The South African city of Port Elizabeth is renowned for its hospitality, and the dining establishments in this Easter Cape locale reflect its warmth. Anything from fine dining to the relaxed shoreline café, you’ll find it here on our list of Port Elizabeth’s Top 10 Restaurants and Cafes. Whether you are a local seeking a great meal, a businessman looking to fill that gap in your stomach or a tourist flying into PE with one of South Africa’s domestic airlines, you will be sure to find some great choices.


Friendly Stranger at Baakens Valley

Head to where the city’s creative crowd tend to congregate and enjoy delights such as the unusually named “Confused Cake,” which represents layers of carrot cake, chocolate cake, red velvet cake, together with a hefty topping of cream cheese icing.

The restaurant itself is housed inside a cobblestone building which is thought to be Port Elizabeth’s oldest. Friendly Stranger represents a purveyor of quality foods and fine coffees, blended with arts and live entertainment. And because of this, it’s a perfectly reasonable expectation to find that you’re being entertained by artists who are roaming from place to place, and simply there to enjoy a beer and a strum.

It’s a particularly sociable place, while the ambience manages to remain intimate. And if your looking for what’s arguably the best burger in the city, you’ll not be disappointed by the Friendly Stranger offering.


Fushin at Richmond Hill

Besides the imaginative name, if you ask folks who know about the social scene in Port Elizabeth, then this trendy sushi bar, located on Stanley Street, will likely crop up time and time again. You’ll also find the establishment ranking at the top on TripAdvisor for PE restaurants, and that’s going some!

Many would agree with this simply because it’s the sort of place that lives up to the hype: Give the sushi a try and even a hardened Japanese sushi lover is likely to make the claim that it’s extremely good.

And here’s a good tip for the first-timers to Fushin restaurant: It’s wise to order various items from the menu that you can share, as you’ll want to experience as many of the available flavors as you possibly can.


Bridge Street Brewery at South End

Bridge Street Brewery at the South End represents nothing short of a passionate localised microbrewery which offers its clientele a range of selected beers along with some excellent pub grub. On the menu is an assortment of hot and cold tapas, pizzas, and salads, and that’s just getting started.

The brewery is also very much a supporter of musical talent of the homegrown variety, so you shouldn’t be too surprised to see one of South Africa’s finest talents doing their thing up on stage when you arrive.


Charlie’s Pizza & Pasta at Summerstrand

In Port Elizabeth, Charlie’s Pizza & Pasta at Summerstrand is among the family favorites. He, Charlie, or they, the chefs, cook up a delectable combination of pizzas and pastas, and, of course, to be at its very best, it’s all homemade.

You can expect pizzas that are piping hot having been taken straight from the wood fired oven; pastas that are freshly hand rolled; and beautifully prepared seasonings which have been combined using the finest of organic ingredients.

The setting at Charlie’s is casual, and yet trendy, while the menu is reasonably priced.


The Coachman on the Bay

It always tends to make a positive difference whenever a restaurant is owned and run by a family. Where George and Dawn Castis are concerned – the owners (and runners) of The Coachman on the Bay – the differences to be found here is indeed palpable.

It’s the first restaurant in the city to offer calamari on the menu. And so, even from this alone, it’s fair to make the claim that The Coachman is something akin to a pioneer in terms of seafood in this locale.

Patrons to the restaurant can look forward to a hands on dining experience and a warm ambience. Each customer is greeted personally by the Castis family, as well as the staff. And as for the food – it can be described as nothing short of fresh fish and a range of Greek dishes to die for.


Ginger Restaurant on Port Elizabeth Beach Front

For the sophisticated eat-out option, Ginger Restaurant, which resides adjacent to the Beach Hotel, affords a classy fine dining affair right by the ocean. You may be celebrating something special, or you might simply be intent on spoiling yourself.

It matters not either way; Ginger’s menu, which has been lovingly crafter by Michelin Chef Jonathan Hodder, proffers a modern interpretation of avidly fresh and sumptuously familiar flavours. It really is as enticing as its promenade locale.

And all of this is propped up by what is an equally impressive wine list, together with a more than solid service. If you have a penchant for al fresco dining, then by all means take full advantage of the deck seating.


Blue Waters Café at Summerstrand

Blue Waters Café is a seafood and steakhouse restaurant, all in a relaxed, café-like setting. Up on the balcony, which overlooks Algoa Bay, you’ll be privy to sunset views that are pretty unique, other than to South Africa.

As a guide to find this seaside café, you can use the fascinatingly named Shark Rock Pier as a landmark, whereby the pier is located near the boardwalk.

There’s an extensive menu option, and the light meals, meat dishes, and seafood alternatives, do cater to provide the patrons to a well-rounded dining experience in one of Port Elizabeth’s most attractively blissful locations.


Old Austria in central Port Elizabeth

The Old Austria represents the oldest restaurant in all of Port Elizabeth. Since 1972, the dining establishment, which is located in a chicly refurbished Victorian home, is characteristic of being a meet and eat destination for special occasions like graduations and birthdays.

And, just as with anything that ought not to be fixed if nothing is broken, the menu is relatively unchanged, and has been for the past 40-plus years. The fresh fish dishes, in addition to old Austrian favourites, inclusive of the pot roast and schnitzel, remain among the most popular dishes available.


For The Love Of Wine at Richmond Hill

If you’re out and about of an evening in Port Elizabeth, For the Love of Wine makes for an ideal place to either begin or to end the festivities. The owners and staff at this wine bar, located on the fashionable Stanley Street, fully comprehend the concept that the ultimate of memories are to be achieved whilst partaking in the delights of a fine bottle of wine, irrespective of the vintage.

And do bear in mind that the focus here is on the wine, as opposed to an accompanying food menu. It’s this focus that has achieved For the Love of Wine not only the namesake but also a place in the hearts of the locals who regularly frequently the “institution”.

And, together with over 250 labels on their extremely extensive list, the promise is that they’ll challenge any other nearby establishment to outdo them.


Bocadillos Bakery & Café at Walmer

Bobadilla’s Bakery & Café is a French-style patisserie and it opens its doors to welcome you in, irrespective it’s for breakfast, lunch, for dinner, or merely for a coffee and a piece of cake.

Set within the confines of a modish house not far distant from the airport, and just like the sweetest of treats that are baked daily, the interior of Bobadilla’s is not short of decadence, while it is characterised by something of a Bohemian look and feel, with its Persian rugs, its high ceilings, and its cosy touches, like the freshly cut flowers that bedeck the tables.

If you are searching for value as well as comfort in Port Elizabeth, you’ll find exactly that at Bobadilla’s.