Top 10 Family Friendly Restaurants in Knysna

Knysna is one of the most child- and family-friendly towns around thanks to its gorgeous outdoor experiences, fun adventures, animal sanctuaries and local attractions.

But often the hardest thing for parents travelling with kids is finding a suitably child-friendly or family restaurant to enjoy eating at.

Fortunately, Knysna is not short of these… Offering everything from safe and secure play areas for little ones to smarter dining experiences for quiet, older kids and teens.

Found along South Africa’s favourite coastal stretch, the Garden Route – Knysna is a popular city for holidaying, adventures and seaside escapes. 

Here’s a selection of the best family friendly restaurants in Knysna:

#1 Tottie’s Farm Kitchen

Tottie’s Farm Kitchen is one of the most welcoming, family friendly restaurants you will find anywhere. With indoor and outdoor seating in the garden, guests can enjoy a relaxed, soothing meal out with their loved ones.

Offering a selection of hearty, generously portioned farm food – prepared using country fresh ingredients – there is something for everyone to enjoy tucking into at Tottie’s.

There is even a special ‘Sapling’ section on the menu for Little Tots, with yummy options like chicken strips with chips, mini burger and chips and an array of sweet delights sure to thrill the whole family. There is also a small playground for kids to make use of.

Contact: +27 (044) 389 0092,


Address: Tottie’s Farm Kitchen, Main Road, Rheenendal, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa.

Tottie's Farm Kitchen via Facebook
Tottie’s Farm Kitchen via Facebook

#2 The Farm

Situated 4 km outside Knysna, The Farm is a great place for young and old to enjoy… With its wide open spaces, delicious, hearty meals and excellent play facilities for children – it offers one of the most family friendly experiences around.

There is a dedicated ‘Kiddies Breakfast’, toasted sandwiches and pizza, all of which are sure to appeal to even the pickiest little eater. (And let’s not forget the sweet treats!)

Benches and tables are sprawled across the beautiful garden, overlooking a green vista of natural beauty, and parents and grandparents can enjoy a meal while easily watching over the children.

For the kids, there is a large, safe space to play, as well as a jungle gym, swings, shaded sand pit, wendy house and even a mini-mud kitchen so the young ones really can play till sundown out in the country air.

There is also some cycling fun to be had, with a number of tracks, including a mini bump track for young riders.

Contact: +27 (060) 528 9232,


Address: The Farm, Old Cape Road, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa.

#3 East Head Cafe

East Head Cafe is one of the most popular eateries in Knysna – and rightly so. It offers incredible views, overlooking the famous Knysna Heads, good, honest food, excellent service and a small, dedicated play area for children, handily equipped with toys.

The interiors are clean and chic without being pretentious, while the outside seating (mostly comfy picnic benches) offer lagoon views to die for.

There is no special kids’ menu advertised on the website but this will definitely suit older children who are accustomed to eating ‘adult food’.

Still, with some classics like fish and chips (highly rated!), burgers, cakes of the day and ice cream and chocolate sauce, there is surely something for younger children to enjoy too.

Contact: +27  044 384 0933,


Address: East Head Café, 25 George Rex Dr, The Heads, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa.

East Head Cafe
East Head Cafe

#4 Chatters Bistro

This small but cosy, owner-run eatery is a gem in Knysna. They are famous for their made-to-order, thin and crispy wood-fired pizzas (also available on a gluten- and wheat-free base) – but they also offer an excellent selection of burgers, homemade pastas, potato bakes, salads, filled paninis and of course, plenty of dessert options too.

There isn’t a dedicated kiddies’ menu but the Create-Your-Own Pizza option is sure to appeal to everyone, as even the fussiest eater can build their own pizza.

This is certainly a fun, family restaurant, with a really great atmosphere. Locals agree: Chatters Bistro is a winner every time.

Contact: +27 (044) 382 0203,


Address: Chatters Bistro, 9a Gray Street, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa.

#5 Bodega Cafe

This lovely restaurant has put a modern spin to the traditional coffee shop  – and the result is wonderful. This child- and dog-friendly spot is also a real treat in terms of the food, which is fresh, delicious and fun.

There is indoor fireside seating (ideal for wintertime) or verandah seating, perfect for when the bright South African sun is shining.

It’s a favourite, tranquil spot for diners to go and bond over a meal and the views and atmosphere just make the experience all the more delightful… It’s definitely a great pick for families.

Contact: +27 (076) 496 1600,


Address: Bodega Cafe, 5 Kings Way, Leisure Island, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa.

Bodega Cafe via Facebook
Bodega Cafe via Facebook

#6 Blend Country Restaurant & Pub

Nestled amid the trees, this child-friendly country restaurant and pub has a wonderful, peaceful ambiance about it.

There is cosy indoor and outdoor seating, depending on your preference, a variety of good food, live music (on selected days) and friendly service to boot.

This is arguably one of the most popular family spots in Knysna and many agree it is one of the best places to go eat out with kids, especially as there is a secure play area.

It can get very busy due to its popularity, so on some occasions, advance booking is advised.

Contact: +27 (044) 384 0493 ,

Website: N/A

Address: Blend Country Restaurant & Pub, 18 George Rex Drive, Hunters Home, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa.

#7 Persello Pizzeria

Who doesn’t love a good pizzeria? And with Persello Pizzeria, you can enjoy a wonderful Italian family-run pizza and pasta restaurant in the heart of Knysna. It comes complete with large food portions, a lovely vibe and a classic Italian-style restaurant experience…

Restaurant specials are naturally the delicious pastas, wood-fired pizzas and chicken involotini.

Best of all, this intimate, cosy restaurant is child-friendly and offers a choice of equally lovely indoor or outdoor seating.

Contact: +27 (044) 382 2665,

Website: N/A

Address: Persello Pizzeria, Memorial Square, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa.

Persello Pizzeria via Facebook
Persello Pizzeria via Facebook

#8 île de païn

This enchanting cafe-style restaurant, situated on Knysna’s Thesen Island, is known for its delicious breakfasts, lunches and artisanal breads.

Each dish at île de païn is lovingly prepared using the freshest, seasonal ingredients and the results are simply mouthwatering. Options include the likes of salads, sandwiches, pastries and more.

The bakery and shop make for a lovely addition – allowing you to shop for some takeaway treats and baked goods – while the self-catering apartments mean you to linger longer.

Although île de païn is not especially geared for tots and kiddies, it is the ideal spot to go with quieter, older children who perhaps no longer enjoy play areas or running about outside as much. Still, either way, it is suitable for the whole family.

Contact: +27 (044) 302 5705,


Address:  île de païn, 8-10 The Boatshed, Thesen Harbour Town, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa.

#9 34 South

This waterfront restaurant, found in Knysna Quays, offers an extensive menu, specialising in seafood, baked bread and deli and sushi bar offerings.

There isn’t a dedicated kids menu – and it might not be ideal for very young children, as it can get busy and lively – but the restaurant is certainly suitable for families with older kids or teens.

The menu is fresh and fun, with everything from juices and smoothies to breakfasts to seafood and desserts, pastries and cakes too.

Contact: +27 (044) 382 7331, 082 419 3434,


Address: 34 Degrees South, Shop 19, Knysna Waterfront, Knysna Central, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa.

#10 Tapas and Oysters

Tapas and Oysters
Tapas and Oysters

This family friendly, waterside restaurant offers lovely views of the Knysna Lagoon, great food and friendly service, complete with a good restaurant atmosphere.

The food focus is on Spanish, Mediterranean and South African tapas but they also offer a nice selection of sushi dishes and platters from their sushi bar and an excellent pizza menu too.

There is a lovely play park for kids and the overall restaurant offering is definitely geared towards a family meal.

Contact: +27 (044) 382 7196,


Address: Tapas and Oysters, TH 29, Thesen Island, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa.

These are just some of the welcoming family friendly eateries you can enjoy in Knysna… Have you visited any with your loved ones yet?

Book your Knysna Getaway Now!

Top 10 Restaurants on the Water in Knysna

Knysna is one of the most beautiful towns in the Western Cape. With its special lagoon, stunning scenery and peaceful way of life, it has steadily grown to be a favourite place to both live and holiday in South Africa.

And, best of all, this Garden Route gem offers some great activities, travel experiences and excellent restaurants. The restaurants are particularly unique, as many of them overlook either the Knysna Waterfront, Lagoon or famous Heads.

Found along South Africa’s favourite coastal stretch, the Garden Route – Knysna is a popular city for holidaying, adventures and seaside escapes. 

With this in mind, here are the best Knysna restaurants on the water:

#1 Butterfly Blu

Situated atop a dune and blessed with a stunning vista, it is safe to say that Butterfly Blu is one of the most beautiful Knysna restaurants.

With indoor and outdoor seating, a lounge area and bar and lovely interiors, this restaurant offers a sophisticated, yet relaxed dining experience, with great food and service to boot. In fact, you can even enjoy unique Croatian pizzas and cocktails here… mmm!

And, before or after your delicious meal, why not pop down to the beach? As it is located just below this gorgeous eatery!

Contact: +27 (044) 381 0027,


Address: Butterfly Blu, 198 CR Swart Drive, Brenton on Sea, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa.

Butterfly Blu via Facebook
Butterfly Blu via Facebook

#2 Sirocco Restaurant

Located within the stylish Thesen Harbour Town, Sirocco is named after the deliciously warm breeze that blows across the Mediterranean… and indeed, this restaurant is a breath of fresh air!

Serving everything from sushi, pizzas to famous Knysna oysters, this harbour-side eatery (open seven days a week for lunch and dinner) is one of the most popular restaurants in Knysna.

So if you’re looking for a lovely restaurant – with good food and beautiful views – visit the soothing Sirocco Restaurant.

Tip: As a bonus, its sister restaurants, 34 South and Dry Dock Restaurant and Terrace, are equally lovely Knysna eateries to enjoy.

Contact: +27 (044) 382 4874,


Address: Sirocco Restaurant, TH 28, Thesen Harbour Town, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa.

#3 JJ’s Restaurant

If you wish to enjoy a memorable meal on the picturesque Knysna Waterfront, look no further than JJ’s Restaurant.

With an aim to serve quality, excellent food and offer a comfortable, welcoming dining experience, JJ’s is big on customer service and fine food in every sense… Plus, the setting is stunning too!

The menu – which is locally sourced and seasonal – ensures you will have the freshest, tastiest meals possible, whether you’re after steakhouse specialties, seafood or meaty winners or even just some South African game, JJ’s has it all.

Note: JJ’s is open every evening for dinner from 18:00 pm. They are also open to lunch groups by request.

Contact: +27 (044) 382 3359,


Address: JJ’s Restaurant, The Waterfront, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa.

#4 Dry Dock Restaurant and Terrace

This lagoon-side restaurant is another waterside favourite. Open seven days a week, they offer guests the finest choice of fresh seafood, fusion cuisine, sushi, salads and of course, sinfully good desserts.

Not only are they blessed with a truly tranquil restaurant setting but they provide their guests with the best in food, drinks and dining experiences, all of which combine to ensure truly memorable meals by the water…

So, when you’re in Knysna, be sure to join them from 11:30 am till late.

Contact: +27(044) 382 7310,


Address: Dry Dock Restaurant and Terrace, Waterfront Shop 1, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa.

#5 East Head Cafe

As the name suggests, East Head Cafe is situated on the rocks of Knysna’s famed Eastern Head. So, with killer views of the blue lagoon and sandstone cliffs, it is certainly one of the most beautiful restaurants around.

Clean and crisp inside, with more relaxed outdoor seating (as well as a kids’ play area), East Head Cafe is a charming restaurant by all accounts.

The food is simple but great, the wine is top class and of course, the location is ideal… What more could you want?

Contact: +27 (044) 384 0933,


Address: East Head Cafe, 25 George Rex Drive, The Heads, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa.

#6 O Pescador Restaurant

Located at the Knysna Waterfront, O Pescador Restaurant is another local favourite. Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, this Portuguese eatery serves up quality food and a lovely, warm restaurant ambiance.

This restaurant has stood the test of time and offers a wide range of delectable meals – everything from fresh fish (caught daily), meat and seafood dishes, all cooked in a traditional Portuguese style.

Visit this long-time favourite for a warm, excellent eating experience with those you love!

Contact: +27 (044) 382 3476


Address: O Pescador Restaurant, Shop no 20, Upper level Waterfront, Waterfront Drive, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa.

#7 Cruise Cafe

Known for its seafood and stylish cuisine, Cruise Cafe offers guests the chance to enjoy gorgeous views over the Knysna Lagoon.

With its blond wood tones, nautical images and lovely interiors, it offers a unique restaurant atmosphere, with a tempting lagoon deck. The deck is especially perfect for enjoying specialty coffees, breakfasts, lunches, dinners – and of course, cocktails.

To experience Cruise Cafe, book today and enjoy a delightful eat out experience in Knysna!

Contact: +27 (044) 382 1693,


Address: Cruise Cafe,  The Featherbed Co, Remembrance Avenue, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa.

#8 34 South

Located in the Knysna Quays, 34 South is one of the best seafood, waterfront restaurants in Knysna.

Although they have an extensive menu, some of the standout items include fresh Knysna oysters, seafood, freshly baked bread and even a wine shop! As an added bonus, the restaurant also offers a deli and sushi bar so there really is something great for every type of eater.

So whether you join for a platter, takeaway meal or cosy sit-down meal, you are sure to love 34 South, with its lovely waterside setting!

Contact: +27 (044) 382 7331, 082 419 3434,


Address: 34 South, Shop 19, Knysna Quays, Waterfront Drive, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa.

#9 Freshline Fisheries

At Freshline Fisheries, visitors can enjoy an array of food on their beach. This outdoor beach restaurant is considered by many to be one of the best seafood restaurants in Knysna – and its laid-back vibe lends it well to more casual, family friendly or group meals.

This is one of the more relaxing and fun restaurants you will find… and the seafood is legendary!

Note: They do not sell alcohol so you are welcome to bring your own (without being charged corkage).

Contact: +27 (044) 382 3131,


Address: Freshline Fisheries, Railway Siding Dockyard (behind Tait Marine), Corner of Long & Waterfront Drive, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa.

Freshline Fisheries via Facebook
Freshline Fisheries via Facebook

#10 Benguela Brasserie & Restaurant

Although it is situated closer to Sedgefield than Knysna, this beautiful restaurant is one you definitely cannot miss if you’re in the Garden Route… Especially if you want to enjoy its positively gorgeous lakeside setting!

Serving up delicious, filling meals, prepared by talented Chef Yolisa Keyizana, guests can enjoy a classy and superb meal at this delightful restaurant, found at Lakeside Lodge (itself a stunner!).

Benguela Brasserie is perfect for fresh breakfasts, lovely lunches and stylish wine tastings. Note: All wines are sourced from their estate, Benguela Cove, near Hermanus.

Note: They are closed until 4 September 2019 but are otherwise normally open from Wednesday to Sunday.

Contact: +27 (044) 343 1884,


Address: Benguela Brasserie, 3 Lakeside Dr Lakeside Lodge & Spa, Swartvlei Lake, Sedgefield, Western Cape, South Africa.

Book your Knysna Getaway Now!