A road trip is all about the journey – the quirky roadside stops and delicious treats along the way. When we travel in South Africa we mostly choose the wide open road. There are a multitude of routes that will get you to your destination and we know the most scenic drives, the best view points and most importantly, we have the local knowledge of the best rest stops along the way! Like our friend Pieter Geldenhuys once wrote; we don’t just pee anywhere 😉
We like to support local farmstalls as they support local farmers and entrepreneurs in their neighbourhood. From local ladies who supply the stall with homemade sauces, jams, pestos and relishes to small farms producing fresh fruit & veg and also big farms growing grapes and producing wines! Most farmstalls even have their own bakery offering the most delicious breads, pies and sweet treats.
We encourage you not to stock up at your local supermarket before your road trip, but rather pick up delicious, fresh, local produce along the way. There are many exclusive products available and the stalls really have everything you need.
Tip: Take your reusable coffee cup along – most places offer a discount if you bring your own cup!
Our weekly tours, stops range from a coffee caravan on one of the most scenic coastal drives you’ve seen in your life, to “Ronnie’s Sex Shop” in the middle of the semi-arid Klein Karoo.
Our frequented routes, the N2 highway and Route 62, connecting Cape Town and Port Elizabeth is a foodie’s dream. Many of our favorite stops are farmstalls, commonly referred to in Afrikaans, “padstal”.
We asked our guides to tell us their favorite roadside stop… and we received so many different answers!
Oudebosch is Guide Pieter’s favorite stop in Tsitsikamma as it makes for a very convenient rest stop on your way to Addo, and they offer great light lunches that can be pre-ordered and collected. This property’s main business is farming Proteas, part of the fynbos species that is endemic to South Africa.
One of my personal favorites is Delish in Heidelberg. I love them for their freshly roasted coffee beans (for sale in the shop), their hearty waterblommetjiebredie is always a hit with guests on our way back from the Garden Route, they offer 100% seasonal juices and I love stocking up with some homemade frozen meals to enjoy at home.
Bella de Karoo
Guide Christine always stops in at Bella de Karoo farmstall when traveling along Route 62 to Oudtshoorn.
This old farm house takes you back to a bygone era of rustic farm charm with chickens strolling around the yard, a dog sleeping under the tree and vintage couches on the front porch making you wish time could stand still so you can enjoy the country lifestyle for a while.
Located in the Elgin Valley about 1 hour’s drive from Cape Town, this is guide Khotso’s favorite stop along the route. 9/10 times he would stop here and get his favorite combo: a spinach & feta pie, some biltong and a flat white coffee. He says this sets him up for the best roadtrip!
Houw Hoek Farmstall
Located just down the road from Peregrine when driving from Cape Town, it’s really difficult to choose between these two amazing farmstalls. There has been some heated debating in our team over which pies are the best.
The owner of Earthstompers, Hendrik, absolutely loves Houw Hoek for their fresh pressed apple juice, awesome pies and the best homebaked breads. Houw Hoek also stocks a huge variety of organic, fresh, local produce as well as a fully stocked pantry and cellar! The cellar boasts a fantastic selection of South African wines, focusing on those from the immediate area, the Elgin Valley, which is particularly well known for their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
photos: Houw Hoek farmstall
Dassiesfontein is guide Rochelle’s final surprise to her guests when driving back to Cape Town. This is not a place you stop at if you’re in a hurry! The extent of the contents of this farm stall is incredible. Besides shelving a multitude of household items, art, antiques, firewood, braai tools, plants & herbs, pantry products, utensils and home décor, Dassiesfontein also runs a full steam restaurant that serves hearty traditional “boerekos” seven days a week. On a Sunday, people come from far and wide to enjoy a traditional 3-course Sunday lunch. Located in the middle of “nowhere” it provides a very relaxed countryside atmosphere.
Rolandale has a cosy, welcoming fire going on most days. It is a pet friendly farmstall so it’s a perfect break for all the doggy parents out there 🙂
A breathtaking farm with luscious green lawns stretching out towards the foot of the Langeberg Mountains. We often see dairy cows grazing next to the entrance.
If you are heading over the Tradouw Pass, Rolandale makes an ideal stop before heading over the mountain.
As a rule, Earthstompers tours don’t stop at gas stations for breaks as there’s so many better options. Oudepost, however, is the exception to the rule. This stop is famous among locals and popular among all our guides for the freshly grilled roosterkoek. Oudepost has recorded sales of over 1000 roosterkoeke (bread rolls baked on the fire) in a day and it’s no wonder why. It’s the best roosterkoek along the route!
This is a great stop for families with children. The petting zoo and playground will keep them busy while parents get a moment to gobble up a freshly grilled roosterkoek!
What is a roosterkoek? It literally translates to grill cake and is a traditional South African bread cooked on a grid over coals.
Die Skeerhok Padstal
Guide Steph loves stopping over at this farmstall especially when on the road in very hot or cold conditions. Die Skeerhok Padstal offers a cosy fireplace indoors, and plenty of indoor seating, while the shade of the massive fig tree provides welcome relief from the heat in Summer.
This visit can double up for some meat shopping at Hooikraal Butchery, next door. They make unbelievably tasty boerewors and all meat is free from hormones and antibiotics.
Diesel & Crème
Located on Route 62, based on the American Route 66, Diesel & Crème feels like an oasis in the middle of the desert.
With extreme summer temperatures reaching 45 degrees, their gourmet milkshakes are the ultimate thirst quencher. By far the best milkshake we’ve tasted!
The rustic décor inside and out on the yard is playful and artistic, with old-school petrol pumps, car wrecks and cactus plants making beautiful pictures against the blue Karoo sky.
The story of Nanaga is a beautiful one. A young lady and her husband moved from Johannesburg to the Eastern Cape of South Africa. While her husband farmed, the lady sold cabbages on the roadside from the trunk of her car. She became a familiar sight to locals and her produce became so sought after she continued to expand.
Today, 43 years later, the massively popular Nanaga Farmstall is stronger than ever. Located about 45 minutes from Port Elizabeth this is a great stop to refresh and get some road snacks. This is another major pie attraction, offering all kinds of flavors including a few traditional South African versions like venison and bobotie.
We love visiting Nanaga after our safaris in Addo Elephant National Park.
Besides the few mentioned we would also like to recommend Oumeul in Riviersonderend and Riversdal, Blue Shed in Mossel Bay, Green Shed in Wilderness, Old Nic Village and Thyme & Again close to Plettenberg Bay and finally, Crossways Country Kitchen close to Jeffreys Bay.
We asked our team, and after much discussion, here’s our top 3 coffees, pies and sit-down experiences on the route:
The best pie
winner: Houw Hoek /2nd place: Dassiesfontein /3rd place: Peregrine
The best coffee
winner: Ikigai /2nd place: Peregrine /3rd place: Delish
The best sit-down experience
winner: Tredici /2nd place: Delish /3rd place: Peregrine
Safe travels and ENJOY the journey!