South Africa is a haven for foodie travelers, and aside from delicious cuisine found around every corner, there are tons of unusual experiences all involving—you guessed it—food. We’ve selected the best of the bunch to ensure you taste all that this magical country has to offer.
This is a culinary experience not to be missed, as Dlala Nje takes curious visitors on a tour of a lifetime in Yeoville, Johannesburg. The area is saturated with culture and the tour combines architecture and amazing views with some of the most interesting dishes you’ll ever taste. Visit a Congolese village, a West African inspired market (where you can pick up some mopani worms), and a Cameroonian eatery. Wear comfy shoes and bring cash in case you’d like to buy any extras.
Paarl’s beautiful Spice Route Destination is a carefully curated collection of artisanal venues all situated on a scenic estate, perfect for a delicious day out. Here you can stock up on biltong, charcuterie, cakes, chocolates, wine, spices, and much more. You’ll also be able to see artisans in action as they make everything from preserves and sweets to alcoholic spirits. And while you’re here, don’t skip a visit to The Trading Company and Red Hot Glass to get your hands on unique décor items.
Muisbosskerm in Lambert’s Bay is the place to go for the freshest, tastiest seafood in the country. Mussels, crayfish, and more are prepared on open grills and accompanied by local condiments like potato yeast bread and hanepootkorrelkonfyt (a sweet grape jam perfect served with fish). Once everything’s cooked, guests help themselves and find a comfy spot to enjoy the buffet spread.
Apart from dining with sharks, there’s much more to explore in Durban. The city is well known for its large Indian community, and its markets, restaurants, and street vendors are where you’ll find the best curries, bunny chows, and spices this side of, well, India. Head to Victoria Street Market for the best of the best and a punch of culture and tradition.
The colorful Bo Kaap in Cape Town is all about Cape Malay culture and cuisine, and what better way to experience it than on a cooking tour? Since being brought to South Africa from the Dutch East Indies in the 17th and 18th centuries, the flavorful and spicy, yet mild, cuisine has become an integral part of the country’s foodie scene. On the Bo Kaap Cooking Tour, you’ll learn about the history and culture as well as how to fold samosas and mix the perfect Masala spice.
South Africa is a meat-loving country, and it’s one of few places where you’ll find a restaurant serving everything from beef to crocodile. Meat is skewered on Masaai swords and grilled on an open fire, and the best part is that you can eat as much as you like. Go with an open mind and taste as many of the dishes of possible, and then get seconds of your favorites.