Knysna cuisine: 8 Restaurants you should visit

POSTED IN: Events, General, Knysna, Oyster Festival, Things to do

Knysna can be just as much of a gastronomical journey as a sight-seeing trip. The town and surrounds host a variety of eateries that present Haute Cuisine for the connoisseur or real ‘soul food’ for a meal reminiscent of home. Many local and foreign dishes pop up on Knysna menus.

What follows is a small selection of eateries in Knysna to help you during your gastronomic travels through the Garden Route…

8 Restaurants in Knysna to dazzle your palate

knysna restaurants seafood bistro café dining out eating out

Bistro cafés, gourmet cuisine and ‘soul food’ – Knysna has it all.

Pembrey’s Bistro

Average cost: R95 – R150
Described as ‘comfy casual modern, bistro fare’ this establishment will suite those looking for hearty lunchtime dining. Roasted springbok and lamb, lamb kidneys or beef marrow served on toast (with scrumptious onion marmalade) are all popular choices. Owners Viv and Peter Vadas support local wineries and welcome you into this ambling country house with a warm atmosphere and close-knit group of staff. Lunch: Sundays (in season lunch). Dinner: Wednesday – Sunday 6.30pm – late (in season Sunday lunch)
+27443860005 |

The Olive Tree

Average cost: R130
This is a firm local favourite. Described as ‘classic elegance combined with bistro food’ the house recommendations include the seafood curry and the fillet. The ‘catch of the day’ is also said to be a sure winner. Serves breakfast/brunch and lunch. Dinners, Monday to Saturdays only in Season from 6.30pm till kitchen close at 9pm.

knysna restaurants seafood bistro café dining out gourmet eating out

Le Maquis by Cathy & Rémy

Average cost: Starters from R65. Mains from R155.
Le Maquis is a small & relaxed Bistronomique French Restaurant of 28 seaters. Operated by a French couple, Cathy (Executive Chef/Front house) and Rémy (Head Chef). they serve a 100% homemade French & Mediterranean cuisine. Monday to Saturday: 6:30pm – 9pm. Sundays: Closed.
27822577852 (Rémy) | 27817118884 (Cathy)

Café Mario

Average cost: R60
If you’re hankering for Italian this is the place to frequent. Well-known for their thin crusted pizzas (available in wheat-free too). Mario’s has an ambitious menu. Pastas, Italian sandwiches, veal pizziaoilo, steak and grilled line fish are on offer. The ‘Super Mario’ full breakfast (with spicy Italian sausage) is highly recommended by regular patrons. Breakfast: Monday to Sunday 7.30am – 10pm. Lunch: Monday to Sunday 7.30am – 10pm. Dinner: Monday to Sunday 7.30am – 10pm
+27443827250 |

Creative nods to global flavors (based on the chefs’ travels) are evident in dishes such as shakshuka, a riff on the Turkish classic of poached eggs perched on a spicy tomato, onion and red pepper ragout. – Charlotte Pregnolato, Food Critic, on her experience at Île de Païn (The Artisan)

Île de Païn – The Artisan

Average cost: R50 – R100
What do you get when you combine a master chef with a master baker and chocolatier? Pure heaven at Ile de Païn. Chef Liezie Mulder and Markus Farbinger combine their skill sets to create excitingly imaginative dishes. Take for example, the ‘Green Envy’, made with bright yellow free-range scrambled eggs, surrounded by pesto on whole wheat toast, topped with arugula and parmesan. Chocoholics take note of the pastries on offer! Cool café music will have you humming along to a familiar tune while the kids play and romp around the patio under the trees. Breakfast: Monday – Sunday: 8.30am – 11:30am. Lunch: Monday – Sunday: 11.30am – 3pm Sunday 9am – 1.30pm
27443025707 | 27443025705 |

34 Degrees South

Average cost: R80 – R120
34 South is both a restaurant (oysters, seafood, sushi, pizzas, meat, poultry, mezze, and much, much more) and a shopping destination with an extraordinary selection of wines and craft beers. Breakfast: Tuesday – Saturday, 8am – 11am Sunday 9am – 1.30pm. Lunch: Monday – Sunday: 11.30am – 3pm. Dinner: 3pm – 9pm.
27443827331 | 27824193434 |


Average cost: R85 – R245
Sirocco is the kind of elegant destination you’d choose for a special occasion. Its Italian/Portuguese/South African menu includes seafood, oysters, steaks, venison, Karoo lamb, pizza, salads, and delicious fruit-based desserts. Lunch: Monday – Sunday: 12pm – 3pm. Dinner: 3pm – till late.

Tapas & Oysters

Average cost: R50 – R120
Tapas & Oysters is a vibey indoor/outdoor spot serving Spanish and South African tapas, as well as sushi and oysters. Offers live music twice a week, six big-screen TVs and a kids’ play park – and private jetties, should you prefer to arrive by boat. Monday – Sunday: 11am – 10pm.

Bon Appetit and see you there!

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