Restaurants and Pubs
The Knysna area offers visitors a great selection of cafés, restaurants and pubs. Fresh seafood is available in most establishments and there are a number of great spots to try some delectable oysters. There are also plenty of healthy and vegetarian options, as well as lovely places to enjoy a Sunday lunch buffet or set menu. Many of the restaurants offer amazing views of the Knysna Lagoon and surrounds.
East Head Café
George Rex Drive
Located at the magnificent and well-known Knysna Heads, this Pizzeria, Seafood and Cocktail bar enjoys breathtaking views of the channel through the Heads. The large restaurant offers plenty of indoor and outdoor space for family lunches and dinners, as well as corporate events and private functions.
Phone: +27 44 384 0408. End George Rex Drive, Eastern Head, Knysna
East Head Café
Situated on the rocks of the famous Eastern Head, East Head Café has the most spectacular view, directly through the Knysna Heads. Seating is indoors, with a wood burning fireplace, as well as outside on the covered terrace. The food is simple and consistently well made, with the focus on flavour and freshness. Service is friendly and fast and the restaurant has an outdoor play area for kids.
Phone: +27 44 384 0933. 25 George Rex Drive, Knysna
Nestled in its own private forest on George Rex Drive, Blend is an idyllic country restaurant, serving a variety of good food. It's the perfect spot for family lunches or dinners, and there is plenty of space for kids to run around, as well as a jungle gym to play on. The cosy and inviting pub is the ideal place to wind down and listen to live music on weekends
Phone: +27 44 384 0493. George Rex Drive, Knysna
This old-style English pub is a local favourite, and serves locally brewed ale and value-for-money delicious pub fare. It's the perfect spot to watch the rugby or cosy up to a roaring fireplace during the colder winter months
Phone: +27 44 382 6276. George Rex Drive, Knysna
This stylish and contemporary restaurant reflects the five-star luxury of the award-winning Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa. The upmarket establishment offers an award-winning wine list and seasonal menus, incorporating fresh herbs and vegetables from its own garden as well as produce available in the Garden Route. Open for dinner only, from Wednesday to Saturday, children from the age of 12 years are welcome.
Phone: +27 44 302 3410. Conrad Pezula, Lagoon View Drive, Knysna
Located on the lower level of the Conrad Pezula Hotel, this relaxed and stylish bistro offers comfortable seating and a warm and inviting atmosphere. Café Z is all about delicious, simple and wholesome food, prepared with locally sourced produce. The menus constantly evolve to reflect seasonal quality and availability, thus always ensuring excellent value.
Phone: +27 44 302 3333. Conrad Pezula, Lagoon View Drive, Knysna
Nadine's Corner on Leisure Island
Situated in a quiet area of Leisure Isle, the delightful, charming coffee shop and restaurant serves breakfast, burgers and sandwiches, as well as vegan and vegetarian meals. They have a delicious range of cakes to choose from and the outside seating under the big tree offers a welcome respite from the heat in summer.
Phone: +27 44 384 1746. No. 12 Kings Way, Leisure Isle, Knysna
Tapas & Oysters
The Island Cafe Restaurant
île de païn
Enjoy long breakfasts and lazy lunches, served in a warm and inviting atmosphere. The food is consistently good and there is a great selection of desserts. Wood-fired oven bread, using wholesome, natural ingredients, is baked daily.
Phone: +27 44 302 5705. No. 8-10 The Boatshed, Thesen Island, Knysna
Tapas & Oysters
This vibrant, waterside restaurant offers a wide selection of Spanish, Mediterranean and South African Tapas, as well as oysters, sushi, fresh seafood, home-made dips and olives, crunchy salads, desserts and lots more. They have big screen TV’s, boat parking and a children's play park for the young ones to enjoy.
Phone: +27 44 382 7196. TH 29, Thesen Island, Knysna
Situated adjacent to Tapas & Oysters and sharing the fun play park for kids, Col'Cacchio pizzeria serves Italian-inspired food, including gourmet thin-based pizzas and an impressive variety of freshly prepared salads and pastas.
Phone: +27 44 302 5750. 33 Sawtooth Lane, Thesen Island, Knysna
The Island Cafe Restaurant
The 90-seater Island Cafe restaurant at the Turbine Hotel and Spa serves up chic food in a unique environment. Tables are set in between the original refurbished turbines, or overlooking the canal outside. Warm open fireplaces and magnificent sliding glass doors add to the ambience.
Phone: +27 44 302 5746. 36 Sawtooth Lane, Knysna
Sirocco is situated on the water’s edge of Thesen Harbour Town. The trendy lunch and dinner venue offers relaxed sophistication, modern design, great food and friendly service. Enjoy a variety of cuisine, including pizza, sushi, salads, seafood, poultry and meat dishes.
Phone: +27 44 382 4874. TH28, Thesen Island, Knysna
The Waterfront - Knysna Quays
34 Degrees South
Situated on the harbour's edge, 34 Degrees South has a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. Offering a very wide and varied menu to choose from, the restaurant specialises in seafood and sushi. It is also a deli, gift shop, clothing emporium, food store, fish monger and bakery.
Phone: +27 44 382 7331. Shop 19 Knysna Quays, 21 Waterfront Drive, Knysna
Falcon Creek Spur
Generous portions of a variety of dishes are served in a relaxed, family-friendly environment. From starters and light meals, to steaks, burgers, ribs, kiddies favourites and a selection of desserts – there is something to cater for everyone’s meal requirements. The Spur also offers an indoor play area for kids.
Phone: +27 44 382 1195. Shop 29A Knysna Quays, 21 Waterfront Drive, Knysna
Overlooking the water at the Knysna Quays, this well-loved café serves authentic Italian café food and great breakfasts with spicy Italian sausage. The menu offers delicious pastas along with main dishes including veal marsala, osso bucco and grilled catch of the day.
Tel : +27 44 382 7250. Shop 9 Knysna Quays, 21 Waterfront Drive, Knysna
Ocean Basket is a modern chain restaurant with a cheerful vibe, serving up seafood, sushi and sharing platters.
Phone: +27 44 382 4862. Shop 21-22, Knysna Quays, 21 Waterfront Drive, Knysna
If you're looking for a good meal and a great welcome, JJ's has a warm and friendly atmosphere. The aromas and flavours of their dishes are sourced from a combination of local ingredients and freshly-picked herbs from Hoekwil near Wilderness. The menu offers steakhouse specialities, seafood, chicken, pasta, vegetarian meals and South African Game.
Phone: +2744 382 3359. Knysna Quays, 21 Waterfront Drive, Knysna
This warm and friendly restaurant with its open-plan kitchen and lovely views of the waterfront, offers traditional Mediterranean Portuguese cuisine. The menu includes fresh fish caught daily and a variety of steaks, chicken and seafood dishes like prawns, crayfish and oysters. It can get very busy, so booking is advised
Phone: +27 44 382 3476. Shop No. 20, First Floor, Knysna Quays, Waterfront Drive, Knysna
The Drydock Food Co
Situated on the water's edge at the Knysna Waterfront, this restaurant serves intimate lunches and dinners, and caters to large groups and tour groups. The freshest seafood, tempting salads, sushi, fusion cuisine and sinful desserts are complemented by a range of the finest local and imported wines, beers and spirits. They stock a good assortment of craft beers.
Phone: +27 44 382 7310. Knysna Quays, 21 Waterfront Drive, Knysna
Known for its fresh seafood and modern styled cuisine, Cruise Café presents diners with a relaxed atmosphere and exceptional views of the Knysna Lagoon. Enjoy coffees and cocktails plus seafood and modern cuisine in a soothing, yet sophisticated space with a lagoon-side deck, offering incredible views.
Phone:+27 44 382 1693. Remembrance Drive, The Waterfront, Knysna
John Benn Cruise
With twice-daily departures from the Knysna Waterfront Quays in Waterfront Drive, the John Benn double-decker floating restaurant offers Lagoon cruises to the Knysna Heads. Enjoy a memorable family day out. A la carte and tapas menus are available on-board with fresh Knysna oysters, local beer and sparkling wine. There are two full bars on the upper and lower decks and it's all fully enclosed, so not dependent on the weather.
Phone: +27 44 382 169321, Waterfront Drive, Knysna
Freshline Fisheries offers a wide selection of seafood in an informal beach-like setting. Enjoy West Coast Snoek from the barbecue or the old time favourite Fish and Chips. Other delectable dishes include oysters, clam chowder, mussels in white wine, traditional home-baked mielie (corn) bread with fresh farm butter and home-made jam, traditional sherry trifle, crayfish and prawns. The restaurant is not licensed, so you are welcome to bring your own drinks - no corkage charged
Phone: +27 44 382 3131. Railway Siding Dockyard, Cnr Long & Waterfront Drive (Behind Tait Marine), Knysna
Rib & Rump
Specialising in AAA grade steaks and pork ribs, this popular restaurant offers a relaxed atmosphere in a basic setting. The menu includes meat and fish options, including their famous Surf & Turf, Grilled Chicken or Eisbein, as well as appetising starters, fresh salads and scrumptious desserts. Bookings are advised and they are unlicensed so bring your own drinks - no corkage.
Phone: +27 44 382 3722. Corner Waterfront Drive & Long Street, next to Railway Siding Dockyard, behind Tait Marine, Knysna
The Grain Mill Organic Bistro offers simple, organic and healthy meals, as well as creative drinks in a great setting. The menu is mainly vegan although non-vegan is available too. Here you can enjoy bread and pasta guilt free as it is all made from spelt. A great spot for a healthy breakfast or lunch.
Phone: +27 83 635 7634. 3 Union Street, Knysna
They say don't judge a book by its cover. If it's Thai food you're in the mood for, this little restaurant, although deceiving from the outside, offers warm and friendly service and amazing Thai food. The basic menu includes delights such as prawn and pumpkin cakes, spring rolls, green curry, cashew chicken, sushi, chilli beef and more. Portions are generous and curries can be mild, medium or spicy, depending on your preference. They are unlicensed so you need to “bring your own".
Phone: +27 44 382 0864. 1 Grey Street, Knysna
Situated in the heart of Knysna, this traditional seafood restaurant is the oldest restaurant in Knysna - well-known for their seafood and their superb matured beef. The menu offers a selection of fresh fish, shellfish, seafood platters and oysters, as well as ostrich fillet, kudu fillet, chicken and vegetarian dishes.
Phone: +27 44 382 2230. No. 11 Grey St, Knysna
This small, vibey, owner-run restaurant is famous for its made-to-order, thin-n-crispy, wood-fired pizzas, also available on wheat- or gluten-free bases. Apart from delicious pastas, potato bakes, home-made burgers, filled paninis and ciabattas, the restaurant also serves scrumptious salads and home-made desserts. With over 80 wines to choose from, there’s sure to be something to suit your taste – and your pocket.
Phone: +27 44 382 0203. 9a Grey Street, Knysna
The Tin House Cafe
Open for breakfasts, lunch and sundowners, this cafe serves simple, fresh and healthy home-made food, using only the freshest local produce. The garden is a great spot to relax on a warm day and in winter you can toast by the fireplace. They are fully licensed and have free Wi-Fi. It's a great spot for kids too.
Phone: +27 44 382 2761. No. 3 Grey Street, Knysna
Situated in the heart of Knysna, Café Throbb with its homely vintage interior, is perfect for socializing, catching up on work, or just keeping yourself company, while enjoying delicious food and gourmet coffee. It's modern café dining at its best, with a preference for healthy local foods. Local cheeses, stone ground flour, Cape olive oils, and organic vegetables are used where possible.
Phone: +27 44 382 0406. No. 9 Gordon St, Knysna
Loui's Restaurant & Pub
Located in Mortimer Street, opposite Knysna Primary School, Loui's Restaurant offers value-for-money, cheerful pub fare and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Enjoy lamb shank, chicken schnitzel or lamb cutlets with potato mash. They also make delightful Tramezzini. There is a covered outside deck area with a cosy fire in winter and a lovely garden for the kids.
Phone: +27 44 382 0204. Mortimer Street, Knysna
The Olive Tree
A firm favourite with health-conscious locals, The Olive Tree is popular for its healthy breakfasts, and Harvest Table lunches, which are great for vegetarians. Organic ingredients are used where possible and the food is fresh, tasty and well presented. The lovely ambience and good service adds to the experience.
Phone: +27 44 382 5867. Wood Mill Lane Centre, Main Road, Knysna, 6571
A highly traditional, family-friendly Italian restaurant, Persello offers great value, generous portions and a warm atmosphere. In addition to the usual suspects such as Alfredo, carbonara and lasagne, there are special options such as brinjal lasagne and gnocchi. The wood-fired pizzas are lauded by locals as the ‘best in Knysna’.
Phone: +27 44 382 2665. Memorial Square, Knysna
Bloo Bistro World Cafe
Stepping into Bloo Bistro is like entering a gypsy fortune-teller’s caravan. The eye-catching Moroccan décor and interesting lighting creates a fun and mystical Bohemian vibe. The delicious and affordable food consists of a mix between Mediterranean and South African cuisine. Their Natal lamb curry is very popular and there are great vegetarian options too. After 22h00 the restaurant converts into a night club with face painting, loud music and dancing.
Phone: +27 82 923 1185. Shop 10b, 29 Main Road, Knysna
Polvo Coffee Bar
Polvo is a must for coffee-lovers and they serve good food too. Friendly staff and a great atmosphere in a loungy environment add to its charm. Enjoy great breakfasts, delicious home-made cakes and light meals such as croissants. They have a kids corner and a baby changing station too.
Phone: +27 72 025 6402. 50 Main Road, Pledge Square, Knysna
Located in the Knysna Mall, Lunar café is all about coffee and everything that goes with coffee. The small and intimate café offers a simple menu of fresh, quality meals that can be put together quickly.
Phone: +27 44 382 3780. Shop z2-09, Knysna Mall (Spar side), Knysna
Run by the friendly husband and wife team of Jacques and Julie, the restaurant serves quality coffee, light meals (salads, pies, sweet and savoury pancakes), cakes and desserts. There is a kiddies menu as well as an ice-cream stand.
Phone: +27 44 382 2933. Shop 19 – Knysna Mall, Knysna
This cookery school is open to the public every Wednesday night, from November to April annually. The Kilzers Kitchen “Cook n Look” evenings are a unique and fun experience. The busy and extremely well-equipped kitchen becomes centre stage for around 70 guests who get to watch a magnificent three-course meal being prepared by chefs Albin and Jenny. Booking is essential!
Phone: +27 44 382 0135. No 3 & 5 Roos Bolton Crescent, Knysna Heights, Knysna
The Bell Tavern
Butterfly Blu Restaurant
Totties Farm Kitchen
Old Cape Road
MUSE Fusion Food
The menu offers an array of casual dishes like delectable wood-fired pizzas, robust starters like chilli poppers, free-range chicken bites on a skewer and one of the best veggie burgers around. The restaurant features a warming indoor fireplace and picnic tables under the trees. There's a lovely garden for children to play in.
Phone: +27 44 382 0804. No. 152A Old Cape Road, Knysna
Die Gieter's Cathy & Remy Restaurant
Located on a private reserve overlooking the Knysna River, this French country style restaurant serves very generous portions of casual bistro-type fare. Enjoy pita with dips, scallops, bobotie rolls, baked Camembert, rich duck con fit, or fish of the day. Desserts include poached pears and cheesecake. They're not licensed yet, so bring your own wine or beer. Reservations are essential.
Phone: +27 82 257 7852. No. 150 Old Cape Rd, Knysna
The Orchid Room at Simola
With views stretching across the lagoon and Heads as well as the golf course and pool, this restaurant offers a dining experience sure to please even the most discerning patron. The a la carte menu is seasonal and a variety of tastes are catered for. With so many delights to choose from, Sunday Buffet lunch is a local favourite and the restaurant also boasts a sushi bar. Enjoy an award-winning wine list or the opulent sophistication of Sir Roy’s Bar.
Phone: +27 44 302 9660, Simola Hotel, No. 1 Old Cape Road, Knysna
The Bell Tavern
Knysna's smallest pub, The Bell, is housed on the site of the original Belvidere Estate farmhouse. A favourite of the Belvidere locals and a great spot for Sunday lunch, the quaint tavern offers pub meals in the garden in summer, or by the cosy wood-burning stove in winter. A wide selection of beers, wines and spirits are available. They don't take bookings, so get there early.
Phone: +27 44 387 1055. No. 169 Lower Duthie Drive, Knysna
The extensive blackboard menu changes according to the seasons. Ingredients are, whenever possible, organic and locally sourced, and dishes are presented with a warm and proud country charm. Enjoy authentic pasta dishes, beef carpaccio, offal dishes, a Mediterranean-inspired salad buffet, and desserts like bread and butter pudding, crème brulee or ice cream and sorbet. The restaurant is often booked up weeks in advance, so booking is essential.
Phone: +27 44 386 0005. Brenton Road, Belvidere, Knysna
Butterfly Blu Restaurant
With exquisite views over Brenton Beach and Buffalo Bay, the stylish and elegant restaurant serves delicious seafood, succulent meat on the grill and authentic Croatian Pizza. Breakfast, pastries and baked goods are available daily at Indigo Deli.
Phone: +27 44 381 0027198. State President C R Swart Road, Brenton-on-Sea
Situated alongside the picturesque Goukamma River, the restaurant offers a selection of meals cooked on the barbecue, delicious Chicken RiverDeck Salad, old family recipe Bobotie, and mouthwatering malva puddings, among other delectable fair. Canoes, hydro-bikes and paddle boats are for hire and there are miniature horse rides for the kids.
Phone: +27 78 134 5873, off the N2 at the Buffalo Bay turn-off
Leeuwenbosch Factory and Farm Stall
Enjoy a farm breakfast, country lunch or Sunday buffet, while enjoying the spectacular views from the deck. Along with a variety of food offerings and quality dairy products at factory prices, they also have a selection of farm stall produce and crafts on offer.
Phone: +27 44 386 0116, Rheenendal Rd, Knysna
The Red Barn
The beautiful landscaped garden, together with a large dam, macadamia orchard and ancient oak and pear trees, is a child’s paradise. The patio is paved and covered to provide shade from the sun and cover in light rain. Enjoy gourmet burgers, rustic pizzas, seasonal meals of the day and decadent desserts.
Phone: +27 44 388 4641. Rheenendal Road, Highway West, Knysna
Totties Farm Kitchen
Situated along the Rheenendal Road, Totties Farm Kitchen serves a large variety of exquisite farm food, carefully and freshly prepared. Enjoy traditional farmhouse breakfasts and light meals such as home-made pies and chips or pickled fish and salad. Bobotie and lamb curry are also lunchtime favourites. Children can enjoy chicken strips, Viennas or mini burgers, all served with chips. There is a lovely garden with a children’s play area too.
Phone: +27 44 389 0092. 12 kilometres along the Rheenendal Road, Knysna
Great for vegetarian purists, VegTable offers an indulgent four-course menu, starring the freshest seasonal vegetables and fruits, sourced from local organic gardens. All fired to perfection on a Defy Jewel woodstove, the meals are never twice the same. Inspired by nature’s seasonal bounty, the essence is true slow food with classic combinations and unusual twists. VegTable is open to the public on Wednesday to Friday evenings, from 19h00 in winter, and 19h30 in summer. Bookings are essential and you need to take your own drinks.
Phone: +27 74 833 9516. VegTable is currently located in a cottage, in a Pecan nut orchard, on the Mermaids Rest Farm, 5.7 kilometres along the Rheenendal Road.
PiliPili Beach Bar
Montecello Pub & Restaurant
Famous for its espatada, this pleasant and vibey, no-frills restaurant with its old-school interior, also serves excellent fish, paella, prawns, squid heads, calamari, beef schnitzel and much more. Portions are generous and meals are well priced. It is very popular with the locals and booking in advance is essential.
Phone: +27 44 343 1780. Main Service Road, Sedgefield
Trattoria da Vinci
Hands-on owners, Steve and Leah, offer a true traditional taste of Italy. Steve cooks mains in the pizza oven, from slow-roasted lamb shanks to fresh line fish and the crispiest of thin base pizzas. On the menu, you'll find Leah's marinated vegetables and crumbed pork fillet, served with mushroom sauce. Try the seafood pasta or creamed spinach with feta. Decadent desserts include coffee espresso cake with almond meringue and Frangelico cream, and the fabulous Toblerone ice cream.
Phone: +27 74 103 8322. Woodpecker Mall, Main Road, Sedgefield
PiliPili Beach Bar
Dig your toes into the beach sand while you enjoy unpretentious food in a relaxed atmosphere. The menu offers a laid-back selection of burgers, grilled food, seafood, salads and thin-based, wood-fired pizzas. An open fire in the evenings creates a lively atmosphere.
Phone: +27 44 343 3087. 2 Claude Urban Drive, Myoli Beach, Sedgefield
Mr Kaai's Fish and Chips
This takeaway restaurant offers seating outdoors only, in a small garden fully covered against the elements. Specialising in all things fishy, batter-dipped and deep-fried, they offer fresh food as you order. Make up your own meal from fish, nuggets, chips and sauces, or enjoy a seafood platter and prawns with savoury rice. Desserts include malva pudding and jelly with custard. Open from about noon till late afternoon, early evening. Take your own wine / beer.
Phone: +27 74 756 8103. Uil Road, Sedgefield
Located in an incredible forest setting on the beautiful Hunter's Lodge estate, this vibrant and casual restaurant is a masterpiece of architecture, interior design and delectable food. The custom-made furniture is slightly oversized for comfort and the tables provide for ample space, with fabulous dishes beautifully displayed during each course. The restaurant offers an abundant and tasty menu with distinctive international flavours. Booking in advance is essential.
Phone: +27 44 532 8226. Harkerville, 10 kilometres west of Plettenberg Bay
The spirit of Africa is in every antique table and in the collectors’ items which adorn every nook and cranny. Enjoy lunch by the pool or dinner by candlelight. The home-style menu offers dishes like Karoo Lamb Rack, Tomato & Butter Bean Bredie, Butter Chicken Samoosas, beetroot lentils, orange braised sweet potato and Napoli vegetables. Sip on a cocktail or glass of wine while enjoying the spectacular riverside views..
Phone: +27 44 501 2500. Emily Moon River Lodge, Rietvlei Road, Plettenberg Bay
Bocca Dolce Coffee Shop
Situated on Quarry Lake just outside Plettenberg Bay, the coffee shop serves organic, home-grown vegan and vegetarian food, using ingredients from their gardens. On Saturday and Sunday, they serve their popular buffet-style "Harvest Table" lunch. They don't serve alcohol but you are welcome to take your own. They also produce a delicious range of freshly roasted coffee beans, which can be bought over the counter.
Phone: +27 83 562 7236. Quarry Lake Estate, Stofpad, Wittedrift, Plettenberg Bay