The seasonal dinner menu is a hit, with its carefully curated winelist, making it a great pick for a cosy evening date.
Good to know If you’re looking for a takeaway nibble or seaside spot to catch the latest sports game while your kids run on the beach or surf the waves, check out the restaurant’s Beach Hut (a beach bar and kiosk).
Opening times Breakfast: Monday – Sunday, 8am – 10pm
Contact 028 316 1516, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Atlantic Drive, Onrus Beach, Hermanus, Western Cape
16. MOODY LAGOON
Found inside the wine estate’s Manor House, Moody Lagoon restaurant at Benguela Cove epitomises a wonderful dining experience. Food-wise, chef Annie Badenhorst has drawn on the estate’s waterside setting (and its wonderful wines) for inspiration, while the decor reflects timeless elegance.
Open for early breakfast, Sunday brunch, light (or lazy) lunches and romantic date-night dinners, the restaurant is hard to beat in terms of its lagoon setting, with views of olive groves, lavender fields and the greater Walker Bay completing the picture.
Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 3pm
Thursday – Saturday, 6pm – 9pm
Saturday, 8am – 10.30am
Sunday, 10am –12pm
Contact 087 357 0637, email@example.com
Where to find it R43 Bot River Lagoon, Walker Bay, Hermanus, Western Cape
Situated in a former post office, in the heart of Onrus, this family-friendly, no-fuss restaurant has been serving excellent woodfired pizzas, seafood and steaks for more than 12 years. The service is warm, friendly and attentive, with owners Gordon and Elenore going out of their way to check up on each table individually, making you feel right at home. Food-wise, the dishes are down-to-earth and made with love. We recommend the Sunday Roast or the oven-baked kabeljou. Other favourites include the melt-off-the-bone lamb shank and, of course, the pizzas.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 6pm – late
Sunday, 12pm – 3pm
Contact 028 316 2658, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 23 Molteno Street, Onrus River, Hermanus
1. CREATION WINES TASTING ROOM
No trip to Hermanus would be complete without a visit to the beautiful vineyards of the nearby Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Creation Wines is one of these. Enjoy one of the estate’s unusual wine-and-food pairings, or choose something from the superb menu that changes weekly to keep things fresh and exciting. Either way, you’re guaranteed of exceptional wine and excellent food.
Early-risers might be interested in the 10am brunch pairing (five courses paired with five wines) offered daily, or there’s a six-course Story of Creation pairing with eight estate wines; small plates-and-wine pairing; wine-and-chocolate pairing; and even a nonalcoholic tea pairing.
Sit on the terrace on a sunny day (or inside the chic restaurant if it’s chilly) while taking in the fabulous views of the vineyards over the farm dam and the towering Babylon Toren mountain.
Opening times Wine tastings: Monday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Wine and Food Pairings and Lunch: Monday – Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Contact 028 212 1107, email@example.com
Where to find it Hemel-en-Aarde Road, R320, Hermanus, Western Cape
2. THE RESTAURANT AT NEWTON JOHNSON
When chef Eric Bulpitt left Newton Johnson, he handed over the reigns to his young sous chef, Rickey Broekhoven, who honed his skills working with Bertus Basson at Overture. Rickey is a forager and, as such, guests can expect fresh and exciting, seasonally driven meals at this chic eatery. Before sitting down to enjoy your meal, sample some of the vineyard’s first-class pinot noirs in the adjoining tasting room, with spectacular views across the valley towards the sea.
Good to know On the last Friday of each month – from 6pm onwards (no bookings after 7pm) – the restaurant hosts a fun burger evening that includes a beer and a wagyu burger and chips for a mere R150.
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 2.30pm
Contact 021 200 2148, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Newton Johnson Wine Estate, R320, Hemel-en-Aarde Road, Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Hermanus, Western Cape
3. LA VIERGE WINES & RESTAURANT
Situated in the dreamy Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, on the delightful La Vierge estate, this restaurant prides itself on its eclectic culinary offering, serving a wide range of dishes from delicious pastas and line fish to curries and lamb shanks. If the weather’s good, enjoy your meall on the outdoor patio, overlooking the vineyards frm its eyrie-like location; or else sit inside in the purple-accented restaurant, enjoying some of the estate’s award-winning wines.
Opening times Restaurant: Tuesday – Sunday, 12pm – 4pm
Tasting room: Monday – Sunday 10am – 5pm
Contact 028 313 2007, email@example.com
Where to find it La Vierge Wins, R329, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley Road, Hermanus, Western Cape
4. MOGGS COUNTRY COOKHOUSE
For wholesome country cooking in a delightful rural setting, this Hemel-en-Aarde stalwart is a must. Diners can expect delectable, healthy portions expertly cooked by mother-and-daughter team, Jenny and Julia Mogg, who change their menu seasonally. Open for lunch only, this scenic spot is perfect for a wholesome bite after a day of wine-tasting in the surrounding valley.
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 2.30pm
Contact 076 314 0671
Where to find it Nuwe Pos Farm, R320 Road, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Hermanus, Western Cape
1. THE TASTING ROOM AT STANFORD HILLS WINE ESTATE
Overlooking sloping farmlands and a water lily-covered dam, this charming cottage opened in 2013 as a wine-tasting venue. Given its idyllic setting, it wasn’t long before a decision was taken to transform it into an 80-seater restaurant that’s since become popular for its daily chalkboard menu. It is wonderfully child-friendly, thanks to vast lawns and a jungle gym, sandpit and trampoline, and the large outdoor seating area is covered, making it a good destination year-round. Inside, two cosy fireplaces – and some great Stanford Hills wines – beckon…
Good to know Stanford Hills Wine Estate also offers lovely, child- and pet-friendly accommodation, and guests are invited to explore the farm and enjoy the many demarcated hiking trails and scenic beauty.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 5pm
Contact 072 639 6135, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Stanford Hills Estate, Weltevreden Farm, Stanford, Western Cape
2. MANOR HOUSE RESTAURANT
Housed in a beautifully restored converted farmstead, this super-stylish eatery serves contemporary country cooking courtesy of internationally acclaimed chef Jonathan Davies and his talented team. Jonathan’s wholesome, from-the-heart comfort food is echoed in the chic yet homely restaurant that boasts beautiful views of the Akkedisberg mountains. The restaurant’s organic herb and veggie garden supplies the kitchen with fresh, seasonal produce, and the food portions are generous, so come hungry!
Good to know On the drinks menu, you’ll find a wonderfully curated selection of local wines “and a couple of ‘imported’ ones from Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, too”, laughs co-owner Elsabe Nauta. The stock of local craft gins is also impressive, perfect for cocktails at sundown or a pre-dinner G&T.
Opening times Thursday – Saturday, 8am – 10pm
Sunday, 8am – 4pm
Contact 072 198 062, email@example.com
Where to find it Stanford Valley Guest Farm, R326, Stanford, Western Cape
3. SPRINGFONTEIN EATS
Chef Jürgen Schneider earned a Michelin star within 10 months of opening his first restaurant in Germany, and it wasn’t long before his Stanford eatery (which he opened with Springfontein Wine Estate’s founder Dr Johst Weber in 2014) was being hailed as the premier hidden gem of the Overberg region. Situated on Springfontein Wine Estate, where the nutrient-rich soil and fresh sea air create conditions comparable to those of famous French wineries, the restaurant serves dishes made with love from freshly foraged ingredients. In fact, if Jürgen isn’t in the kitchen, he’s probably out scouring the surrounding winelands for plants and herbs.
Opening times Lunch: Thursday – Sunday, from 12.30pm (last order 1.30pm
Dinner: Wednesday – Saturday, from 6.30pm (last order 8pm)
Contact 028 341 0571, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Springfontein Wine Estate, Moore Road, Stanford, Western Cape
4. GRAZE SLOW FOOD CAFÉ
As its name suggests, this quaint café on Stanford’s Queen Victoria Street is and ode to its countryside setting, and where you’ll find fresh, farm-to-table dishes made with organic, seasonal ingredients.
Inside, the vibe is cosy, while the checkered tablecloths on the sidewalk tables make for a lovely al fresco dining experience. Open just three days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this eatery a favourite among locals and out-of-towners alike.
Opening times Wednesday, 9am – 12am
Friday, 6pm – 11pm
Saturday, 9am – 2.30pm
Contact 076 243 1930, email@example.com
Where to find it 21 Queen Victoria Street, Stanford, Western Cape
5. STANFORD HARVEST FARM KITCHEN
Located just outside of Stanford on the tranquil Elandsvalley farm, this cosy farm kitchen prides itself on wholesome home cooking in an unpretentious environment, that will have you returning every time you pass through. Hearty dishes such as oxtail stew, bobotie, and curries are regular features on the ever-changing menu, together with freshly baked treats, breakfasts and light lunches. Dishes are best enjoyed inside the cosy traditional farm-style interior, or outside under the wooden eaves overlooking the peaceful surrounds and the great Klein River Mountain.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday, 9am – 4pm
Contact 083 409 8126, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Elandsvalley Farm, Stanford, Western Cape
6. THE ZESTY LEMON
This bright and breezy eatery is situated in the beautiful garden alongside the breathtaking waterlily dam at the tranquil Sir Robert Stanford Wine Estate, and makes for a wonderful family outing. In addition to serving a range of deliciously fresh breakfasts and light lunches, diners can also enjoy a selection of tasting plates paired with the estates wine. Enjoy your meal outside under the shade of the trees next to the water when it’s a beautiful day, or cosy up under the terrace roof next to the outdoor fireplace if it’s chilly – either way, the majestic scenery is always the top order of the day.
Good to know The eatery also prides itself on hosting kids parties – all you need to do is pick your date, theme, food choice and activities, and leave the organising up to the venue.
Opening times Thursday – Monday, 9am – 4pm
Contact 028 341 0647, email@example.com
Where to find it Sir Robert Stanford Estate, R43, Stanford, Western Cape
7. THE GARDEN GRILL AT WHITE WATER FARM
If you’re after a veritable country feast in scenic Stanford, you’d do well to pick this lesser-known spot where farm-fresh mains served on bountiful feast platters are the order of the day. While you’re there, take a saunter around the lovely veggie garden (from which the restaurant sources fresh produce) and breathe in the crisp country air.
Good to know The farm also offers wonderful country accommodation, and doubles as a wedding venue (there’s even have a charming barn chapel!).
Opening times Saturday, 6.30pm – 9pm
Sunday, 12.30pm – 2.30pm
Contact 072 160 5486, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it White Water Farm, R326, Stanford, Western Cape
If you have more time in the Overberg, these spots also deserve a visit:
Havercroft’s Restaurant Husband-and-wife team Brydon and Innes Havercroft continue to serve well-priced meals (such as devilled kidneys and slow-roasted pork belly) at their cosy Stanford-based restaurant.
Aromatish Café & Bakery Painted in pastel hues, this delightful café and bakery (with cheesecake to rival all others) offers good views and solid service. It’s a cosy spot that brings some old-fashioned charm and pretty eats to Hermanus.
Bientang’s Cave Created out of a traditional cave (previously inhabited by a Khoi Strandloper of the same name), this restaurant quite literally spills onto Walker Bay. Its rustic charm, grotto setting, and unbeatable location are what you’re here for…
Eat Restaurant This light and airy restaurant offers a varied menu of lunch, light snacks, dinner and desserts that’ll satisfy vegetarians and carnivores alike.
Le Chalet Situated in Fisherhaven, overlooking the Bot River Lagoon and surrounding mountains, this wooden cabin offers fine-dining in a warm, welcoming space.
Grootbos Restaurants Yes, we know this is a far cry from Hermanus, but if you’re in the area, and looking for something rather special, this private nature reserve near Gansbaai is it! Whether you opt for the cosy Garden Lodge (where nature magically floods in through its doors) and you can enjoy intimate meals with your loved ones – or the Forest Lodge, with its wonderful deck for alfresco dining, this is the stuff memories are made of.
Blue Gum Country Estate Food is one of the main attractions at the delightful Blue Gum Country Estate. Chef Isaac Sykes plans the delectable menus in both restaurants at this Stanford-based farm. Barke caters to families and casual diners, while The Blue Gum Restaurant is open for dinner only (no children allowed).
Cuckoo Tree This small, unpretentious restaurant and coffee shop – situated just off the main road – is where mother-and- daughter team, Lynne and Michelle Powers, conjure up delicious meals, which can be enjoyed either inside or in the treed courtyard.
Just Pure Bistro This bustling bistro, overlooking the bay, is a great pitstop for breakfast, or a slice of cake, during a cliff walk. Also known for its vegetarian, sugar- and gluten-free offerings, the menu changes daily while retaining its “just pure” philosophy.
Gabriëlskloof This hilltop wine estate and restaurant, found outside Bot River, is well worth a detour when you’re in the Overberg region. The restaurant offers lovingly prepared no-fuss food. Before or after your meal, enjoy a lovely olive oil and wine tasting.
Fusion Restaurant and Grill Offering one of the best whale-watching spots in Hermanus, this laidback seafront spot in the centre of town (now under new ownership) stays true to its name by not committing to any particular culinary style.
Betty Blue Bistro Breathing a refreshing burst of mellow yellow into Hermanus, this cute eatery does a variety of meals, but go for a pancake (sweet or savoury) or the Eggs Benedict. The lunch mains were a little disappointing…
Research by Kent Cloete, Nikki Benatar, Jackie Lange and Annabel Short.
Source: The 28 Best Restaurants in Hermanus and The Overberg 2018 first appeared on insideguide.co.za