I unapologetically love my hometown. On my last visit, I was so excited to see how so much has changed.
More often than not, conversations with people I meet go along these lines: ‘Where are you from?’ I enthusiastically say, ‘East London, but not in England…in the Eastern Cape.’ The response I always get is ‘Oh, in Port Elizabeth?’ I always respond, ‘No, it isn’t the same place.’
Now, there’s the new addition of coffee shops and restaurants to look forward to. If you find yourself in East London, be sure to pop into the following restaurants for a cup of coffee or a meal.
1. The Grill Room
Address: Premier Regent Hotel, Marine Complex, Esplanade
This upmarket steakhouse is at the Regent Hotel, right at the beachfront with enticing views of the Indian Ocean. The restaurant creates traditional meals that are locally produced and cooked with a delicious South African twist. The decor at The Grill Room has a New York inspired look and feel, with wood and leather finishes. Also look out for their interesting wine/whiskey food pairings.
2. Sea Spirit Fish Market
Address: Old Power Boat Club, Buffalo River (East Bank)
The menu at Sea Spirit Fish Market is simple – fish and chips. The venue is a boat shed at the edge of the waters in the harbour, with minimal decor, but this setting oozes plenty of character. The fish sold is from the Port of East London, supplied from the local fishing boats. You also have the option of purchasing the fresh hand line fish to cook at home or you can order the fried fish and chips, that will leave you wanting more.
3. Murambi Rose Café
Address: Sunrise Drive, Sunrise-on-Sea
The Murambi Rose Cafe is set in a quaint and tranquil environment overlooking a farm dam – perfect for the entire family. Adults can enjoy some wine tasting while the children play board games on the lawn. On Sunday’s there are hearty and delicious three-course Sunday lunch buffets.
4. Tea in the Trees
Address: West Road, Chintsa West
Tea in the Trees is a cute outdoor cafe in nearby Chintsa (about an hour’s drive), that serves scrumptious breakfast and lunches. The meals range from burgers, salads, quiches to homemade desserts and cakes. This eating spot is also pet-friendly, so your four-legged friends are welcome to explore the forests with you after a meal. Time your visit to Tea in the Trees to see the craft- and home-produce market on the first Sunday of each month.
5. German Taste
Address: 1 Aquarium Road, Quigney
East London and Germany share a historical bond dating back to 1850, to when the German Settlers first arrived at the East London Harbour. German Taste is a restaurant dedicated to the diverse tastes offered in Germany. The restaurant has rustic yet modern decor, but a very cosy ambience and the pastry dishes are handmade from scratch daily.
6. Emerald Vale Brewery
Address: Emerald Vale Farm, Chintsa East
The Emerald Vale Brewery is a boutique craft beer experience situated in Cintsa East, 40 kilometres from East London. The brewery is a family business with a play area for the children, some of the most magnificent views of the Eastern Cape’s green pastures and curio shops with cool merchandise. At the pub-style restaurant you’ll find great beer, which made from fresh rain water. There’s also more than beer on offer and you can tackle the cycle, running and walking trails.
What are your favourite restaurants in and around the Eastern Cape?