Fine Dining in Polokwane
Those who have a taste with some refine will find a large handful of classy dining facilities, whereby the fare being offered is not only a sensation for a diner’s taste buds, but the ambience is welcoming and the service is nothing short of five-star.
Saskia Restaurant @ Fusion Boutique Hotel
4 Schoeman Street, Polokwane
The cuisine at Fusion Boutique Hotel comes with some exactness in attention to detail in addition to some extraordinary twists as is the case with many other aspects of this unique dining affair.
Partake in the five course breakfast within the Fusion Breakfast Room, or enjoy some light lunch on the terrace to the building’s exterior.
Saskia Restaurant affords something for everyone’s tastes, with its private corners and its soft background music, which serve to make every occasion memorable.
Protea Hotel, The Ranch, N1 Highway
An upmarket restaurant located within the Protea Hotel, Basils can be described as a culinary celebration, and thus is a must-visit destination for visitors to the city. The specialty is fresh oysters and steaks. The first-class chefs, together with its unique setting, help to make this establishment a celebration in terms of dining and one that is not easily forgotten in terms of the provision for an authentic African encounter.
Church Street South, Ivydale
The Café Pavilion supplies an excellent menu in a terrific location. Fine cuisine is served by amiable and enthusiastic staff thus helping to ensure a superior dining experience, which is complemented by a kaleidoscopic choice of cocktails. For lunches, a buffet is available Tuesday through Sunday.
Savannah Mall, Polokwane
The combination of great coffee, together with an extraordinary meal, is what Café Rossini is all about. It’s a bistro whereby every one of the clientele, be they frequent visitors or merely passing through, is treated as a friend. It can be forgiven for being situated in a shopping mall, as it does provide easy access to some after-movie nourishment, or possibly a post-soccer match relaxant.
Farmyard Trading Post
Munnik Road, Polokwane
Set in surroundings that are nothing short of stunning, the Farmyard Trading Post makes for an idyllic retreat which offers a fresh look back to the yesteryear. Located some five kilometres from the city’s centre, and some way along Munnik Road, the old colonial farm and homestead provides fresh coffees and muffins to its patrons as they enjoy their time on the expansive verandas.
The Market Day at the Farmyard Trading Post, which is held on the final Saturday of each month, is a popular attraction for locals and visitors to the city alike.
Mawetse Fine Dining
Jorissen Street, Polokwane
A visit to Mawatse Fine Dining provides for an alluring ambience within a French-styled setting. Besides the excellent menu, and as an accompanying factor to its private cigar bar, the wines and champagnes stocked in Mawetse’s cellars are sought after by many of the local connoisseurs.
Meropa Casino, Roodepoort Road
If you enjoy a night in the realms of casino life, then Squires Loft, located in Meropa Casino, affords its patrons with the best steaks around. Yet, there’s no need to leave the action far behind, as the restaurant overlooks the gaming floor just below. The menu is plenty adventurous while the venison is to be highly recommended, too.
Hampton Court, between Pierre and Neethling Streets
The Deck offers excellent meals in a family-oriented setting. The kids’ playroom affords plenty of exciting entertainment, allowing parents to enjoy the dining and cocktail experience.
Fast Food in Polokwane
Polokwane offers a variable array of fast food alternatives, inclusive of burgers, pizza, and pies, together with somewhat healthier options like light sandwiches and salads. Generally, fast food outlets here are extremely reasonably priced, and the standards of hygiene are high.
Library Gardens, between Hans van Rensburg Street and Grobler Street
Steers’ specialty is for flame-grilled chicken and beef burgers, together with the obligatory French fries, soft drinks, and various other accompanying sundries.
Landdros Mare Street
As would be expected, Chiken Licken caters to chicken lovers. As a matter of fact, it represents the largest non-American franchise of fried chicken in the world.
There’s little requirement for a description of the menu at KFC, other than at this particular KFC, diners are treated to a line of roasted and grilled chicken, with accompanying side dishes and various desserts.
For a casual dining affair, Nando’s chain of restaurants comes with a theme of Portuguese combined with Mozambique, with their specialty being the eri-peri flavoured chicken.
Elrib Fast Foods
For a generalised fast food menu comprising beef dishes, grilled and fried chicken, pies and salads, Elrib Fast Foods is one of the mainstays in town.
Library Gardens, Hans van Rensburg Street
Cycad Centre, Outspan Drive
For the leading pizza franchise in Africa, check out Debonairs Pizza. Debonairs provides free pizza delivery to those within a five kilometre radius of Library Gardens.
The Crossing, Grimm Street
Palm Centre, Grobler Street
The vision for Romans Pizza, located at The Crossing on Grimm St. and Palm Centre on Grobler St., is to offer the best pizza in town at the lowest prices. They also cater to accompanying starters, pastas, and salads.
Panarottis Pizza Pasta Restaurant
A further pizzeria, Panarottis, is an eatery done in the Italian-style, which cooks up pizza, pastas, and salads.
Pizza Den Polokwane
Landdros Mare Street
A family-focused pizzeria which offers an expansive range of pizzas together with side dishes. Caters a fast service at a very reasonable price.
Between General Viljoen Street and General Maritz Street
A franchise originating in South African, Scooters Pizza specializes in take-away and delivery pizza.
Thabo Mbeki Street
McDonalds in Polokwane, as in every city and country worldwide, dishes up burgers, French fries, soft drinks, and desserts.
Traditional Cuisine in Polokwane
With respect to traditional cuisines, Polokwane certainly comes with its fair share of offerings.
For the more adventurous foodies in town, among the region’s signature dishes, which is regarded as nothing less than a traditional delicacy, is a caterpillar, which in the Tshivenda language is called Mashonzha or Mopani.
The caterpillar is commonly found in the region of Limpopo, and in the neighbouring countries of Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Because of its high protein content, it’s very much in demand locally, and proffers a valuable income source for many of the rural peoples. The Mopani caterpillar is served together with a hot mealie (corn) porridge, which is a soft porridge popular with the VhaVenda peoples.
Black South Africans in particular, as well as various other inhabitants in the region have a preference for their Mopani caterpillar to be served along with mutuku, a sour porridge. The locals also consume Mopani in the form of a side dish, along with a South African style salad which is made using green peppers, onions, cauliflower, and carrots, all highly spiced with curry and peri-peri.
A further much loved dish is sheep and cow head, rather affectionately referred to as “skop”. The heads are initially scrubbed using a sharp instrument in order to purge the skin. They are then boiled and left to simmer for two hours. Skop is then served up together with pap, which is boiled mealie, along with a sauce made from tomatoes and onions. It’s custom that the meal be washed down with some beer, which is then followed by a smoke on affordable local tobacco which is rolled in newspaper.
Another firm favourite is dingatha – the hooves of pigs, cows, sheep, or goats. Dingatha makes for a glutinous cuisine which is a preference for men, who savor it most together with a cooling beer.
Other local favourites include chicken gizzards, or zwikhwikhwi in Tshivenda, as well as chicken feet, referred to as menatlana in Sotho and Sepedi languages, or as “run-aways” in English.
Morogo represents a healthy dish of pumpkin mixed together with red kidney beans, dried pumpkin leaves and peanuts.
A braai (barbeque), at least for South Africans, is not simply another meal. Rather, it’s a social gathering whereby family and friends get together to catch up with one another over a hearty meal. For those with a penchant, there’s a township known as Seshego, located 13 kilometres from Polokwane, where visitors are able to indulge their taste buds at braais which are prepared by hawkers on street sites. These are referred to by the locals as chisa-nyama, literally meaning grilled meat.
Those who cater street foods in and around Polokwane are assisted with their operations in that the government provides them with a constant supply of water and electricity, thus ensuring a minimum standard of hygiene.
A further Afrikaner delicacy is that of biltong, the dried and salted meat from either ostrich, cow, kudu, or possibly chicken. Biltong can be purchased from most convenience stores and supermarkets in the area.
Boerewors is another favoured delicacy of South Africans, particularly so the Afrikaners. It is a spicy sausage comprising lamb or beef, and is commonly prepared over a braai.
Locally brewed beer, or umqombhothi, is made from sorghum and maize. It’s a sour and heavy beer, though comes with relatively low alcohol while enjoying a high vitamin B content. It is customarily consumed at funerals and at weddings.
Ginger beer makes for a popular drink of the non-alcoholic kind, and is commonly served at social events in the region. It comes with a sharp taste, and is a favoured drink among visitors, too.
Local moonshine is generally made using mampoer – a fruit taken from the marula tree. A beer made from the same fruit is given to ancestors at local ceremonies. Amarula, a creamy liqueur, is also produced from this fruit. Amarula comes with a fruit and caramel flavouring while being served in bars along with peppermint liqueur. This concoction is referred to as “springbok.”
Where to get Traditional Foods
Savanna Mall, between Thabo Mbeki and Grimm Street
For biltong and biltong-related products, Biltong Hut is a specialist in their production.
Between Nikel and Cobalt Street, Nirvana
Visitors who wish to sample some of the varieties of meats prepared at a braai are advised to go to the Lesengkeng Tavern.
International African Cultural Village
Capricorn High School, Thabo Mbeki Street
Dishes that arise in a variety of African countries can be enjoyed at the International African Cultural Village at certain times of the year.
Capricorn Take Aways
For a helping of traditional beef stew, head over to Capricorn Take Aways where Chef Maggy Netshivhuyu, who also is the manager at the establishment, claims to cook the best traditional beef stew in all of Africa, no less. She does not add anything spicy to the ingredients since most of her customers are apparently diabetic. While all of her vegetables are garden-selected, Maggy’s beef stew is served together with pap (porridge), rice, and occasionally with bread.