Port Elizabeth is quickly becoming one of the coolest cities in South Africa. With a thriving food scene, a burgeoning craft beer community and a quirky atmosphere, you’ll be heading away from its white, sandy beaches and warm waves to explore its new-found creative charm.
Here are a few must-visit places in Port Elizabeth ...
Eat in style
Port Elizabeth’s culinary exploits have exploded in recent years, with the heart of it sitting in the suburb of Richmond Hill.
Tilting Heads offers a feast of Mexican cuisine combined with a festive atmosphere. Famous for nachos, the restaurant is also well known for its homestyle dishes such as pescado crujiente (crispy battered fish, shredded cabbage, avocado crema, salsa fresca and coriander) – a worthwhile option if you’re feeling adventurous. Keep an eye on its social media channels for weekly specials.
If Mexican is not quite your taste, try ASADA for New Orleans-inspired French-Creole food cooked over an Argentinian firepit. Expect a large selection of meats, along with decadent seafood.
Another restaurant that should not be missed, is Muse Restaurant. Chef couple Allan and Simone Bezuidenhout believe in reinventing classics with a Brazilian flair. Enjoy rich meals of beef short rib and roasted pork belly with a variation of salsas and sauces.
If you aren’t keen for a formal sit-down meal, why not visit a local food market? The Goodnight Market pops up once a month on a Thursday evening and showcases some of the best food stalls and crafts around. Keep an eye on its social media channels to mark next month’s date in your calendar.
Indulge in artisanal beer
Port Elizabeth is a beer-lover’s paradise as numerous microbreweries are popping up and delivering bold flavours.
Bridge Street Brewery, Dockside Brewery, and Richmond Hill Brewing Co are currently leading the way with innovative and experimental brews. Offering delicious hearty eats as well, these breweries won’t disappoint.
For the full experience, try the Port Elizabeth Beer Route. On this tour you will visit three breweries, meet the master brewers to learn more about their processes, and taste a few beers, as well as other beer-related products such as the Dockside Brewery’s famous beer bread. The tour lasts three hours and with transport included, it’s also a safe way to fully enjoy the beer.
Explore the art hub
Art and creative spaces are booming in Port Elizabeth, and aren’t tied down to traditional museums.
If you love murals, Route 67 offers an art journey showcasing Nelson Mandela’s life. See 67 large-scale artworks designed by local artists that tell the story of Mandela’s 67 years of service. Guided tours are available from the Donkin Visitor Information Centre.
Then there’s also the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Underculture Contemporary art gallery, The Athenæum, and artEC community centre. With both permanent and pop-up exhibitions, you will be introduced to some of the best local and international artists. Keep an eye on their social media profiles for events such as poetry nights, art walks and doodle sessions for a more interactive experience.
Many restaurants and tattoo parlours have also taken to art in their decor. To see the coolest of these, take a walkabout around Richmond Hill, where they are located.