Here are 20 of the best restaurants in South Africa

The 20 nominees for the 2016 Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards have been announced, revealing the best of the best South Africa has to offer when it comes to fine dining.

The awards ceremony will take place at the end of November 2016, which will crown the best restaurant in the country – however, all 20 nominees represent the best dining experiences the country has to offer.

The top 10 – and the winners of the S.Pellegrino Acqua Panna Chef of the Year, Wine Service, Service Excellence and Rising Star awards – are all chosen by a team of experts who remain anonymous throughout the judging process.

In 2015, the top prize went to The Test Kitchen in Cape Town, which has again been nominated in 2016.  The restaurant has won the award every year since 2012.

The Test Kitchen in Cape Town was also named the best restaurant in Africa, and the 22nd top restaurant in the world, in the S.Pellegrino Best Restaurants Awards for 2016, followed by another Cape Town staple, La Colombe, which ranked 76th globally (and second in SA).

All of the top 10 winners from 2015 have again be nominated in 2016, with only three new restaurants cracking the top 20 this year: Pierneef at La Motte in Franschhoek; Hartford House in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands; and Nobu, in Cape Town.

These are the top 20 restaurants in South Africa (listed alphabetically) and some of the meals / type of ambience you can expect.

Camphors at Vergelegen – Somerset West


Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen – Cape Town


DW Eleven-13 – Johannesburg


Foliage – Franschhoek


Greenhouse – Cape Town


Hartford House – KZN Midlands (New)


Indochine – Stellenbosch


Jordan Restaurant – Stellenbosch


The Kitchen at Maison – Franschhoek


La Colombe – Cape Town

La Colombe meal

Nobu – Cape Town (New)


Overture – Stellenbosch


Pierneef a La Motte – Franschhoek (New)


The Pot Luck Club – Cape Town


Restaurant Mosaic at the Orient – Pretoria

The Mosaic Restaurant interior

The Restaurant at Waterkloof – Somerset West


Rust en Vrede – Stellenbosch


The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais – Franschhoek


Terroir – Stellenbosch


The Test Kitchen – Cape Town

The Test Kitchen meal

The award winners will be announced on 20 November 2016.

[All images from respective restaurants’ websites]

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Here are 20 of the best restaurants in South Africa