SA’s top Italian restaurant: Cafe del Sol

Sorry I’ve been so quiet, things have been slightly crazy. I’ve been writing my usual Sunday Independent stories and now I’m also blogging for Gauteng Tourism- all stuff I’m very passionate about but it is taking up all my spare time (I’m firing up my laptop and writing every night after work) so I’m left with very little time to focus on what started it all- Jozilicious!

I’m still out and about all over the place, so I have lots to share with you. If you visited my Jozilicious in Print page, you would have seen the piece I did on Cafe del Sol. Because I can’t really write stream of thought style in the paper, I’ve decided to do a separate blog post on the restaurant- yes, it is that good.

I first went to Cafe del Sol close to 3 years ago before anyone knew about it, and before I knew it everyone was talking about this new amazing italian spot in Olivedale. The centre it is situated in is dark and dodgy and there is literally nothing else happening there. But what the owners have managed to create in the restaurant is really special.. I love the ambiance, the decor and just the general vibe. It’s like a restaurant you’d find in the movies.

The walls and floors are covered in quotes. Not the corny kind. The owners told me that they spent hours searching for the perfect quotes. Love.

I do find their food expensive, but still think it is worth it for a special occasion or if you just want to treat yourself. Prior to doing the SI review, I always used to have the basil pesto gnocchi- so good. But then I had the stuffed calamari. I cannot tell you guys how amazing this dish was. I thought about it every day for 2 weeks after that, and now it’s a dull memory in the back of my mind.. but I still keep thinking that I need to go back and have that dish again. At R115, it is pricey, but definitely worth it. Usually, most restaurants have grilled calamari with lemon butter as a menu option. So boring. This calamari is stuffed with olives, ricotta, capers and chilli. Amazing.

Tempura prawn starter

Tomato tart starter
The calamari that is occupying my dreams *salivates while typing*

Dark chocolate tart. Literally Lindt in creamy, tart form. Decadent.


After winning the award for best Italian restaurant in SA (ha, take that Cape Town!) Cafe del Sol is starting to get VERY busy, so if you want to go, make sure to book at least 3-4 days ahead. Remember that they’re closed on Monday and only open for lunch on Sundays, but you can have lunch and dinner there the rest of the week.

Call 011 704 6493 or visit

Lastly, I just wanted to make the point that although I visit tons of restaurants, I may not blog about every single one and I certainly don’t recommend them all. If I experienced a bad meal somewhere, I let the owners know and they usually ask me not to write the post at all. My aim is to uplift tourism and the restaurant industry in JHB so I am not inclined to write slandering articles on restaurants. If you follow me on Twitter, you may catch some of my gripes there. I don’t ever accept financial compensation for writing blog posts on this site, so I hope that you know that all my recommendations are honest and sincere and if I say I love a restaurant, I really do.