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The 5 Best Restaurants in Franschhoek for All Budgets

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3 weeks ago

Franschhoek wins everybody over. It’s just that simple. It’s quaint in all the right ways, but it somehow combines the best of South Africa’s food and wine which is why the best restaurants in Franschhoek are some of the best in country. In fact, it is unofficially known as the culinary capital of South Africa, and boasts some of the best wineries in the whole country.

The first thing to know about restaurants in Franschhoek is that every wine farm in Franschhoek has a restaurant on it. The incredible produce and attention to quality mean that restaurants in Franschhoek are all generally of a very high standard.

There is such a high concentration of vineyards and restaurants in Franschhoek so this is by no means a complete list of all the great restaurants in Franschhoek, but simply the best of them as curated by locals.

And a word to the wise: most places in Franschhoek don’t appreciate walk-ins, so make your reservations in advance.

La Petite Colombe ($$$$)

Located in the stunning Leeu Estates (home to Leeu Passant, one of the best wine farms in Franschhoek), La Petite Colombe delivers on every front. You should absolutely budget to spend the whole afternoon here for a long, lazy lunch. But once you have a taste of the amuse bouche, you’ll have no problems spending the entire day at La Petite Colombe.

From the moment the gates into Leeu Estates open, you will feel the magic of the La Petite Colombe experience begin. Everything is done to exquisite perfection. The food is unparalleled in its quality and the creativeness of the culinary team behind each of the dishes. There is a depth of flavor in each dish that is simply impossible to create without years of experience.

The surroundings are nothing short of breath-taking, so we would recommend getting a lunch reservation so that you can appreciate the fairy tale that is the Franschhoek valley. But no matter when you dine, there is no doubt that you will walk away from your time at La Petite Colombe thinking that this is one of the best dining experiences you’ll ever have.

Getting a reservation can be a little bit difficult, but a little bit of flexibility will get you a table at the best restaurants in Franschhoek. We recommend that you email the team at least a few weeks in advance of your intended arrival date and let them know that you are flexible on dates and times.

In your Cape Town itinerary research, you might have come across La Colombe and La Petite Colombe. La Petite Colombe is La Colombe’s sister restaurant, and they are both absolutely amazing dining experiences. If you’re struggling to choose between the two, we’ve written a short guide on how to choose between La Colombe and La Petite Colombe.

Haute Cabrière ($$$)

With over three centuries of experience, Haute Cabrière is unequivocally one of the best wine farms in Franschhoek with a storied history, having been founded by the French Huguenot Pierre Jourdan in 1694. The restaurant at Haute Cabrière is open for lunch daily and offers some of the finest food in the region with some of the best views of the region.

If you’re looking to fit in one last wine tasting before dinner, we highly recommend the wine tasting outside at Haute Cabrière in the afternoon. Like virtually everywhere in Franschhoek, you’ll get great views to accompany your wine tasting.

La Petite Ferme ($$)

If there is such thing as a classic Franschhoek restaurant, La Petite Ferme is it. It’s hardly the most upscale restaurant as far as the best restaurants in Franschhoek go, but you’re going to get a hearty meal at a great price and with lovely views of the surrounding valley. More than anything, La Petite Ferme is a showcase of the best flavors of South Africa with a contemporary twist.

One of the best experiences to be had is at the Chef’s Table at La Petite Ferme. It is described as a “theatre of food,” and there is certainly theatrics in the delivery of the dishes. But more than that, you are absolutely welcome to speak to the head chef who is more than willing to discuss the intricacies of each dish.

As one local described it, La Petite Ferme isn’t just a restaurant, “it’s a portal to a perfect evening”.

Protégé ($$)

Protégé is located in the town centre of Franschhoek. However, don’t think that because it’s not connected to a winery that Protégé is a lesser experience. Both the food and drinks are creative fare at its best, the food is presented beautifully, the setting warm and welcoming, and the team exceptional in their service and execution.

Protégé is part of the same group as La Colombe, La Petite Colombe and even PIER and The Waterside, both of which are two of Cape Town’s best waterfront restaurants. You can take that to mean that you will get a refined culinary experience.

La Motte ($$) (Closed for renovations)

Note: La Motte is currently closed for renovations and is due to reopen in late 2024, likely in time for the summer season.

The restaurant at La Motte is the perfect spot for breakfast. Before it closed down for renovations, it was absolutely one of the best restaurants in Franschhoek as judged by locals, and there is no doubt that it will reclaim its place as soon as soon as it reopens. The team is known for delivering incredible culinary experiences, so you can expect some of the best of Franschhoek.

There is also a great farm shop and a lovely art gallery just for good measure. The farm shop is slated to reopen at the same time as the restaurant, but for now you can enjoy the bakery and garden cafe as well as the wine tastings.

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