Here are eight places that are worth stopping at for a pie along the N2 highway. All fresh, homemade and tasty – no garage pies filled with unknown goo here!
There are plenty of places to stop for a bite to eat along the N2 from Cape Town to East London – although there aren’t very many between East London and Port Elizabeth and Knysna and Riversdale, so stock up when travelling between those towns! Having recently done a few roadtrips along this stretch, I found some tasty pie stops. Being a fan of pies, I had a delicious time. My hips however, probably not!
1. Peregine Farmstall, Elgin
The only time I have ever seen the car park at Peregrine empty is when it’s closed. That’s because they serve great meals at very reasonable prices (and breakfast all day), along with a wide array of breads and other typical farm stall goodies. They also bake a damn fine venison pie! The best part is that you can also buy frozen uncooked pies to take home and bake in your own oven. I often do this and they turn out delicious every time. I daresay all their pies are lekker, but I can definitely vouch for the venison.
Times: Open daily (except Christmas Day) from 7:30 to 18:30.
Contact: Tel 021 848 9011,
2. Houw Hoek Farm Stall, Grabouw
When you have a sign outside saying “famous Houw Hoek pies” for every passing traveller to see, then you mean business. As I arrived I saw quite a few people leaving with tell-tale pie packets and when I asked them what the pies were like every single one beamed at me and said “best pies ever!” Turns out they were right. I had a bobotie pie and it was fresh flaky pastry filled to the brim (I mean it) with a yummy Malay-style mince filling. In my mind, they take “best pie on the N2” prize, so believe that sign when you next see it, or better still, grab a pie and see for yourself!
Times: Open every day (except Christmas Day) from 7:30 to 17:30.
Contact: Tel 028 284 9015,
3. Priella Farm Stall, near Bot River
Priella is actually on the R43, 3km off the N2, but a perfect stop if you are heading along the R43 to Hermanus. New owners have recently taken over (since December 2014) and they are going out of their way to make affordable and tasty home-cooked meals. The restaurant section is rather quaint on its own with old vinyls as place-mats, various arty pieces on the walls, and comfy couches to curl up on (good for a quick nap before hitting the road again). Their pie with onion rings, chips and gravy is a massive, enjoyable plateful. In fact you will probably need that nap on the couch. Travelling on a Sunday? They do a three-course Sunday roast for R75 per person.
Times: Open daily from 8:00 to 17:00.
Contact: Tel 028 284 9567
4. Ou Meul Bakkery, Riviersonderend
When I mentioned that I was popping into this bakery to a young girl in a nearby shop in Riviersonderend, she laughed and said, “everyone makes such a fuss of those pies! Do you know that my family in the Free State demand that we bring them a box when we visit?” Funnily enough, I have a friend who makes us stop there every time we pass through so she can stock up on a few for herself and her dad. I don’t think there are many people who haven’t enjoyed a pie here and not been back for more. Apparently they make a good coffee too. Enough said.
Times: Open Monday to Friday 6:00 to 18:00, Saturday 6:00 to 15:00 and Sundays 7:00 to 18:00.
Contact: Tel 028 261 1568,
5. Blue Crane Farm Shop, Heidelberg
Of all the pies I scoffed along the N2, the pepper steak pie I had here was a little bland in comparison, but it was still a good pie and definitely homemade (perhaps it just wasn’t as peppery as I would’ve liked). That said, The Blue Crane itself is a charming little spot that’s worth a stop to stretch your legs and have a bite to eat. They have a friendly cat that makes itself comfortable on the tables outside and they also have a large, interesting collection of dolls. Keep an eye out for the blue roof – you can’t miss it.
Times: Open daily from 8:00 to 17:00.
Contact: Tel 028 722 2651
6. Delish, Heidelberg
Their pies are so good that the two times I pulled in there they had sold out! Whilst I may have been a bit disgruntled at not being able to get my hands on one, it can only be a good sign. Admittedly both times were late in the afternoon, so perhaps it’s best to get there earlier in the day. They also have a good selection of local wines and craft beers. Plus they won a this year… Best I make a plan to get there earlier next time for a pie!
Times: Open Monday and Tuesday 7:30 to 18:00, Wednesday to Saturday 7:30 to 21:00 and Sundays 7:30 to 17:00.
Contact: Tel 028 722 1850,
7. Ou Tronk, Riversdale
My chicken pie (served with chips and a salad) seemed pretty average to me, but still yummy enough to eat! Although I did arrive late (about an hour before closing) so to be fair the pie had perhaps come out of the oven a little earlier in the day. But you should definitely stop here anyway as the garden with its fountain and giant avocado tree is lovely and soothing. It’s also one of the most interesting spots along the N2 and one of my favourite road tripping finds. Built in 1838, the building was originally a trading store and then became a jail (the only execution ever carried out in Riversdale took place in the building). Since 2009 it’s been a coffee shop with a variety of antiques, art, vintage clothing and jewellery for sale, to be found in the original jail cells. The nursery is absolutely beautiful. They also have a market on Saturday mornings.
Times: Open Monday to Friday 8:00 to 16:30 and Saturdays 9:00 to 13:00.
Contact: Tel 028 713 4300
8. Nanaga Farm Stall, near Grahamstown
To be honest I never made it through the doors of Nanaga. I decided to have a nap in the backseat, and my friends sped by because I forgot to tell them that I wanted to make a stop here. When I woke up, my chance of having a pie had long gone. But according to plenty of people I’ve spoken to, this place rocks when it comes to pies and if the masses say so, it must be so. Nanaga Farm Stall is on my pie-stop list and once I have had one, I will update this blog!
Times: Open daily (except for Christmas and New Year’s Day) from 8:00 to 17:30.
Contact: Tel 041 468 0353,
Please let me know about any other places you have enjoyed a pie along the N2 – especially if you’ve had one at Delish or Nanaga, or further towards and beyond KwaZulu-Natal. Let’s share the pie-pitstop love! No matter how flaky (sorry, couldn’t resist that!).