10 Best Restaurants In Namibia, Africa

| © Sam DCruz / Shutterstock
A. J. Samuels

Home to two deserts and abundant wildlife, Namibia is a land of striking contrasts with harsh landscapes and ethnically diverse people. The country’s culinary scene is just as exciting: these 10 restaurants are the best spots in Windhoek, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.

1. Joe’s Beer House

Bar, Restaurant, South African, Wine, Beer

One of Windhoek’s most-loved restaurants, Joe’s Beer House is a sanctuary of great food, combining the best of Namibian and German cuisine. The exciting menu includes typical Namibian game meat such as ostrich, crocodile, springbok, and kudu. For more conservative diners, traditional dishes such as pan-fried kingklip, lamb shanks, and pork knuckle (eisbein) are available, as are a range of vegetarian dishes. Opened in 1991, the restaurant’s fun-filled interior has an earthy feel and is decorated with memorabilia that the owner and master chef Joe Gross collected during his travels. While sipping on a glühwein or a local lager, diners can sit around the enchanting open fire in the outside boma.

2. NICE Restaurant & Bar

Bar, Restaurant, Wine Bar, Namibian

Housed in the Namibian Institution of Culinary Education (NICE), the NICE Restaurant is a trendy place and social hub in the heart of Namibia’s capital, Windhoek. Serving a mixture of local specialties and international cuisine, the NICE restaurant’s signature creations include char-grilled tuna steak on a bed of couscous with chili sauce, grilled Oryx loin with poached pear and fresh Namibian oysters. Housed in a large building designed by local architect Leon Barnard, NICE features a hospitality school, restaurant, bar and live music and dance venue all under one roof. It has a picturesque courtyard and greenhouse at the back of the building. After an excellent dinner, head up to NICE’s stylish wine bar, which has a notable wine list with some of South Africa’s finest wines.

3. Am Weinberg

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

Social area at Am Weinberg Boutique Hotel, with leather sofa, three armchairs, books and a fireplace
Courtesy of Am Weinberg Boutique Hotel / Expedia
At the forefront of fine dining in Windhoek, Am Weinberg specialises in French and Italian-inspired contemporary cuisine. Using fresh locally sourced ingredients, Am Weinberg takes pride in serving health orientated and well-crafted gourmet dishes. Choose from the wide selection of game meat, fish, and vegetarian dishes, beautifully presented and prepared to perfection. Housed in a colonial-style farmhouse, built in the early 20th century, Am Weinberg provides a relaxed yet elegant dining setting with historical significance. During the summer, enjoy a meal seated outdoors in the charming lower terrace or an exotic cocktail in the open-air bar while taking in the beautiful view of the Klein Windhoek valley down below.

4. Sardinia Blue Olive

Deli, Restaurant, Italian

Hot Homemade Pepperoni Pizza Ready to Eat
© Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock
Both a restaurant and a deli, the Sardinia Blue Olive is a fantastic restaurant serving authentic Italian food. With more than 30 different classic pizzas (and the possibility of additional toppings), and more than 20 classic pasta dishes, Sardinia Blue Olive also offers a great selection of other specialties with a dash of Namibian flavor. These include beef flakes served with garden pea mash and sweet pumpkin, and chicken breast filled with mushroom and mozzarella cheese. Don’t forget dessert, as the tiramisu and the homemade ice-cream are highly recommended, especially on those hot summer days. Providing an unexpected breath of Italian fare in the middle of Namibia, the Sardinia offers a convivial environment, perfect for a family outing or a meal among friends.

5. Xwama Cultural Village & Restaurant

Market, Restaurant, Namibian

Located in Katutura, Windhoek’s most lively and ethnically diverse township, the Xwama Cultural Village offers a chance to sample traditional Namibian food, providing a true taste of Namibia’s rich indigenous cultures. Housed within an art and crafts village, the restaurant’s surrounding is abuzz with animated market life. Inside the restaurant, the dining booths are separated by reeds, furnished with wooden logs and decorated with traditional artifacts. From spicy Mopane worms and Oshiwambo chicken with wild spinach to dried river fish and Mahangu porridge, be prepared for culinary novelty. Attracting local residents and curious tourists, the Xwama Cultural Village brings out the best of Namibian culinary culture and hospitality, acquainting guests with the Namibia that is often referred to as ‘the Smile of Africa’.

6. Leo’s At The Castle

Restaurant, South African

Game dish
Courtesy of Hotel Heinitburg

Housed in the glamorous hilltop Heinitzburg Castle and Hotel, Leo’s at the Castle is an upmarket restaurant serving outstanding international, French and African gourmet cuisine. Haute cuisine at its finest, the menu includes creative dishes such as tender springbok fillet with omajova mushrooms and asparagus and pigeon breast covered in honey sherry. Equipped with a wine cellar of up to 13,000 bottles of handpicked South African wines, Leo’s at Castle leaves nothing wanting. On a warm evening, outdoor seating on the quaint terrace provides a fabulous view of Windhoek’s stunning skyline and surrounding mountains. From the meticulously prepared dishes and impeccable service to the opulent decor and regal ambiance, Leo’s at the Castle exudes culinary excellence.

7. Village Café

Cafe, Coffee Shop, Coffee, Namibian

Delicious pancakes close up, with fresh blueberries and maple syrup
© Daxiao Productions / Shutterstock
An eccentric coffee shop attracting all sorts of interesting people, the Village Café is a family-run establishment serving a wonderful selection of flavoursome home-cooked meals. With scrumptious breakfast options such as pancakes, brotchen (German rolls), cakes, milk tarts, fresh juices, and great coffee, Village Café also offers daily lunch specials served with homemade soups and breads. Colourful walls, funky artwork, and random bits and pieces make up the Café’s energetic interior. Operating on Oscar Wilde’s quote that ‘life is much too important to be taken seriously’, the Village Café is passionate about providing great coffee and food, in a fun music-loving environment with a familiar feel. Located in Swakopmund, Namibia’s top seaside resort, the Village Café is worth a visit.

8. The Tug Restaurant

Restaurant, Contemporary

Ocean sunset in Swakopmund
© Heribert Bechen / Flickr
A renowned seafood destination, the Tug Restaurant is built around an old oil-fired tugboat, the Danie Hugo, moored up to the pier overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Swakopmund. With an extensive selection of dishes from around the world, guests can pick from the a la carte menu of fresh seafood delicacies such as west coast lobster, prawns, mussels, calamari, oysters and much more. For those not in the mood for seafood, the restaurant also serves a great variety of tasty meat, pasta and vegetarian dishes. Complete the experience with a paired wine from the Tug’s list of more than 89 bottles originating from South Africa’s best vineyards. The restaurant’s impressive interior features exclusive tabletop designs painted by famous Namibian artists, as well as renovated facets from the boat’s original structure.

9. Jetty 1905

Restaurant, Contemporary, Sushi

Jetty 1905
© Heribert Bechen / Flickr
Situated on the 300-plus metre historical jetty in Swakopmund, the Jetty 1905 is a coveted restaurant promising a memorable Namibian experience. Apart from serving the best sushi in town, the restaurant’s menu combines the best of the land and sea, offering a wide choice of delectable international and Namibian dishes. From lightweight tapas and soups to innovative seafood and meat platters, Jetty’s culinary offering appeals to a range of different palates. Filled with natural light during the day, the large windows treat diners to breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Stop by the Jetty for a laid-back evening and observe the spectacular sunset before indulging in a fabulous meal.

10. The Raft Restaurant

Restaurant, Namibian

Built on stilts, the Raft Restaurant is a dining spot located in Walvis Bay along Namibia’s infamous Skeleton Coast. Serving a local and international blend of seafood, game and meat dishes, the restaurant is also popular for its scrumptious wood-fired pizzas and burgers. Whether it’s the galloping game gourmet burger or the ‘Bondi beach babe’ (burger with melted blue cheese, beetroot and horseradish), each burger is based on prime cuts of Namibian meat and prepared according to the customer’s preferences. Situated out in the lagoon, the Raft provides diners with a delightful medley of unrehearsed antics by dolphins, seals, flamingos, and other daring sea-guests passing by.

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