The village of Franschhoek is one of the prettiest places to visit in the Cape Winelands. And when it comes to food, it doesn’t disappoint. From the Saturday farmer’s market and a top notch Indian to biltong shops and bistros, it’s got a great concentration of places to eat along the Main Street. Here are just a few of the best…
Disclaimer: We were staying at the Leeu Estates so some of the key restaurants we tried were included in our stay, however these are genuine recommendations!
Great places to eat and drink in Franschhoek
If I’m right, Marigold is the only Indian restaurant you’ll find in Franschhoek and it is the brainchild of Analjit Singh who founded the Leeu Estates and wider Leeu Collection (you can read a bit more about the Leeu Estates in my review here).
As you’ll probably know, Indian influences are present across much of South Africa’s cuisine, due to the history of Indian immigrants in Durban.
At Marigold, you’ll find a fabulous modern restaurant with exposed brick, modern art and a very chi-chi style. The menu consists of biryanis, signature curries and tandoor charcoal meat executed by a team who’ve been directed by Chef Vanie Padayachee, who hails from Durban in fact.
Verdict: While the portions were quite modest and staff seemed a bit hesitant at times (the restaurant was in its infancy when we visited) there were some lovely flavours across the dishes and we loved it. Very stylish place and fabulous wines. (oh and check out the gorgeous De Villiers Chocolate Shop while you’re here in Heritage Square.)
Heritage Square, 9 Huguenot Street, Franschhoek 7690, Western Cape, South Africa
2. Leeu House
Leeu House is a very chic sister property of the Leeu Collection and offers a fantastic collection of 12 boutique rooms for those who want to stay in the heart of Franschhoek and enjoy the beautiful Cape Dutch architectural style of the many properties in this region.
The restaurant at Leeu House, known as The Conservatory, is super smart and great for a sophisticated lunch stop.
We dined outside in the sunshine close to the gorgeous swimming pool and had a range of internationally-inspired plates including spring rolls, Caesar salad and mozzarella-topped bruschetta.
Verdict: I adored the setting here: the striped garden furniture felt very French and I don’t know what was best, the friendly staff, the gorgeous mountain views or those more-ish truffle fries!
12 Huguenot Rd, Franschhoek, 7690, South Africa
3. The Franschhoek Village Market
The Franschhoek Village Market takes place in the village every Saturday (weather dependent) and is not only a lovely place to do some shopping (you can pick up everything from arts and crafts to clothes and jewellery here) it’s also a great place to eat!
There’s a cute coffee van where you can pick up a perfectly poured flat white and then you can make your way through cheeses, biltong, ‘samoosas’, cakes, salads and all sorts of other delicious things. You’ll also find plenty to drink, including local craft beers and of course wine!
There was a live band when we visited and plenty of hay bales to kick back on if you happen to fall into a food coma.
Verdict: Make it your mission to go here! Great community vibe and perfect for a sunny day.
29 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek, Cape Winelands
4. Tuk Tuk Brew
Tuk Tuk Brew is a little dark horse in the Franschhoek food scene. Just when you think you’ve learnt everything there is to know about South African wine, a fun and lively microbrewery slash Mexican food join pops up. I know, right.
You can meet the brewmaster and do tours here of the microbrewery – a joint venture between the Leeu Collection and Cape Brewing Company. Then once you’ve learned everything there is to know about craft beer, you can order a tasting rack of four or five miniature craft beers which is a great way to get a feel of how they differ.
I’m not a huge beer drinker but I really enjoyed it and the food is so good. Think casual Mexican inspired tacos, pulled pork burgers and mouth-watering corn on the cob. If the sun’s shining, sit outside and soak up the buzzy vibe.
Verdict: Tuk Tuk us a sign of the new, more cool and casual vibe that’s coming to Franschhoek so expect a young crowd and laid-back feel. It’s a great place to visit in between all the high-end restaurants and fine dining that Franschhoek does so well. I can’t recommend this place enough.
5. The Dining Room at The Leeu Collection
If you are staying at the Leeu Collection then you will very likely dine in The Dining Room, a very grand yet modern restaurant that boasts, arguably, some of the best views in Franschhoek.
It’s headed up by British chef Oliver Cattermole and offers a menu of international favourites cleverly infused with Cape Malay techniques and South African ingredients. Read my review of the Leeu Collection to find out more.
Verdict: Sublime setting, lovely staff and exquisite food. Perfect for a romantic dinner and honestly, the food will blow you away.
Dassenberg Rd, Franschhoek, 7690, South Africa
6. The Tasting Room (soon re-opening as a brand new restaurant!)
If you ever visited Franschhoek while The Tasting Room was still around, you will know that this was one amazing place to eat. This no-menu concept restaurant at the fabulous Le Quartier Francais required you to book out at least three hours of your evening and sit back as a stream of fun and theatrical dishes were placed in front of you, ready to take your tastebuds on a culinary adventure.
Everything from ‘African soil’ to fynbos infused delights were laid out in front of us and it had all the fancy techniques you’d expect from theatrical dining while telling all sorts of stories about South Africa.
What’s more, each dish was paired with a fine South African wine and the element of surprise made it a very exciting experience! The sad thing is, after 12 years, Executive chef Margot Janse has hung up her chefs aprons and The Tasting Room is currently undergoing a refurb and transformation into a different restaurant. And it’s the team behind La Colombe who’ll prepare to take over the reigns any minute now (August I think).
So while I can’t recommend The Tasting Room anymore, I have been told its successor is going to be just as innovative and exciting. So watch this space and if you get to visit, let me know what it’s like!
Cnr & Streets, Berg St & Wilhelmina St, Franschhoek, 7690, South Africa
And that’s my list!
I hope this has helped you in your travel plans on where to eat in Franschhoek. If you ever get to visit this lovely place I hope you have a fantastic time and please let me know how you get on!