Franschhoek is often referred to as South Africa’s culinary capital. Home to some of the top-awarded restaurants in the world, not forgetting the highly-acclaimed wine farms in the region too, this small town will certainly have you coming back a second, third and fourth time.
At present, global travel is off-limits due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, wanderlust isn’t cancelled and must-visit restaurant lists can still be refined, even in lockdown. If you’re dreaming of wandering the quaint streets of one South Africa’s most beloved towns, read our list of the top best restaurants in Franschhoek.
Franschhoek is a picturesque town located 45 minutes from Cape Town. Nestled between a fertile valley and glorious towering mountains, Franschhoek oozes a french-charm that is visible through the architecture, culture and cuisine that salutes the town’s French Huguenot history.
Franschhoek has become South Africa’s top food and wine destination by showcasing an outstanding gastronomic culture. Despite the fact that it is a small town, Franschhoek has a great variety of cultural and historical activities. Regarded as South Africa’s culinary capital, this town has a high concentration of award-winning restaurants most of which are within walking distance of each other. This quaint town draws internationally acclaimed chefs that set up shop and create some of the most memorable dining experiences in the world.
Franschhoek is home to some of South Africa’s top restaurants. With world-famous chefs creating conceptual and innovative cuisine using the freshest sustainable produce and excellent locally-produced wines, it’s clear that this culinary capital should be at the top of travellers bucket lists. To help you loan your next foodie feast in Franschhoek, we’fve shared a list of the best restaurants in Franschhoek; most of which we’ve had the pleasure of eating at, the rest of which, we’re dying to visit.
The Best Restaurants in Franschhoek
Le Coin Français
Le Coin Français embodies the essence of the Franschhoek Valley in heritage, cuisine, art and wine. Owner and talented chef Darren Badenhorst showcases his culinary prowess with dishes that command attention with their alluring presentation.
The French-inspired menu plays with complex flavours, textures and ingredients that lead diners to savour the flavour of every bite. Rounding off each meal, a French sommelier carefully selects the best wines from the Franschhoek Valley to pair with each dish.
Miko at Mont Rochelle
The stylish Miko Restaurant, situated at Mont Rochelle estate, overlooks the expansive valley that stretches out towards the mountains. Miko offers visitors a peaceful spot to enjoy delicious food and home-grown wines. Polish-born executive chef Arek Witaszek creates South African inspired cuisine, featuring dishes such as smoked springbok, pan-fried fish, red-velvet prawns and more.
Each dish is paired with one of the estate’s award-winning wines. Showcasing the best that Franschhoek has to offer, Miko Restaurant creates a heavenly selection of gourmet meals complete with 360-degree views overlooking the valley.
La Petite Colombe
A gem in the Franschhoek Valley, La Petite Colombe is the sister restaurant of La Colombe in Constantia. The restaurant is located in Le Quartier Français hotel and is set in a dining room that oozes elegance and sets the stage for a memorable dining experience.
There’s a choice between the grand chef’s experience menu and a chef’s vegetarian menu. Regardless of which you opt for, you’ll be blown away by the array of spectacular dishes. Chef John Norris-Rogers has devised a theatrical menu that marries classic French cuisine with contemporary cooking methods. Opt to have a paired wine tasting with your meal, or choose by the bottle or carafe.
Chefs Warehouse at Maison
Situated within a lovely vineyard and mountain-facing estate, this fine-dining eatery is the youngest addition to the wildly popular Chefs Warehouse restaurant group. Headed by chef David Schnieder, Chefs Warehouse at Maison is about experiencing the pleasure of taste like you’ve never experienced it before. There is an emphasis on sharing plates that incorporate bold flavours in unexpected ways to create a “global taps” inspired menu.
Can’t make it to Franshoek? Get the full Chefs Warehouse dining experience at either their city centre location or Winelands restaurant, located at Beau Constantia.
Pierneef à La Motte
Named after the South African landscape artist, Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, this esteemed restaurant offers a similarly creative streak. The perfect location for a full-body dining experience, Pierneef à La Motte is set in a tranquil garden featuring ancient oak trees and calming water features.
Chef Eric Bulpitt puts forward a vibrant array of dishes that honour the Cape’s diverse heritage. Inspired by the farm’s own fresh fruit and vegetables, a small seasonal menu showcases wholesome food and wine pairings with Cape spices, pickles, herbs. Each dish is paired with a bottle or glass of La Motte wine, with the fabulous wine list showcasing a selection of rare La Motte vintages and top wines from around the world.
Orangerie Restaurant at Le Lude
Situated on Le Lude MCC Estate, Orangerie’s chic, the all-white interior is the perfect backdrop for chef Nicolene Barrow’s striking menu. Guests can expect fresh ingredients; seasonally foraged from the surrounding forest, meadows, mountains and seas; combined to create memorable and elegant dishes.
The serene estate offers a relaxed atmosphere, where the food is a celebration of French cuisine. Orangerie’s Morning and Afternoon High Tea is an indulgent affair with a selection of freshly baked pastries and sandwiches accompanied by a glass of Le Lude’s award-winning MCC.
When chef Chris Erasmus opened Foliage in 2014, foodies were more than ready to tuck into his wild and whimsical dishes. In the South African culinary scene, Chris has garnered an excellent reputation as a forager. Chris creates exciting dishes from herbs, fruits and roots that he has collected from the wild.
The atmosphere in Foliage is welcoming and the space tastefully decorated, with an open kitchen breaking the barrier between chefs and diners. The intriguing menu is a changing line-up of innovative dishes, in both flavour and presentation. From wild mushrooms and herbs to wild geese, foraged ingredients make their way to the menu, which is often tweaked according to what lands up in the kitchen.
Le Petit Manoir
Combining country charm and modern sophistication, Le Petit Manoir is a contemporary fine dining restaurant with a hint of French-European flair. The dining space faces towards an old church, with large glass panels that offer views of the majestic mountain. Chef Kevin Grobler leads the Mediterranean-inspired a la carte menu, which features six starters, mains and dessert options.
Visitors can look forward to sophisticated and exquisitely-presented dishes with a touch of theatrics. The whiskey and gin bar welcomes diners for a pre-dinner cocktail or whiskey tasting after your meal. There is also a deli section offering freshly baked bread and pastries.
Expect generous portions and bold flavours at this charming Winelands bistro, where honest country cooking is the hallmark of the kitchen. A short distance from the hustle of Franschhoek’s main road, Bistro BonBon lies in the beautiful La Petite Dauphine Estate.
Scottish Chef, Archie Maclean curates a delicious and straightforward menu, using only the freshest ingredients and carefully selected wines. Visitors can enjoy breakfast and lunch on the patio overlooking the manicured gardens and ancient oak trees. They can also experience dinner in the warm and romantic studio dining room.
The Werf Restaurant at Boschendal
Set in the revamped cellar of the Manor House at Boschendal estate, the Werf Restaurant is the perfect place to treat yourself to a delicious meal. This eatery focuses on presenting modern farm to table dining using the finest seasonal and ethically-sourced ingredients. With an emphasis on sustainability, chef Allistaire Lawrence has created a menu where diners can choose from three to five plates of across four categories of Garden, Ocean, Pasture and Sweet.
The majority of the menu includes fruits and vegetables from The Werf Food Garden, which can be viewed from the restaurant’s balcony. The dishes are constantly changing with the seasons, providing guests with freshest ingredients and best quality food that the season can offer. Each meal evolves depending on the daily harvest and the creativity of the chefs. The wine list not only includes Boschendal wines but also a selection of the best organic and biodynamic wines in the country.
For visitors who enjoy indulging in food and wine, the village of Franschhoek is a hub of award-winning fine dining restaurants and esteemed wine estates guaranteed to tantalise your tastebuds. This lovely town has something to keep everyone satisfied, from lush scenery and towering mountain ranges to luxury accommodation and historical attractions.
As well as restaurants, Franschhoek is also popular for its wine experiences. Forming part of the Cape Winelands, the town is famed for its prestigious wine estates and superb wines that are often paired with fine cheeses, olives, charcuterie and artisanal chocolates.
The small town also offers visitors diverse culinary food and wine experiences through its festivals such as The Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival, the Franschhoek Bastille Festival, as well as the Food and Wine Route and The Franschhoek Artisan Food Route.
Want to learn more about Franschhoek and what this town has to offer? Contact our Travel Specialist today to start planning your trip for 2021.
Do you have any more questions about restaurants in Franschhoek? Have you visited any of these restaurants? Share your experience with us in the comment section below!