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 town for holidaying, adventures and seaside escapes. Book your Knysna accommodation with Afristay.

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!

Knysna is part of the Garden Route, so you may want to view Afristay’s superb collection of Garden Route accommodation if you’re looking for a place to stay.

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