How to eat like a local in Cape Town

Anyone can find a restaurant in a new city, but do you know how to find the good food spots?

Nestled beneath the monumental Table Mountain is Cape Town, a port city in the southwest of South Africa. Their rich history is reflected in the local food, with unique, flavoursome ingredients luring travellers from all over the world. While South Africa continues to be a popular holiday destination, the local food is where you get the added bonus. Whether you're planning to visit the city or just want to broaden your food horizons, we list the best local food in Cape Town. 

Stock up on snacks

Droëwors

Similar to cabanossi meat sticks, Droëwors is a dried, spiced sausage made usually from beef. Most of the time, you can find this South African snack in packets at almost any store on the street, being a firm local favourite. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Biltong

Similar to Droëwors, this typical Cape Town snack is strips of dried, salted and spiced meat. While beef is regularly used, it's also common to have springbok, kudu and ostrich biltong. While you'd probably pick up some biltong in a packet in most stores, the locals honour J&M Famous Biltong as being the best brand.

Rusks

While Italy has their Biscoti, Cape Town has their rusks - a small, round circle of bread served as a side to coffee or tea. Ouma's rusks are the favourite brand, coming in a variety of flavours such as buttermilk or condensed milk to add a bit of sweetness to your morning.

Follow the street food

Boerewors

If we know anything about Cape Town, is that they like their meat - and Boerewors is another addition. Also called, Farmer's Sausages, the South African cuisine is one sausage coiled into a swirl, and is cooked at most street vendors throughout Cape Town as a popular food. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Braai 

Having a "brai" is a common phrase in Cape Town, meaning coming together for a barbecue where you'll have Shisa nyama - an open grill to cook meat. And in Cape Town, there's a hotspot in Gugulethu where locals list as the best. Meet the masses at Mzoli’s where you can enjoy a variety of local food cooked in front of you, including boerewors, and braaibroodjies - tomato, onion and cheese sandwiches toasted over the fire.

The Love Sandwich 

While The Kitchen, in Sir Lowry Road was already a favourite amongst Cape Town locals, Michelle Obama put the spot on the map when she visited and experienced The Love Sandwich. As well as having a variety of salads, the Love Sandwich takes it away with its gammon centre and wide variety of salad fillings. 

Take the sea route

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Fish and chips

Get yourself an ocean view and sit down with some local fish and chips to take in the scenery. Look out to the vast open water at Snoekies in Hout Bay or enjoy a bit of adventure as you follow the trail to Kalky’s in Kalk Bay.

Snoek

Take advantage of Cape Town's big open waters and go for a spot of fishing to catch a snoek - a long, thin species of mackerel. The local fish is often grilled or smoked with apricot jam, and can also be used as a pate.

Make it to the market

Bay Harbour Market

Named the winner of the 'Best Weekend Market' award from Cape Town Exeriences Magazine in 2019,the market in Hout Bay is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the community and try local produce. The local tip is to meet there for breakfast to get the best of everything. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Cape Point Vineyards Community Market

Every Thursday evening, pop down to the Cape Point markets to enjoy gourmet and artisan produce. Open from 4.30pm, get down early to get a seat on the grass to watch the sun go down over the water. 

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