The 20 Best Restaurants in Franschhoek

The 20 Best Restaurants in Franschhoek Chefs Warehouse at Maison

No wonder it’s touted as the culinary capital of South Africa!

This exclusive winelands town, just 75 kilometres from Cape Town, is famed for its Huguenot heritage, exquisite Cape Dutch architecture, prestigious wine estates (many of which include luxury accommodation), and an ever-expanding foodscape that features some of the top restaurants in the land.

Here, we list our pick of the best places to eat in this resort town; we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

La Petite Colombe

The Best Restaurants in Franschhoek: La Petite Colombe

A veritable jewel in the Franschhoek food crown, La Petite Colombe remains one of my most memorable dining experiences ever. Heading the kitchen is John Norris-Rogers, a young chef who spent four-and-a-half years honing his skills under La Colombe’s Scot Kirton and James Gaag. His self-assured demeanour belies his 28 years, as he concocts a theatrical array of superb dishes (10 courses if you opt for the Full Menu; or eight courses if you choose the Reduced Menu).
Housed at Le Quartier Français (where The Tasting Room used to be), the 54-seater restaurant oozes timeless elegance – from the background music (jazz classics) to the pared-down yet sumptuous interiors (by UK-based Beverley Boswell).
Please note La Petite Colombe is moving to Leeu Estates in May 2020.
Good to know The Full Menu (10 courses) costs R1 550; with wine R2 650.
The Reduced Menu (8 courses) costs R1 200; with wine R2 050 and is only available for lunch.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 13:30pm; 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Contact 021 202 3395, reservations@lapetitecolombe.com
Where to find it Le Quartier Français Hotel, Franschhoek
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Le Chêne

The Best Restaurants in Franschhoek: Le Chêne

Taking its name from the oak tree that stood in the property’s glass conservatory, Le Chêne at Leeu Estates in Franschhoek is the latest offering from chef Darren Badenhorst, whose name many might recognise from his time at Grand Provence, as well as Le Coin Français, his accolade-strewn eatery on Franschhoek’s main road.
With chef Oelof Vorster heading the kitchen, the pair have devised a confidently varied and proudly South African menu underpinned by rigorous French technique. The result? Simply delicious, perfectly executed plates that are comfortingly familiar yet wholly unexpected.
The sustainable beetroot-cured seabass ceviche, with citrus and smoked dehydrated chilli, for example, is umami squared! As is the foraged-porcini cured-springbok tartare, with pickled beetroot carpaccio. Elegant, refined, perfect. Each course was one better than the next. And the true test of the cooking? Our fussy four-year-old son ate everything on his plate!
As one would expect from a Leeu Collection establishment, service is exemplary and the interiors sophisticated, with custom-made furniture, including a long 750-year-old yellowwood table. Cellar geeks will love the wine-pairing suggestions! Book a table on the deck, which yields spectacular garden, vineyard and mountain views.
Inside info Owner of Leeu Collection, Analjit Singh, happened to be there on the day we dined and true to his reputation of being a perfectionist, the 60-something billionaire was straightening cushions and measuring curtains in the sitting room!
Opening times Daily, 7am – 10.30am, 12pm – 2.30pm, 7pm – 8.30pm
Contact 021 492 2222, reservations@leeucollection.com
Where to find it Leeu Estates, Dassenberg Road, Franschhoek
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Chefs Warehouse at Maison

The Best Restaurants in Franschhoek: Chefs Warehouse at Maison

Chefs Warehouse is – without a smidgeon of a doubt – one of the best restaurants in Cape Town. Fact. So, it’s hardly a surprise that the Franschhoek branch of Liam Tomlin’s restaurant group is on this list. Occupying a vineyard- and mountain-facing space on Maison Wine Estate, the restaurant is headed by chef David Schneider (who worked alongside chef Liam and Ivor Jones at Chefs Warehouse in Constantia).
As with Liam’s other wildly popular restaurants, the emphasis is on superb “global tapas” accompanied by excellent wines in sophisticated surroundings.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 3pm; 6pm – 9pm
Contact 021 876 2116, cw.maison@gmail.com, info@chefswarehouse.co.za
Where to find it Maison Estate, R45, Franschhoek
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Arkeste

Arkeste: New Restaurants Cape Town

Situated on Chamonix Wine Farm in Franschhoek, chef Richard Carstens’ brand-new restaurant is a culmination of his more-than-30-years experience in some of the top kitchens in the land (most famously an eight-year stint at Tokara). His latest (ever-changing) menu combines his past passions and triumphs (molecular gastronomy and Asian-fusion), his self-taught techniques (classical French) and his most recent musings: clean eating and pescetarianism. The result? “The kind of food I want to eat when I go out,” says my husband after every mouthful. “Healthy, well-prepared, delicious.”
Surrounded by a 40-seater treed deck, with floor-to-ceiling glass panes allowing the serene greenery to permeate, the restaurant accommodates 36 covers inside, and is beautifully run by Jeremy Collins who worked with Richard at Tokara.
The food We had the corn cappelletti with prawns, raspberry and Parmesan crème, followed by saffron-braised endive, with walnuts, black sesame, gooseberries and coconut. Intermezzo was a yuzu-and-sake sorbet with wasabi syrup, and then came the lemon-glazed ostrich with pearl couscous, asparagus, nectarines and black pepper jus. All were superb. For dessert, we had to try Richard’s famous Gorgonzola ice cream, a dish he conceived of 20 years ago. Guess what? It actually works. Beautifully.
The rest Richard is passionate about creating an all-round experience. As such, he’s compiled a 12-hour playlist that complements the food perfectly: serene, edgy, nostalgic, current. As for the winelist, it’s small and hyper-local. “Because I’m constantly creating new dishes, we need to be able to change the pairings regularly, which a small list allows us to do,” explains Richard.
Insider tip If you have an adventurous palate, enquire about the Baked Alaska (meringue and smoked salmon ice cream!) It’s not on the menu, but he’ll gladly whip it out!
Opening times  Wednesday – Thursday, 12pm –3pm
Friday – Saturday, 12pm –3pm; 5pm – 9pm
Sunday, 12pm –3pm
Contact 021 876 2393, reservations@arkeste.com
Where to find it  Chamonix Restaurant, Uitkyk Street, Franschhoek
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Le Coin Français

Franschhoek Restaurants: Le Coin Francais

Following an eight-year stint as executive chef at Grande Provence, Chef Darren Badenhorst decided to open his own restaurant on Franschhoek’s Main Road. The French-inspired menu “takes diners on a journey through various interpretations of nostalgic food memories, leading them through a culinary exploration of flavours, textures and interactive creations,” explains Darren.
The airy space is decked out with contemporary furniture in neutral tones, and there’s a divine restored spiral staircase at the one end that we adore.
Opening times Thursday – Sunday, 12pm – 2.30pm
Tuesday – Sunday, 7pm – 8.30pm
Contact 074 126 0022, reservations@lecoinfrancais.co.za
Where to find it 17 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek
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Foliage

The Best Restaurants in Franschhoek: Foliage

He garnered a loyal following and an excellent reputation as a forager and nose-to-tail crusader during his tenure at Pierneef à la Motte, so when Chris Erasmus opened Foliage in 2014, foodies were more than ready to tuck into his weird, wild and wonderful dishes.
The atmosphere in the restaurant is welcoming and the space tastefully decorated (neutrals with pops of bright red), with an open kitchen dominating the interior and breaking the barrier between chefs and diners.
Chris’s focus has always been to support local, like-minded purveyors, vignerons and biodiversity entrepreneurs, and the attention to detail on each and every dish is extraordinary.
Good to know Chris recently opened another restaurant in Franschhoek: Four Square Club (see below).
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 2.30pm; 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Contact 021 876 2328, restaurant@foliage.co.za
Where to find it 11 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek
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Protégé

The Best Restaurants in Franschhoek: Protégé

From renowned chef-proprietor Scot Kirton (La Colombe, La Petite Colombe and Foxcroft), Protégé, as its name implies, provides young talented chefs the opportunity of honing their skills. Situated at Le Quartier Français, the restaurant has been designed around the central show kitchen, with alfresco dining areas at both ends to ensure a wonderful dining experience.  Scot wanted to create a space that locals could call home, while enjoying top-quality, seasonally driven comfort food. Interior wizards, Rotem Shachar and Megan Bon, have created a wonderful space in which to do so.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 7am – 11am; 12pm – 9pm
Contact 021 224 0801
Where to find it 18 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek
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Pierneef à La Motte

Best Franchhoek Restaurants: Pierneef a La Motte

Named after South African landscape artist, Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, this esteemed restaurant offers a similarly creative streak, as chef Eric Bulpitt, former head chef at Faber at Avondale, puts forward a vibrant array of dishes.
We love the sense of whimsy, so often absent in upscale establishments, such as the Delft-style porcelain dangling from the rafters, and the bold chair backs that tell their own stories…
Outside, ancient oaks and bubbling water features create a serene setting, with the overall atmosphere being sophisticated yet quirky.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Contact 021 876 8800, pierneef@la-motte.co.za
Where to find it La Motte, R45 Main Road, Franschhoek
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The Werf

The Best Restaurants in Franschhoek: The Werf

Under chef Allistaire Lawrence, ethical and sustainable methods are followed on every inch of this nine-hectare estate – allowing the natural flavours of the pasture, ocean and garden to shine.
Housed in Boschendal’s original cellar, The Werf epitomises a particular style of plaas chic – heritage-Dutch-meets-modern-Afrikaner – arguably invented by Karen Roos, whose nearby Babylonstoren is a must-visit when in the area. The result is a familiar, unintimidating and oh-so current space.
Good to know Boschendal’s gourmet picnics are among our favourites.
Please note Reservations are essential. A deposit of R100 per person is required when booking.
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 3pm (last orders by 2.30pm)
Wednesday – Saturday, 6pm – 9pm (last orders by 8.30pm)
Contact 021 870 4209, werf@boschendal.co.za
Where to find it Boschendal, R310, Pniel Road, Groot Drakenstein, Franschhoek
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MIKO at Mont Rochelle

The Best Restaurants in Franschhoek: MIKO at Mont Rochelle

Overlooking the expansive Franschhoek Valley, where rolling meadows and vineyards stretch out towards the distant mountains, this illustrious Richard Branson-owned estate offers visitors a a scenic and serene spot to enjoy delicious food and home-grown wines. It’s here that Polish-born executive head chef Arek Witaszek concocts a heavenly selection of delectable breakfast, lunch and dinner options, inspired by traditional South African flavours and made with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.
Featuring the likes of smoked springbok and beetroot carpaccio, red-velvet prawns, a sorbet of the day palate cleanser, pan-fried sustainable fish, and matcha sponge (to name a few), each course is paired with one of the award-winning estate wines.
Good to know Those seeking a more relaxed ambience will love the light, laidback dishes served at the estate’s sister restaurant, The Country Kitchen, while the scenic picnics are a must for an alfresco dining experience.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 10.30am; 12pm – 3pm; 7pm – 9.30pm
Terrace & Bar menu available until 6pm
Contact 021 876 2770, reception@montrochelle.virgin.com
Where to find it Mont Rochelle, Dassenberg Road, Franschhoek, Western Cape
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Epice

The Best Restaurants in Franschhoek: Epice

Named after the French word epicé (meaning spice), this intimate eatery is situated in Heritage Square, in the space formerly occupied by Marigold, and is the brainchild of La Colombe’s chef-proprietor Scot Kirton and executive chef James Gaag.
Serving an array of delectably curated French-fusion dishes, the fine-dining restaurant is headed by chef Charné Sampson (previously sous chef at La Colombe), and features a flavour-packed menu inspired by the team’s culinary expedition to India, as well as memories of travels through Spain, Japan, Mexico, Denmark and the US.
“The menu will revolve around spices, but that doesn’t necessarily mean spicy-hot – think vanilla and saffron; cinnamon and nutmeg,” explains Scot.
Wild boar chorizo, spiced quail cooked in a tandoor, and oysters vindaloo are just some of the other exciting creations diners can expect. There’s also an ice-cream trolley for the palate cleanser course, from which diners can select their own sorbet. Heaven!
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 6pm – 8.30pm
Friday – Sunday, 12pm – 2pm
Contact 021 492 4044, reservations@epice.co.za
Where to find it 9 Huguenot Street, Franschhoek, Western Cape
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Orangerie Restaurant

Orangerie Le Lude Franschhoek Restaurants

Located on Le Lude MCC Estate, Orangerie’s chic, all-white interiors – with the odd splash of colour – is the perfect foil for chef Nicolene Barrow’s intriguing menu: purist European execution (a spin-off of her experience in world-famous international kitchens) tinged with personal flair and modernity.
Expect fine, fresh ingredients – sourced seasonally from the surrounding forests, meadows, mountains and seas – judiciously combined to create memorable and exquisite-looking dishes.
Orangerie’s French-inspired interiors – white-and-black tiling, atrium windows, with potted plants and floral arrangements providing pops of colour – create a soothing and civilised atmosphere.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday, 12pm – 4pm
Contact 021 100 3464, restaurant@lelude.co.za
Where to find it Le Lude, Bowling Green Avenue (Lambrechts Road), Franschhoek
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Rupert & Rothschild Restaurant

Frnachhoek Restaurants: Rupert & Rothschild Restaurant

Situated in the light and airy Tasting Centre on the family-run estate of the same name, Rupert & Rothschild Restaurant is the perfect spot for a business meeting, special celebration or casual meal with friends. The glorious vineyard and mountain views create a relaxed atmosphere for diners to enjoy chef Adrian Hadlow’s creations.
The Afro-French interiors, with artworks from the Rupert Art Museum and French oak furniture, create a sense of understated elegance. The à la carte menu is a wonderful showcase of invigorating flavour combinations, featuring dishes such as seared tuna with avocado, pickled daikon radish, coconut and papaya; while the food and wine or champagne pairings allow guests to savour of some of Rupert & Rothschild’s exquisite wines.
Opening times Restaurant: Tuesday – Friday, 12pm- 3pm
Contact 021 874 1648, info@rupert-rothschildvignerons.com
Where to find it Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons, Klapmuts Road, Simondium, Franschhoek
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Roca Restaurant at Dieu Donne Vineyards

The Best Restaurants in Franschhoek: Roca Restaurant

Situated at the very top of Uitkyk Street overlooking the Franschhoek Valley, this double-level restaurant offers diners a Mediterranean-inspired à la carte menu featuring tasty starters, mains and desserts made with fresh local ingredients. Diners can soak up the summer scene on the sun-kissed terrace, or cosy up in the enclosed top deck. With sweeping views as far as the eye can see and a welcoming atmosphere, it’s no wonder Roca is a popular wedding destination.
Good to know The people behind Roca at Dieu Donne and Café Roca have opened Marilyn’s, a new starlet-themed restaurant, with up-to-the-minute dusty pink velvet booths, that serves sushi.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 3pm
Monday – Saturday, 6pm – 9pm
Contact 021 876 3384 or 021 876 2345, info@rocarestaurant.co.za
Where to find it Dieu Donné Wine Estate, 28 Uitkyk Street, Franschhoek
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Four Square Club

The Best Restaurants in Franschhoek: Four Square Club

“Converting carnivores since 2019”, Four Square represents the coming-together of four well-loved Franschhoek icons: Foliage Restaurant, Môreson Wines, Miss Molly Bubbles and Wildcraft Gin! Headed by vegetable chef, Michael Jonker, the result is a light-hearted space that serves serious plant-based food as mains, with meat on the side. One such creation is called Dame Helen Mirin, comprising pickled radish, pickled celery, basil and mint pesto, passion fruit and mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine).
As it’s new, the restaurant is still finding its feet but the presentation and flavours are spot on. Vive le veg!
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 10.30am – 5pm
Contact 021 876 4004
Where to find it  Number 1, Môreson Wine Farm, Happy Valley Road, Franschhoek
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Tuk Tuk Microbrewery

The Best Restaurants in Franschhoek: Tuk Tuk Microbrewery

Legend has it that The Singh (real name Analjit Singh) visited Franschhoek one day during the 2010 Soccer World Cup, and ended up buying half the village (well, three hotels and their adjoining wine farms, four restaurants, a spa, a gym, a micro-brewery, a wine studio and a gallery… when we last checked). The Taqueria, housed in the above-mentioned brewery, serves Mexican-inspired grub, such as, nachos, tacos, burritos (and burgers and fish and chips, too) – all of which go down beautifully with a craft beer or two.
Tuk Tuk’s look is industrio-cool: vaulted ceilings, exposed-brick and sandblasted walls, and copper and stainless-steel service pipes overhead, with Mondrian-esque pops of colour here and there. If you’re visiting when the brewmaster is distilling in-house, you can watch him at work, or grab an outside table for the best view of the mountain and high street.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 11am – 11pm (kitchen closes 9.30pm)
Contact 021 492 2207, info.tuktuk@leeucollection.com
Where to find it 14 Huguenot Street, Franschhoek, Western Cape

Le Petit Manoir

The Best Restaurants in Franschhoek: Le Petit Manoir

This intimate four-roomed hotel, conveniently situated on Franschhoek’s main drag, combines country charm and modern sophistication. Its in-house restaurant is headed by Eastern Cape-born-and-raised Cameron Luke Smith, whose culinary track record includes stints at La Colombe and Protégé. The result is a food experience that is elevated yet not pretentious.
Breakfast choices are succinct but intriguing: mushrooms on toast and teriyaki beef sausage and beans, for example; while lunch features an à la carte menu and tapas-style dishes, as well as oysters and bottomless bubbly.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 11am,
Monday – Saturday, 12.30pm – 3.30pm; 6.30pm – 9pm
Contact 021 876 2110, restaurant@lepetitmanoir.co.za
Where to find it 54 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek
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La Paris Bistro & Deli

The Best Restaurants in Franschhoek: La Paris Bistro & Deli

What started out as a scenic wedding and function venue has now added bistro and deli to its repertoire. Eight kilometres outside the main village, this quintessential Franschhoek farm pays homage to the region’s majestic beauty, with breathtaking views of mountains, ancient oaks and a dam, with a jetty that crosses the water to an island in the centre (a wedding photographer’s dream, we’re sure).
Open for breakfast and lunch (and dinner on Fridays), the menu boasts bistro-style fare with flair. A succession of oak trees lines the patio, beckoning you to grab a seat on one of the cane chairs. Inside the vibe is relaxed yet upscale with French-oak floors that mirror the giants outside. Bambinos are welcome.
Opening times Monday – Thursday & Saturday – Sunday, 8am – 5pm
Friday, 8am – 10pm
Contact 021 867 0171, restaurant@laparis.co.za
Where to find it Wemmershoek Road, R301, Franschhoek
Reviewer Michelle de Bruin
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Grande Provence

Best Restaurants in Franschhoek: Grande Provence

Sit under the ancient oaks in the modern sculpture garden of this esteemed estate and drink in the views of the vineyards and rugged mountains, as you enjoy your meal, with the Berg River trickling past you.
After lunch take an amble around the grounds, popping into the art gallery and shop for some inspiring browsing.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 3pm; 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Bistro: Monday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Contact 021 876 8600, reservations@grandeprovence.co.za
Where to find it Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate, Main Road, Franschhoek
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Le Bon Vivant

The Best Restaurants in Franschhoek: Le Bon Vivant
Jaco Vosloo

Just off the main road, in a converted house, this restaurant is fronted by classically trained Dutch chef-patron Pierre Hendricks. The cosy interior bursts with charm, thanks to whimsical touches (such as whisks on a few lights at the entrance) and two cosy fireplaces. A glass wall allows diners a glimpse into the working kitchen where Pierre and his team perform their magic.
We were impressed with the unusual combinations on the à la carte menu. The chef’s crayfish tail and veal dish is delicious with red lentils and broccoli crumb!
Adventurous diners should try the chef’s surprise menu with a four-course (R475 or R645 with wine) or six-course option (R670 or R960 with wine).
Opening times Monday – Sunday (closed on Wednesday), 12pm – 2pm; 6pm – 11pm
Contact 021 876 2717, reservations@lebonvivant.co.za
Where to find it Le Bon Vivant, 22 Dirkie Uys Street, Franschhoek
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If you have more time, you might also like to try

  • Reuben’s Restaurant & Bar for sophisticated South African flavours.
  • Monneaux Restaurant for a touch of Provençal elegance.
  • Cafe Des Arts for cosy courtyard seating with a kiddies’ play area.
  • Bistro BonBon for a charming country setting, where chickens and the resident pooch roam free.
  • Leopard’s Leap Vineyards for a generous buffet and a fun-filled family day out.

Researched by Nikki Benatar, Kent Cloete, Jackie Lange, Bianca Hausle, Hannah Littlewood

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Disclaimer:

The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 22 January 2020

9 Responses to “The 20 Best Restaurants in Franschhoek”

  1. Avatar

    Odile

    Why can’t restaurants check the correct French words when choosing a name? La chêne is incorrect. It should be LE chêne

    Reply
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  3. Avatar

    Jose Brites

    I can’t believe that The La petit Fern, didn’t make the “A” list as it has been continuously one of the top restaurants in Franschoeck for many, many year! I wonder who comply this list?

    Reply
  4. Avatar

    Graham

    Good choices and I’ve been lucky enough to visit most of these. Whilst a short drive away from Franschhoek, the best food I’ve ever had is at Overture, Hidden Valley !

    Reply
  5. Avatar

    Gert Gertzen

    How can you classify Tuk Tuk as a restaurant ?

    Reply
    • The Inside Guide

      The Inside Guide

      Hi Gert
      We’ve only had really lovely meals there: fresh produce, a great vibe, friendly service and lots of delicious flavours that work well together.

      Reply
    • Avatar

      Graham

      Great food, good value, friendly service

      Reply
  6. Avatar

    Ulrich Dannecker

    I looked at the Top 20 Restaurants in Franschhoek and wonder what happened to La Petite Ferme? I live overseas currently and used to frequent this restaurant frequently.

    Reply
    • The Inside Guide

      The Inside Guide

      Hi Ulrich
      Thank you for your comment. As you can imagine, every restaurant in Franschhoek would like to be on this list.
      We use an algorithm to determine our picks that takes into account many different variables (service, ambience, quality of ingredients, mastery of the cooking, harmony of flavours, the chef’s passion/personality on the plate, and so on), and of course, the personal experiences of our team and contributors.

      Reply