A backdrop of mountains and green valleys almost anywhere you go, turquoise coasts with cold waters and the farmers markets and night markets are the highlights of my trip to Cape Town.
When we landed in Cape Town we didn’t have a ton of time before nightfall and set on a walk to the Oranjezicht district at the base of Table Mountain. We had read that on the first Wednesday of each month, a garden opened its doors and allowed a pick your own experience. Not like the endless amounts of fruit pickings I had done in Pennsylvania or the vast apple orchards in California, but a small garden about the size of a large city plot of land was sitting below mountains with a view of the ocean. We were toured by Jamie, one of the volunteers on where we could pick. Off we headed down the tiny rows, harvesting bunches of carrots, spinach, sprigs of rosemary and thyme, broad beans, radish and lettuce.
This view into the garden of Oranjezicht was only a peep through the keyhole of the market scene in CT.
Markets are the thing to do for local capetonians, with several hoods boasting one of their own. From produce to hearty meals and take away desserts, it’s certainly a spot to feed your cultural and actual hunger. Chat with the locals to get their favorite spots in the neighborhood.
We touched on several markets in our week in the city and thought each one brought its own unique flavor to the table. Tip: go strapped with cash if you don’t have a South African bank card. They use Snap Card which won’t work with US banks.
Greeted by an art gallery with local artists’ work as you enter and a produce stand, I was eager to see what the dimly lit old church was going to offer. A craft beer sign constructed of pallets & decorated with fairy lights welcomed me and gave a good vibe. Beyond were long tables made of old doors with people sipping wine and beer and chewing down on good food with friends after work. There were cuisines for all palates and bellies. Whether you are, raw, vegan, a carnivore at heart, want to try some African homestyle meals or follow a “Banting” aka paleo diet, each stand offers something different and delectable. My vegan veggie nori roll from the EdoWrap stand was outstanding, the Phat Fox peanut butter ice cream was a nice non guilt dessert for the inner vegan. D and I split a meat and veggie plate from one of the African cuisine stands (me the veg and he the meat) and also sampled from other stands as well. If you’re looking for a chill Thursday evening vibe in Cape Town to get a bite to eat and even grab some groceries the hope street market will keep your spirits up, even on a rainy day.
Friday evenings: The Blue Garage Market: Muizenburg
We stopped by the Blue Garage Market in Muizenberg after a day exploring Simons town and spending hours chasing penguins at Boulders Beach. Starving as we arrived I was not happy to walk into an area selling clothing and jewelry. I though we had been misled and that this was just a craft market. Much to my stomach’s happiness was a room full of pallet crafted wooden stands with any type of food you could imagine. Pizzas, vegan, meat obsessed and even the health conscious can enjoy their dinner here. The bar is decently stocked with beer and wine and you can draw cash from them. There’s even a play area for kids. Space was right at the long wooden picnic communal tables so prepare to elbow your way into seating. As for food, I opted for a stand called Wild, which served all vegan food and was wowed by their gluten free vegan lasagna. I was also eyeing up the bunga bunga platters that were served on large wooden trays with huge piles of sweet potato chips, veggies and meat. If I weren’t a veggie and had about 300 people to share with, that would’ve been my go to. Get some sweet treats for the road if you feel so inclined, but I much preferred to taste the different vendors’ savories and save my dessert for our next stop. Now with my belly full I was quite excited to pass by a woman selling hoodies and purchased one for myself for the chilly evening. I always leave room in my bag for new clothes and my belly for dessert.
Friday evenings: The Range: Constantia
Located in the affluent section of Cape Town, The Range Market welcomes you under a white tent strung with fairy lights on the lawn behind a main building. It had similar food options to the other markets with the most abundant seating, this one also boasted fire pits. All that being said this one was the least intimate feeling and the only market where it was difficult to make connections and speak with the locals. Not to mention it felt like it was out in the middle of nowhere. However, if you’re looking for good food with less of a scene this is a market for you to check out.
Saturday mornings: V & A waterfront: Oranjezicht City Market
Stunning ocean views, a food bloggers prop stand dream, foodie heaven and the health and alternative food nut this market is the perfect meet up for a post Friday night brunch (mushrooms kebabs, waffles, Banting plates and vegan stands, yes please!) and spot to soak up some rays sipping your coconut turmeric latte, or if you prefer your coffee coffee, that can be done, too. Tents with prepared food vendors, produce markets, artisan crafts and artisan food vendors on a a mulch my ground make you feel like you’re far away from the buzzing city.
Post breakfast be sure to hit up the produce stands for some fresh local produce. This market is sponsored by the Oranjezicht City Farm and has been up and running for 3 years.
highlights: Thank Goodness Foods serves raw, vegan, and gluten-free desserts free from refined sugars. Their Omega 6 granola is one of the best things I bought at any of the markets. So, in a nutshell, go here!
Monday to Saturday: The Old Biscuit Mill: Ottery
On Saturday morning, we were wavering between here and the Oranjezicht Market and were so glad that we chose the Oranjezicht Market when we learned that this one had stores open 6 days/week. We did miss the Saturday produce addition and a few friends have told us it’s great. We will have to believe them. We did go on a weekday morning to a cafe called Saucelisse which had incredible breakfasts with vegan and paleo options. Hooray! They even had almond and coconut milk for lattes and cappuccinos! Double hooray! The owner was very friendly and we enjoyed chatting with her about some of the foods and goods she sells, such as reusable straws and reusable bags along with some natural treats like chocolate macaroons that were vegan and refined sugar free. Yes, we were happy. She even talked about how she didn’t eat meat 5 days per week to make an effort to be more eco-conscious. She was also decorating a vegan chocolate almond butter Oreo cake for a customer! We loved the food, the friendly atmosphere and the sustainable intentions of this small cafe!