The ‘World’s Best Restaurant’ Is in a Tiny 20 Person Beachside Cottage In South Africa

Wolfgat was just named the “Restaurant of the Year.”

In the small fishing village of Paternoster on the Western Cape of South Africa, just a two-hour drive from Cape Town’s City Centre, is a small, 20-seat restaurant called Wolfgat, which was just named “Restaurant of the Year” at the inaugural World Restaurant Awards.

Wolfgat is owned by Kobus van der Merwe and is housed inside of a 130-year old oceanside cottage, where they serve a sustainable and seasonal seven-course menu, all made from locally sourced and foraged ingredients.

The website explains: 

Drawing inspiration from the surrounding landscape and its dramatic seasonal transformation, Kobus van der Merwe’s signature Strandveld food menu comprises a series of tasting dishes presented in seven courses. Sustainable seafood, local lamb and venison, and seasonal veldkos is featured, enhanced by wild herbs, seaweeds from the local rock pools, and pickings from the garden.

A seven course tasting menu at Wolfgat costs 850 rand, or about $60.

And since it’s a dining spot a bit out of the way and with a population of 1,971, the restaurant also won the award for “Off-Map Destination.”

According to the judges, Wolfgat’s menu is “perfectly balanced between creativity and accessibility,” which is quite an accomplishment, because the restaurant is run by a tiny team of six locals who don’t have formal culinary training, and owner van der Merwe is a culinary school dropout.

If you’re planning a trip to South Africa in the near future and want to pay a visit to the best restaurant in the world, keep in mind that Wolfgat books a maximum of three months in advance, but is currently booked through May.

Here are the other winners of the World Restaurant Awards:

Original Thinking: Le Clarence, France

No Reservations Required: Mocotó, Brazil

House Special: Lido 84 (Cacio e Pepe), Italy

Forward Drinking: Mugaritz, Spain

Event of the Year: Refugee Food Festival, Various locations

Ethical Thinking: Refettorio (Food for Soul), Various locations

Collaboration of the Year: Paradiso X Gort na Nairn Farm, Ireland

Atmosphere: Vespertine, USA

Enduring Classic: La Mère Brazier, France–

Arrival of the Year: Inua, Japan