Pretoria has a handful of beloved markets that have been around for decades, but there are some new kids on the block too. Here’s our list of the capital’s best markets – both inner-city and suburban – where food lovers can gather for farm-fresh produce, ready-made street food, music and more.
Capital Urban Market was the first of the new guard to spot the potential of a young market crowd. It has recently found a permanent home in Menlyn on the first Sunday of the month from 10am to 2pm. The gathering is as much about design as about food, with the aim to bring together a creative crowd that covers all the bases. Guests can catch a hot breakfast with great coffee, a mid-morning snack or a more substantial lunch, or just stick around to sip drinks with friends while listening to vibrant young musicians.
Open every Saturday morning, this more established market is already in its sixth year. Loyal followers come to snack rather than buy produce to take home. In a city with a diplomatic base, you can find anything from Balkan burgers to Indian sauces, plus usual market fare of flowers in full bloom, fresh breads, cheeses, fudge, fish skewers or beef sosaties and the odd organic veg. It’s all about modern and sassy deli food but the more traditional fare will also steal hearts.
This market is part of the Cool Capital initiative, which is about revitalising the city and its centre. Showcasing food as well as art, design and music, this Saturday morning hangout moves like a pop-up between different venues to showcase Pretoria architecture and some forgotten treasures with untapped potential. Since its opening in October 2014, it has been held at 012Central, the Pretoria Country Club, Fountains Valley and the old Pretoria Fire Station, where it will be held again on 29 August 2015. (Parking is available at the Ditsong Museum on the corner of Bosman and Visagie.) A vibe is created with gourmet coffee, craft beer, fine wines, cocktails and food made by up-and-coming chefs. It runs every last Saturday of the month from 11am to 6pm with special pop-up markets in-between. There is an entrance fee of R20 for adults (kids have free access).
This Saturday market is a new extension of Market on Main in Johannesburg. Only a few months old, the Pretoria market has a goal to promote the inner-city lifestyle. Guests hang out with craft beer and burgers, cappuccino and cheesecake, or soup and buns, or rumble through artworks and cool clothes from 10am to 3pm. Like its Joburg sibling, the market is taking a while to gather steam, but as soon as the city’s chic crowd catches on, it will be up and away.
This monthly banting market, held at the Pretoria Botanical Gardens, is going from strength to strength, with future dates set for the following upcoming Saturdays: 12 September, 10 October, 7 November, 5 December and 9 January. Guests can shop from 9am to 1pm, and entrance is free (follow the signs to the end of the parking lot). Since its inception, the market has doubled in size, with a strictly banting-themed selection including everything sugar-free, low-carb, high-fat and without artificial additions or preservatives. The eat-there range includes omelettes, sosaties, chicken and beef wraps, cheesecake, steak focaccias, pizzas, pork ribs, Chinese stir-fry, sandwiches and sugar-free ice cream. You will also find pre-mixed bread, muffins, cakes, raw products (xylitol, almond flour, etc), nuts and nut butters, pesto, frozen meals, cheese, goat’s milk products, fresh organic veggies and more.
Situated at Pioneer Museum in Silverton, this market is open from 5.30am to 9.30am for the early birds. The produce is plentiful and, if you’re a regular latecomer, you can usually ask for specific items to be kept for you. Fill your shopping baskets with the basics like fresh meat, vegetables, plants, roses and other flowering shrubs as well as a good selection of cheese (from chevre to cheddar), the best yogurt (Hijke) in town, and mushrooms harvested the previous day. Then move on to treats like freshly baked cupcakes, hot pancakes and Lucky Bread Company’s rye or baguette, or go back in time to your childhood on the farm with a cuppa and some melkkos or kaiings.
We know there loads of great markets in Pretoria. Tell us about your favourites in the comments section below.