Pretoria is well-known for its warm hospitality and Jacaranda trees, but less appreciated for its dining. From fine dining to popular bustling eateries, Pretoria’s dining presents a fusion of local South African flavors and international dishes. Here are ten of the best restaurants in Pretoria, South Africa.
Since 1995, La Pentola has been featuring outstanding international cuisine with French, Italian and Mediterranean roots, merged with South African flavors. This is a fusion cuisine restaurant that offers a menu marked by the creativity and savoir-faire of the renowned chef Shane Sauvage. La Pentola uses the freshest ingredients sourced from local farms to present a wide range of specialties, from soups and salads to seafood and meat dishes, including beef, chicken and duck. La Pentola has also a superior range of vegetarian dishes. Its delicacies can be accompanied by in-house desserts and award-winning wines.
Restaurant, Wine Seller, South African, French, European, Contemporary
Hemingway’s Restaurant & Wine Cellar is a renowned a la carte restaurant, part of the luxurious Leriba Hotel. Chef Lindes de Jager offers the finest dining experience, awakening all senses with a seasonally changing menu committed to local fresh produce. Food is cooked in an unfussy style that enhances the appreciation of intense flavors and classic combinations, and is grounded in French cooking techniques. Hemingway’s restaurant boasts a carefully selected wine collection that represents most of the wine regions in South Africa. Meanwhile, its elegant, minimalist old-world decor completes this sumptuous culinary journey with a relaxing atmosphere.
Geet Indian Restaurant
| Courtesy Geet Indian Restaurant
Geet is an prize-winning family-run Indian restaurant located in Pretoria’s Brooklyn neighborhood. The venue is owned by the nationally celebrated chef and restaurateur Gita Jivan, who was the first Indian woman to open and own an establishment of this caliber in South Africa. Its menu is devoted to the Indian philosophy of using natural seasonal flavors in dishes that combine classic techniques with creativity and innovation. The freshest ingredients are put together with exotic spices in delicious recipes that honor the name of this restaurant: the word ‘geet’ in Hindi means ‘melodious poem’. Geet Indian Restaurant masters all styles of Indian cuisine together with a great care and attention.
| Courtesy of Hillside Tavern Grill
Famous for its steaks, seafood, chowders and nourishing curries, Crawdaddy’s comfort food is a benchmark for locals and tourists. This bustling restaurant with colorfully decorated walls presents a vast and diverse menu characterized by generous portions and unusual flavor combinations. Opened in 1995, Crawdaddy’s offers great value and excellent quality for casual dining in a trendy atmosphere. Crawdaddy’s has three venues across the city (Brooklyn, Menlyn and Centurion). Bookings for all of them are highly recommended, especially at weekends.
Hillside Tavern opened its doors in 1989, and since then it has built a solid reputation as one of the best grill-houses in South Africa. This popular restaurant is a traditional meeting point for all those who want to enjoy an outstanding steak, the Hillside’s signature dish. With an impressive and well-selected wine list, this award-winning steakhouse presents simple and comforting food in a cozy environment. Hillside Tavern’s interior has dark lighting, with retro decor, wood ceilings and exposed panels.
Restaurant Mosaic is a gourmet destination for modern fine dining in South Africa. Mosaic is led by award-winning chef Chantel Dartnall, who personally meets diners to explain the menu and answer questions. It’s located in the spectacular Orient Hotel, hidden in the Crocodile River Valley in the lush Francolin Conservation Area. With an art nouveau style decor, Mosaic has an intimate atmosphere and an impressive wine cellar, with some of the best and most unusual wines. Its dishes are inspired by nature and European cuisine, using the best seasonal fresh produce in a la carte and tasting menus with a philosophy: passion, consistency and simplicity.
De Kloof is committed to creating memorable dining experiences. Its menu is based in organic and locally sourced produce, from free-range meat to fresh seafood, homemade ice-creams and freshly baked breads. De Kloof’s menu changes on a monthly basis to offer the best of the season, merging local influences with classic European techniques. Its wine list embraces old favorites and new discoveries, featuring local and international wines of excellence. De Kloof is a restaurant to enjoy modern contemporary food with high quality ingredients and culinary creativity.
Kream, situated in the Brooklyn Bridge Complex, is a renowned restaurant that offers an outstanding menu with a wide range of continental delicacies. Traditional biltong and venison fillet are the star dishes from the a la carte menu. Kream is a gourmet restaurant with a solid reputation, a sophisticated atmosphere, an elegant flair and an impeccable service. Its extensive wine list is complemented by a rare whiskey and cognac selection, along with an impressive variety of desserts.
Zest Bistro specializes in fresh produce and bistro-style unpretentious, hearty food. This family-run restaurant is devoted to offering good, simple food, with a constantly changing menu and a short and well-selected wine list. Zest Bistro is a cozy, chic restaurant with a romantic atmosphere. It is famous for its friendly ambience and great cuisine. Nestled in Menlo Park, Zest Bistro has a must-try signature dessert: the burnt lemon tart.
Fumo is one of the best Italian restaurants in the city. Italian-born chef Claudio Uccello is committed to offering classic and authentic dishes from his country of origin, using the finest and freshest ingredients. Homemade pastas, wooden-cooked pizzas and sophisticated main courses are some of the options from Fumo’s extensive menu, along with delicious desserts and a varied wine list. Fumo offers a contemporary, sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere for an extraordinary European-style dining experience.