Digging into Nelspruit’s best restaurants

Nelspruit’s proximity to the Kruger National Park, Panorama Route and Mozambique makes this burgeoning town a hub for tourists. Tourism has given rise to increased demand for guest house accommodation and restaurants in and around the city. Locals will tell you that the number of trendy, eccentric and fine food restaurants has risen exponentially over the past several years. Here are four of our favourites.


Set in green, rolling countryside on the road leading to Sabie, Zest continues to enhance its reputation as one of the region’s finest restaurants. The casual atmosphere and lovely views celebrate typically laidback Lowveld living. On the menu, you’ll find a mouth-watering array of French, Mediterranean and Italian inspired dishes, creatively infused with local flavours. Chef GT Lundie has an arsenal of awards to his name, while his and wife Lizelle’s love for wine means that there’s an impressive collection of fine wines available to wash down the food. The classy Kavinga Guest House adjoins the restaurant, creating a farm-style experience gone fabulous.

Orange Restaurant

For a supremely stylish atmosphere, top-notch modern cuisine and spectacular views over the tree-shrouded city, look no further than the world-class Orange Restaurant. This superb eatery is the first name on the lips of any local looking to celebrate a special occasion. Expect mouth-watering, creative food, accompanied by twinkling city lights at night and delectable outdoor cocktails by day. Contemporary, luxurious accommodation is provided in the Loerie’s Call and Francolin Lodge guest houses on the property.

Picasso’s Mexican Taqueria is a colourful and authentic restaurant. Photo: Dale Hes

Picasso’s Mexican Taqueria

When you walk into the cheerful, colourful atmosphere of Picasso’s Mexican Taqueria in White River, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re right on the beach in Cancun. This isn’t some kitsch, feeble imitation of a Mexican eatery. The restaurant has a strict policy of using only authentic ingredients and recipes, from the lip-smacking Margaritas through to the flavour-packed chimmichangas. Apart from virtually every Mexican dish imaginable, the menu boasts a good variety of craft beers and tequilas.


Situated in a gorgeous setting amongst trees along the Crocodile River at the Lowveld National Botanical Garden, Kuzuri is an African-themed thatched restaurant which delivers reasonably-priced, tasty food. Their rump and fillet steaks (available with exotic toppings such as whiskey infused mushroom and Indonesian black pepper) are the best you’ll find anywhere, and taste that much better when enjoyed on the outside deck, with the roaring Cascades providing the perfect natural soundtrack.


Picasso’s Mexican Taqueria is a colourful and authentic restaurant. Photo: Dale Hes


MyMpumalanga offers a reliable online resource for visitors looking to discover the many hidden gems scattered along the off the beaten track of this mesmeric province.

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