Family-style dining has become a staple in the culinary scene, and nowhere is this shared dining experience more enchanting than in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Situated among the vine-covered hills, this region offers an array of restaurants where large platters and communal tables invite conversation, laughter, and the making of memories over sumptuous meals. Here, we delve into some of Stellenbosch’s best venues for those who love to break bread together in true family style.
Rykaart’s at Longridge Wine Estate
At the heart of the picturesque Longridge Wine Estate, Rykaart’s offers a family-style dining experience that perfectly complements the estate’s celebrated wines. Each month, the menu transforms, showcasing the seasonal bounties sourced directly from the estate and neighbouring farms. Diners can expect a set three-course meal presented on communal platters, fostering a warm and inclusive atmosphere. The changing menu ensures a new culinary adventure with each visit, all shared at a table full of friends, family, and future acquaintances.
The Kraal Restaurant
Tucked away in a serene, stone-walled courtyard, The Kraal Restaurant is an oasis of tranquillity and rustic charm. Wooden tables sprawl beneath the canopy of fruit trees and wild olives, adjacent to the vibrant farm werf garden. Leveraging the agricultural richness of Muldersvlei, The Kraal prides itself on using local produce, resulting in an ever-changing weekly set lunch menu that resonates with the area’s flavour profile and the culinary team’s cherished food memories. Booking ahead is crucial at this secluded gem, where the dedication to fresh, local ingredients and old fashioned farm hospitality are as evident as the care in each dish served.
Sunday Lunches at Kleine Zalze Wine Estate
For a Sunday treat, Kleine Zalze Wine Estate curates a global dining experience against the backdrop of Stellenbosch’s scenic vineyards. The estate’s Winelands setting is perfect for leisurely harvest tables under a Bedouin-tented terrace in the summer or within the cosy confines of their farmhouse-style indoor space in cooler months. Chef Nic van Wyk’s bistro cuisine is upscale yet timeless, changing themes monthly to offer a worldly taste tour – from Argentinian Asado to a vibrant Thai feast. With four courses of gastronomic delight, reservations for their Sunday lunch are a must for both meat-eaters and vegetarians alike.
Table at De Meye
A celebration of local and organic produce, The Table at De Meye is a testament to the passion for high-quality, sustainable cuisine. The weekly, or sometimes more frequent, menu changes reflect the freshest available ingredients, promising a delightful surprise to the palate on every visit. Leigh and Brendan, along with their dedicated team, pour their passion into every aspect of the meal, from sourcing to preparation, to serving. The set three-course, sharing style menu encapsulates their love for food and invites guests to partake in a dining experience that will linger in their senses long after the meal has ended.
In Stellenbosch, family-style dining is more than a meal; it’s an intimate journey through local flavours and seasonal offerings, shared at tables full of eager diners ready to savour not just the food, but the company. Each restaurant presents its unique interpretation of this communal dining trend, inviting you to gather your loved ones and indulge in the art of shared plates in the heart of South Africa’s wine country.