The Eat Out Mercedes Benz Restaurant Awards are the Oscars of South Africa’s culinary accolades. Launched in 1998 and presented at an awards celebration held in November, the annual Eat Out Restaurant Awards celebrate the South African restaurant industry, with accolades including the Top 10 Restaurants, Chef of the Year, Restaurant of the Year and more.
The winning restaurants were determined by the scores of a panel of anonymous judges, headed up by accolated Chief Judge Margot Janse, who dined around the country unannounced and scored the restaurants against the rigorous judging criteria in line with international standards.
This year, Cape Town and the Western Cape scooped up most of the awards, taking nine out of the top 10 spots, including the number one place! So without further ado, make sure to add these hot spots to your Cape Town culinary bucket list.
1. La Colombe (Constantia, Cape Town)
Up from third place last year, La Colombe’s menu of delightfully quirky dishes inspired by local flavours skyrocketed them to the number one spot this year. They also rank in the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards earlier this year. Chef James Gaag and his team have mastered a French flair but unique style of cuisine and impeccable service. We love sister restaurant La Petite Colombe in Franschhoek, which ranked at sixth place this year. Read more about our La Petite Colombe dining experience here.
2. The Test Kitchen (Woodstock, Cape Town)
Holding steady at position number two for two years in a row, The Test Kitchen, steered by Chef Luke Dale Roberts, remains a firm favourite with the judges and public. Precise attention to detail, and a dining experience that is adventurous in every way are just two of the reasons why our Golden Keys concierge loves recommending TTK to our guests. Innovation is at the heart of their continued success, and this is evident in Luke Dale Robert’s ever-expanding array of dining establishments, including the new Salsify, which we dined at and wrote more about here. Salsify nabbed eighth place, so you can be sure that it is a winning experience.
3. The Restaurant at Waterkloof (Somerset West)
Last year’s winning restaurant is still a shining star. The wine pairings, exquisite setting with vineyard as well as sea views, and freshly interpreted French cuisine make for an unforgettable experience. Chef Gregory Czarnecki tells a nostalgic tale in four or eight-course menus, infusing his dishes with a lot of personality and love.
4. Wolfgat (Paternoster)
This pocket-sized restaurant on the West Coast packs a punch! Named Best Restaurant in the World at the World Restaurant Awards (held earlier this year in Paris), this Paternoster gem, captained by Chef Kobus van der Merwe, reflects the beachy surroundings in their dishes, which are pared down, pure and rather perfect. We wrote more about what you can expect here.
5. FYN (City Bowl)
A brand new entry, FYN, opened this year by Ashley Moss and Peter Tempelhoff, quickly rose to fame for its theatrical interplay of Japanese and South African flavours. We love this moody inner-city dining experience that’s all marble, exposed cement and impressive lighting, where bento boxes contain unexpected morsels like samoosas. Read our five-star full review here and then hurry off and book a seat.
The Full Top 10 restaurants:
- La Colombe (Constantia, Cape Town)
- The Test Kitchen (Woodstock, Cape Town)
- The Restaurant at Waterkloof (Somerset West)
- Wolfgat (Paternoster)
- FYN Restaurant (City Bowl, Cape Town)
- La Petite Colombe (Franschhoek)
- Eike (Stellenbosch)
- Salsify (Camps Bay, Cape Town)
- Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient (Elandsfontein, Pretoria)
- Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia (Constantia, Cape Town)
The Eat Out Awards are a reflection of the ongoing excellence of the restaurants we are lucky to be surrounded by in South Africa. If you would like to make the most of them while staying with us, speak to our Cape Grace Concierge Team – they are passionate foodies who love booking their best-loved dining spots in the Cape and beyond for visiting guests.
Blog post by Tarah Darge