Local is Lekker

What is your favourite eatery on the West Coast? And why do you go there time and again? Does it appeal to you because it is local and lekker? There are so many local and lekker eateries on the West Coast that we’ve decided to name some. (And we’ll do so again!) And no, you won’t find a franchise here.

Independent eateries have to prove themselves time and again, and so diners are spoilt for choice. One gets what one pays for. And this includes friendliness, good vibes and flavorsome stories. As all foodies know eating out is wonderfully self-indulgent, whether it’s in a building of historic importance in Melkbosstrand or Bloubergstrand, or one located near an ancient cave, such as in Paternoster.

Relaxed times at Melkies. Photo: Melkbos.net

Melkbosstrand eateries
Melkbosstrand eateries The Hart and Melkies operate from stylish new premises and are famous for their hearty burgers, home-made breads and tapas. The Hart also has the best craft beer selection in town. Some restaurants operate from cottages that go back to Melkbosstrand’s beginnings. The walls of the golden oldie Damhuis contain whale bones which were used to strengthen the walls; and the building goes back to around 1785.  Savour that factoid when you next order their curry or Eisbein.

Portugese eatery Castella Amare, (formerly known as Die Kliphuis) operates from an old cottage. It probably does not get close in the age stakes to the Damhuis. That one’s closest competitor must be Ons huisie in Bloubergstrand that goes back in time to the Battle of Blaauwberg in 1806.

Castella Amare. Photo: Melkbos.net

When in Melkbosstrand you can also choose between The Lapa and Bistro on Beach; the latter periodically serves bite-sized burgers that are simply the bee’s knees as well as a range of divine home-made craft beer infused ice creams. Trattoria Maranello prides itself on being the “house of Ferrari-Food,” and makes the mother of meaty lasagnas. Further along Beach Road is fine-dining seafood restaurant Café Orca that consistently serves delicious seafood.

Ons Huisie is another golden oldie. Photo: Onshuisie.co.za

Paternoster eateries
Picturesque Paternoster is home to a few eateries that have become famous. There’s the renowned Gaaitjie  that never sees its gaaitjie. It is described as a “salt water restaurant” and owned by  Wilma and Theuns Kruger with their son chef Jaco Kruger. You get the drift? This sort of place is concerned about their food’s origins, and these don’t come from a factory.

Forager chef Kobus van der Merwe. Photos: Facebook

“Forager chef” Kobus van der Merwe operates his restaurant Wolfgat from a 130-year-old cottage, set on top of a hill. The restaurant derives its name from a cave on the grounds. It offers a seven course tasting Strandveld menu. Flavorsome surprises abound here. This is the place to come to if you want to  sample oyster, soutslaai, Cape gooseberry and borage.

Van der Merwe is of course also the author of the acclaimed Strandveldfood: A West Coast Odyssey; that serves up recipes of traditional Strandveld foods like bokkoms and snoekkuite, and twists on old favourites like melktert ice-cream.
Like the other independent eateries named here, Wolfgat has a story. And its story has to do with its unique setting and the cave on the grounds.

The cave
According to the restaurant’s website “An initial archaeological survey of the cave revealed ceramic remains and sheep bones dating from some time in the last 2000 years. Bone, marine shell, ostrich eggshell, ceramics, beads and stone artefacts were also found, and patches of bedding and hearths are also expected to be buried here. ” Now that’s a lot to digest…
Let us know what your favourite restaurant is. Happy eating out, in the meantime!




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