The inaugural World Restaurant Awards has named South Africa’s Wolfgat as the best restaurant in the world.
The World Restaurant Awards were created by IMG in partnership with Joe Warwick and Andrea Petrini to celebrate restaurants as a culture, considered in the same way as film, art and music
The launch edition took place in Paris, the birthplace of the restaurant in the western world, on February 18, 2019.
The finalists were selected by a panel of restaurant experts, which includes 37 different nationalities.
Wolfgat restaurant, situated in Paternoster in the Western Cape was named as the winner of the coveted “Restaurant of the Year’ and also the winner of “Off-Map Destination”.
“If mother nature erected a sign saying ‘build restaurant here’, it would surely point to Wolfgat. Chosen from all the inspected big plates, our inaugural Restaurant of the Year is a small, remote haven of purity and good taste in every sense,” said the judges.
“Even without looking at the pictures of Wolfgat – the whitewashed cottage, the golden sand – our inspectors’ report makes you want to book a flight to Cape Town and drive on up the coast to Paternoster in a hurry.
“The place is super simple, rustic yet perfectly elegant. We sat by the fireplace. The restaurant is directly on the beach with an ocean view. We could watch the fishermen go out, come back and empty the catch from their brightly coloured boats.
“The village of Paternoster is stucco white, like somewhere in Greece, charming and not touristy. Essentially, it’s a dream of perfect balance, unspoilt charm and accessibility. You know that feeling you get when you feel that you are among the first people to discover a place?”
Although only a couple of hours drive north of Cape Town, on South Africa’s Western Cape, the sleepy fishing village of Paternoster, famous for its lobster, feels like another world. It’s home to Wolfgat, named after a famous cave of geographical and archaeological significance, that lies beneath the premises.
It’s a restaurant of idyllic rustic dreams, an intimate 20-seat dining room with an ocean view, housed in a converted 130-year-old whitewashed fisherman’s beach cottage, the likes of which are dotted along the western coast, brightly painted boats outside providing the occasional sun-bleached splash of colour.