Cape Town has seen a surge in food markets in recent years. They offer a welcome reprieve from the formal setting of city restaurants, and offer you the chance to kick back and enjoy time with friends and family in a relaxed setting. But don’t think this means you’re compromising on quality – the food items produced at these markets are all fresh, locally made and often unlike anything you’ll find in nearby stores and restaurants. Here are the best food markets to explore in Cape Town.
The Bay Harbour Market is a veritable feast of food and drink, arts and crafts, fashion, beauty products and live music, all under one roof. The market is housed in a refurbished fish factory in the working harbour of Hout Bay, and features more than 80 stalls offering everything from fresh mussels to freshly brewed coffee. Enjoy a variety of delicious eats while sipping on superb wine or craft beer on tap. Meanwhile, established and up-and-coming musicians provide a live soundtrack.
The V&A Food Market is located in the historic pump house adjacent to Nobel Square in the popular V&A Waterfront. The buzzing market boasts a variety of stalls offering an array of yummy street food, craft beer, baked goods, ice cream and more. The market is open seven days a week from mid-morning until early evening, which means there’s always time to pop by for a delicious meal after shopping.
The City Bowl Market on Hope Street in the Cape Town CBD is the place to be for foodies every Thursday evening from 4.30 to 8.30 pm. There are approximately 30 stalls to choose from, each offering a range of cuisine from around the world. Indulge in Argentinian empanadas, authentic Durban-style curry, gourmet hot dogs, delicious salads and more, not forgetting the array of sweet treats for dessert lovers. A weekly live band adds to the upbeat atmosphere of the market, and on the last Thursday of the month they add fashion stalls to the mix, bringing you a selection of local clothing and jewellery in addition to food and drink.
Situated a short distance from the CBD at The Old Biscuit Mill, the Neighbourgoods Market is a vibrant platform for micro-merchants, designers, specialty producers and traders from around the city. Stop by for breakfast or lunch and choose from a delicious range of food — there’s something for all tastes and dietary requirements. The market is open every Saturday from 9 am until 3 pm, come rain or shine.
Held every Saturday at Granger Bay in the V&A Waterfront, the Oranjezicht City Farm Market is a community farmers-style market for independent local farmers and artisanal food producers. Here, customers can do their weekly food shopping for fresh fruit and vegetables, organic dairy products, home-baked bread, free-range eggs and more. You can also try some of the delicious cooked and raw foods on offer if you fancy a break from cooking. There are also edible plants and seedlings as well as compost and gardening supplies on sale.
The Earth Fair Food Market offers a wide range of pasture-reared and ethically farmed animal products and fresh produce shopping from more than 40 traders. Pick and choose from delicious artisanal cheeses and cured meats, dried fruit, craft beers and home-baked goods. Grab a bite to eat while you enjoy great live music by some of Cape Town’s top bands. The Earth Fair Food Market is located in the South Palms Centre in the suburb of Tokai, a 30-minute drive from Cape Town. The market is open on Wednesdays from 3 pm to 8.30 pm and on Saturdays from 9 am until 2 pm. You can also catch a pop-up version of the market in St George’s Mall in the City Centre on Thursdays from 11 am until 3 pm.
If you feel like escaping the city, plan a day trip to the Lourensford Market in the beautiful suburb of Somerset West. The bustling market is set on the scenic Lourensford Wine Estate, which is situated on the slopes of the Hottentots Holland Mountain Range. There are more than 70 stalls to browse, which offer everything from delectable food and art and crafts to organic and artisanal produce. You can also enjoy a glass of the estate’s superb selection of wines or in-house craft beer to complement your food. There is weekly live music and fun entertainment for kids, and pets are also welcome. The market is open every Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm and on alternate Fridays from 4 pm to 9 pm.
Set in the heart of the Cape Winelands, Root 44 is situated on the R44 route between Somerset West and Stellenbosch. The market is housed in large marquees surrounded by rolling vineyards and trees, providing shady areas in which to relax. Satisfy rumbling tummies with wood-fired pizza, traditional roosterkoek (grilled bread), biltong, healthy salads, sandwiches, spicy curries and more. Take-home products include olive oils, cured and smoked meats and freshly baked goods, while shopping enthusiasts can browse the wide selection of craft, fashion and homeware stalls. There’s also weekly live entertainment and a play park for children. Dogs on leashes are welcome.