We bet you’ve never pegged Port Elizabeth as a worthwhile foodie destination. Well, then we’re just about ready to change your mind! Even though there are countless experiences to choose from, we’ve picked four of our favourite foodie hotspots in the Friendly City to share with you.

Grass Roof Coffee Shop and Farm Stall

Grass Roof just outside the city offers a diverse foodie experience for the whole family with its vibey restaurant, delightful gift shop, fresh produce farm stall, wrap-around deck, cosy indoor fireplace, courtyard, lush lawns and laid-back atmosphere.

Whether you’re taking the family out for a hearty country-style lunch or you’re just craving something sweet, Grass Roof has got you sorted. The menu offers everything from wood-fired pizzas to handcrafted and freshly baked pastries and a well-balanced wine list to round it all off.

However, their most popular foodie attraction is the famous Crazy Shake. These milkshakes consist of the standard chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, lime, banana, bubblegum, mocha, peanut butter or Bar One flavours, but they’re topped off with whipped cream, chocolate brownie and sauce, an entire ice-cream cone or lolly, candy floss, caramelised popcorn, nuts, meringue, marshmallows and tiny sweets. Sounds disgustingly delicious, right? You simply have to see it to believe it!

Besides the myriad options on the restaurant’s menu, the farm stall is also bound to delight any true foodie with its fresh produce like free-range eggs, herbs, veggies, craft olive oils and cheeses, honey, sweet delights and preserves. It also stocks homeware like pot plants, décor items, ceramics, art and gifts.

As an added bonus the restaurant often runs specials like Pizza Evenings on Friday nights and offers live music on Saturdays and Sundays.

Foodie tip: Their gluten-free pizzas taste like the real deal, so don’t hesitate to order one!

☎ 041 366 2379 | Website

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Mastertons Coffee and Tea Specialists

Calling all coffee addicts and snobs! If you have a true passion for freshly roasted coffee and the tradition of roasting, grinding and blending, this probably isn’t the first time you’re hearing the name ‘Mastertons’. This roastery has been an institution since it first opened its doors way back in 1924 and is still an all-time favourite in many South African, coffee-loving homes.

To truly experience the craft behind their coffee, you’ll have to visit their roastery and shop in the heart of the city. Tantalising coffee aromas and an abundance of coffee gadgets await you in both the roastery and shop. They offer a personalised service selling freshly roasted coffee, single origin and a large assortment of blends and flavoured dessert coffees. And, best of all, they prepare your coffee however you prefer it, whether it’s whole beans for your own grinder or automatic machine, ground espresso, plunger or filter coffee.

Their shop across the road sells all kinds of coffee-making equipment, serveware and a variety of coffees and teas. Do yourself a favour and pay them a visit! If you try their products and like what they offer, you can even order from their online shop once you get home.

Foodie tip: If you’re keen on something new, try one of their flavoured coffees like Amarula Cream. Even though it’s flavoured, it doesn’t take away from the quality of the roast at all!

☎ 041 585 4044 | Website

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The Original Vovo Telo

Vovo Telo has become a household name over the past few years and now has restaurants across the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Few people realise that the original branch was born in Port Elizabeth though!

Vovo Telo’s bakers started mastering the art of artisan baking and eventually inspired a new appreciation for freshly baked bread. To complement the aromas of freshly baked goods, they decided to start serving coffee and a few other pastries. Nowadays the café’s menu boasts a wide range of sandwiches, light breakfasts, lunches (pizzas, salads etc.) and mouth-watering baked goods like buttery croissants, pain au chocolate, pain au raisins, berry pinwheels and apricotinis!

The best part is that they use only local, artisanal products like Karoo olives and boerenkaas, and ingredients like stone-ground flour, free-range eggs and farm-fresh produce without any preservatives to create these masterpieces.

Coffee, wine and even beer lovers will all be equally impressed as their flat whites, distinctive wine list and premium lager selection are all right on point.

To top it all off the café has a laid-back and cosy atmosphere with decor that will have you snapping a ton of Instagrammable pics while savouring your cup of coffee. On clear days you can choose an outdoor table on the veranda overlooking the vibey streets of Richmond Hill.

If you do decide to pay the PE branch a visit, make sure you take some time to marvel at the amazing selection of breads behind the counter ─ you won’t believe the amount of effort and dedication that goes into artisan bread baking!

Foodie tip: Every now and again the bakers try something new, so next time you go there, ask for the day’s special and you could be the first one to taste whatever they’ve come up with!

☎ 041 585 5606 | Website

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Stanley Street Hot Spots

This increasingly popular street in the evolving and previously run-down suburb of Richmond Hill is slowly becoming the Bree Street of PE. It offers a diverse experience of the Friendly City with its restored Victorian homes, quirky shops and variety of trendy eateries, cocktail bars and even a wine bar.

Whether you’re planning a romantic dinner, drinks after work, a family meal or a fine dining date with your foodie friends, this street has it all! Here’s a quick guide to a few of our favourites:

Angelos | Artisan
Type: Italian restaurant
What to try: Pizza and pasta
Contact: 041 582 2492 or Facebook

For the Love of Wine
Type: Wine shop and bar
What to try: Wine tasting every two weeks
Contact: 072 566 2692 or website

Fushin Sushi and Eastern Cuisine
Type: Sushi and Eastern cuisine restaurant
What to try: Sushi, dim sum and tapas
Contact: 041 811 7874 or website

Ginzy’s Restaurant and Bar
Type: Greek restaurant
What to try: Traditional moussaka and greek lamb in pita
Contact: 041 582 1193 or Facebook

Muse Restaurant
Type: Fine-dining restaurant
What to try: Beef fillet with a mushroom purée, red-onion crisps, truffle croquettes, jus and garden vegetables
Contact: 041 582 1937 or website

Salt Restaurant
Type: Fusion restaurant and cocktail bar
What to try: Brie and fig gourmet burger, chilli chocolate steak and a jam jar
Contact: 041 582 1937 or Facebook

Soho on Stanley
Type: Whisky and cocktail bar
What to try: Beef nachos and artisan whiskey
Contact: 041 585 0474 or Facebook

Tilting Heads Taco Cafe and Margarita Bar
Type: Mexican cafe and bar
What to try: Tacos, nachos, jalapeño poppers, enchiladas and margaritas
Contact: 041 582 1566 or Facebook

Two Olives
Type: Tapas-style restaurant
What to try: Crispy prawns, baked camembert, cheese and prosciutto phyllo rolls, and pizzas
Contact: 081 744 2496 or website

Type: Greek and Mediterranean restaurant
What to try: Pizza, lamb souvlaki, mezze and baklava
Contact: 041 582 2848 or website

These are only a few of the foodie spots worth mentioning in Richmond Hill ─ be sure to check out the side streets as well! You’ll love the upbeat vibe, diners chatting happily as they sit scattered along the sidewalk and the fairy lights creating a cosy and almost magical atmosphere in the evenings. Come experience it all for yourself!

Foodie tip: Since there is such a variety to choose from, have pre-dinner drinks, your main course, dessert and coffee at three or four different places!

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You might not believe it, but this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to uncovering PE’s foodie hot spots. Let us know if you have another favourite we might not know about yet!

 Feature image: Pieter Wolhüter