Friday, October 1, 2010

Gourmet Markets of Cape Town

One of the most enjoyable Cape Town attractions is to spend a lazy Saturday or Sunday paying a visit to one of the many markets that are to be found in the various suburbs of our city. Although we have some very old markets; the modern trend is for lifestyle and food markets which attract many visitors seeking good quality fresh home produce.

The Neighbourgoods market is situated in the Old biscuit Mill in Woodstock, just outside Cape Town city. This market is the undoubted leader, and by far the largest, in Cape Town, and features over 100 traders offering artisan bakes, fresh produce, plants and herbs, handmade cheeses, preserved meats and a wide variety of fine food and produce with the emphasis on fresh organic foods and locally produced specialities. You will also find offerings from small wine estates and micro-breweries to enjoy with your choice of things to eat. Some fashion, jewellery, designer furniture and clothing stalls are also available. It is always popular, vibrant and crowded. The downside of this very popular market is that parking is very difficult to find, unless you go very early, and it has become a little pricey. When/Where : The Old biscuit mill 373-375 Albert Street Woodstock, Saturdays 9 am to 2 pm

The Earth Fair Market, Tokai seems to have recognised the opportunity to offer similar fine quality comestibles to the southern part of the Cape Peninsula and has been successful since being established just over a year ago. This market is much smaller, but more welcoming. As you enter you will be faced with the choice of fresh vegetable or fruit juices as well as a choice speciality beers and wine. The number and variety of stalls has been carefully limited and the centre of the hall is dominated by convenient tables and chairs as well as bales of hay where one can sit and enjoy a meal or a snack. Here you will find a delectable range of home produced delicacies including a selection of tasty pies, farm cheeses, bbq meat and kebabs (sosaties) speciality sausages and meat, fresh and smoked fish, organic and farm fresh produce artisan breads and cakes and bakes, olives and preserves, gourmet pizza and crepes, curries and delightful take home meals. It seems that friends and families have discovered that this is a great place to gather and enjoy a different meal each time in an informal environment. Spoil yourself on a Saturday morning with a breakfast pizza or crepe with great coffee ! Plus factor- no parking problems, and not too crowded. When/Where : South Palms (next to Builders Warehouse in Steenberg Main Rd, and is open on Wednesdays 3-8 pm, and Saturdays 9am-2pm

Triangle Square market : Noordhoek/Sun Valley. This food market has moved from its original location in sleepy Fish Hoek to the Sun Valley mall. On offer are a range of fresh and organic produce, freshly baked pies, cakes and cookies, artisan breads, delicious homemade filled pastas (think Portabello mushroom tortellini, Spinach and Ricotta panzeroti), olives and olive products including delicious Tapenade, smoked fish and pates, relishes and chutneys. One stall holder claims to be the great granddaughter of the famous Mrs. Balls, whose chutney fame has spread all over the globe with the South African diaspora, who also claims the mass produced product is no longer true to the original and she offers the “real” stuff. Finish your visit with a platter of meze, inspired by the Levant; delicious and healthy. This market is within strolling distance of our self-catering cottages, and we encourage our guests to enjoy the fine food and produce on offer. When/Where : Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. Sun Valley Mall, Noordhoek. The stall holders also operate in the Long Beach Mall on a Wednesday morning

Kalk Bay Fresh Etc Market is situated opposite the sea in a pretty 1906 double storey building. With only 20-25 stalls and its enviable position overlooking the sea and a large parking lot, the market is promoted as being small and personal and a great opportunity to hang out with friends or make a few new ones. On a recent Spring day visit, we found very little of interest on offer, not much choice and not many customers, in spite of the offered great opportunity to hang out on the centre’s balcony while savouring the food and watch out for whales in the bay opposite. We did enjoy the vegetarian Biryani, along with Samosas which was the best food on offer. Perhaps the summer weather and influx of tourists to this popular coastal village will improve the market’s fortunes. If you go and don’t find too much, be consoled by the wide range of restaurants and shops that line the main Road of Kalk Bay which can beguile you to spend the day. Where/When: Community Centre, Kalk Bay, Cape Town; 3rd Sunday of every month from 10am to 3 pm

Simonstown Lifestyle Market at Southern Right hotel : This new market is billed as offering arts, crafts, home bakes, produce, preserves and clothing, and has only recently opened. In spite of the signage and newspaper ads and our knowing the Southern Right hotel so well, it was difficult to even find the market, which we finally located in the back of the hotel. Our visit took just 10 minutes as there was little of interest on offer. The available space is limited for growth and perhaps the best thing to do, is sit on the hotel deck with a cold beer enjoying the view with a plate of local seafood- which is perhaps what the promoters intended, along with their fibreglass Southern Right whale tail that has been planted in the sea opposite. Where/When : Southern Right hotel and restaurant, Glencairn Simonstown, Saturdays 9:30 am to 3 pm

Solole Reserve Market : The Southern peninsula boasts its own Game Reserve at Solole, and is now promoting a new market for local producers of food and crafts as well as wine producers. To encourage families they will have a range of activities for kids. This market will commence on 3 October from 11 am to 4 pm. Where : Kommetjie Road, Capri.

All of these markets can be found within a short drive from our self catering Cape Town accommodation and add to the enjoyment of your Cape Town holiday

By : affordable Cape Town accommodation


  1. I see you also made it to the list of GO oversees, top blogs of SA!! Congratulations, you have a fun blog! Greetings from your 'colleague in Joburg'

  2. Hi Mireille
    Thanks for your kind comments. I will be sure to follow your interesting blog.

  3. We visited down south and there were Earth Fares there also. We loved them! We went and got our daily glass of carrot juice, and enjoyed dinner from the "deli" bar aka veggie bar.

  4. Hi Dennis!
    Love your blog - I've just become your latest follower! We just discovered a new market our side of the mountain, they have it every Sunday at the Eden on the Bay Mall at Big Bay, Bloubergstrand. We'll be checking it out this Sunday for the first time - will give you feedback!

    You're welcome to come say hi at my blog -

  5. Hi Emilene. Thanks for your compliment, and for the news about the new market. I will check it out soon. It is exciting to see so many good new ones springing up. Try the new one at Constantia too.