Make sure to include this fun pet-friendly diner in your next roadtrip. The décor is excellent, there’s plenty of outdoor space to relax and the food is both delicious, generous and affordable.
Where is it?
On the scenic Clarence Drive between Gordon’s Bay and Pringle Bay (it’s approximately 5km from Gordon’s Bay).
Why go there?
Admit it, every time you’ve driven past the sign on Clarence Drive saying “Pitstop” you’ve wanted to pull in and see what’s there, but have been in too much of a hurry to get to where you are going! In future, make sure to include this fun diner in your next roadtrip. The décor is excellent, there’s plenty of outdoor space to relax and the food is both delicious, generous and affordable.
How much am I going to pay?
Breakfast options from R70, starters and small plates from R60, burgers from R120, salads from R90, desserts from R55, coffee and hot drinks from R25, smoothies and milkshakes from R40, craft beers and ciders from R30, cocktails from R70 and wine from R40 a glass / R100 a bottle.
When is it open?
Tuesdays to Thursdays from 10h00 to 17h00, Fridays and Saturdays from 09h00 to 19h00, Sundays 09h00 to 18h00. Closed on Mondays.
Is it pet-friendly?
Yes, well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome to join you and all dogs are given a biscuit.
I cannot tell you the amount of times I have driven down Clarence Drive on my way to Hermanus, or back from that side of the world thinking that I really should make the time to stop in at The Grille Shack! Finally I did make a turn (last year to be precise) and have since been back this year.
What a great spot! The décor is fun (petrolheads will absolutely love it), the people are friendly and their food is very good. The portions are huge so you better arrive with a good appetite! They are also dog-friendly, so do take your furry friend along (on a leash please). They will be treated to a biscuit and there are water bowls available. There’s ample space both inside and out so nobody is on top of each other in these times of social distancing. Plus there’s a super play area for kids. So everybody is catered for!
What is The Grille Shack?
In their own words, The Grille Shack is a 1950’s Pump Diner inspired restaurant with a “lekker” South African twist. They welcome petrolheads, road-trippers, families, adventurers, hikers, locals, free spirits, cyclists, tourists and well-behaved pets.In addition to the restaurant and the tuck shop, they have three cabins available for overnight stays.
While you are there you can take a hike up into Krystal pools, the Danie Miller Trail or explore the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens hiking trail. There are plenty of cycling trails nearby while surfers can take on the waves at Kogelbay. Or take a leisurely drive along Clarence Drive (voted the most scenic whale route in the world). Pringle Bay, Betty’s Bay, Kleinmond and Gordon’s Bay are only a short drive away.
Eat at The Grille Shack
You won’t find any semi-baked, par-cooked, brine-injected or meat-plumped products being purchased in bulk here. Every dish is made from scratch with locally sourced produce and their beverage selection is handpicked from local artisan brewers and winemakers to complement the menu.
There are a few vegetarian and vegan options available and the kiddies are well taken care of with a special Trike Tribe Menu.
Take it from me, the portions are very generous indeed! To be honest, if you are on a tight budget, you really can share a meal! I enjoyed my prego roll the last time I visited (two 100g sirloin steaks served on a homemade burger roll with all the trimmings, chips), but I will say that, for me, their burgers are the winners here! Their pans are very impressive too (great for sharing). But whatever you choose to have, I doubt there will be any disappointments or empty tummies.
Here’s just a few of the options you’ll find on their menu:
Eggs Florentine (R65)
Two poached eggs with sauteed baby spinach and a Hollandaise sauce served on a roosterkoek.
Bumper Basher Brekkie (R65)
Two free range eggs, two rashers of bacon, pork/beef sausage, mushrooms and slow-roasted tomatoes served with shoestring chips.
Grille Shack Nachos (R95)
Organic corn chips, cheese sauce, mature cheddar, salsa, guacamole, pico de gallo, pickled jalepenos and sour cream.
Beetroot and Orange Salad (R99)
Roasted beetroot salad with fresh rocket leaves, orange segments, toasted walnuts, slivers of pear and a balsamic reduction.
Prego Burger (R119)
Two homemade vegetable patties topped with rocket, grilled mushroom, pickled cucumber, smoked pineapple & habenero salsa served with a secret prego sauce. Comes with steakhouse chips or a salad.
Classic Beer Battered Fish and Chips (R129)
200g hake served with homemade tartar sauce, slaw and parmesan-dusted steakhouse chips.
Babalas Burger with Shoestring Chips (R139)
150g beef patty with bacon, mature cheddar and a free range egg.
Double Cheese and Bacon Burger (R149)
Two 150g burger patties, bacon, mature cheddar, cucumber pickle and a burger dressing served on a homemade bun. Served with either steakhouse chips or a salad.
Pitstop Pan (R299)
Spare ribs, calamari, deep fried chicken strips, corn dogs and parmesan-dusted steakhouse chips served with chipotle sauce and a tartar sauce.
Chocolate Brownies (R55)
Served with cream or ice cream.
Buttermilk Waffles (R65)
Buttermilk waffles baked while you wait, served with salted caramel sauce with cream or ice cream.
If you are just popping in for a quick leg-stretch and a bite for the road, their tuck shop has smaller snacky items, along with hot and cold beverages.
Drinks at The Grille Shack
There’s a huge range of cold and hot drinks, including iced teas, milkshakes, smoothies, non-alcholic cocktails, chai latte’s, teas, hot chocolate, coffees and and Irish coffees. You can also opt to have almond milk if you prefer dairy-free.
Then there’s cocktails, shooters, beers, ciders, gin, wine, bubbly and alcoholic milkshakes – I am dying to try their Texaco Tequila Milkshake!
On Fridays and Saturdays, you can enjoy half-price alcoholic beverages 17h00 and 19h00.
Stay at The Grille Shack
When I first visited last year, I was treated to a viewing of one of their cabins and was suitably impressed. I am still hoping to stay there – then I can enjoy one of their aforementioned tequila milkshakes!
Each of the three Pitstop Lodge Cabins has a funky petrolhead vibe, with some of the retro furnishings celebrating a bygone era. The cabins each offer accommodation for two with a quality sleeper couch being available to accommodate a young child (five to ten years), or two toddlers younger than five.
Snuggle up by the indoor fireplace, enjoy an outdoor shower or hunker down on your private deck in their signature Strawberry Daiquiri Adirondack Chairs.
If you’ve never made a pitstop at this funky little spot along Clarence Drive, I suggest you add an extra hour or two onto your next roadtrip and pull in!
Published April 2021 | Own cost