The 15 Best Restaurants in Paarl

Restaurants Paarl The Stoep at Laborie

Chic bistros, farm-to-fork dining and casual cafés cluster around Paarl Mountain in delicious harmony with nature.

Too often overlooked for its well-heeled and better-known Cape Winelands sisters, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, a food-focussed wander around Paarl reveals plenty of precious pearls tucked away in its picturesque midst. A new crop of design-savvy restaurants and chic bistros has emerged alongside tried-and-tested farm-to-fork eateries, then there are family-friendly wine farms giving onto the vast network of Paarl mountain trails, and cool coffee shops brimming with local panache. Here are our picks of Paarl.

Scape at Vrymansfontein


Sean Gibson

A working almond farm with spectacular views on the Suid-Agter Paarl road, Vrymansfontein is fresh from a magnificent re-imagining as a wine-and-dining destination for families and foodies. Chef Kevin Grobler (formerly JAN Nice, Delaire Graff, Grande Roche) has devised a Mediterranean-inspired farm-to-table menu in line with owner Max Ward’s vision. The serene signature restaurant, Scape, offers a fresh and flavour-packed menu of family-style shared plates. It’s food you’d happily return for week after week: nduja and smoked burrata bruschetta; beetroot carpaccio with grapefruit and almond gremolata; slow-roast pork belly; and the succulent simplicity of the brined then roasted veld-reared chicken. A fresh and fabulous basil ice cream with crunchy honeycomb is another flavour bomb.
Good to know Vrymansfontein is home to Vondeling Wines, with tastings available at The Tasting Bar so you can select a favourite to enjoy with your meal. You can also enjoy casual Levantine-style tapas and platters at the open-air bar on the shaded Tree Bar terrace while the kids happily play on the custom-built timber jungle gym.
Opening times Wednesday – Saturday, 12pm – 10pm
Sunday, 12pm – 6pm
The Tasting Bar: Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm
Contact 082 617 4903, info@vrymansfontein.co.za
Where to find it Suid-Agter Paarl Road, Paarl
Book through DinePlan

Noop

Restaurants Paarl Noop

Set in a heritage Victorian building beneath two majestic oak trees on Paarl’s characterful Main Road, this homely bistro, owned by chef Zian Oosthuizen has been a local favourite since he took over the reins in 2012. A Paarl native, Zian is known for his unpretentious seasonal fare that bursts with flavours the palate won’t soon forget. Hearty meat dishes star on the menu, with mouth-watering offerings such as Kalahari springbok loin; crispy free-range duck; slow-roasted lamb neck; a variety of steak cuts with your choice of sauce; and a homemade wagyu beef burger. But vegetarians are not forgotten, with dishes such as wild mushroom ravioli and tempura broccolini and mushroom poke bowls…and leave room for dessert!
Good to know Wine lovers will be well-impressed with the massive, excellently curated selection (did we mention the winelist has a long index of local and international wines?).
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 11am – 11.30pm
Where to find it 127 Main Street, Paarl
Contact 021 863 3925, info@noop.co.za
Book through DinePlan

Bacco

Restaurants Paarl Bacco

An avenue of young cypresses, wines in the super Tuscan style and tall red-brick buildings with soaring arched windows… you can almost taste Tuscany in the air at this new Paarl estate. The Italian influence is also lively in the short cicchetti (small plates) lunch menu which changes every month. Chef Carla Jankelowitz devises seasonal menus that riff on local ingredients and pair beautifully with the wines. We particularly loved a gorgeous pumpkin risotto, and sublime crispy squid with chilli romesco sauce and crispy capers. Save space for dessert. Carla’s smoky, slightly salty, baked brie cheesecake with Amarena cherries is a show-stealer, and the tiramisu is a kahlua-drenched dream.
Good to know There is also a delicious canapé pairing to accompany a wine-tasting.
Opening times Daily, 11am – 4.30pm
Contact 063 296 2147, info@baccoestate.co.za
Where to find it Bacco Estate, Simonsvlei Road
Book through DinePlan

Brookdale Bistro

Brookdale Estate is a world apart: a secret valley in a fold of the mountains above Paarl, delightfully discovered as you dip steeply down to a little bridge over a mountain stream past indigenous gardens and vines new and old. “Chic bistro” is how chef Gary Coetzee describes his menu at the elegant contemporary restaurant, with locally sourced ingredients, beautiful presentation and flavours that really pop. He changes it often, includes plenty of delicious dishes that just happen to be plant-based (alongside generously stacked meat dishes) and is happy to adapt anything on the menu for kids. With the warm welcome from Gary and his wife Yvonne (and the promise of a constantly changing menu of seasonal delights) this is a bistro you’ll bookmark for many return visits.
Opening times Wednesday, 12pm – 3.30pm
Thursday, Friday + Saturday, 12pm – 9pm
Sunday, 12pm – 3.30pm
Contact 087 183 3919, bistro@brookdale-estate.com
Where to find it Brookdale Estate, Hawequa Bos Pad, Klein Drakenstein, Paarl
Book through DinePlan

Jewell’s Restaurant

Restaurants Paarl Jewells Restaurant

A farm-to-table feast from charcuterie whizz Neil Jewell is a must for those who prize good food made properly. Settle into a terrace table (or inside the spacious dining room) and soak up the sweeping views over the valley (the restaurant has a prime position at Spice Route Destination). Simple but flavour-packed seasonal dishes use locally sourced vegetables and herbs as well as organic Angus beef from Charles Back’s herd. Pira-roasted vegetables with chimichurri, a divine bread board, Angus beef burger, cassoulet, and a chicken tagine, are just a few of the stand-out dishes on the à la carte menu… and the charcuterie board to share is a must.
Good to know The terrace adjoins spacious lawns with a playground at the far side, and is child- (and dog-) friendly.
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 11.30am – 5pm (kitchen closes 3pm)
Contact 021 204 4875, jewells@spiceroute.co.za
Where to find it Spice Route Destination, Suid-Agter Paarl Road, Paarl
Book through Dineplan

Goatshed at Fairview

Restaurants Paarl Goatshed Fairview

Overlooking the iconic goat tower at Fairview, the Goatshed occupies a wood-beamed farm building decorated with colourful still-life murals, opening onto a wide verandah and outside terrace. Chef SJ Nel transforms the wealth of produce from the farm into a varied but down-to-earth menu of comfort food: succulent burgers, beef shin pies, straightforward sirloin steaks, or generous salads, open sandwiches and harvest bowls. And thin-crust pizzas with creative toppings (we recommend the brie, artichoke and caramelised onion).
Good to know Vegans will find a dairy-free cheese platter, non-dairy ice creams, plant-based milkshakes and several vegan dishes on the menu.
Pop into the Fairview deli after lunch to stock up on cheeses, charcuterie, breads and a wealth of fresh farm produce.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 4pm
Contact 021 863 3609, goatshed@fairview.co.za
Where to find it  Fairview Wine Farm, Suid-Agter Paarl Road, Paarl
Book Goatshed Restaurant

Faber at Avondale

Restaurants Paarl Faber

Faber at Avondale Estate can be summed up in one phrase: pure magic. A gracious old Cape Dutch building set in a sprawling secret garden on a bio-dynamic wine farm, Faber blends understated elegance, a sustainability focus and a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere. In the kitchen, chef Dale Stevens (in collaboration with Avondale Estate’s proprietor, Jonathan Grieve) crafts a selection of delectable dishes using organic and seasonal ingredients from the farm (and from other ethical producers) that take guests on a memorable culinary journey. It’s a casual fine-dining, farm-to-fork, story-telling experience that will linger long in the memory.
Good to know There’s an à la carte menu and a six-course tasting menu
Opening times Wednesday + Sunday, 12pm – 3pm
Thursday – Saturday, 12pm – 3pm;  6.30pm – 8pm
Contact 021 202 1219, faber@avondalewine.co.za
Where to find it Avondale Estate, Lustigan Road, Klein Drakenstein, Paarl
Book through DinePlan

The Stoep at Laborie

Restaurants Paarl The Stoep

With views over vines and up to the Taal Monument at this heritage Paarl wine estate, a leisurely breakfast, lunch or dinner at Stoep Restaurant is very much part of local Paarl life. Conservatory-style glass walls give onto a wide terrace (there’s an extensive jungle-gym among the vines close by) and the mood is elegant and contemporary but informal. Chef Llewellyn Solomons rocks bistro-style farmhouse food using seasonal ingredients from the farmers and artisans of the surrounding Drakenstein region. Think duck bobotie wontons, char-grilled skaapstertjies (sheep’s tails); creamy exotic mushroom homemade tagliatelle with basil and labneh; chicken pot pie; burgers and steaks with hand-cut chips.
Good to know There’s a breakfast menu too. And a private dining room for anything from business lunches to baby showers, seating 20-30 guests. Stop by The Farm Grocer on the estate to shop for a cornucopia of local produce and homemade treats.
Opening times Monday + Tuesday, 7am – 5pm
Wednesday –  Friday, 7am – 9pm
Saturday, 8am – 9pm
Sunday, 8am – 5pm
Contact 021 807 3232, restaurant@laborieestate.co.za
Where to find it Laborie Heritage Estate, Taillefer Street, Paarl
Book through DinePlan

Knus Karoo Kombuis

Restaurants Paarl Knus Karoo Kombuis

A bustling coffee shop and deli in a Paarl farm setting, Knus Karoo Kombuis, as the name suggests, recreates a little corner of the Karoo. As Bovenland Farm connects with the whole network of Paarl mountain trails, Knus is a popular coffee stop for trail runners and mountain bikers. There’s space for kids to play with a jungle gym and water fountains in the gardens, and a cosy fireplace indoors for winter. Two sisters’ food memories of growing up in the Karoo inspire the menu (which is in Afrikaans and English), so lunch might feature a biltong roosterkoek with green fig preserve; or a Karoo lamb roosterkoek with cabbage, mushrooms, corn kernels, cheese, homemade tomato relish and onion. Breakfasts, pancakes, gourmet milkshakes, cakes and coffees complete the offering.
Good to know Guide dogs are allowed. Other dogs are only allowed on the front terrace on a leash.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 7.30am – 4.30pm
Saturday, 8am – 3pm
Contact 021 036 1600, info@knus.co.za
Where to find it Bovenland Farm, Pieter Hugo Street, Paarl
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Lounah Cafe

Restaurants Paarl Lounah Cafe

A charming and tranquil daytime café in Northern Paarl, Lounah Cafe has been converted from an old family home, with wood floors, tables outside on the stoep and under the trees in front, and more al fresco seating in the garden behind. Whether you go for a hearty breakfast, cake and coffee (the Russian honey cake comes highly recommended and the coffee is from their own roastery right next door, Monarch Coffee Cartel), or lunch time plates of butter chicken, steak bagel, poke bowls, a burger or spiced beef quesadillas, everything is freshly made from seasonal ingredients and served with a smile.
Good to know Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more; otherwise seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Cashless. Pet friendly.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 8am – 4pm (kitchen closes 3pm)
Saturday, 8am – 3pm (kitchen closes 2pm)
Contact 060 959 1436, info@lounah.co.za
Where to find it 501 Main Road, Groenvlei, Paarl

Salmon & Brine

If you’re looking for sushi, seafood and Japanese fusion in Paarl you’re in luck. Salmon & Brine owner Cameron Stewart was manager of Willoughbys (at the V&A Waterfront) before moving to Paarl, so he knows his piscine stuff. Set in the beautiful surrounds of Vendôme Wine Farm, the restaurant is elegant but child-friendly, serving a comprehensive menu that ranges from portuguese sardines, salt and pepper calamari and prawn curry, to sashimi, salmon roses, tataki and a whole range of sushi styles. Then there’s the Japanese fusion hot menu: beef fillet miso yaki, sweet and sour kingklip, shellfish bisque, linefish curry, rock shrimp tempura and bao buns are just a few examples.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 11.30am – 9pm
Sunday, 11.30am – 4pm
Contact 064 681 8464
Where to find it Vendôme Wine Farm, Arboretum Avenue, Paarl
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Cosecha at Noble Hill

Restaurants Paarl Cosecha At Noble Hill

On the slopes of the majestic Simonsberg mountains surrounded by hectares of vineyards, Noble Hill is a secluded sanctuary with wonderful valley views and a top-notch selection of organic estate wines. The popular Latin America-inspired Cosecha Restaurant is next to the working harvest area where grapes are sorted and crushed, with tables spreading onto the lawn from a shaded deck. Flavoursome Mexican and Cali-Mex dishes (burritos, tacos, enchiladas and much more) make for exciting all-day breakfasts and wholesome lunches (with a spicy kick!).
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Contact 021 874 3844, info@cosecharestaurant.com
Where to find it Noble Hill Wine Estate, Klapmuts-Simondium Road, Paarl
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Grande Roche

Restaurants Paarl Grande Roche

The restaurant of this grande dame Paarl hotel spans the whole voorkamer of the historic building with a roaring fireplace at each end. Chef Christian Campbell, a pioneer of seasonal menus and hyper-local sourcing, has brought his fresh, modern approach to dining at the Grande Roche. His menus are a culinary adventure, inspired by global cuisine but using seasonal, home-grown produce. They change often, but might include Cantonese potstickers; roast fish with preserved lemon and bokkom nage; free-range beef with celeriac pave; or coffee-spiced game loin.
Good to know There’s also a breakfast menu, an all-day snack and sharing plate menu, and a Grande afternoon tea.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 8.30pm (last seating)
Contact 021 863 5100, restaurant@granderoche.co.za
Where to find it Grande Roche Hotel, 1 Plantasie Street, Paarl
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Rhebokskloof

Restaurants Paarl Rhebokskloof

A family-friendly oasis of nature-infused tranquillity, Rhebokskloof is tucked into a fold at the northern end of Paarl Mountain, with views of rugged fynbos-clad slopes and vines, and the start of a network of mountain trails. The farm restaurant opens onto an old farmhouse stoep, a wide, umbrella-shaded terrace and lawns running down to a dam with a jungle gym close by. Hearty country fare laces nostalgic food memory with contemporary twists: crispy roast pork belly with a tangy Waldorf slaw; salt-and-pepper squid cooked Cantonese style; the popular Rhebok beef burger; pistachio-crumbed venison loin and a selection of thin-based wood-fired pizzas.
Good to know Come early and do the divine chocolate and wine pairing in the tasting room.
In summer (October – April), book a picnic to enjoy in the shade of an oak tree on the lawns leading down to the dam.
The outside tables at the restaurant are pet-friendly (on a leash).
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8.30am – 4pm (last seating)
Contact 021 869 8386, info@rhebokskloof.co.za
Where to find it Rhebokskloof, Noord Agter-Paarl Road, Windmeul, Paarl
Book through DinePlan

La Grapperia Pizza & Bistro

Restaurants Paarl La Grapperia

With its wide terrace under the trees at Spice Route Destination (and a playground close by), La Grapperia is always buzzing. Italian and German influences on the menu feature wood-fired, thin-based pizzas, flammkuchen, and a variety of other family-friendly food options, such as Eisbein, Wiener schnitzel, deep-fried camembert and bitterballen. Part of the Wilderer Distillery family (South Africa’s first craft distillery), it’s also the place to relax under the trees with a gin and tonic for sundowners, or linger after lunch over a selection of grappas.
Good to know Sister Ristorante Pappa Grappa, next to the Wilderer Distillery at Wilderer Estate in Paarl, is another family-friendly option when you’re craving pizza and flammkuchen.
Opening times Sunday – Thursday, 11am – 5pm
Friday + Saturday, 11am – 8.30pm
Contact 021 863 4367, grapperia@wilderer.co.za
Where to find it Spice Route Destination, Suid-Agter Paarl Road, Paarl
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Which are your favourites? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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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: 12 June 2024

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3 Responses to “The 15 Best Restaurants in Paarl”

  1. michele Bertoncello

    For sure GIOVANNI’S at Laborie Estate should definately be on this list!!! the best meal in Paarl- always

    Reply
  2. Susan

    I would for sure add Under Oaks to the list and more recently Black Smith’s Kitchen has also stepped up.

    Reply
  3. Carol

    UNDER THE OAKS. Great for families stunning views and terrific pizzas.

    Reply