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A Guide to Cape Town's Old Biscuit Mill

Picture of Lee-Shay Collison
Updated: 19 June 2017
Situated in a 19th-century factory, The Old Biscuit Mill is one of Cape Town’s must-visit attractions. Well loved by locals and tourists alike, the Mill is a bustling hub where people come together to eat, drink, shop and have an all-round great time.

The Old Biscuit Mill is a vibrant little market situated in the heart of Woodstock, a burgeoning design and foodie hub located a mere 10 minutes from the city center.

The Mill occupies an old red-brick factory that has been transformed into an emporium of designer stores, craft shops, service providers and restaurants.

Every Saturday, visitors flock to the Neighbourgoods Market where you’ll find an assortment of vendors offering fashion, art and local food, from freshly baked bread to gourmet sandwiches, organic vegetables, wine, craft beer and more.

Artisanal food on sale at the Neighbourgoods Market, Old Biscuit Mill
Artisanal food on sale at the Neighbourgoods Market, Old Biscuit Mill | © Gerrit Vermeulen/Flickr

It is a great place to enjoy a scrumptious breakfast or lunch in a vibrant atmosphere. If you plan on visiting over the weekend, be sure to get there early as it can get quite crowded, especially on Saturdays.

The Old Biscuit Mill boasts a few excellent restaurants, serving everything from gourmet burgers to Italian fare. The most well known of these is undoubtedly The Test Kitchen, rated the best restaurant in South Africa and listed at number 22 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list (2016).

The fine-dining establishment is run by award-winning chef Luke Dale-Roberts, and offers 10-course gourmand, vegetarian and pescatarian menus in a contemporary setting. The cuisine is inventive and delicious, featuring bold Asian and South African flavors. As would be expected of such a highly reputed restaurant, prices are not cheap but the experience is totally worthwhile. Table bookings are done every three months, so if you’re planning to go, be sure to book well in advance.

Courtesy of Old Biscuit Mill
Courtesy of Old Biscuit Mill

A great alternative to the Test Kitchen is The Pot Luck Club (also run by Luke Dale-Roberts) which offers a tapas-style menu with an emphasis on sharing. The Pot Luck Club is situated at the top of the old silo and boasts sweeping views of Woodstock, the harbor and Table Mountain. Pre-bookings are also required here as the buzzing restaurant offers two sittings per night.

For wine lovers, the Wine At The Mill specialty shop offers an impressive selection of boutique wines from around the country. If you’re a fan of chocolate, visit the Cocoafair chocolate factory for decadent hand-crafted chocolate made from organic cocoa beans. The company hosts regular tasting tours so patrons can observe their chocolatiers in action and sample a few pieces before purchasing. After you’ve had your chocolate fix, get a steaming cup of coffee from Espresso Lab Microroasters, who offer an impressive selection of specialty brews from South America and Africa.

Shopping wise, there are several fashion, décor and gift shops to peruse such as Plush Bazaar and Phoenix Design, where you can purchase beautiful handmade items, from ceramics to clothing, antiques and furniture.

A South African design - a wine serving table by Haldane Martin © Haldane Martin/Flickr
A South African furniture design – a wine serving table by Haldane Martin | © Haldane Martin/Flickr

If shopping doesn’t interest you, the Mill is also home to the wildly popular HintHunt game — an exhilarating live escape game where participants must solve a series of puzzles and mysteries within 60 minutes to get out of a locked room.

That’s not all — the Mill also plays host to festivals and events on a regular basis, so check out their Facebook page for updates during your stay. With so much to see, eat and do, you’ll definitely want to go back time and again.