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“You MUST eat here”
Review of Cafe Des Arts

Cafe Des Arts
Ranked #23 of 84 Restaurants in Franschhoek
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Based in the small village of Franschhoek in the Western Cape. Franschhoek is renowned world wide for Haut Cuisine and Fine Dining. Cafe des Arts is neither Haute Cuisine nor Fine Dining! Cafe des Arts is a simple, rustic, relaxed restaurant where all that matters is the food. There are no table cloths, no silver service and the food is from the pan to the plate. If you're lucky, you may even get some cutlery! -
Reviewed February 16, 2013

We have eaten nearly everywhere in Franschhoek, including Rubens and Le Quarter, and we keep coming back here. I love sitting out under the trees, elsewhere you could be anywhere, here you feel you are in Africa. This is not for someone who wants crisp tablecloths, but if you want honest food, beautifully cooked (eg mussels better than the Marine in Hermanus in their seafood restaurant and the best fillet of steak in years). Besides Chris and Lou are superb hosts. If you want more formal try Bon Vivant, but do NOT miss coming here.

Thank peterad99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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429 - 433 of 601 reviews

Reviewed February 2, 2013

Friendly people & good food, 2 ingredients for a lovely night out.
Pure flavours, no nonsense.
Nice to sit outside on the small square under the trees.

Thank Veerkuysters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2013

If you've dined rather too well in a number of the gourmet restaurants in Franschhoek then the Cafe des Arts may be just the place for a simpler (and cheaper) night out.
The Cafe is set back from the main street allowing some extra space for al fresco dining in the shade. The menu is limited and simple but our pasta was tasty and the welcome was warm.
There was a community feel to the place....families with young kids and friends coming together for a leisurely meal and a chat.

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Thank Photopedia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

I last reviewed then Cafe des Arts last January when I thought the enterprise had made a promising start and would improvise. Alas this has not proved to be the case,though nor has it regressed. The wine list is better.

Now with a paved dining area, the same hotch-potch selection of furniture remains, the same menu board hauled around by the staff and the same shortages of certain key dishes - on this occasion, the famed duck and also the bread and butter pudding. Having said that, what was available was very good and the service charming.

This would all be fine if prices were considerably less than the Main Street establishments but this is not the case.

The lasting impression is of a young couple having a good go on taking on the Establishment, but the Student Union atmosphere is not matched by Student Union pricing and on a personal note, I don't like cats wandering around. The potential remains though.

1  Thank SeanIlkley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Cafe des Arts is not for those of you who may be looking for fine dining with white linen tablecloths, six types of forks and three kinds of glassware all accompanying fine china. If that's what you are wanting, expecting or have in mind, you should opt for the other establishments in this beautiful village. On the other hand, if you are a down-to-earth foodie who appreciates good wine, well-prepared food, the ambiance of a quaint place with no frills and service with a smile -- this is the place for you. The chef and his wife along with T-wan and Nancy (the wait staff) are absolutely wonderful. I have traveled around the world and can't think of a place I've enjoyed more. Let me explain how we discovered this little gem and about our experience there. We arrived at our bed and breakfast in the village and were provided a notebook of area menus for local restaurants. The hotel staff proceeded to tell us about all of these wonderful places with gorgeous views and white tablecloths in this foodie town. After unsuccessfully being able to make reservations at two other places, I explained to the hotel staff that we would walk around and see what we could find. We luckily found Cafe des Arts. When we walked through the entrance leading to their patio, I knew we had found the right place. Paper lanterns were neatly strung above tables outdoors and the menu was handwritten on a blackboard. There was a certain romantic, quaint feel about the place and its people from the moment we arrived. This is why pretentious snobs need to just stay away and choose another option in town. You won't fit in here and you probably won't like it! Let the rest of us enjoy the few tables and impeccable food. We were greeted by an extremely polite, smiling young girl named Nancy who was an absolute pleasure to become acquainted with throughout our stay. We were then promptly greeted by the chef's wife who we asked for a wine recommendation. Instead of just trying to sell us the most expensive bottle, she immediately replied, "Well, what do you have in mind to eat?" She went over the menu with us, answered our questions and then promptly made a wine recommendation based on the food we would be pairing with it. We ended up ordering three bottles by the time dinner was over. All of our entrees were superb. Portions are generous, the quality is excellent, everything about the food was hands down excellent. We then ordered the malva pudding. My, oh my. Let me say there were three of us. We finished the night with three bottles of wine, three entrees and SIX desserts. There were multiple orders of malva pudding that first night. We liked the place so much that we cancelled reservations at one of the "fine dining" restaurants on the next night just to return here. Another wonderful, cherished night of memories. We left Franschhoek and missed Cafe des Arts and the people we met there. After returning home to the U.S., we long for the malva pudding, the tomato basil soup and the carbonara pasta. It is one of our most favorite experiences in all of South Africa. This place is a hidden gem that may not be for everyone, but we were grateful that the other tourists in town had filled the more pretentious establishments and left a vacant table at Cafe des Arts for us!

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Thank Kim0930
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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