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Six South African quirky eateries you have to go to

When doing some research on unusual restaurants, I almost fell off my chair when I saw what some eateries are up to. The wackiest ideas seem to become the fashion, from robot waiters dancing while serving you to dining in complete darkness with blind wait staff to boot.

My personal favourite is having dinner on a dining table that is suspended 50 feet in the air along with patrons. South Africa isn’t too far behind. The Obervatory Astro Café has a professional telescope available for diners. The Pollsmoor Prison’s restaurant also boasts a generous helping of strangeness with its waiters (inmates) that serve both food and time…

South Africa has some weird and wonderful restaurants

If you are all for original restaurants but dining in the dark while being served by a serial killer isn’t really your thing, a list of the five best quirky and unusual restaurants in South Africa will serve as a helpful guide. I promise that you’ll be able to see your food without having to cling to your seat from fear of falling 50 feet to the ground!

1.    Amazink Live! in Kayamandi

AmaZink Live! is a township shebeen in Kayamandi, Stellenbosch that once  faced closure, but managed to keep its doors open through the magic of music. Here you can expect a delicious 3-course meal while enjoying a culturally authentic musical. Audience interaction is encouraged and a chorus of entertaining waiters not only serve up the most delicious 3-course meal, but also make this musical experience complete. On offer is the very finest kasi cuisine designed and prepared by award winning chef Bertus Basson, to offer the very best South African flavours.

Above: At Amazink Live! you can expect a delicious 3-course meal while enjoying a culturally authentic musical. Photo by: donnadaf

2.    Cranks Thai House of Blues in Rosebank

If you want to visit one of the most original Thai restaurants in South Africa, try Cranks. Cranks Thai House of Blues offers the finest in Thai food as well as offerings from Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine. The décor is vibrant with luminous paintings adorning the walls and even, rather randomly, suspended Ken and Barbie dolls! A truly authentic experience awaits you at Cranks Thai House of Blues.

3.    Iewers nice in Bloemfontein

When you walk down the tranquil area of Westdene you simply cannot resist walking up to the broad steps and take a seat on one of the bright green old church benches on the stoep. The mosaic walls and bright chandeliers reflect something of the atmosphere inside – fresh food, served in old-fashioned portions. You can also buy fresh flowers, funky gifts and art.

This is the place to go for a burger in Bloem. Be warned: they are colossal (as are the cake slices)! The less-hungry can feast on freshly baked quiches or beautifully presented salads, and the indecisive can try a spoonful. Yes, you can literally order a spoonful of almost any of the main dishes on the menu.

Above: Enjoy a huge burger in an uber creative environment. Photo: provided

4.    Woodland’s Eatery in Cape Town

Described as a restaurant with 'a beautiful shabby chic ambience', it delivers on what Cape Town wants and needs - a restaurant with character. CapeTown magazine describes it as a haven for lampshade lovers, cute illustrations in all kinds of frames and a variety of mirrors. I simply adore the creaking chairs, the delicious food and the magical atmosphere.

5.    Gramadoelas

The Gramadoelas Restaurant in Newtown, Johannesburg offers a true South African style of food-making and has every bit of South African culture etched into its atmosphere, its food and its people. Gramadoelas cater from large well organised functions to small personal dinners. Charlize Theron, Bill Clinton and Queen Elizabeth II are just some of the many celebs who choose Gramadoelas as their favourite eatery.

6. Café Mozart

As one of Madame Zingara's famous and quirky eateries, Café Mozart in Cape Town's city centre is the latest edition to sit back and watch the city go by. The quirky café offers hearty breakfasts, high tea and gin and tonic after retail therapy. Free your imagination in an eclectic interior, diverse menu and tangible sense of history.

Going on a self drive holiday? Why not experience a quirky and an out of the ordinary restaurant near you?

Cheréne Pienaar

Cheréne Pienaar Title: Blog Contributor
Affiliation: Drive South Africa Blog

Born and bred in Bloemfontein, this Free state gal is an obsessive reader and hiker and loves discovering... all the time. As an e-marketing assistant and copywriter she believes social media is the future and plans to conquer Africa one word at a time.

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4 Responses on this page.Add your own

  1. Gravatar Brian Wakeham says:

    African relish in Prince Albert springs to mind.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Gravatar Neil says:

    What a cool list. Particularly like the place in Bloemfontein ! Not so sure it would be good for my waistline though !

    Reply to this comment
  3. Gravatar cherene-pienaar says:

    Hi Neil! I used to be a regular when I lived in Bloemfontein. You are absolutely right - it’s terrible for you waistline!

    Reply to this comment
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