The Best Gatsby Shops In Cape Town

Fish and chip gatsby © Ian Barbour/Flickr
Fish and chip gatsby © Ian Barbour/Flickr
Photo of Lee-Shay Collison
12 December 2016

A gatsby is Cape Town’s answer to a greasy fry up, and is one of the city’s tastiest, budget-friendly foods. It consists of a long bread roll filled with a range of ingredients and cut into four pieces, making it easier to eat by hand. Gatsbys are generally served at local fast food shops and corner stores in the Cape Flats area but can also be found in the CBD. They resemble a submarine sandwich, albeit tastier and greasier, and are especially enjoyed after a boozy night out. Typical fillings include polony, steak, vienna sausage, fried egg and calamari topped with a gracious serving of slap chips. Read on for our guide to the best gatsby shops in Cape Town.

History of the Gatsby

The delicious sandwich originated in the Cape Flats around four decades ago, and was a cheap and filling meal for families, factory workers and laborers. Over the years, many locals have laid claim to the super sandwich, but without solid proof these stories are mere hearsay. The name of the meal, however, is believed to be inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel, The Great Gatsby, due to its association with ‘excess’. What we do know is that the gatsby is a cultural symbol of Cape Town, and is best enjoyed with friends and family.

The Golden Dish

Restaurant, Fast Food, Halal, South African, Soul Food, $$$
The Golden Dish has been serving delicious fast food to the community of Athlone for over 40 years. While they serve a variety of halal sandwiches, curries, grills and savories, their most popular dish is the gatsby, of which there are 30 varieties. Be sure to try the ultimate gatsby – a ‘Full House’, containing masala steak, egg, cheese, chips and salad.

Cosy Corner

Diner, Fast Food, Halal, Steakhouse, South African, Soul Food, $$$
Gatsby sandwich | © HelenOnline / Wikipedia

If you’re feeling ravenous and find yourself in the suburb of Wynberg, there is only one place to go: Cosy Corner. As the name suggests, Cosy Corner is situated on the corner of two roads in Wynberg, around a 20-minute drive from Cape Town. This bustling, family-owned restaurant is regarded as a local institution, having served the community since 1973. Food wise, Cosy Corner has quite a vast menu so there is something for all tastes and budgets. They are especially famous for their grills, curries, salomies and gatsbys, regularly attracting patrons from around the Cape Peninsula. There are 11 gatsby options to choose from, prepared in half or full portions and served with chips. We recommend that you try their famous Full House masala or chargrilled rump steak gatsby.

Farm Stall Takeaways

Restaurant, Fast Food, Halal, South African, Soul Food
Steak and cheese gatsby
Steak and cheese gatsby | © Shiful Raj/WikiCommons

Farm Stall Takeaway’s delicious gatsbys are served with a range of fillings, including masala steak and egg, Russian sausage and egg, fish, and chicken mayo. Like its counterparts, Farmstall gatsbys come with chips and salad.

Bona Fast Food

Restaurant, Fast Food, South African, Soul Food, Vegetarian, Vegan
Bona Fast Foods
Bona Fast Foods | © Lee-Shay Collison

Bona Fast Food serves the best gatsbys in south-eastern Cape Town. The takeaway shop is situated in Grassy Park, one of the rougher neighborhoods of Cape Town, so it is advisable to visit this area with a local if you’re from out of town. You won’t regret visiting, however, as they serve one of the tastiest steak gatsbys in town.

Super Fisheries

Restaurant, Fast Food, Vegetarian, Vegan
Gatsby for lunch
Gatsby for lunch | © Warren Rohner/WikiCommons

Super Fisheries is owned by Rashaad Pandy, who is widely believed to be the inventor of the Cape Town gatsby. The busy takeaway store serves the freshest fish and chips and gatsbys with the usual delicious fillings. Pandy says his most popular gatsby remains the original polony gatsby, costing only R32 ($2.30).

Aneesa's Takeaways

Restaurant, Fast Food, Halal, South African, Soul Food, $$$

Established in 1976, Aneesa’s have grown from a little family-owned corner store into a well-known fast food business with four branches in the southern suburbs and greater Cape Town area. Although known as the ‘home of the vienna and chips parcel’, Aneesa’s serve 11 gatsby varieties. Stand-outs include the mutton gatsby cooked in oriental-style curry and the grilled chicken gatsby in a delicious barbecue sauce.

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