It's the location rather than the food that draws people to Lookout Deck (tel. 044/533-1379). Right on the beach, with awesome views across the ocean to the Tsitsikamma Mountains stretching beyond, this is probably the best-placed restaurant on the Garden Route. Enjoy a sunrise breakfast on the upstairs deck, or get here for sundown and try the Lookout's famous wild oysters, picked off the Plett coast. Sipping sundowners at Lookout Deck is a hard act to follow, but if you tire of the semi-attired Baywatch-type babes and bums tossing back Mermaid's Orgasms and Beach Affairs, there's room to move on.

For sparkling wine and gourmet pizzas, head for Cornutti Al Mare (tel. 044/533-1277). You can't miss it -- it's to the left of the hill you have to drive down to get to Central/Robberg beach. The facade and balcony are covered in hand-painted tiles and mosaics, and the views are great across the bay from the outdoor tables (book a table indoors next to the fire if you're traveling in winter). Enrico (tel. 044/535-9818; open daily), located below the rooms of the Singing Kettle Beach Lodge, is a great beachfront option, on Keurbooms beach (a few minutes' drive east of Plett center). The predominantly Italian menu is not adventurous, but it's good (better than Lookout Deck), and the beach and ocean views really are wonderful. Also highly recommended is Emily's, now routinely named by locals as their favorite place to eat: Expect hearty, contemporary fare served in a relaxed atmosphere. Nguni, at 6 Crescent St. (tel. 044/533-6710), is named after a South African cattle breed, and, yes, you'll find beef on the menu in this black-and-white-styled restaurant with slate floors and thick white walls (it was once a fisherman's cottage). The owners also have a strong focus on fresh and local produce, "and that means fish." Also in the center of town is The Old Post Office (tel. 076/953-6888), a casually stylish new venue, unfortunately placed in a mall on the main road into town. Lunch is a buffet table, while dinner offers a la carte delicacies such as truffle-infused butter bean ravioli or basil-roasted chicken supreme with orange salad. Just upstairs is the stylish Plett set's current favorite, Fu.shi (tel. 044/533-6497), one of our favorite restaurants on the Garden Route (it's cracked the nod from Wine magazine, too). Expect consistently fine Asian fusion meals and delectable sushi in sleek surroundings. Those who want to star- or sea-gaze while eating also have the choice of the adjoining champagne bar, BoMa.

If you're after a fine-dining experience with exceptional sea views, you'd be hard-pressed to beat a table at the refurbished Sand at The Plettenberg (tel. 044/533-2030). Their summer tasting menu, a seven-course feast that showcases the best of the kitchen's summer dishes, can be enjoyed with wines chosen to complement each item (it'll run you R350, or R610 with wine). Or opt for forest surrounds and a more cozy candlelit atmosphere at Tsala Treetops Lodge (tel. 044/532-8228), where the excellent pan-African fusion table d'hôte menu will run you R325. Tslala now also boasts the new African-styled Zinzi (tel. 044/532-8226). The fusion menu specializes in large themed platters, from Cape to Mediterranean, Moroccan, or Pan-African; you will eat on oversize furniture (ottomans, wingbacks, cushions) surrounded by an eclectic mix of artifacts from Ethiopia to Tonga.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.