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10 Must-Visit Restaurants in Pretoria for Foodies

10 Must-Visit Restaurants in Pretoria for Foodies

You might know of Pretoria (is Pretoria better than Cape Town) as the ‘Jacaranda City’ with our streets lined up with beautiful purple jacaranda trees but there’s more to our city than meets the eye.

It’s also a food hub of various South African cuisine, from sizzling braai to our spicy chakalaka.

In this article, we’re taking you on a food trip to the best places to eat South African food here in Pretoria. Read on and get ready for your mouth to water!

1. Capital Craft Beer Academy

Capital Craft Beer Academy
Photo from @capitalcraftpta
AddressShop 20, Greenlyn Village Centre, Corner of Thomas Edison & 12 Street East, Menlo Park, Pretoria
Business hours 10:30 AM to 11:45 PM on Mondays to Fridays;
10:00 AM to 11:45 PM on Saturdays;
10:00 AM to 7:00 PM on Sundays
Social MediaFacebook: Capital CraftInstagram: @capitalcraftpta
Contact number+27 81 877 6924
Specialty dish/esRibs
Bunny Chow

We love going to Capital Craft Beer Academy on either Mondays or Wednesdays because of their special promos. Tiring weekdays, we know but hey, there’s a fulfilling reward waiting at the end of it.

On Mondays, you’ll find us digging into the tastiest ribs (pork or beef – they have it all!) in the city. Pro tip: eat them with your bare hands to nibble on the saucy flavours of their ribs.

While for Wednesdays, it’s your dream burger and beer combo that we all love. Meals only range from R145 to R200 and we’ll be the first to say it’s worth every cent.

But the food venture doesn’t end there. We also love going here because of their special bunny chow.

In case you are unfamiliar with it, it’s a Mamelodi half-loaf inspired by South African street food of the same name. It’s steaming hot bread with lamb curry inside topped with various ingredients like tomatoes and pickled cucumber.

We’re sure you’re going to enjoy it while it’s freshly cooked. Not only us but even everyone else from our community would agree with that too.

Of course, we can’t not mention their craft beers! We recommend the Fokof – Lager and Friar’s Habit – Irish Red Ale to start.

2. Rocket 88 Bar and Braai

Rocket 88 Bar and Braai
Photo from Rocket 88 Bar and Braai’s website
AddressGlen Gables Centre, Corner Lynnwood road and January Masilela, Lynnwood, Pretoria
Business hours 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM daily
Social MediaFacebook: Rock88 Bar and Braai Lynnwood
Instagram: @rocket88barandbraai
Contact number+27 78 245 9526
Specialty dish/esBraai
Succulent burger and chips

If you haven’t had an authentic braai (barbecue) experience in Pretoria, we can safely say that you’re missing at least half of your life.

For a legit braai, we recommend Rocket 88 Bar and Braai. Apart from braai, they offer a famous deep-dish casserole with minced meat called bobotie, which as far as our judgement goes, is one of the best ones out there.

We also discovered their succulent burger and chips which it’s a speciality of theirs that you shouldn’t overlook. It’s priced at R89 with a plethora of extra sides that go with it like biltong, avocado and pepper sauce.

But more than just a restaurant to eat good food, we love visiting here because it’s a social space where we can interact and meet new people, giving us the complete braai ambience we want.

You can even find them in Moreleta Park, aside from Lynnwood, so you can go to whichever branch is convenient for you to drop by. 

3. Blue Room Hatfield

Blue Room Hatfield
Photo from @blueroom_hatfield
Address1057 Arcadia Street, Hatfield, Pretoria
Business hours 11:00 AM to 4:00 AM daily
Social MediaFacebook: Blue Room Hatfield
Instagram: @blueroom_hatfield
Contact number+27 73 707 6363
Specialty dish/esBraai

While we’re talking about braai, we also can’t overlook Blue Room Hatfield, which is another one of our go-to spots here in Pretoria. Their sizzling barbecue is a must-eat – even locals can never get enough of it.

They usually host big celebrations here like birthdays (where can I spend my birthday in Gauteng?) or bachelorette parties, making it a great spot for those lively and energetic socials and celebrations.

You even look forward to their different line-up of performers every night, so you can be sure you’ll end up singing your heart out to various Afro-tunes here!

4. Baobab Cafe & Grill

Baobab Cafe & Grill
Photo from baobab_cafe_and_grill
AddressMenlyn Shopping Centre, Shop UF 53-55, Atterbury Road, Menlyn, Pretoria
Business hours 11:30 AM to 9:30 PM on Mondays to Thursdays;
11:00 AM to 10:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays;
11:00 AM to 9:30 PM on Sundays
Social MediaFacebook: Baobab Cafe & Grill Menlyn
Instagram: @baobab_cafe_and_grill
Contact number+27 12 368 1003
Specialty dish/esBiltong
Baobab burgers

If you’re in Menlyn Shopping Centre, you shouldn’t forget to make a stop at one of our favourite places, the Baobab Cafe & Grill. They have delectable local treats like biltong and baobab burgers which any South African like us could not miss out on.

One of the things we like about Baobab is its family-friendly atmosphere which is calming and accommodating for kids so that everyone can have a good time together.

Plus, they serve kiddie meals that have good portions. To give you a little idea, they have crumbed chicken nuggets and the classic boerewors which hit very close to home.

There’s even a balcony at the restaurant where you can watch the sunset with everyone while taking a sip of their speciality coffee such as Kahlua and Cape Velvet.

If that isn’t a picture-perfect moment with your loved ones, we don’t know what else is.

As you get deeper into the night at Baobab, things get a little more exciting. They have a late-night guest DJ performing at the makeshift stage at the front of the restaurant.

We highly suggest making a table reservation ahead of time to ensure your slot, especially if you’re a fan of our favourite local DJs like SEG T and Mike Pupps that often hold gigs in this cafe with their dynamic electro-pop mixes.

5. Relish Bistro

Relish Bistro
Photo from @relishbistro
AddressCorner Pretorius Street & Grosvenor Street, Hatfield, Pretoria
Business hours 8:00 AM to 9:45 PM on Mondays;
8:00 AM to 10:00 PM on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays;
8:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Wednesdays;8:00 AM to 8:30 PM on Sundays
Social MediaFacebook: Relish Bistro
Instagram: @relishbistro
Contact number+27 12 747 3651
Specialty dish/esKeto beef burger
Relish hake
Summer salad

If you’ve been wanting some downtime with your family, we highly recommend the Relish Bistro. This is a family-friendly restaurant with a soothing vibe as a saxophonist plays a chill beat in the background.

Their signature dishes are the keto beef burger, relish hake and summer salad which we love because it’s suitable for all kinds of diets. Now, everyone gets to eat whatever their heart desires.

For a healthier alternative, go with the keto beef burger. It has 200 grams of pure beef patty with grilled mushrooms and melted mozzarella in an avocado bun for R145.

As for the relish hake, we’d like to call it our seafood bonanza find. The hake or described as a large-headed elongated fish is grilled with butter, cream and mushroom, resulting in a mouthwatering dish.

You can opt for either rice or chips for your sides but we wouldn’t stop you from having both instead of just going for one. But be warned, it comes with an additional fee on its base price of R159.

Regardless, don’t hold back and treat yourself to some good food from time to time because it’ll help uplift your spirits. Are we right or are we right? 

On another hand, if you want something light on the stomach, we suggest the summer salad. It’s mixed with feta, seasonal melon, strawberries and black sesame seeds with pina colada and salad dressing on top.

6. Zemara Restaurant

Zemara Restaurant
Photo from Uber Eats
Address933 Francis Baard Street (ex-Schoeman Street), Pretoria
Business hours 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM on Mondays to Saturdays;
10:00 AM to 9:00 PM on Sundays
Social MediaFacebook: Zemara Restaurant
Contact number+27 12 342 3080
Specialty dish/esBoerewors

Whenever we go to Zemara Restaurant, it’s like coming back home after a long and tiring day. The fragrant smell of our local treats lingers in the air along with the overall cosy ambience of the place, making us feel warm all over.

We love dropping by here whenever we’re craving our favourite boerewors, a juicy and meaty coil-shaped dish that we can’t stop raving about to everyone, especially those who haven’t tried it yet.

Zemara also offers ugali, our country’s popular corn meal, which tastes similar to popcorn.

Here’s a little local secret: add a little salt or butter (either way, you’ll love it) to your ugali to enhance its overall flavour.

7. Heritage Lifestyle Restaurant

Heritage Lifestyle Restaurant
Photo from @heritagelifestylerestaurant_sa
AddressCorner Eastwoods and Pretorius Street, Arcadia, Pretoria
Business hours 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily
Social MediaFacebook: Heritage Lifestyle Restaurant
Instagram: heritagestylerestaurant_sa
Contact number+27 12 751 5106
Specialty dish/esBraai platters

At this point, you’ve probably heard a whole lot of ‘braais’ – but really, what’s the Pretoria food scene without it? 

That said, there are loads of restos in the area that are worth visiting with delicious braais and one of those is obviously the Heritage Lifestyle Restaurant.

With their braai platters, you’ll have a full plate consisting of sausages, chicken wings, lamb chops and rump steak. Yes, meat lovers, we can hear your hearts fluttering right now!

Of course, this is served with pap, chips and gravy for an explosion of flavours.

But apart from their good food, you’ll enjoy your visit as we did because of the soulful live performances by DJ Daddy. Everyone in Pretoria knows him so bear witness to how he plays the saxophone like a beast.

8. Tshwane Lifestyle

Tshwane Lifestyle
Photo from @tshwane_lifestyle
Address15 Bronkhorstspruit Road, Willow Park Manor, Pretoria East
Business hours 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Mondays to Wednesdays;
10:00 AM to 11:00 PM on Thursdays to Sundays
Social MediaFacebook: Tshwane Lifestyle Lounge
Instagram: @tshwane_lifestyle
Contact number+27 73 084 2710
Specialty dish/esMogodu
Braai platters
Chakalaka and pap

You wouldn’t feel a sense of community anywhere else in Pretoria East than in Tshwane Lifestyle. 

Locals like us love going here because of its comfortable ambience where we can lounge under the sun and breathe in the fresh air with our family or friends since they have lots of outdoor seats and tables available.

Their mogodu and braai platters are our top picks here because duh, no South African could ever resist them, especially us.

Their beef or pork trotters are also perfect to eat with a beer in hand, giving you a refreshing feeling like no other.

We’d also like to specially mention their homemade chakalaka and pap because braais are never complete without them – and that goes without saying.

9. Halwas African Restaurant

Halwas African Restaurant
Photo from @halwasafricanrestaurant
Address33 Pretorius Street, Pretoria Central, Pretoria
Business hours 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily
Social MediaFacebook: Halwas African restaurant
Instagram: @halwasafricanrestaurant
Contact number+27 72 546 6444
Specialty dish/esChicken curry with roti
Tripe and trotters

Halwas African Restaurant’s a great food stop for those who want great food quickly and with a good value for money.

Some of their speciality dishes that we like include chicken curry with roti, and tripe and trotters. Although these varieties didn’t technically originate here in South Africa, it’s a crowd favourite for us to the point that they’re a staple choice for us.

But if you want something that hits closer to home, you don’t have to worry because they serve our local dishes like braai and shisanyama. 

ICYDK: Shinsanyama’s similar to braai but its roots are from the townships and are cooked over hot coals.

Nonetheless, these two varieties are freshly cooked meat that’ll make your mouth sizzle at its juicy and delectable taste.

10. Savannah Cafe and Restaurant

Savannah Cafe and Restaurant
Photo from @savannahcafe_restaurant
AddressUni Park, 725 Arcadia Street, Arcadia, Pretoria
Business hours 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily
Social MediaFacebook: Savannah Cafe and Restaurant
Instagram: @savannahcafe_restaurant
Contact number+27 76 145 4664
Specialty dish/esTilapia fish
Jollof rice and chicken

Although it’s not as popular as others, Savannah Cafe and Restaurant is an underrated restaurant that we want you to know about.

We love their tilapia fish, and jollof rice and chicken because of their perfect blend of spicy and savoury flavours. Simple, yes, but definitely enough to satisfy your craving for good local food.

Plus, their place is family-friendly so you can bring along your kids and enjoy the great food and soothing atmosphere while you’re here. There are also seats outside the shop for an al fresco dining experience.

FAQs on the Pretoria Food Scene

Check this out for more questions about Pretoria and South African food:

Tried any of the restaurants listed above? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below – we’d love to know if you enjoyed your visit as much as we did!

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