Stellenbosch is often considered the food and wine capital of South Africa... and it's not difficult to see why.
The historic town's quaint European charm coupled with its laid back student culture makes it an idyllic destination for taking a moment to slow down and enjoy life's simplest pleasures.
With over 200 vineyards to choose from, numerous globally ranked restaurants, a picturesque nature reserve, and a prime location (only 40 minutes from Cape Town), no trip to South Africa is complete without a visit.
Here are the best places to Sleep, Eat, and Drink in South Africa's City of Oaks:
L'Avenir Country Lodge
Picture sprawling vineyards, imposing mountains, an infinity pool with a view, and an endless supply of wine that can be enjoyed around a warm fireplace. Welcome to L'Avenir. Located just minutes away from Stellenbosch's historic city center, L'Avenir Country Lodge offers large comfortable rooms situated on a working wine farm. All stays include free wifi, complementary wine tasting, and home-cooked breakfast on the porch each morning. Room rates start at R1,800 ($125); excellent value for money when compared to similar properties in the area.
Eight @ Spier
Come prepared for a family-style feast when you dine at Eight, one of the three restaurants located at Spier Wine Estate. All food served at the restaurant comes directly from Spier's farm, meaning that meals are prepared in a fresh, organic and sustainable way. The menu changes seasonally, but think oxtail croquettes, rosemary lamb chops, homemade roast mushroom gnocchi, and organic vegetables straight from the garden.
Stellenbosch Kitchen @ The Stellenbosch Hotel
Located right in the heart of town, Stellenbosch Kitchen is ideally situated in a cozy historic building dating all the way back to 1706. The restaurant operates on a "pasture-to-plate" philosophy, and all ingredients are sourced within 50 kilometers of Stellenbosch. Dishes are based on classics around the world, and include the likes of exotic mushroom risotto, free-range pork and pistachio terrine, and a gourmet take on Shepherd's pie using braised lamb shoulder.
Terroir @ Kleine Zalze
Currently rated as one of South Africa's Top 10 Restaurants, Terroir will easily exceed all expectations. Located on a family-run wine farm, the restaurant's refined, yet relaxed atmosphere, and their simple, yet thoughtful approach to food culminates in a dining experience that is not to be missed. Chef Michael Broughton is particularly renowned for his prawn risotto, though the yellow-fin tuna ceviche and roast beef sirloin with mushroom are also incredible.
Joostenberg Bistro and Deli
The concept of good, simple food permeates through every nook and cranny of Joostenberg. Chef Patron Christophe Dehosse takes his inspiration from traditional French bistro-style cuisine, and typical menu options include a phenomenal cape line fish with white wine, onion and garlic, a charcuterie plate, and a delicious chocolate and almond flourless cake. If you're looking to get outside, Joostenberg also offers picnics at their Taproom, and the property is additionally home to a famed deli, butchery and events venue.
Cupcake and Wine Pairing @ Delheim Wines
While most people have heard of a chocolate and wine pairing before, a cupcake and wine pairing is something truly unique. Delhiem pulls this off exquisitely by pairing four of their best wines with four complementing cupcakes: exotic pomegranate with a pinotage rose, rooibos and honey with a chenin blanc, pumpkin and vanilla with a pinotage, and African makataan (melon) with a dessert wine to finish. In addition to their cupcake pairing, Delheim is also open for breakfast and lunch daily, with gourmet picnic baskets available for purchase.
Salt and Wine Pairing @ Fleur du Cap Wines
While this might sound like a strange concept at first, Fleur du Cap's wine and salt pairing is not to be missed. A range of spectacular wines are paired with flavorful bite-sized morsels that have been infused with different salts from around the world. Along with the pairing comes a guided explanation of where each salt comes from, and how it interacts with the specific wine that it has been paired with. Salt and Wine Pairings take place daily at 12pm, just be sure to book in advance.
Beer Tasting @ Craft Wheat & Hops
If you're looking for a lively, informal atmosphere, Craft Wheat & Hops offers 15 craft beers on tap and a variety of South African inspired tapas to pair them with. For something out of the ordinary, be sure to try the Dragon Fiery Ginger Beer or Stellenbrau's Rooibos and Honey-infused brew. Centrally located on Andringa St, Craft Wheat & Hops is a great option if you feel like taking a refreshing break after a few hours of exploring town.
Travel Tip Shared by Jenna for Travel Dudes.
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