by Sarah Keevy

Cocomo Restaurant

A cocktail, anyone?

Cocomo Restaurant in Wilderness near George on the Garden Route along the southern Cape coast.
Cocomo Restaurant, Wilderness

Along the Garden Route, between George and Sedgefield lies Wilderness, a quiet town with some beautiful beaches. While many people pass through the seemingly sleepy town on their way to Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, it’s a wonderful stop along the Garden Route on any road trip.

Wilderness has a few tricks up its sleeve. Besides the long stretch of beach which just begs to be walked along, there are some great places eat out. On a recent trip, my partner and I wandered around the town to find a place to have dinner. A chalk board proclaiming: “We serve the world’s best ribs” immediately grabbed our attention and, being suckers for ribs, decided we’d found our restaurant for the evening.

Cocomo is a Caribbean-themed bar and restaurant in the middle of Wilderness. Well, on its only road populated with restaurants to be precise.

It turned out to be the ideal refuge after a long day in the sun and its cocktail menu was a show-stopper. As reggae hummed in the background, we appreciated the island atmosphere the restaurant provides. Cocomo has a laidback vibe. The seating inside has a retro touch. There are picnic tables and benches in the outside area and an open fire to keep you warm on chilly nights. Live music can also be enjoyed on occassion. 

When our first cocktails arrived I could tell the barman really knew his stuff. He had proudly told us that he really likes to make beautiful cocktails and what he presented to us certainly proved his point.

The "Island Dream" came in an icy glass and its red and orange concoction was topped off by a tower of blue ice – it was quite a sight. I was told off by the barman because the cocktail I had ordered (a Strawberry Woo Woo) wasn’t pretty enough. This didn’t stop him from making it… or it from being delicious!

The menu at Cocomo is very varied, with everything from salads and pizzas to curry and their world-famous ribs. The ribs were indeed some of the best in the world. The aroma of the sticky, sweet sauce was enough to make me jealous I hadn’t ordered them myself and the succulent meat only rubbed salt in the wound. My meal, however, was also excellent: tender chicken breast in a creamy harissa sauce with rice and vegetables. It was clear that whoever was in the kitchen also knew what they were doing. 

Besides the wonderful food and cocktails, Cocomo offers something else – really friendly locals. Along the Garden Route, it’s easy to be annoyed by tourist traps and people looking to make a quick buck off foreigners but this restaurant is a genuine beach bar; a local hangout with laidback, friendly staff, great coctails and excellent value-for-money food.


Tel: 044 877 0808 




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