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Valentine’s Day: Date Night in Stellenbosch

Given the oak trees hugging the streets, the continuous sounds of chatter and conviviality, and a romantic dinner or café spot around every corner, it’s no wonder people fall in love in Stellenbosch every day. 

This Valentine’s Day, we round up some of the best restaurants in town for a romantic evening. 

New in Town

MERTIA

New in town, MERTIA restaurant aims to “celebrate the best of Stellenbosch” with elevated dining experiences informed by fresh, local ingredients. 

Through its intimate space and an open dialogue between guests and the kitchen, MERTIA ensures that guests’ dining experience revolves around them through every course and detail. The menu at MERTIA nods at tradition and heritage, with local flavours infused with global influences all presented in a relaxed and accessible way.

For the team at MERTIA, “each bite is a symphony of flavours and every moment a celebration of romance” this Valentine’s Day.

EARTHBOX

Newly opened at Lourensford Estate, EARTHBOX is an immersive art installation that takes guests on a journey into the earth. 

EARTHBOX is a temporary space carved into the earth at Lourensford, where visitors descend into a 24-metre long underground chamber taking them 5 metres below the surface. Raw earth walls and floors bring visitors into close relationship with the textures, scent and gentle sensory experience of a silent world.

This Valentine’s Day, visit EARTHBOX for an evening of their chef series, where chef John Joseph, the culinary visionary behind John Joseph – The Anatomy of Food, transforms the EARTHBOX dining experience, blending exquisite taste with a touch of magic, in collaboration with KRAAK.  

Local Favourites

Fat Butcher

Known for being the best steakhouse and anniversary dinner spot in town, The Fat Butcher remains a favourite among locals and seasonal visitors.

Once you step into The Fat Butcher, the warm ambience and the smell of quality beef being cooked over a flame already tells you that you’re in for a treat. Apart from their signature steaks, The Fat Butcher also offers delicious local flavours from pork belly and lamb shank to roast chicken and oxtail.

De Warenmarkt

Situated in an 18th century historical building in the heart of Stellenbosch’s vibrant cultural district, De Warenmarkt is the ideal dinner spot for those looking for diverse dishes and delicious craft beer — not to mention their waffle menu with up to eight waffle options to end a romantic evening on a sweet note.

This year’s Valentine’s dinner at De Warenmarkt promises to be a memorable occasion, as chef David Nel’s four-course candlelight dinner is combined with great wine and live music in the restaurant’s warm, unique atmosphere. 

Sofia’s

Known for their contemporary pizzas — so thin and soft it’s cut into slices with scissors upon order — Sofia’s Pizza and Pasta House’s romantic Italian flair creates the perfect ambience for date night in Stellenbosch. 

Sofia’s menu captures the essence of Italian cuisine. Pizza remains at the forefront at Sofia’s: their Neapolitan contemporary pizza menu showcases a commitment to authentic flavours, from the classic Napoletana to the smoky La Piccante. End the evening with a shot of homemade limoncello and be transported to the heart of Italy while in Stellenbosch.

Intimate Dining

De Vier

Small plates meet big flavours at De Vier Restaurant, with their à la carte menu offering a range of delicious dishes, prepared with love and finesse. From “stoep snacks” and chicken pops to chalmar beef sirloin steak and curried aubergine, De Vier offers perfectly refined dishes to complement a romantic evening.

“Celebrate love at De Vier Restaurant. Enjoy a complimentary glass of Kleine Zalze Brut Rosé on arrival and experience the romantic and cosy character of our ambience,” says Candice Bester, co-owner of De Vier Restaurant.

Wijnhuis

At Wijnhuis, delicious Italian-inspired dishes are served in a villa-like atmosphere, welcoming romantic conversations over negronis and Aperol spritz.

From classic pasta dishes to sumptuous seafood specialties, there’s something for every palate. Pair your meal with a glass from their extensive wine selection, curated to complement each dish perfectly. With its cozy ambience and warm candlelit tables, Wijnhuis sets the perfect stage for dinner on Valentine’s Day.