Search our Blog


Top 10 Restaurants in Africa & the Indian Ocean Islands

Each year, Africa's top chefs wait with baited breath to see how our continent will perform at the World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards. We're proud to report that Luke Dale-Robert's The Test Kitchen currently ranks 28th on this prestigious list, while Peter Templehoff's Greenhouse and Michael Broughton's Terroir both grace the Diners Club World’s 50 Best Restaurants Global Selection.

Africa is a foodie treasure trove of culinary traditions, with flavourful cuisine inspired by classic French and Portuguese dishes, Eastern spices and the superb seafood of the Indian Ocean islands along its coastline. The continent’s contemporary chefs are turning this rich heritage into an art form on a par with the iconic cuisine of London, Paris and New York.

Our selection of the Top 10 restaurants in Africa and the Indian Ocean islands is based on the World's 50 Best Restaurants, TripAdvisor restaurant reviews and direct feedback from our clients.

Top 10 Restaurants in Africa - The Test Kitchen
The Test Kitchen currently ranks 28th on the World's 50 Best Restaurants.

1. The Test Kitchen, Cape Town

British-born Chef Luke Dale-Roberts rose to fame at Constantia’s La Colombe restaurant. His venture The Test Kitchen - located in Cape Town -  won the coveted ‘One to Watch’ award last year and this year ranked 28th on the 50 Best list. Dale-Roberts’ culinary style is best described as international, eclectic fusion. His restaurant is casually elegant, a focused, industrial space for the creation of fine foodie art – similarly, the waiters are attentive without being fussy. Travellers said: “The food was beautiful! Art on a plate and tasted divine” and “adventurous without being over the top – truly outstanding!” Superb wine pairings showcase the best of South African wineries alongside an innovative cocktail menu. Treat yourself to near perfection on the tasting menu or select something sublime from the a la carte options.

Foodie notes:

  • Trip Advisor: Certificate of Excellence 2014 and 92% recommend it.
  • Location: The Old Biscuit Mill, Cape Town.
  • Operating hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12h30-14h00 and 19h00-21h00.
  • Reservations: Essential  Contact:


Top 10 Restaurants in Africa - The Test Kitchen
The Test Kitchen, Cape Town.

2. The Greenhouse, Constantia

The Greenhouse is as elegant and unpretentious as its superb pedigree. Located in The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel, a member of ‘The Collection by Liz McGrath’, it is one of five Relais & Chateaux restaurants under the executive direction of Executive Chef Peter Templehoff. Chef Gerald van der Walt is on the pass, delivering progressive South African cuisine that travellers describe as “a once in a lifetime experience – a delicious work of art.” The Wild tasting menu features traditional ingredients like Springbok and Ostrich, alongside seafood favourites like game fish and wild oysters. The wine list is short but excellent, and the waiters discreet and informative. Dining at the Greenhouse is a theatrical experience staged in a stately Cape Dutch homestead surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens.

Foodie notes:


Top 10 Restaurants in Africa - The Greenhouse
The Greenhouse, Constantia

3. Terroir, Stellenbosch

Chef Michael Broughton’s Terroir proudly took its place on the 2014 Diners Club World's 50 Best Restaurants Academy’s ‘Global Selection’. Grounded in classic French cooking styles, Broughton’s bold flavours are influenced by the best seasonal produce and, wherever possible, locally sourced ingredients. In keeping with his vision of ‘terroir-driven food’ matched to wines of the region, the menu celebrates the provenance of ingredients, from organic strawberries from a neighbourhood farm to fish fresh from the boats in Gordon’s Bay. Travellers said, "Words cannot describe the food experience we had. Perfect in every respect!" What more can we say? Try this leading restaurant if your safari includes a stopover in Stellenbosch.

Foodie notes:

  • Trip Advisor: Certificate of Excellence 2014 and 81% recommend it.
  • Location: Kleine Zalze Wine Estate, Stellenbosch, in the Cape Winelands, 40-minutes outside Cape Town.
  • Operating hours: Lunch Monday - Sunday from 12h00 and dinner Monday - Saturday from 18h30.
  • Reservations: Recommended  Contact:


Top 10 Restaurants in Africa - Terrior
Terrior, Stellenbosch

4. DW-Eleven-13, Johannesburg

DW-eleven-13 has a menu as original as its name – which refers to its Dunkeld West address in Johannesburg. Chef Marthinus Ferreira’s modern take on South African cuisine plays with layers of flavour to highlight his favourite seasonal ingredients. Both the a la carte and tasting menus change with the seasons, and the wine list features some of the best small cellars in the country. Ferreira’s restaurant has a sophisticated ambience but welcoming ambience. Travellers said, “Close your eyes and savour each mouthful of sublime flavours.” The waiters are friendly and explain the menu with great charm. A recent reviewer said: “I love it when a restaurant surpasses my expectations!”

Foodie notes:

  • Trip Advisor: Certificate of Excellence 2014 and 84% recommend it.
  • Location: Dunkeld West Shopping Centre, Dunkeld West, Johannesburg
  • Operating hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12h00-14h30 and 18h30-22h00.
  • Reservations: Recommended  Contact:


Top 10 Restaurants in Africa - DW Eleven 13
DW-Eleven-13, Johannesburg

5. Le Chateau de Bel Ombre, Mauritius

Le Château De Bel Ombre, located near the Southwest coast of Mauritius,offers authentic Mauritian cuisine in a romantic and beautifully restored colonial mansion dating back to the 1800s. The à la carte fusion menu is a testament to the talented chefs, who combine traditional sensibilities with modern techniques to produce dishes like pheasant terrine with tamarind confit. Their sterling efforts are complemented by silver service and a very pleasing wine list. Travellers said: “The food was wonderful! Beautiful surroundings and impeccable staff.” and, “we loved it!” Every Saturday is Mauritian Night, when the kitchen showcases an authentic island feast. Booking a table on the balcony or in the French garden is highly recommended – if the restaurant is busy and the kitchen a little slow, simply relax and soak up the natural beauty of the estate around you.

Foodie notes:

  • Trip Advisor: Certificate of Excellent 2014 and 77% recommend it.
  • Location: Domaine de Bel Ombre, Southwest Mauritius
  • Operating hours: Monday – Saturday, 19h00 - 23h00.
  • Reservations: Recommended  Contact: +230 623 5522


Top 10 Restaurants in Africa - Le Chateau
Le Chateau de Bel Ombre, Mauritius

6. Café des Arts, Praslin, Seychelles

Seychelles has not always enjoyed the best reputation for gastronomy, but restaurants like Café Des Arts on Praslin Island are putting this island nation back on the foodie map. Café des Arts is an unapologetically festive restaurant set on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Cote d'Or. Italian and French gourmet sensibilities meander into spicy Creole territory on this menu with dishes like octopus gratin with lobster and tuna carpaccio with a caper, garlic, and olive oil dip. The wine list is excellent, the desserts are decadent, and the service friendly. Lunch is light and informal, served on wooden deck on the sand. Travellers describe Café Des Arts as: “the most romantic restaurant in the Seychelles!” and the food as “very good – the portions are large so we shared a starter and dessert but splurged on a rather good wine recommended to us.” A definite island stop for foodies.

Foodie notes:

  • Trip Advisor: Certificate of Excellence 2014 and 80% recommend it.
  • Location: Cote d'Or, on Praslin IslandSeychelles
  • Operating hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 12h00 – 15h00 and 19h00 - 22h00.
  • Reservations: Recommended  Contact: +248 423 2252


Top 10 Restaurants in Africa - Cafe des Arts
Cafe des Arts, Praslin, Seychelles

7. The Blue Heron, Arusha, Tanzania

Since it opened in 2002, The Blue Heron has been a popular restaurants in Arusha for a morning espresso, garden lunch or candle-lit dinner. The menu is down-to-earth and very tasty with a range of wood fired pizzas, a quick and fresh salad bar, hearty soups, homemade Italian pastas, shawarmas and succulent steaks. It’s a favourite after work sundowner spot and if you’re in Arusha on a Friday night, expect live music on the veranda. 

Foodie notes:

  • Trip Advisor: Certificate of Excellence 2014 and 88% recommend it.
  • Location: Haille-Sellassie Road, Arusha, Tanzania.
  • Operating hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12h30-14h00 and 19h00-21h00.
  • Reservations: Recommended Contact:


Top Restaurants in Africa - The Blue Heron
The Blue Heron, Arusha, Tanzania

8. Al Fassia, Marrakech, Morocco

If you eat Moroccan food in Morocco, it’s best to trust the locals’ choice, and Al Fassia is it. It’s worth noting that local patrons order Al Fassia’s famous mechoui (roast leg of lamb) in advance of their dinner reservations! Most Moroccan restaurants insist on serving you a buffet feast, but Al Fassia allows guests to choose from an a la carte menu. Service is polite and fast, and there is a decent wine list. A recent traveller said: “Delicious food in generous portions and surprisingly affordable”. The restaurant is modern and elegant with crisp white tablecloths, but we recommend booking a table in the gorgeous garden, a romantic oasis away from the bustle of the city. For superb traditional fare in a beautiful setting, Al Fassia is a must-do for foodies exploring Morocco.

Foodie notes:

  • Trip Advisor: Certificate of Excellence 2014 and 81% recommend it.
  • Location: Guéliz, Marrakech
  • Operating hours: Wednesday – Monday, 08h30 – 20h00.
  • Reservations: Recommended  Contact: +212 524 434060


Top 10 Restaurants in Africa - Al Fassia
Al Fassia, Marrakech, Morocco

9. Domaine Anna Restaurant, Mauritius

Mauritius's Domaine Anna is most spectacular in the evenings when torches line the long drive way and tables are set in softly lit gazebos on the khoi ponds, surrounded by lush landscaped gardens. Most of the fresh ingredients on the Chinese menu come from Chef Hang’s own estate and the wine list is very decent. Something of a self-taught visionary, Hang Leung Pah Hang set out to enchant every sense at Domaine Anna: it’s a truly magical venue with great gastronomy. Travellers said: “Be sure to sit outside - the tables are great for families and romantics.” An extensive menu with generous portions, Hang’s waiters are friendly and helpful, quick to explain a dish or bring an extra table to accommodate your order, as one reviewer found out: “The seafood platter was so big they had to bring over another table!”

Foodie notes:

  • Trip Advisor: Certificate of Excellence 2014 and 72% recommend it.
  • Location: Médine, Flic en Flac, Mauritius
  • Operating hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 11h30 – 14h30 and 18h30 – 22h30.
  • Reservations: Recommended       Contact: +230 453 9650


Top 10 Restaurants in Africa - Domaine Anna
Domaine Anna Restaurant, Mauritius

10. Tamambo Karen Blixen, Nairobi, Kenya

Tamambo is set in the beautiful gardens of Blixen’s original farmhouse, near the Karen Blixen Museum in Kenya's capital Nairobi. The atmosphere is relaxed and peaceful, with friendly, well trained waiters, and a great list of specials. The standard menu is diverse with plenty of seafood including ‘Kenya’s finest oysters’, pub favourites like spicy chicken wings and pork ribs, plus fresh salads and main courses ranging from homemade burgers to prime steaks and superb vegetarian curries. Travellers said: "we stopped for lunch after visiting the museum. The food and wine we ordered was delicious, the waiters were very attentive and we recommend Tamambo to anyone visiting Nairobi.”

Foodie notes:

  • Trip Advisor: Certificate of Excellence 2014 and 87% recommend it.
  • Location: Karen Road in NairobiKenya
  • Operating hours: Monday to Sunday, 06h00 - 22h00.
  • Reservations: Recommended 
  • Contact:


Top 10 Restaurants in Africa - Tamarand
Tamambo Karen Blixen, Nairobi, Kenya

Written by Donyale MacKrill. Connect with her on Google+

Sign up & join our travel community for real reviews, expert insights and helpful tips for planning your safari.

comments powered by Disqus