Every year we poll our readers and followers to find out who they think are the best halaal restaurants South Africa. The last two years have been challenging for the restaurant industry so we changed things up in 2020 and selected those that stood out rather than measure them against each other. For 2021 we will be doing the same.
In spite of the challenges we have seen some new openings. Turkish eateries in particular are on the rise. The local scene has also been innovative and we are seeing interesting menus and fusion cuisines abound. Fine dining options are still lacking though and it would be great see that area grow. Restaurants are seeing a slow and steady rise in customers and we are hopeful that things will normalise a bit more next year.
So what are our choices? This year some of the old ones still stand out while some new ones have really grabbed our attention. In no order of preference here is our list of the Best halaal restaurants of 2021.
We’re looking forward to an exciting and gastronomic 2022. Have an awesome and safe festive season.
Saray Restaurant, V&A Waterfront
An old favourite that re-opened this year at the Clocktower precinct at the Waterfront. With a stunning location and great views, Turkish cuisine lovers will find an authentic experience at Saray. They have also introduced a kids menu and have a play area. More about them here.
Damascus, Sea Point
Another new spot that opened during Ramadaan this year. Headed by Liaqat Sonday the well-known owner of Spitfire in Crawford, who recognised the talent of chef Muhammed. At the heart of this restaurant is Syrian born chef, Muhammad Modrek, and the food he prepares pays homage to his roots in the city of Damascus. Renowned for making high quality traditional Syrian cuisine, their food will definitely not disappoint. If you have space for dessert then their Belgian Waffles are an absolute must! More about them here.
Conscious Meat Merchants, Makers landing, V&A Waterfront
For one of the best steaks you will have in Cape Town this casual eatery at the V&A Waterfront specialises in Wagyu Burgers and all things steak. They started out as Conscious Carnivores, a weekend pop-up and have now partnered with Frankie Fenner to form Conscious Meat Merchants. You can buy your special cuts at their venue at Makers Landing or enjoy their menu on-site at the eatery. More info here.
Ozzy’s Kitchen, Wynberg
The well known Ozzy’s Kitchen in Sandton is a great spot for upmarket, cheffy meals. The space has a trendy industrial chic vibe and the food is well priced for its quality and presentation. We love that they share a space with a gallery so there’s more to the experience than just food. And the Bang Bang Prawns are outstanding. More info here.
Istanbul Kebab, Melrose Arch
Location is everything and Istanbul Kebab have chosen the perfect spot for the opening of their third branch. This vibey and trendy district is a hotspot in Jozi. Since opening in August they have been fully booked every weekend for weeks after. Food and service are consistently good. Head over for a great vibe and their delicious Turkish menu. Read our review of their menu of the Sunninghill branch here. Find the Melrose Arch branch details here.
Del Forno, Killarney
One of our favourite places to go for a nice dinner out. The service is consistently good and the menu offers lots of choice. I have not ordered something here yet that I have not enjoyed. Serving authentic Italian dishes in a relaxed and upmarket setting, Del Forno, Killarney is popular for always innovating their menu. Shout out for their Feta Prego Steak. You will not be sorry. More here.
The Empire Steak, Florida Road
With a passion for great steak as the name implies, the Empire Steak can’t not do steak just right. They have an ever-changing menu and there’s something for all ages and all tastes. More info here.
Jacks Grill and Co, Florida Road
An elegant seafood and grill restaurant that has taken Durban by storm in 2021. Known for exceptional food and great service. Special mention for the sushi. More here.
Vapour Cafe, Windermere
A long standing institution in Durban, Vapour Cafe is a casual Mafia themed eatery and hooka lounge. They have been exceptionally popular this year. Special mention for the Godfather Prawns! More here.