After going to hundreds of food-and-booze events this year, the FM and Business Day’s Wanted magazine rounded up their epicurean highlights for 2018. We’ve dished out the kudos where they’re due, and hopefully helped you make your dining and drinking choices (fancy or not) incredibly simple. The pleasure was all ours.

FAVOURITE BAKED GOODS: TONKA BEAN BAKERY, Fourways, Joburg

The almond croissants here are clearly made from fairy-dust dreams and butter — lots of butter.

FAVOURITE ICE CREAM: UNFRAMED, Gardens, Cape Town

If we have to scream for ice cream, then we’re hollering at this Cape Town hipster stronghold. Its ever-expanding selection of largely vegan options is a revelation.

FAVOURITE BREAKFAST WITH A VIEW: EAST HEAD CAFÉ, Knysna

It has one of the best views on the Garden Route and offers delightful breakfasts in every form and calorie count. Oh, and its service is morning brightening.

FAVOURITE HANGOVER FOOD: CLARKE’S BAR & DINING ROOM, city bowl, Cape Town

The fried-chicken burger situation is manna from heaven when everything else feels like hell.

BEST-KEPT SECRET: BANCHAN, Parkmore, Sandton

Nothing warms the heart like a bowl of Korean noodles from this tiny, authentic spot. It puts the pseudo-Asian places to shame.

FAVOURITE TAKEOUT: THE LEOPARD, Milpark, Joburg

The little buzz bike that delivers pata plate wraps and vigour bowls is a godsend that not even EFF protesters can keep away.

FAVOURITE JOBURG RESTAURANT: FARRO, Illovo, Joburg

This glittering new star of the SA food scene has shaken things up with its oft-changing casual fine dining.

FAVOURITE JOURNO HANGOUT: BLIND TIGER CAFÉ, Parkview, Joburg

Got a scoop? A pitch? You know where to find us.

FAVOURITE DEADLINE TIPPLE: Kamiki

It got us through the best of times and the worst of times. Our mismatched cups and mugs ran over with this sterling Japanese whisky.

FAVOURITE COFFEE: FATHER COFFEE, Braamfontein, Joburg

It’s a contentious decision. Fight us.

FAVOURITE WINE YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF: Silwervis, Smiley Chenin Blanc

It tastes like the sea, there’s a sheep’s head on the label, and the winemaker wears a kilt. What more do you need?

FAVOURITE BUBBLES: Paul René MCC Brut Rosé

In terms of homegrown bubbles, you can’t do better than Paul René. Fruity, dry and wonderful.

FAVOURITE SOCIAL MEDIA FOOD PORN: @Veldandsea

Every photo is a moment of lush wonder beckoning you to the sea.

FAVOURITE WINE BAR: PUBLIK, Gardens, Cape Town

Because it sells the aforementioned sheep’s head chenin and other delightful small-batch wines. And its spot off Kloof Nek Road is a Cape Town decompression chamber.

BEST-LOOKING CHEF: Ryan Cole

Let’s just say, you do not have to go to Salsify for the ridiculously good food only.

FAVOURITE DURBS VIBES: AL FIRENZE, Umhlanga

Don’t forget about KZN. This is proper home-style Italian deliciousness.

FAVOURITE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: SAINT, Sandton, Joburg

Art on the ceiling, art on the plate — who knew pizza could be this fancy?

FAVOURITE SEAT IN TOWN: ON THE PASS AT THE TEST KITCHEN, Woodstock, Cape Town

We know the right people — what can we say?

FAVOURITE INNOVATION: WOLFGAT, Paternoster

You have to drive far for it, but this excellent and unpretentious fare is worth the effort.

FAVOURITE FOR ECOLOGICAL VIBES: James Diack

Diack brings his farm to several tables and can be applauded for every well-loved and truly sustainable ingredient. More of this, please.

FAVOURITE BLOW-THE-BUDGET DINNER RESTAURANT: MOSAIC, Elandsfontein, Pretoria

Best you book a Byzantine-like room and stay the night. Between the magical food bonanza and the never-ending cellar, you won’t make it to anywhere else.

FAVOURITE CAPE TOWN RESTAURANT: LA TÊTE, city bowl, Cape Town

Chef Giles Edwards excels with his chicken hearts, devilled kidneys and brains on toast.