Neslpruit, a bustling city, is the largest in the beautiful province of Mpumalanga. It makes for a major commercial centre, not merely on account of the lowveld, but rather, also with respect to the continual supply of shoppers from Mozambique and Swaziland.
The majority of restaurants in Nelspruit are buried in the hearts of various shopping malls, and there, you’ll find the usual culprits – fast-food chains and steakhouses. Here, we’ve listed the more attractive eating alternatives that you would do well to try while enjoying your time in the city.
Du Preez St., Nelspruit
Orange Restaurant is located in majestic fashion on one of the numerous hills that surround Nelspruit. The restaurant is a free-flowing, modernized, and spacious affair, in that it is a beautifully renovated mansion house which manages to naturally draw visitors, where, unsurprisingly, given the superb weather in the region, most of its patrons have a preference for eating al fresco.
Down a single flight of stone flag steps, and Orange opens to expanses of lawn, an inviting swimming pool, as well as the sundowner verandah, which represents a popular locale for the corporate drinks parties or simply for lounging around in a day or evening enjoying a cool glass of wine.
On average, main meals cost around R100, and come in a fusion of South African blended with Mediterranean styled cuisine.
The pork cutlet with with gorgonzola and apricot is recommended, as is the venison accompanied by caramelised onion.
Botanical Gardens, Nelspruit
Kuzuri is a relaxed establishment and is located on the exterior boundary of the Lowveld Botanical Garden, along with its stunning view over the Cascades Waterfalls. It opens for breakfasts and lunches, from Monday through Saturday, and dinners are available from Wednesday through Saturday. The average main course for dinner costs around R75.
The restaurant, which is owner-run, offers an excellent a la carte menu, inclusive of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, in addition to a home-cooked and thoroughly hearty Sunday buffet lunch.
Bagdad Centre, Nelspruit
Sonpark Boulevard, Nelspruit
Salt, a relatively upmarket restaurant chain, is located near White River, and also in central Nelspruit. Together with its indoor and outdoor dining areas, Salt makes for a spacious, open-planned eating establishment, together with some very tasteful décor to boot.
Take pleasure from the hearty fire, the open kitchens, and the lunchtime dishes such as aubergine steaks, smoked salmon, strawberry salad, and stuffed chicken drumsticks.
The restaurants are open from 12 noon – 2.30pm, Wednesday through Sunday for lunches, and daily from 6pm onward for evening dinners. On Sundays, they are open for most of the day. On average, expect to pay around R100 per head.
N4 Schoemanskloof Road, Schoemanskloof Valley
Situated in nearby Baberton, locals will tell you that Joe’s Restaurant offers the best food to be had in the area. The restaurant, a small-family owned and managed establishment, is an addition to Old Joe’s Kaia, a country house located in the stunning surroundings of Schoemanskloof Valley.
Enjoy your food from the balcony, which is part of the main building, while witnessing the mountain views and listening to the birds nearby.
The kitchen affords nutritious and creative cuisine, while relying on organic, homegrown herbs and vegetables from their own gardens, which provides a copious supply of free-range produce for much of the year. While the average meal is priced at around R80, food packs and picnic baskets can also be purchased.
The restaurant is situated on the route to Mozambique’s Kruger National Park, in Swaziland. The Kaia offers guests a choice from 13 uniquely decorated rooms, should they wish for a lengthier stay. It’s open daily for breakfasts, lunches, and for suppers.
Pine Lake Drive, White River Country Estate
Oliver’s is nothing short of an intimate affair, with its location in White River, and consisting of a mere seven tables, a menu choice of only four starters, main courses, and desserts. The menus are, however, changed around on a weekly basis.