1920 Portuguese Restaurant, Randburg
This homey eatery is authentic both in decor and food. The unpretentious setting welcomes regulars each week, serving food that constantly pays homage to Portugal. Menu items are all referred to by their proper Portuguese names. Try the starter chouriço, trinchado, and the Madeira espatada, and also have a look at the ‘Dish of the House’ section, for something different.
Nunos offers some authentic Portuguese and Mozambican cuisine as well as some pub grub, on Mellville’s vibrant 7th Street. The rustic taverna is a lively spot for drinks, quiz nights, live music and a good place to watch the sport. Try the rump espatada and the Portuguese sharing platter.
33 High Street Food, Modderfontein
A Mozambican-inspired restaurant full of flavour! The owner Thea, spent many years in Mozambique as a restaurateur where she developed her knowledge of Mozambican and Portuguese cuisine. The restaurant space is huge with outdoor and indoor seating. Enjoy the comforting Mozambican street food made from quality fresh ingredients.
Selva, Craighall Park
This one featured on our new restaurants list not so long ago. It’s a more stylish and upmarket Lisbon-inspired Portuguese restaurant, with a warm blue interior, white tablecloths and chic marble finishes. Selva takes traditional Portuguese food items and gives them a modern twist. Try the grilled octopus with punched baby potatoes, the salt cod croquettes and the Peri-Peri pork roll.
A Churrasqueira, Alberton
The owners are Portuguese so you know you’re already off to a good start upon entering the restaurant. There is no fussing about over presentation. Food is served simply, keeping with Portuguese tradition. You’ll find Chouriço Assado, sardines, bacalhau, prawns and espatada. Also there are a variety of freshly baked cakes and desserts that are sure to spark your interest.
Dias Tavern, CBD
For Capetonians, this spot needs no introduction. A taverna that has held more celebrations than there are stars in the sky, and always manages to put out a good place of food for everyone. It has a very festive and lively atmosphere with live music in the evenings and multiple screens for sport viewing. Try the trinchado and the calamari or better, get these as a combo.
Vasco De Gama, Green Point
Another Cape Town institution since 1972, and fondly referred to as ‘The Portuguese Embassy’, Vasco’s is your quintessential Portuguese pub and tavern with their iconic yellow table tops. They have indoor and outdoor seating. Head here to watch sport and enjoy Peri-Peri chicken in their signature flaming hot Peri-Peri sauce or a prego roll and chips. It’s also a great spot for a couple beers, which will inevitably end with food.
A Mozambican Portuguese spot in a bright yellow old Victorian house. Toni’s is famous for their Peri-Peri chicken but also does a great prego roll, seafood and espatada. The warm cosy interior makes for a lovely dinner, or eat outside on their veranda. Try the deep fried calamari, and the rump prego lunch special.
Carla, known as the queen of prawns, specialises in proper Mozambican prawns. The restaurant could easily be missed along the Muizenberg strip, but its been going for over 10 years, serving a loyal following of Muizenberg locals. The restaurant is low-key with a rustic Mozambican look and feel.
Portuguese Taverna, Paarden Eiland
Situated in the industrial part of Cape Town and offering authentic Portuguese taverna-style food to the industry people of Paarden Island. You cannot miss the bright lime green building it sits in, but inside the decor is very laid-back and basic, with a focus on serving good food at reasonable prices. Try the chicken espatada and the starter deep fried tentacles.
Neo Café, Durban North
Neo’s is an authentic Mozambican pub and grill with a rustic, beach-bar feel. Situated near Durban North beach, the vibe is friendly and accommodating. They serve Mozambican beer, and incredible Peri-Peri chicken and grilled prawns.
A Tasca, various branches
A Tasca refers to a quaint café, taverna or bistro. This particular Durban tasca has three branches, all boasting simple, clean, beachy decor. The menu stays true to traditional Portuguese seaside cuisine with bacalhau, sardines, crayfish and prawns, as well as some Mozambican dishes like the prawn curry.
Mo-Zam-Bik, various branches
Two friends, Ryan and Brett started this, now booming franchise, with the idea of bringing the chilled yet vibrant energy of Mozambique to Durban. Each restaurant mimics a beach bar scene you’d find on Tofo beach itself, with rustic finishes and a festive atmosphere. You’ll find much seafood, Peri-Peri chicken, Portuguese chicken espatada, prego and trinchado.
Mesa Portuguesa, Villiera
This restaurant has been open for over 10 years, serving fresh, quality Portuguese dishes. Owner, Emilia, is passionate about giving her guests a real taste of Portugal. The restaurant can hold up to 170 people, so if you’re looking for a function venue, this is the place. Menu items are traditional and are displayed on Mesa’s site with detailed descriptions. Try the Rissois de camarao, little pastries filled with prawns.
A restaurant that serves authentic Portuguese cuisine with the added bonus of incredible baked sweet treats, so you can enjoy your chicken espatada followed by a Pastéis de Nata! The food has that comforting home-style quality to it, that is unpretentious and consistent.
O’Galito is a less traditional Portuguese-style restaurant, with an extensive menu and upmarket look and feel. They do traditional Portuguese dishes like Peri-Peri chicken and butterflied prawns but serve these in a modern South African way, making their food accessible and familiar to their guests. Their menu caters to a variety of diners and includes sushi, seafood and grills.
Cubata Portuguese Grill House, Sydenham
A local favourite because it feels like home and the food is great! Here, the best way to eat is to order a lot and share. The space looks like you’re in an 80s sports club with countries’ flags hanging up, and wooden bench-tables. Aside from the exceptional prawns their sticky ribs are also a draw card which is why they featured on our guide to the best ribs in SA. Note, they don’t serve alcohol so you are welcome to bring your own.
Shanna’s Portuguese Restaurant
Shanna’s offers a feast on every plate with generous portions of butterflied buttery prawns, ribs, spatch cock chicken and chicken espatada. The environment is very relaxed, welcoming locals each week. Shanna’s is a reliable spot for a celebration or even an intimate date night.