Where to eat in Pretoria
I lived in Pretoria on and off for about two years, and over the years I’ve found a few places that I love to eat. Now, keep in mind, I am not a foodie. In fact, I prefer inexpensive, chill, local spots. So, if you are looking for high-end, fancy, Pretoria hotspots, this is the wrong list. But if you are looking to hang out with your friends and have a chill, fun meal, keep reading!
Capital Craft (craft beer + great food)
Capital Craft is one of my favorite restaurants, not only in Pretoria but in the world. Capital is a craft brewhouse that serves locally brewed beers and ciders as well as great food. I love their jalapeno poppers! $$
Nandos (peri-peri style)
Okay, I am well aware that Nandos is a chain restaurant, but it started in South Africa and even though the UK thinks of it as their own, it isn’t haha. We don’t have Nandos in America (at least when I was last there) so I had no idea how amazing it was until I tried it in South Africa. Nandos serves Brazilian/Portuguese flavored food. My favorite is the avo and pickled red onion veggie pita. They also have awesome peri-peri flavored chips (french fries). $$
RocoMamas (build-your-own burgers)
RocoMamas is a build-your-own burger place. They also have delicious cheese fries and milkshakes. $$
Uncle Faouzi (fast Mediterranean)
If you are looking for delicious, late-night, drunk food, this is the place to go. Uncle Faouzi is located in the heart of the college bar area and is open 24/7. They serve Mediterranean food and I am obsessed with their falafel vegetarian wrap. $
Kungfu Kitchen (Chinese)
Kungfu Kitchen is owned and run by Chinese people and they serve authentic, inexpensive Chinese food with great portions. Alex loves their Thai massaman chicken curry. $
Hudson’s The Burger Joint (burgers + vegetarian options)
As a vegetarian, I am always looking for great vegetarian options. Well, Hudson’s has a massive vegan menu and I absolutely love their beyond burger and vegan truffle cheese fries. They also have awesome specialty gin and tonics. $$
El Pistolero (Mexican)
When I first moved to South Africa, it was impossible to find Mexican food anywhere. In fact, Alex had never had Mexican food before he met me! Luckily, over the past few years, a few Mexican restaurants have opened up. One that Alex and I love is El Pistolero. $$
Spur Steak Ranches (casual steakhouse + family dining)
I’m interested to see how other Americans feel when they visit a Spur. For some reason, the restaurant is Native American themed and they lean a little too hard on stereotypes and give an inaccurate representation of Native American culture (there’s even been a call in the past to boycott Spur). However, the restaurant is classic South Africa and is known for its family-friendly steakhouse dining – think Outback Steakhouse.
Fun fact: each restaurant has a different name like “7 Eagles Spur” and “Phoenix Spur” (see what I mean?). Visit at your own discretion. $$
Mugg and Bean (coffee + a bit of everything)
Mugg and Bean is kind of like The Cheesecake Factory in that their extensive menu offers a little bit of everything. You can order an omelet while your date orders nachos. They are also known for their house coffee. $$
Aroma Gelato and Waffle Lounge (gelato)
I’m a huge fan of homemade ice cream (or in this case, gelato) and Aroma really delivers. They also have a coffeehouse and cafe, but I prefer their gelato for a late-night sugar fix. Alex and I love the stracciatella flavor. $$
My last restaurant, Geet, is a bit on the pricey side but serves amazing Indian food and is great for date night. The vibe is very intimate and romantic. $$$
I had to include one bar because it’s near and dear to my heart. When I was a Peace Corps volunteer, Livingstone’s was walking distance from the backpackers we stayed at in Pretoria so we went there quite a bit. It is such a chill, low-key bar, they don’t have a website haha. They serve cheap beer during happy hour and standard bar food, but there is no place like it. They are located at 1215 Burnett St, Hatfield, in Pretoria. $
Honorable mentions: Seattle Coffee (coffee-to-go), News Cafe (cocktails + good food), Mythos (Greek), Ocean Basket (seafood), Capeesh (Italian + pizza special), Plaka (Greek), and Salsa Mexican Grill (Mexican).
What are your fave Pretoria restaurants? Let me know in the comments!