Nestled in the Cape Winelands, Paarl is a quieter retreat to get your tasty delights and vino fix away from neighboring Cape Town. Surrounded by gorgeous mountains, rows of vineyards, and fields of flowers (especially lavender), the area is a gem for those looking for an escape to nature and delicious food. Let this guide point you to the top places to taste local flavors with the best view in town. Here are the best restaurants in Paarl, South Africa.
Located in Fairview, The Goatshed is a working farm that has been feeding people since 1693 and currently operates as one of the most desirable places to dine at in all of South Africa. The restaurant serves farm-to-table fare using locally-sourced ingredients along with artisanal cheeses and handcrafted wine to pair with your meal. It’s known for its kitschy and whimsical atmosphere, accompanied by spacious windows and tables decorated with freshly-picked flowers. After eating your sirloin steak or cured trout, head outside to the goat tower where you can watch goats climb an actual tower and cross over an idyllic bridge. The premises also features a vineyard that you can stroll through, a deli to take home tasty goods, and a wine tasting room.
If you’re looking for a place to try spirit drinks with a meal, locals will point you to Wilderer, a distillery with its own restaurant, La Grapperia. The white cottage-like facility sits on a hill overlooking vineyards and has outdoor picnic tables for guests to sample freshly made gin or grappa to pair with wood-fired pizzas. The menu consists of mostly German fare with some Italian influences. It’s highly advised to order one of their platters, where you’ll get to sample a bit of everything from artisanal cheeses, cured meats, pate, freshly-baked bread and more. Speciality meals include German meatloaf, veal schnitzel and pork knuckle. On select days, there is live music for patrons to enjoy as they eat their meals on the hilltop.
Pearl Rock Terrace
Another fantastic spot to take in the full splendor of Paarl is at Pearl Rock Terrace, an Italian and Greek restaurant serving everything from chicken souvlaki, to beetroot carpaccio, to Caprese salad. Order one of the gourmet pizza dishes, as the restaurant is known for using high-end toppings like smoked salmon, chorizo, parma ham, salami and freshly-made mozzarella. There’s also a tapas menu, making this a great destination for a group outing to try out different flavors under the stars or admire the view of the vineyards. During colder days, take your meals indoors next to a picturesque roaring fireplace in this gorgeous white Cape Dutch building.
Dine at a place where it feels like you’ve been invited to a friend’s countryside villa instead of a restaurant. Operated by the same family that runs Fairview, Back’s is a modern-style bistro with locally-sourced dishes like winelands-style smoked trout open sandwiches, roasted chicken and brie salad, fresh west coast mussels and slow-roasted pork belly (drooling yet?). Be prepared to be stumped when it comes to ordering your drinks as you’ll have a wide range of wine choices, cocktails, smoothies, juices, milkshakes, tea, and sodas. Come for breakfast if you’re looking for a hearty and nutritious first meal of the day — the omelettes are highly-favored among locals. Otherwise order the French toast or buttermilk flapjacks for a sweet alternative. There’s a deli at the restaurant to do your produce, meat or freshly-baked bread shopping afterwards.
Woodfired pizzas, freshly-reeled in fish, west coast mussels, salads, and wild mushroom risotto, you name it — they’ve got it all. Blacksmith’s Kitchen attracts guests for its incredible view of the mountain ranges and the city of Paarl in the valley, as well as its tasty menu that has something to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Appetizers include innovative recipes like watermelon caprese, smoked salmon terrine, and focaccia with Danish feta. Save room for dessert as you’ll want to try some of the mouthwatering sweets like Blacksmith’s shake (an oreo and peanut butter mix), rooibos and honey crème brûlée and dark chocolate and olive oil mousse. There’s an impressive wine menu featuring locally-made vino as well to kick off the meal.
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