You know what you want from a place that serves pub food in South Africa: it should look like it was decorated by Vikings, have a chef who’d satisfy a Viking’s appetite as easily as a celebrity chef’s, and offer a good combination of craft beers you’ve never heard of (plus your trusty favorite dishes). These South African pubs offer that and more.
This article originally appeared in AFKInsider.com.
Star of the West, Kimberley
This beloved staple of the bar scene has been around since 1870. Although beer prices have gone up since then, it still has reasonably priced drinks as well as pub fare like bangers and mash, and traditional South African dishes.
The Jolly Roger, Johannesburg
This quirky place has been open for over a decade and is known for its big screen TV’s, jukebox, and pizza, making it not a bad place to host a birthday or event. You can always count on a crowd dancing to the music.
The Rat & Parrot, Grahamstown
It’s known as a pub for the local university crowd, but the upstairs open-air dining room attracts patrons of all ages. Expect it to be packed but friendly, and be sure to order one of their pizzas or the chile con carne french fries.
Foresters Arms, Cape Town
The Foresters Arms was built in 1880 and still retains its old-world charm. The menu is straightforward and tummy-filling, with treats like the Forries breakfast (rump steak, eggs, bacon, pork sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes and toast) and delicious wood-fired pizzas with toppings such as prawn and chorizo. The bar is stocked with fine whiskeys, draught beers and fun shooters.
The Grand Daddy Bar, Cape Town
The Grand Daddy Bar is located in the popular Grand Daddy hotel. It’s got a unique layout, with a rooftop area and an elegant foyer. The bar offers a ladies night, mojito nights and plenty of other festive events. Expect filling dishes like chicken schnitzel and large pasta dishes plus a long champagne menu.
The Swiss Loft, East London
This pub is inside the restaurant Le Petit. It’s known for interesting meats like crocodile and ostrich, as well as great music and pool tables.
Joe Cools, Durban
People go to Joe Cools for the view, as it sits right on the beach. As for the food, it’s known for great baskets full of fried things and meats, as well as sky-high sandwiches. Try some of their creative, colorful cocktails or extensive wine list.
Van Hunks, Cape Town
Rocking a pirate vibe, Van Hunks boasts a menu with hearty dishes like rump steak and traditional bobotie, plus tons of beer. The tavernous establishment mixes white-tablecloth fine dining with rustic cobblestone.
Peddlars on the Bend, Cape Town
Peddlars is unique in that it has three different settings: a garden, a fine dining area and a pub. The menu is just as diverse with baskets of ribs and juicy burgers as well as smoked trout salad and chicken, leek and mushroom pie. It’s known for a great wine list and fair prices.
Fireman’s Arms, Cape Town
Fireman’s Arms is another staple of the bar scene. Built in 1864, the bar has rustic charm but also modern additions such as big screen TVs and Wi-Fi for patrons. Guests sit at long, family-style tables and benches and scarf down big baskets of fries with gourmet burgers, pints of craft beer and homemade pies. The pub also hosts quiz nights!
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