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Port Elizabeth, like most South African cities, is a melting pot of cultures and although it is a small, rather unassuming, city the diversity of restaurants and eateries is surprising. Eating out is also quite cheap in Port Elizabeth, which is an added incentive to do a lot of it! Restaurants range from upmarket luxury options to the ever-present fast food joints which foreigners will recognise. The lovely beachfront is a good place to start when looking for somewhere for sundowners and dinner, but visitors should also consider going a short way out of the city to one of the nearby game reserves for (barbeques) out in the bush, and some good restaurant options. There is plenty of traditional South African fare on offer in and around Port Elizabeth, including favourites like (a kind of stew), venison, (a spicy mince dish), and (delicious cake-like bread roll). Seafood is always a great option in this coastal city, and oysters are a particularly popular option on menus. Those looking for international cuisine will find a wide selection of Thai, Chinese, Indian, Italian and so forth, but tourists should be sure to try some of the local specialities.
Vovo Telo Bakery and Cafe
Cafe / Corner of Raleigh and Irvine Street, Richmond Hill
This friendly bakery is the place to be when the weather isn't nice, so don't miss their homemade soups and breads. They do excellent breakfasts, including the creamy scrambled eggs and ricotta hotcakes, and equally mouth-watering lunches. They also take pride in their coffee. The breads and pastries are made fresh on the premises, and many of the ingredients are locally-sourced. You can reserve a table for groups of eight or more.
Royal Delhi Restaurant
Indian / 10 Burgess Street, Central
The best curries in PE can be found at this family run restaurant where the lavish though dated decoration does not do justice to the excellent food. Try the Puree and Patha, crisp pastry filled with spicy fried mudoombie leaves, and finish up the meal with a Bombay crush.
Steakhouse / Shop 6, The Boardwalk, Marine Drive, Summerstrand
With a prime location on the waterfront next to Hobie Beach, Barney's Tavern has maintained a reputation for good food and a relaxed atmosphere for nearly two decades. This Port Elizabeth restaurant is famous for its Eisbein steak and friendly vibe, with live music and televised sports inside, and a great view from the balcony outside. It's open from 8:30am to late seven days a week.
78 Restaurant and Bar
Modern Eclectic / 16 Buffelsfontein Road, Mount Pleasant
It's always good to find a restaurant that manages to be upmarket without losing its personal touch, and 78 gets the combination just right with its earthy interior, fine dining experience and creative menu drawing on local ingredients. Their most popular dish is the pork fillet, filled with spinach, feta and sweet red peppers, then wrapped in smoked bacon.
Nattis Thai Kitchen
Thai / 5 Park Lane, Central
Authentic Thai cuisine in a pleasant setting in the heart of town. Try the mixed starter platter, before hitting the sweet and sour soup, then launch into the Angry Beef with a lassi or cooling beverage to keep the abundant spices under control.
Nosh Fine Dining
International / 1 Cooper Street, Richmond Hill
For quality food that is well made and keenly priced, Nosh serves up a regularly changing menu, always featuring seasonal specials and deals. The wine list is very well thought out, many of the labels available by the glass. The service is great. Closed on Sundays.