The 20 Best Restaurants in Somerset West

Somerset West Restaurants

Wine estates, country bistros, urban cafés and lush Helderberg views.

Sheltered by the majestic Hottentots Holland and Helderberg mountain ranges and looking out across False Bay, Somerset West has long played second fiddle to its more glamorous Winelands siblings, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.

But the region has a story and appeal all of its own. Several illustrious wine estates edge the town, along with some easy-to-miss gems: charming country bistros, quirky eateries, a cheese bar, and a chic new crop of urban cafés – a well-earned reward for those willing to take the road (or wine route) less travelled.

These are our favourite restaurants in Somerset West. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Chorus Restaurant

A heavenly Winelands setting, high above False Bay and surrounded by an amphitheatre of mountains, the name certainly evokes the angelic and rapturous… Bertus Basson brings a relaxed but assured vibe to Waterkloof Estate’s famous glass-box dining space, an architectural marvel hovering over the vineyards above the hilltop cellar. He and his team (headed up by chef Marcus Gericke) offer four- and six-course menus inspired by fine local ingredients (including Basson’s famous soufflés) – what he refers to as “simple, focused, seasonal cooking”, and what should really be called a masterful symphony of flavour.
Hot tip There’s also a lounge serving Waterkloof’s superb biodynamic wines with snacks from the Chorus kitchen.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday, 12pm – 2pm
Thursday – Saturday, 6.30pm – 8pm
Contact 021 858 1491, info@chorusrestaurant.com
Where to find it Waterkloof Estate, Waterkloof Drive, off Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Somerset West
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Idiom Restaurant

Somerset West Restaurants Idiom

It’s a scenic adventure reaching Idiom Wine Estate – 4km of farm roads wind up the slopes of the mountain above Sir Lowry’s Pass village outside Somerset West – but the epic setting (and food) is so worth the drive. In 2016, the Bottega family added the glass-walled restaurant and tasting room, which combines old-world Roman architecture and contemporary design, with an outdoor terrace making the most of the spectacular views over mountains and vineyards to the sea. The three-course lunch menu features a delightful mix of Italian and South African cuisine, think venison carpaccio, deconstructed ravioli, and grilled lamb rack with gruberg polenta. There’s also a short à la carte menu and, if you’re more of a hands-on kind of eater, try the drool-worthy selection of pizzas inspired by various regions of Italy.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9.30am – 4.30pm
Contact 021 858 1088, reservations@idiom.co.za
Where to find it Da Capo Vineyards, Old Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Somerset West
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Cavalli Restaurant

Somerset West Restaurants Cavalli

Cavalli (Italian for “horses”) is not merely famous for its magnificent animals; it’s regarded among foodies and scenery-seekers as a top-drawer wining-and-dining destination in the Helderberg (with noteworthy sustainability efforts another feather in the estate’s cap). Food, wine and stallions aside, the striking architecture, dam and sculpture-studded fynbos gardens make it a wonderful destination to enjoy an “everyday gourmet” meal. Chef Lucas Carstens’ seasonally driven menu is uncompromisingly “green”, sparklingly fresh produce harvested and foraged from the gardens and surrounding farms to create perfection on a plate. Choose the five-course chef’s special menu or dine à la carte.
Good to know Vegetarians and vegans are well catered for.
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 3pm
Wednesday – Saturday, 6pm – 9pm
Contact 021 855 3281, restaurant@cavalliestate.com
Where to find it Cavalli Estate, Strand Road (R44), Somerset West
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Osteria Cheese Bar

Love cheese? Puglia Cheese, the champions of authentic Italian cheese, amazing handmade mozzarellas and burrata in particular, have opened an authentic Italian trattoria-style cheese-lover’s paradise at Osteria Cheese Bar. It adjoins their artisanal cheese factory, which moved to Waterkloof Wine Estate in 2022 (the terrace has lovely views over False Bay), so you can watch through a window as they cook and knead their creamy fior di latte mozzarella. Lavish cheese platters come with a plain tomato puffy-crusted pizza to scoop up fresh bocconcini and aged pecorino alike. Or go for gnocchi made with ricotta served in brown butter scented with truffles; homemade pappardelle with wild mushrooms, porcini and Puglia Cheese labneh; mozzarella in carrozza (fried mozzarella sandwich); and sourdough Neapolitan-style pizzas where the cheeses are the star of the show.
Good to know Shop for all their mozzarellas, imported Italian charcuterie and par-baked pizzas at their deli counter before you leave.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 9.30am – 8pm
Sunday, 9.30am – 5pm
Contact  078 543 0663, reception@osteria.co.za
Where to find it Waterkloof Wines, 24a Old Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Somerset West

Stefan’s

With its panelled apricot-pink walls and brass accents, Stefan’s reminds us a little of the iconic Sketch London: a formal-dining-room style imbued with contemporary glamour, with a warm ambience that turns every meal into a special occasion. Named for chef Stefan Bekker (executive chef at Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa, and back in South Africa after working in Qatar and England), Stefan’s is his flagship fine-dining offering where he pulls out all the stops to create a feast for all the senses. The seven- or 10-course set menu includes gastronomic highlights such as prawn and tomato crème brûlée; miso pork broth with braised pork belly and jerusalem artichoke: and roast wagyu with chantarelle, chimichurri and truffle, along with a well-considered winelist. The service here is top notch, making everyone feel welcome and adding to the celebratory sense of occasion in this tranquil corner of Somerset West.
Good to know A vegetarian tasting menu is available on request.
Opening times Wednesday – Saturday, 6pm – 10pm
Contact 021 847 1160, hotel@erinvale.co.za
Where to find it Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa, 1 Erinvale Avenue, Somerset West
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The Millhouse Kitchen

The beautiful Lourensford Wine Estate is a gorgeous backdrop to this casual gardenside eatery with its cool industrial-rustic ambience and wide outdoor deck. It’s a popular destination for families with plenty of space for kids to play around the jungle gym and among the gardens that come right up to the deck. Chef patron Gustaaf Boshoff and head chef Johan Abrahams have put together an elevated casual dining menu that caters for all. It changes seasonally with a focus on fresh ingredients, but expect to find a selection of small fusion plates (such as glazed pork belly with chipotle smoked beans, and calamari fritti with charred pineapple and miso), salads, pastas, burgers and grills, as well as an array of wood-fired pizzas.
Good to know Dogs are welcome (on leashes) at the outdoor seating. Breakfast is served until 11am.
Opening times Daily, 9am – 11am; 12pm – 3pm
Tuesday – Saturday, 5pm – 9pm
Contact 079 717 3799, bookings@millhousekitchen.co.za
Where to find it Lourensford Wine Estate, Lourensford Road, Somerset West
Book through DinePlan

Babette’s Bakery & Eatery

A relaxed bakery and eatery with a farm-to-table approach, Babette’s opens on to a tranquil courtyard garden and has off street parking. Owner Fran van Tiddens has moved her former Chelsea Café a block away from its original Bright Street location and rebranded. Named after her daughter, who is coeliac, Babette’s focusses on gluten-free options and fresh, healthy eating, sourcing quality ingredients from local producers. Croque monsieur, thai-style quinoa bowl, curries, halloumi salad and omelettes, as well as coffee and cakes make this an any-time-of-day refuge from the town bustle.
Good to know There is an extensive selection of gluten-free bakes, from sourdough bread and muffins to luscious flourless chocolate cakes.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 8.30am – 5pm
Saturday, 9am – 2pm
Contact 021 852 6757, info@babettesbakery.net
Where to find it 72 Andries Pretorius Street, Audas Estate, Somerset West
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Spoon Bakery & Eatery

It all started with a home-bakery creating dazzling wedding and birthday cakes, and moreish rusks. Now young owner-chefs Mornez Du Raan and Ruben Steyn have taken their passion for baking breads, cakes and pastries to the next level with an airy eatery offering sumptuous all-day breakfasts (opening early at 7am), knockout sandwiches, bagels and lunchtime sharing plates such as lamb tortellini, bao buns, Korean pork belly and butternut soup. Find a corner for their churros and doughnuts too.
Good to know Bring your shopping bags. You’ll want to take home armfuls of cookies, croissants and breads, not to mention their homemade preserves and rusks. You can still order special occasion cakes and cupcakes here too.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 7am – 4pm
Contact 061 528 4490, orders@spoonbakery.co.za
Where to find it Shop 7, 1 Drama Street, The Avenues, Lionviham, Somerset West

 

Henri’s Restaurant and Wine Bar

A long-time Somerset West favourite for excellent bistro food in generous portions, Henri’s spreads over several spacious rooms of a big old family home on Main Road. The courtyard garden is the place to hang out for breakfast and lunch with kids (and dogs); inside comfortable chairs and cosy fireplaces make for a casually sophisticated vibe, with friendly, well-informed service from owner Pierre Vosloo and team. Comfort food with global inspiration satisfies adventurous palates with hearty bouillabaisse, slow roasted lamb shank, sticky ginger pork fillet, and braised rabbit tagliatelle. Or go for a straightforward steak, or a pizza from the wood-fired oven.
Good to know There’s a private dining room upstairs for groups and functions.
Breakfast is served until 12pm
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 9am – 10pm
Sunday, 9am – 2.30pm
Contact 021 852 6442, info@henrisrestaurant.co.za
Where to find it 164 Main Road, Lionviham, Somerset West
Book through DinePlan

96 Winery Road Restaurant

Over more than 25 years, this delightful country restaurant has gathered an extensive local following and is a favourite with international visitors. A wide tented terrace overlooks the garden and vineyards, and cosy tables by crackling fireplaces have you covered in winter. The small plates menu stars dishes such as Korean BBQ pork belly, pan-fried gnocchi and Thai fishcakes made using fresh, local and, wherever possible, organic produce. Or go for their signature full plate of Hollandse pepper fillet or a wagyu burger. Ken Forrester and Meinert wines are fitting accompaniments.
Good to know Breakfast is served until 11am (last orders 10.30am). There’s a jungle gym in the garden and space for kids to play.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 9am – 3pm, 6pm – 9pm
Sunday, 9am – 4pm
Contact 021 842 2020, wineryrd@mweb.co.za
Where to find it 96 Winery Road, Zandberg Farm, Raithby, Somerset West
Book through DinePlan

Avontuur Estate Restaurant

Avontuur Estate is renowned for its thoroughbred horses, a curious bunch who are only too eager to oblige when called upon. Of course, it’s the award-winning wines and authentic country restaurant that put the estate on our radar. There’s no question that owner-chefs Zunia Boucher-Myers and Melanie Paltoglou pour their heart and soul into every aspect of the dining experience, evident in the warm welcome, attentive service, and delicious country cuisine. Perched under a vine-laden pergola with long views of False Bay, Avontuur’s restaurant is the perfect spot to unwind during a champagne breakfast, weekend lunch or date-night dinner.
Opening times Wednesday – Saturday, 9am – 9pm
Sunday + Tuesday, 9am – 5pm (closed Monday)
Contact 021 855 4296, openhand@polka.co.za
Where to find it Avontuur Estate, R44, Somerset West
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Pajamas + Jam

Though it’s tucked away in an industrial area between Somerset West and Strand (look out for the helicopter on the roof), this vintage treasure trove is a far cry from its neighbours. It’s a family-owned business with heart – and exquisite baked treats that are themselves worth the trip! Indulge in a hearty sharing breakfast or come for brunch (anything from gnocchi or slow roast lamb to chicken quesadilla, salmon poké or focaccia pizzas). The range of beverages is noteworthy too, if you just want a drinks break. And, yes, you can buy pyjamas (or loungewear as it’s called) and linen dresses.
Good to know No reservations on Saturdays.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 7.30am – 4pm (opens 8am in winter)
Saturday, 7.30am – 1pm
Contact 079 804 6813, hello@pajamasandjam.com
Where to find it 32 Van Zyl Street, Strand, Cape Town
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Copper Kettle Restaurant

Somerset West Restaurants Copper Kettle

This is one for all the family (dogs too). Tucked away in the hamlet of Raithby, the restaurant has a peaceful, cosy and homely country feel. There’s a big fireplace for winter, plus outdoor tables with wide lawns, mountain views and jungle gym for the sunshiney rest of the year. Their Sunday lunch lamb spitbraai (with roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding) is a local favourite, and excellent unpretentious food is their staple, including hearty dishes such as oxtail and mash, slow roast pork belly, fresh fish and chips, plus salads, burgers and pastas. Finish with the chocolate fondant or a classic crème brûlée.
Good to know It’s pet-friendly on the terrace with a dedicated doggy menu too. Breakfast is served on weekends until 11.30am.
Opening times Wednesday – Friday, 10.30am – 9pm
Saturday, 8.30am – 9pm
Sunday, 8.30am – 4pm
Contact 064 903 9510, eatckr@gmail.com
Where to find it 143 Raithby Road, Raithby, Somerset West
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Sanook

When one of you wants a buddha bowl and the other a wagyu burger or a pizza, Sanook is the (relatively) new kid in town that has you covered. Opened in 2021, it serves delicious, fresh, uncomplicated food with a lively buzz. The airy, industrial chic space in Lionviham has gathered a loyal following of locals, with its wide-ranging menu for all occasions: favourites include the Gochujang panko chicken bowl, Pearl Jam gourmet burger, and the salted caramel cheesecake.
Good to know Breakfast is served until 12pm. Book via phone call or WhatsApp.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 9am – 10.30pm (kitchen closes at 9.30pm)
Contact 021 518 1101
Where to find it 9 Huising Street, Lionviham, Somerset West

Cucina di Giovanni

Known for its tasty Mediterranean-inspired dishes, the original branch of this popular eatery is the one at upmarket Somerset West shopping centre, Waterstone Village. If you’re looking for a wholesome family vibe and a delicious array of antipasti, thin-based pizzas, and pastas, as well as fresh seafood, poultry and meat mains, you’ll find all that and more here.
Good to know Owing to the success of this long-standing Somerset West branch, the owners have since opened three sister restaurants: at Eikendal Wine Estate and JC Le Roux in Stellenbosch, and at Laborie Estate in Paarl.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 10pm
Contact 021 850 0616
Where to find it Shop 27, Waterstone Village, Corner R44 and Main Road, Somerset West

Mary Ann’s Natural Emporium and Eatery

Mark and Mary-Ann Shearer have been championing excellent healthy plant-based foods in South Africa since 1991. Mary-Ann’s Emporium and Eatery is a one-stop shop where you can feast on a loaded lunch buffet of beautifully fresh vegan and gluten-free dishes and fill your shopping bags with products to take home. The relaxed cafe restaurant is an airy wood-floored space with a wide covered verandah (it’s in the factory shop district behind Somerset Mall, but there are still mountain views to be seen and the bonus – plenty of free parking). Breakfasts, fresh juices, smoothies, coffees and snacks make it an any time of day pitstop and it has an uplifting energy – a place to recharge.
Good to know A fresh lunch buffet every weekday, 12pm – 3pm
Opening times Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm
Contact 021 856 2500, info@naturalway.co.za
Where to find it Triangle House (above Standard Bank), 1 Urtel Crescent, Somerset West

Oceans8 Seafood & Sushi

Simply stylish decor and super fresh sushi is the not-so-secret recipe that keeps locals coming back for more at Oceans8. No heists needed as the jewels of the ocean are there for all to share: it’s hard to resist the quirky bamboo boat-shaped trays loaded with sushi combos, but make time to peruse the seafood menu too, for grilled fish, stuffed calamari, stir-fries, prawn dumplings and paella. Sit at the central sushi bar at the heart of the buzz, or relax at one of the tables around the walls.
Good to know Booking (by phone or WhatsApp) is advised.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 9pm
Contact 084 904 9339, oceans8restaurant@gmail.com
Where to find it Corner Main Road & Van der Byl Road, Somerset West

SushiBox

A new addition to the Somerset West scene, this outpost of Cape Town’s much-loved SushiBox has quickly created a stir among locals with top quality sushi and friendly service. Pared-back decor of wooden fish on the walls, wooden tables and a bubble of Chinese lanterns on the ceiling give it a zen simplicity, and outside tables are divided by a plant wall from the street parking. Tempura prawn rolls, salmon potstickers, soft shell crab rolls and tuna sashimi are just a few of the many highlights.
Good to know Sushi is beautifully packed for takeaway. They have vegan sushi too.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 11.30am – 8.30pm
Contact 079 423 7095, hello@sushibox.co.za
Where to find it 7A, 13 Drama Street, Somerset West

Café Fleur

Beside the historical Manor House on one of Somerset West’s most beautiful estates is Café Fleur, occupying the space that was previously home to the award-winning Camphors. Created by chef Michelle Barry, the lunch and dinner menus feature a selection of French country classics made using seasonal and locally sourced ingredients – and accompanied by exquisite estate wine, with superb floral arrangements creating a picture-perfect dining experience. Think classic French onion soup with gruyère croûte; escargot with creamed pernod and garlic butter; coq au vin; and oxtail jardinière. A tempting apple tarte tatin; hot brandy steamed pudding with crème anglaise; and crêpes Suzette feature on the dessert menu, and three fireplaces ensure a cosy atmosphere.
Good to know The Stables is Vergelegen’s family-friendly eatery.
There is a R10 per person entrance fee to the estate (R5 for pensioners/scholars).
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 5pm (kitchen closes at 2.30pm)
Friday – Saturday, 6pm – 11pm (kitchen closes at 8.30pm)
Contact 021 847 2111, info@vergelegen.co.za
Where to find it Vergelegen Wine Estate, Lourensford Road, Somerset West
Book through DinePlan

Alex on Fire Moto Bistro

Somerset West Restaurants Alex on Fire

Classic motorcycles and good food are the twin passions of owner Derek Chester-Browne, both very much in focus at this family-friendly space. He and his partner Jill restored a derelict heritage building in Van der Stel, installing the rescued teak bar counter from the old Alexander Hotel (hence the name) and the odd motorcycle features in the decor too. It’s an off-the-beaten-track refuge where you can settle in and savour chef Scott Hendrie’s upmarket bistro food whatever the time of day: a shaded courtyard garden with outside seating, a fountain, and jungle gym in a tree keeps kids happy (they can paddle in the fountain on hot summer days) and the comfortable retro-chic dining room with a wood burning stove is perfect for family dinners and date nights.
Good to know Look out for the live music evenings. And when there’s a top MotoGP event brewing you can be sure it will be showing on the big screen in the separate Speed Zone covered stoep bar area.
Opening times Tuesday – Friday, 12pm – 10pm
Saturday, 10.30am – 10pm
Sunday, 10.30am – 4pm
Contact 072 090 5538, info@alexonfire.co.za
Where to find it 3 Columbus Street, Van Der Stel, Somerset West
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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: 02 August 2023

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10 Responses to “The 20 Best Restaurants in Somerset West”

  1. Debbie Chamberlain

    Subscribe please

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  2. Veronica Dippenaar

    Please could you forward all your interesting information to myself.

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  3. Maxine Wilson

    Thank you 😊

    Reply
  4. Marilyn

    Wow ! Can’t wait to try out these amazing-sounding restaurants.
    Well done for the extensive research.

    Reply
  5. Veronica Dippenaar

    Most fascinating, well written articles. Thank you for exposing this information to the public.

    Reply
  6. Debi Sterley

    Please add me to the mailing list

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  7. Jacobus

    Please add me to newsletter distribution list

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  8. Jens Persson

    Very good

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  9. Louise Hayden

    Your guide is its own little gem❣️❣️❣️

    Reply
    • Ninetta Lupini

      All restaurants look fabulous. Especially Babettes eatery. I followed Babette and bought her bread especially baguettes when she first started selling from her mums house in Westcliff Johannesburg Best sourdough bread in South Africa by far.

      Reply