Polokwane is often regarded as South Africa's `Food Basket', where farms, orchards and ranches, jointly supply a large proportion of the countries fresh produce. So it`s no surprise then that the wide range of dining establishments within Polokwane serve up the most mouth-watering dishes with ingredients fresh off the land and onto the table.
Visitors with a refined taste will find several stunning dining facilities where the fare on offer is not only sensation to the taste buds, but where the ambience welcoming and the service excellent.
Saskia Restaurant @ Fushion Botique Hotel
Food at Fusion Boutique hotel is treated with the same attention to detail and extraordinary twists as with every aspect in this unique establishment.
Succumb to an attack on the senses with every bite that you take. Enjoy a 5 course breakfast in the Fusion Breakfast Room or light lunches on the Terrace.
Saskia restaurant offers something for everyone with various private corners and soft background music to make any occasion a memorable one.
4 Schoeman St, Polokwane 699
Tel: 015 291 4042
For a culinary celebration, Basils, an upmarket restaurant in the Ranch Hotel, is a must-visit. It specialises in steaks and fresh oysters. First-class chefs and a unique setting make this a celebration in dining not easily forgotten and an authentic African experience.
Address: Protea Hotel, The Ranch, N1 Highway, 20km south of Polokwane
Tel: 015 290 5000
GPS: 23°42'33.88"S, 29°51'29.31"E
Café Pavillion offers a superb menu in a great location. Fine food is served by friendly staff to ensure a great dining experience, complemented by a choice of kaleidoscopic cocktails. For lunchtime meals, the buffet is available from Tuesday to Sunday.
Address: 60 Church Street South, Ivydale
Tel: 015 291 5359/1292
GPS: 23°54'35.76"S, 29°26'59.19"E
Life is too short to drink bad coffee. Especially for those who want to combine good coffee with a great meal. Café Rossini is a bistro that delights all where everyone is regarded as a friend. Ideally situated in the Savannah Mall, it is a pleasant after-movie treat or a post-soccer game relaxant.
Address: Savannah Mall, c/o Grimm & Thabo Mbeki
Tel: 015 296 1533
GPS: 23°54"15.15S, 29°29"07.56E
Farmyard Trading Post
The Farmyard Trading Post is set in stunning surroundings and is an idyllic retreat that offers a fresh look at yesteryear for all ages. Just 5km from the city centre along Munnik Road, this old colonial homestead and farm offers fresh coffee and muffins on the large verandas while children are kept busy feeding rabbits, ducks, and chickens. The Market Day, held on the last Saturday of every month between 9am and 3pm, is popular with both locals and visitors.
Address: Munnik Road, Polokwane
Tel: 015 263 6452
Mawetse Fine Dining
For a charming ambience in a French setting, visit Mawetse Fine Dining. In addition to its magnificent menu and private cigar bar, its cellar offers wines and champagnes much sought after by many connoisseurs.
Address: 54 Jorissen Street, Polokwane
Tel: 015 297 3136
GPS: 23°54"13.72S, 29°28"00.52E
Squires Loft in the centre of Meropa Casino, serves great steaks overlooking all the action of the gaming floor. The menu is adventurous and their venison is highly recommended.
Address: Meropa Casino, Plot 59, Roodepoort Road
Tel: 015 290 5428
GPS: 23°55"52.76S, 29°26"30.33E
For great meals in a lively social setting, The Deck is ideal for the entire family. Both the adult and kids menus are superb. The children`s playroom offers exciting entertainment while the parents dine and enjoy cocktails.
Address: Hampton Court, Cnr. Pierre & Neethling Streets
Tel: 015 296 4956
GPS: 23°53"41.17S, 29°28"49.27E
Fast food in Polokwane
The city offers a good selection of fast food options, offering everything including pizzas, burgers and pies, as well as healthy options such as salads and light sandwiches. Most outlets are very reasonably priced, with good standards of hygiene.
Steers sells mainly flame-grilled beef and chicken burgers with soft drinks, chips and other sundries.
Address: Library Gardens, Cnr. Hans van Rensburg & Grobler Street
Tel: 015 291 5147
Chicken Licken primarily serves chicken. It is the biggest non-American fried chicken franchise in the world.
Address: Cnr. Market & Rissik Street
Tel: 015 297 1383
Address: Landdros Mare Street
Tel: 015 291 4816
KFC primarily sells fried chicken pieces, wraps, salads and sandwiches. It also offers a line of grill and roasted chicken, side dishes and desserts.
Address: 12 Rissik Street
Tel: Phone 015 297 2070
Nando's is a casual dining restaurant chain serving peri-peri flavoured chicken. Nando`s has a Portuguese/Mozambiquan theme.
Address: 59 Schoeman Street
Tel: 015 295 6124
Elrib Fast Foods
Elrib has a general fast food menu of fried and grilled chicken, beef dishes, salads and pies.
Address: 68a Market Street
Tel: Phone 015 291 4396
Debonairs Pizza is the leading pizza restaurant in Africa. Debonairs offers free delivery within a 5km radius.
Debonairs Library Gardens
Address: Library Gardens, Hans van Rensburg Street
Tel: Phone 015 295 7812
Debonairs Cycad Centre
Address: Cycad Centre, Outspan Drive
Roman's Pizza vision is to provide the best quality pizza at the lowest price. Romans also serves starters, pasta and salad.
Romans The Crossing
Address: The Crossing, 4 Grimm Street
Tel: Phone 015 296 2612
Romans Palm Centre
Address: Palm Centre, 60 Grobler Street
Tel: Phone 015 295 7633
Panarottis Pizza Pasta Restaurant
Panarottis is an Italian-style eatery offering pizza, pasta and salads. Very child friendly.
Address: 20G Savannah Centre
Tel: Phone 015 296 1991
Pizza Den Polokwane
Pizza Den is a family-style pizzeria offering a large range of pizzas and side dishes. Pizza Den offers fast service and reasonable prices.
Address: 75 Landdros Mare Street
Tel: Phone 015 295 3976
Scooters Pizza is a South African franchise that specializes in pizza. Scooters offers take-aways and deliveries.
Address: Cnr. General Viljoen & General Maritz Street
Tel: 015 297 6066
McDonald's sells burgers, french fries, breakfast meals, soft drinks, milkshakes, and desserts.
Address: Thabo Mbeki Street
Tel: 015 296 4664
Traditional fare in Polokwane
Polokwane always offers mouth watering cuisine and if you are feeling adventurous there is a lot to feast on in terms of traditional fare.
One of the regions signature traditional delicacies is a caterpillar called
Mashonzha in the Tshivenda language. This edible worm is found in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the neighboring countries of Botswana and Zimbabwe. It has a high protein value and is a source of income for some rural people. Mopani worms are served with hot mealie (corn) porridge, preferably vhutete, a refined and soft porridge of the VhaVenda people. Other inhabitants of Limpopo and black South Africans in general, prefer Mopani worms with mutuku, the sour porridge of the Vhavenda. People also eat Mopani as a side dish together with chakalaka, a South African salad made with onion, ginger, green pepper, carrots and cauliflower spiced with peri-peri and curry.
Cow and sheep heads are a much loved dish and are affectionately called
skop. The head is first scrubbed with a sharp instrument like a razor to remove the skin, then boiled and allowed to simmer. It takes two hours to cook. Skop is served with boiled mealie-meal called pap and a sauce of onions and tomatoes. It is usually washed down with beer and followed by a puff on cheap tobacco rolled in newspaper.
Dingatha are the hoofs of a cow, pig, goat or sheep. These are also a firm favourite. This sticky dish is favoured by men who enjoy it best with a cold beer.
Other favourite include chicken feet, also known as "run-aways" in English and menatlana in Sepedi/Northern Sotho. Chicken gizzards are called
zwikhwikhwi in Tshivenda.
Another popular dish is morogo which is pumpkin leaves mixed with peanuts, dried pumpkin leaves and red kidney beans.
For South Africans, a braai (barbeque) is not just another meal, but a social gathering where friends and family meet to catch up over food. In Seshego, a township 13 km outside of Polokwane, visitors can indulge in braais grilled over charcoal or wood prepared by hawkers at street sites. The locals call these open-air facilities chisa-nyama, which literally means grilled meat. Street cooks and caterers, according to the mayor of Polokwane Thabo Makunyane, have been assisted to make sure they operate successfully. Makunyane says stalls and stands used by these traders have been fitted with water, drainage system and electricity to ensure high levels of hygiene.
Biltong is an Afrikaner delicacy. It is the dried and salted raw meat of either beef, ostrich, kudu and even chicken, and is delicious as a snack. It can be found in almost all supermarkets and convenience stores.
Boerewors is another delicacy popular among the South Africans, particularly the Afrikaners. It`s a spicy sausage made of beef or lamb that is most commonly cooked on the braai.
Ginger beer is a popular non-alcoholic drink commonly served at all social events. It has a sharp taste and will likely become a favourite drink among visitors.
Locally brewed beer made from maize and sorghum is called umqombhothi. This is a heavy, sour beer that has a low alcohol content and is rich in Vitamin B. It is customary to drink umqombhothi at weddings and funerals.
Moonshine made from the fruit of the marula tree is called mampoer. Beer made from this same fruit is offered to the ancestors at ceremonies. A creamy liqueur called Amarula is also made from this fruit. It has a fruity caramel taste and is served in bars together with peppermint liqueur. The concoction is called a "springbokkie".
Where to find traditional food
Biltong Hut specializes in biltong and biltong products.
Address: Shop 12, Savanna Mall, Cnr. Thabo Mbeki & Grimm Street
Tel: 015 206 4189
Visitors wanting to sample meat cooked at a South African braai should make their way to the Lesenkeng Tavern.
Address: Cnr. Nikel & Cobalt Street, Nirvana
The International African Cultural Village
Dishes from various African countries will available for tourists to enjoy during the 2010 FIFA World Cup festivities. Traders from different African countries are welcome to share their food with visiting soccer fans.
Address: Capricorn High School, Thabo Mbeki Street
Capricorn Take Aways
For a good taste of traditional beef stew in the city, head off to Capricorn Take Aways. The manager and chef, Maggy Netshivhuyu, bets that she cooks the best African traditional beef stew. Well prepare the beef stew the traditional way and I don`t add any spicy ingredients because most people are diabetic. My veggies are garden-picked carrots that are peeled and cut, freshly sliced potatoes, salt and pepper. Maggy serves her beef stew with rice, pap (porridge) and sometimes bread.
Tel: 015 291 1654