Braai at Mzolis
Though the influx of tourists to this informal butchery and eatery in Cape Town’s Gugulethu township means it’s far from the authentic window into local culture that many outsiders claim it to be, there are still plenty of reasons for foodies to visit. Firstly, you get to pick out your raw meat from the display fridge at the entrance. Staff then baste it with a special sauce and send it to the back, where a team cooks it to perfection over open flames. While doing so, you’re free to drink your own alcoholic beverages on the covered courtyard. When the meat eventually arrives, most people just get stuck in without knifes, forks, and little more than a side serving of pap, a local dish made out of grounded maize. It’s a high intensity experience from start to finish, and though many are quick to point out it lacks authenticity, meat-eating foodies will revel in the simplistic charm.
Ny 115, Guguletu, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 (0)21 638 1355
Pick your own vegetables in a picturesque city farm
Though today it’s a thriving urban centre, Cape Town has a rich history of fruit and vegetable farming. With the arrival of the first settlers in the mid-1600s a small farm sprung up in what is now called the Company’s Garden, in order to provide fresh produce to passing sailors. Though many of these farms fell away when the city expanded, there’s been a reinvigoration of this tradition in recent years. Today you can walk a small version of the original farm in the Company’s Garden, and also pick up fresh fruit and vegetables at urban farms created to provide homeless people with gainful employment. But the flagship of all recently revitalised farms is the Oranjezicht City Farmers Market. There you can walk the tranquil grounds of this suburban farm, take in the views, and for a donation, pick your own ingredients at source.
Rustic seafood buffet on the beach
If rustic seafood is your thing, and you’re looking for an altogether unique dining experience, head out to the popular Strandloper restaurant near Langebaan. There you’ll find an informal beach restaurant that serves up a wide range of the freshest seafood. Cooks prepare most of the seafood on open flames in the middle of the restaurant, and there’s no limit to how much you’re allowed to eat, with the exception of the grand crayfish finale. This is the antithesis of a fine dining restaurant, and the quality ingredients and laid-back charm make it one of the country’s most celebrated foodie experiences.
Langebaan, Western Cape, South Africa, +27 (0) 22 772 2490
The ultimate chocolate experience
Cape Town has no shortage of options for the sweet-toothed foodies out there. Honest Chocolate was one of the first artisanal chocolate shops to pop up in the Cape Town CBD, and they’re still one of the best. There you’ll find a wide range of high-end chocolate goods – both to takeaway and to eat in the store. There’s a cafe that serves up some delectable items, and the knowledgable staff is on hand to answer any questions you might have about their chocolate making processes. Foodies who want to get their hands dirty can also embark on a 90 minute bonbon workshop. And if you’re there after dark, the back courtyard transforms into a painfully hip gin bar serving up some of the best cocktails in a truly unique location.
64A Wale St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 (0) 76 765 8306
Walk the crowded aisles of a gourmet food market
Cape Town is home to several food markets, some better than others. If you want quality food in a foodie-focused environment, then the original is probably the best. The Old Biscuit Mill, open on Saturday mornings, has several dozen food vendors who create a range of local and international dishes. Though its often overrun by hungover travellers, and the prices tend to be on the high side, if you’re looking to sample some of the city’s best street-food style delicacies in an energetic and vibrant location, you can’t go wrong with a quick visit.
375 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 (0) 21 447 8194
Dine at the country’s most internationally awarded restaurant
Also at the Old Biscuit Mill is the country’s most internationally laud