Top 10 Cafés and Restaurants in Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth is well known for its friendly hospitality, and the dining choices in this fair Eastern Cape city reflect that warmth. From fine dining establishments to relaxed shoreline cafes and artsy venues, you’ll find it somewhere in our list of the top 10 restaurants in Port Elizabeth.

Thanks to our friends on Facebook who helped us compile this list of top PE restaurants.


Friendly Stranger, Baakens Valley

Friendly Stranger

Go where Port Elizabeth’s creative crowd congregate and taste such delights as ‘Confused Cake’ – a layer of chocolate cake, carrot cake and red velvet cake with cream cheese icing! Housed in a cobblestone building believed to be one of the oldest in PE, Friendly Stranger is a purveyor of quality food, coffee, the arts and live entertainment. As such, it’s not uncommon to be entertained by roaming artists while enjoying a cuppa. Baristas are sociable and the ambience is intimate … and for the best burger in town, Friendly Stranger won’t disappoint.

Bookings: 076 437 6850 | | View location

Fushin, Richmond Hill


To the Durbanites reading that’s “fusion” not “fush inn”. In addition to its imaginative name, this trendy sushi bar on Stanley Street kept cropping up when we asked our fans about their favourite restaurants in Port Elizabeth. On TripAdvisor they’re currently ranked #1 out of 188 restaurants in PE; and many agree this is largely because it’s the type of place where the only thing “bad” about it is the fact that their sushi is so good, after trying it, you’ll need to keep coming back to fill your appetite for more! Tip: Make sure you order items to share because you need to experience as many different flavours as possible!

Bookings: 041 811 7874 | | View location

Bridge Street Brewery, South End

Bridge Street Brewery

A passionate local microbrewery, Bridge Street Brewery is a popular venue where a range of hand selected beers and excellent pub grub go hand in hand. The menu offers a “good food no matter what you pick” experience with an assortment of cold and hot tapas, salads, and pizzas to name a few. The venue itself is a proud supporter of homegrown musical talent; so don’t be surprised if one of SA’s finest artists are strumming it out on stage when you pull in.

Bookings: | | View location

Charlie’s Pizza & Pasta, Summerstrand

Charlies Pizza Pasta

A family favourite in Port Elizabeth, Charlie’s in Summerstrand cooks up a scrumptious combination of pizza’s and pasta’s. Their policy is homemade – so expect fresh hand rolled pastas, pizzas hot from the wood fired oven, and tenderly prepared seasonings all put together using only the finest organic ingredients. The setting is casual, yet trendy and the menu is priced fairly – try a lamb shank pizza or lasagne.

Bookings: 041 583 2832 | | View location

The Coachman on the Bay

The Coachman on the Bay

When a restaurant is family owned and run it always makes a difference, and in the case of George and Dawn Castis’ The Coachman, the difference is palpable. As the first restaurant in Port Elizabeth to offer calamari on its menu it’s fair to say The Coachman is something of a pioneer when it comes to seafood in the Eastern Cape. At their location on the bay, Patrons can look forward to a warm ambience and hands on dining experience, where each customer is given the endearing attendance of the Castis family and their staff … not to mention juicy steaks, Greek dishes and fresh fish to die for.

Bookings: 041 373 3440 | | View location

Ginger, Port Elizabeth Beach Front

Ginger Restaurant

For sophisticated eat out options in Port Elizabeth, Ginger next to the Beach Hotel offers a classy fine dining experience by the sea. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion, or simply spoiling yourself, Ginger’s menu, crafted by Michelin Chef Jonathan Hodder, offers a modern interpretation of fresh and familiar flavours, and is as desirable as its promenade location. All of this is supported by an equally impressive wine list and solid service. Deck seating is available for patrons who prefer al fresco dining.

Bookings: 041 583 1229 | | View location

Blue Waters Café, Summerstrand

Blue Waters Cafe

A steakhouse and seafood restaurant in a relaxed, café setting; from the balcony overlooking Algoa Bay, Blue Waters Café offers sunset views that you’ll struggle to match anywhere else in the area. PE’s Shark Rock Pier is the landmark that guides you to this seaside restaurant near the Boardwalk. Menu options are extensive, and a menu comprising light meal, meat and seafood options make for a well-rounded experience in what is arguably PE’s most blissful location.

Bookings: 041 583 4110 | | View location

Old Austria, Port Elizabeth

Old Austria

The oldest restaurant in Port Elizabeth, the Old Austria has, over the many years it’s been in business, carried with it a reputation for good food. Since 1972, the restaurant which is housed in an elegantly refurbished Victorian home, has been the meet and eat destination to mark those special occasions such as birthdays or graduations. As with anything that shouldn’t be fixed if it isn’t broken, the menu has remained largely unchanged for more than 30 years, and fresh fish dishes, as well as old Austrian favourites such as schnitzel and pot roast, are still the most popular orders of the day.

Bookings: 041 373 0299 | | View location

For The Love Of Wine, Richmond Hill

For The Love Of Wine

The perfect place to start or end an evening out on the town, this wine bar on fashionable Stanley Street understands that the best memories are made over a bottle of juicy red or sophisticated vintage, as such, a location to complement all the sociable things about it has been created in PE. Exclusively about the wine, don’t come here expecting an accompanying food menu, it’s their focus at the end of the day that has won them a firm place in locals’ bank of places to go. And with more than 250 labels on the list, they promise to challenge the gamut of wine lists in the Friendly City.

Bookings: 072 566 2692 | | View location

Bocadillos Bakery & Café, Walmer


A fresh French-style patisserie in Port Elizabeth, Bocadillos welcomes you in whether its breakfast, lunch, dinner or coffee and cake options you’re looking for. Set in a modish house near the airport, like the sweet treats baked daily, Bocadillos’ interior is decadent, and is characterised by a Bohemian look and feel with high ceilings, Persian rugs and cosy touches such as freshly cut flowers. If you’re looking for value and comfort in the city, you don’t need to go anywhere else.

Bookings: 041 581 1523 | View location

These are the Port Elizabeth restaurants that best represent the city’s vibrant mix of residents and their tastes.

What are your favourite restaurants in Port Elizabeth? Leave a comment below or tell us on Facebook.

Our Readers Comments

  1. Nice selection. Two Olives is missing though. Its a must.

    • Hi Amanda,

      Thanks for the inside tip. Will be sure to try it out when passing through PE. Always enjoy trying out new cafés.

  2. Roco Mamas – Humewood fantastic vibe, amazing burgers, best beef ribs ever!! Never disappoints!

  3. Looking for a funky yet classy place for my 60th birthday party.must have awesome food and desserts to impress my guests.south african living in Scandinavia.but to port Elizabeth for my birthdsy bash. Thank you desiree

  4. I love the restaurant at the Raddisson hotel. Risotto starter and steak. Wines are bit overpriced though.

  5. The Muse is opening tonight!! Can’t wait to to taste the art of chefs Allan & Simone Bezuidenhout @ 1B Stanley Street Richmond Hill. It’s gonna be awesome!!

  6. For the ultimate fine dining experience it must be the Bracken Hill Restaurant in Walmer! Absolutely 5-star!

  7. I had the joy of studying in PE many many years ago when there was not much around except a town full of students. Thanks for this article, it is really awesome to see what the friendly city offers nowdays

  8. 2 Olives a must if you visit PE. Lovely tapa’s, bring your friends and enjoy a tasteful meal. My best resturant in PE.

    • Hi Sonja,

      Thanks for the tip! Will be sure to stop by when in PE and try it out. Love tapa’s 🙂

  9. Interesting, will try some.

  10. I see no mention of the Hungry I and the Other eye or the Aberdeen Angus (?). We ate a lot in those places in the 70’s. Are they still there?

    • No they not 🙁

  11. What about Bain Street Grill in Bain Street. Awesome steaks etc. Absolute individual service.

  12. Como Cafe, Brioche, Vovo Telo, Raasoie, Angelos beachfront, La Med, Something Good, Grass Roof, Beershack…… There are just so many awesome eateries in PE

  13. cant wait to try them when I’m in PE this December

  14. Shanna’s Portuguese restaurant in Lorraine is worth a mention. Excellent food, booking essential because it’s always busy!

  15. Cubata serves the best ribs and prawns in town. This is where all locals go. It should definitely be part of the list

    • Cubata has also opened in Lorraine Dijon Road! Ultimate convenience!

  16. i went to the Friendly Stranger 3 times and was disappointed with the food and the service was very bad! Will not go there again!

  17. My entire family loves The Rose Garden Tea House at Floradale Nursery. The best Eggs Benedict in the city. We often meet friends for lunch and it never disappoints. Friendly and helpful staff creates a peaceful setting when we want to escape the office.

  18. Mangiamo @ Wickerwoods should be on this list. Bridge Street is a brewery and not known for it’s food as is For The Love of Wine. If you are talking Cafes & Restaurants that is

  19. Royal Delhi definitely in my top 10 in PE!

  20. You have missed out on a gem in Port Elizabeth – Chingadas!! Some of the best Mexican I have ever tasted with great portions for a fairly reasonable price. The separate bar area is also great for a few drinks with friends! Love that place!

    • Jip – its great!

  21. Colonial kitchen

  22. Flava in Bain Street should also have featured in this list.

  23. What is the criteria for choosing the top 10


  25. @Alan Keen, I think global warming might be to blame here. It’s causing a magnetic shift that makes the sun seem like it’s rising while in fact it’s setting. These illusions catch even the best of us off guard at times.

    Also, no mention of Stage Door? These places are rather yuppie. PE has some spots with years of character locked up in them.

  26. so many missed places….sad, and some that should have not made the list at all….

  27. de Kelder restaurant always remains a very good choice. We refer all our Guest House guests there as it is walking distance from our guest house. We always get excellent feedback from our guests.

    • De Kelder our favourite restaurant in P.E.

  28. Fushin is my favorite restaurant. The food is excellent and I have never had a bad meal there. The waitresses are friendly abd helpful.

  29. Ocean Basket in Brooks Hill – also very good and great service

  30. Not knocking the Blue Watet Cafe, but we all know the sun sets in the west not the East which is the direction of the photo.

    • Hi Alan – Could the “sunset” in front of Blue Waters Cafe not perhaps be a sunrise? 🙂

    • Yep, that’s a sunrise for sure – beautiful PE

  31. Old Austria is great, it moved from downtown a decade or so ago. It would be more accurate to say “the oldest surviving or still running restaurant”. The Bell (Beach Hotel) bested it amongst many others (just for the record). A good place

  32. Thanks, will try them out when the time comes.

    Do assess “3 Olives” in Richmond Hill for inclusion in a “Top 11 restaurants in Port Elizabeth” 😛 Delicious Greek food and excellent service.

  33. Every year I come to South Africa , I bring my clients to PE , we have lunch at the Blue Water Café , every one of them enjoys the food and the atmosphere , one of my favorite places to eat …

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