It’s a longstanding holidaymakers’ favourite because of its long, sunny beaches and warm water, but heads up, foodies: Port Elizabeth also has a growing, vibrant and diverse restaurant scene. It offers everything from fine dining to casual, homely fare, plus some quirky local favourites and well-kept secrets.
Shaun Pozyn, head of marketing for British Airways (operated by Comair) is a regular visitor to the so-called Friendly City, so we asked him about some of his favourite places to eat out.
Poszyn says Fratelli Foods Deli in Baaken’s Valley is a perennial favourite with locals, offering a seasonal menu and adventurous Mediterranean food. It’s in a converted warehouse, with exposed brickwork and rafters, and a wizardly array of ingredients, but the grub is the star, with value-for-money favourites like panini with prosciutto and fontina basil. Locals recommend the chicken salad, scattered with butternut, red kidney beans and walnuts. And of course each sip of the Italian coffee is a bit of la dolce vita.
The Coachman Restaurant at Brookes on the Bay in Summerstand is also a gem, according to Pozyn.
It offers steaks, traditional Greek fare and seafood served by vivacious waitresses in evening-gowns. It’s also a favourite of visiting sportspeople and performers at the Port Elizabeth opera.
Port Elizabeth is also a bit of an epicentre of Portuguese food, with Cubata Portuguese Grill House in Sydenham and Shanna’s Portuguese Restaurant in Lorraine offering espetada, trinchado and of course, peri-peri chicken.
Two new wine-bars have found favour with locals and visitors. The first is For The Love of Wine in Richmond Hill’s Stanley Street, roughly the equivalent of Cape Town’s Long Street. It has around 250 wine labels and an arrangement with restaurants nearby to supply plated food.
Cork Wine Garden in Walmer offers a wide range of wines, as well as patés, charcuterie and cheeses.
Fushin Sushi and Eastern Cuisine in Richmond Hill is the brainchild of chef and owner Mark Oosthuizen, who cut his teeth at the acclaimed Willoughby’s at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront. Regulars enjoy exotic dishes such as Norwegian salmon, Australian eel, soft-shelled crab, Peruvian scallops or Alaskan snow-crab. The Robata Grill at the restaurant offers diners traditional Kobe Japanese cooking as well as Fushin-style tempura and Asian tapas.
Far less formal and a perennial local favourite is the Something Good Roadhouse on Marine Drive in Summerstrand, which riffs on the roadhouses of yore, with views of Pollock Beach. It’s open for breakfast through supper, offering burgers, line-fish, seafood, a selection of hotdogs, ice-cream cones and sundowners on the deck.
Beer Shack at Dolphin’s Leap Centre in Humewood offers craft beers, beers and tapas overlooking the sea, while the Beer Yard in Richmond Hill serves, pizzas, burgers and steaks.
British Airways, operated by Comair, flies between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town and Joburg daily.
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