Farmstalls are an integral part of South African culture. Known for their fresh food and friendly atmospheres, they are popular pitstops on road journeys. Here is an overview of five regional favourites.
Nanaga is found at the intersection of three major roads – the N2, R10 and R72, roughly halfway between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown. A family affair, this farmstall serves delicious homemade roosterkoek, jams, relishes, breads and more – as well as decent cappucinos. The thing they’re famous for, though, is their pies. People go there just to tuck into a lamb and mint or cheese and bacon pie, and to enjoy the atmosphere of the working dairy farm Nanaga sits on.
Open Mon-Sun, 08:00 to 17:30. Closed public holidays.
Just off the R72 about 18km west of Alexandria, Oakly is a well-known stop-off for a glass of ginger beer and a slice of lemon meringue pie. The secret family recipe for the pie is a winner. The farmstall features decorative wrought-iron works outside, lovely wooden furniture, and an overall casual, relaxed atmosphere. The owners are friendly and happy to share their stories and space.
Open Mon–Sun, 08:00-17:00.
Tolbos Country Shop and Restaurant
Described as “old-fashioned in a very good way”, this landmark in Patensie is a must-visit. Overlooked by the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve and surrounded by fragrant citrus trees, Tolbos is a great place to refuel. Try their French toast and wash it down with a “red shake” – an authentically South African rooibos milkshake. The farmstall, which has been around for 20 years, doubles as the area’s tourism information centre so it’s a good place to pick up some pamphlets.
Open Mon-Sun, 08:00-17:00.
This spot in Kareedouw, just off the N2 offramp for Eersterivier, started small and has grown into a much-loved resthouse among locals and tourists alike. They serve coffee and roosterkoek, and have a beer garden, which is great for warm days. There is also an information centre, mini superette and gift shop. Oudebosch is surrounded by indigenous forest and green pastures.
Open Mon–Sat, 07.00 to 18.00; Sundays, 07.30 to 18.00.
On Voortrekker Street in Hofmeyr, roughly halfway between Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth, the Karoobos Farmstall is a self-catering guesthouse and roadside pitstop. Almost as famous as Nanaga for their homemade pies, Karoobos also offers a range of boerekos and sells braaipacks. The farmstall features a licensed pub and is surrounded by stock farms.
Open Mon–Fri 08.00 to 17.00; Saturdays 08.00 to 14.00; Sundays 08.00 to 12.00.