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SA’s must-visit food markets

Whether you’re after farm-fresh organic vegetables, artisan breads or a good old-fashioned cinnamon pancake, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for at your local gathering of foodie stalls. Here is your guide to the best markets in South Africa.

Ma Mere products at Neighbourgoods Market. Photo supplied.

Ma Mere products at Neighbourgoods Market. Photo supplied.

 

Johannesburg

1 Fox Market Shed (Newtown)
Open: Fridays midday to 8pm, Saturdays 10am to 7pm and Sundays 10am to 4pm. They also open for Night Fox on the last Friday of the month

The food market part of this operation has moved further north on the property, from the previous hangar-like shed to a relatively smaller one, next to the Mad Giant brewery. The Good Luck Bar still operates in the original space. Some new offerings have opened up: look out for Heroine’s Café for OTT desserts, Pionieri Pizza, and TG Soulfood, run by TopChef entrant Tyrone Geduld. There’s also Cadillac Jack with vintage-style burgers, Von Pickartz serving Belgian waffles, and Just Teddy’s scrumptious French-style pastries.

 

Blubird Whole Food Market (Birnam)
Open: Sundays 9am to 2pm

The organisers are strict about featuring foods without additives, preservatives or colourants. Don’t miss the much-awarded Belnori goat cheeses and The Superfood stand for coffees, shake mixes and cereal toppings. Culture Shock sells and demonstrates using home-growing kits; French and Italian cooks do demos; the pita stand is a hit, and Kitobo serves African soul food, often including tilapia and goat. Don’t leave without something from Marcia’s Cakes.

Bryanston Organic and Natural Market (Bryanston)
Open: Thursdays and Saturdays 9am to 3pm. Also open for moonlit markets on Tuesday evenings from mid-November to mid-December.

This is the granddaddy of all the outdoor Joburg markets, responsible for getting the organic-food ball rolling in the suburbs. It’s now a destination in itself, with more than 100 stalls. The organic produce section is as impressive as ever and regulars come to stock up for the week, bringing kids and meeting friends for coffee and lemon-meringue pie. Also look forward to four eateries, stalls selling vintage clothes, wood products, interesting jewellery and art; Braeside Butchery’s free-range, grass-fed meat patties and sausages; and a selection of pastas, cheeses, herbs, kombucha, nut butters, cakes and fudges. There’s usually live music too.

Croissants at the Bryanston Organic and Natural Market. Photo supplied.

Croissants at the Bryanston Organic and Natural Market. Photo supplied.

City Central (Joburg central)
Open: Mondays to Fridays for now, weekends in the future

This gorgeous, marble-halled indoor market is open every weekday, offering something novel for the inner city. Tuck into gourmet burgers, South African dim sum, curries, healthy juices and breakfast items, Mexican foods, fish and chips, edgy sandwiches, beautiful and unusual bakes. Head to Bridge Bookshop for organic coffee, grab a seat at Brass Bar with its view of the busy streets, or find a spot in the sunny courtyard.

Fordsburg Night Market (Fordsburg)
Open: Fridays, Saturdays from sundown

This addictive market offers the likes of refreshing coconut milk or sugar cane juice after a golden roti or scented biryani. On the recently upgraded square and along the street are stalls, shops and restaurants, with lantern lights and clashing tunes. Of course you’ll love the samoosas, but also try rose-flavoured sweetmeats and boiled peanuts. There’s food, accessories and spices from India, Pakistan, Afghan, and Syria.

Fourways Farmers Market (Fourways)
Open: Sundays 9am to 4pm

This large, almost village-like market boasts around 100 stalls, selling street-food favourites from Mexico, America, Germany and Holland, along with traditional South African dishes. There’s a lot for bouncing children to do plus music and bars, if that’s more your scene.

Some chilli poppers at The Fourways Farmer's Market. Photo supplied.

Some chilli poppers at The Fourways Farmer’s Market. Photo supplied.

Jozi Real Food Market (border Greenside and Parkhurst)
Open: Saturdays from 8.30am to 1.30pm

This market is a favourite for provisions shopping, with 40 stands placed throughout the gardens and fields. The farmers’ organic produce is always top of the shopping list, followed by fresh flowers, home-cured meat, bacon and trout. Ready-to-go options include hot bacon butties, traditional pork pies and breakfasts made with free-range eggs. Try a coffee from Green Bean roastery at Casalinga and make sure to get your shortbread and fantastic rusks early. The market is child- and dog-friendly.

Some baked treats at the Jozi Real Food Market. Photo supplied.

Some baked treats at the Jozi Real Food Market. Photo supplied.

Joziburg Lane (Inner city at No. One Eloff)
Open: Tuesday to Saturday, with open nights on Fridays

This stylish market’s secret is the careful curation by Gerald Garner and Lisa Walker, who learned by doing it all at The Sheds @ 1Fox first. The lane is lined with interesting studios and stalls, and there’s a huge sunny deck up above. Stalls are picked for their South African flavour, with a gourmet bias. Think small-batch, local craft beers, meaty meals by Braeside, loaded chips by Zombie Chefs, and Vietnamese iced coffee. Don’t miss Darling’s olive products or the perfect finger-licking rotis, created before your eyes.

Little Addis (Jeppe Street, City Centre)
Open: Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm

Also known as Little Ethiopia, this warren sprawls over a few buildings, up and down stairs and along passageways. It’s become a tourist destination, thanks to green and freshly roasted coffees and all the wondrous Ethiopian spices. Buy everything here, from berbere sauce, veggies, white cotton clothes and raffia products, to silver jewellery.

Locrate (Orlando West)
Open: first Sunday of the month, from mid-morning to late

This trendy market is real Instagram territory. You’ll find new designer clothing and vintage outfits, and the food is varied. Home food stands are justifiably well rated, often with a family baking, stewing and serving together. Also find sweets, mealie muffins, great cocktails, Balkan Burgers and Vuyo of Neighbourgoods fame, as well as splendid new food trucks. The music is great.

Market on Main (Maboneng)
Open: Sundays 10am to 3pm and on Main Street – First Thursdays 7pm to 11pm

This market still attracts visitors from Joburg and all parts of the world. Everyone wants to sit up on the gallery section above and look down on the olive courtyard and tables, drinking Smack! Republic beers. The stalls are all indoors and, be warned, it’s a raucous crush in there. You’ll find foods of Mexican, Cuban, Spanish and Italian extractions, along with proudly South African dishes like bunny chow or snoek on roosterbrood. It’s also a good place for Ethiopian and North African offerings and to find raw chocolate.

Market on Main. Photo supplied.

Market on Main. Photo supplied.

Melville Food & Farmers Market (Melville)
Open: Saturdays from early morning to after midday

Born on the rooftop of the Bamboo Centre, this cute little farmers’ market is now across the road from it, under the trees, set back from Carlow Road. Look out for Rosemary’s herbs, organic farmers with dew-fresh fruit and veggies, poultry items like whole, prepared ducks and eggs, and scrummy, imaginative pastries. Stallholders are Slow Food adherents, supplying items like heirloom seeds, probiotic snacks and powders, and wheat- and gluten-free treats.

Neighbourgoods Market (Braamfontein)
Open: Saturdays 9am to 3pm and First Thursday evenings

This branch of the Neighbourgoods Market has long forgotten its initial ties to Cape Tow, having plunged in its own direction. Its location means it’s trendy and crowded, purportedly admitting 4000 people a day. They stretch over two floors and the passageway of a sassy landmark Braamfontein building, with a façade designed by Edoardo Villa. Expect fresh oysters, paella from a giant pan, patisserie from the JHB Culinary School, as well as the major food truckers sans their trucks. A kind of late afternoon after-party overflows to The Bannister Hotel.

Sushi at the Neighbourgoods Market in Joburg. Photo supplied.

Sushi at the Neighbourgoods Market in Joburg. Photo supplied.

Vegan Market (border Greenside and Parkhurst)
Open: First Sundays 9am to 3pm

On the same premises as the Jozi Real food Market and linked through management, this very new Vegan Market has favourites like vegan cheeses and yoghurts, nut butters, essential seeds, supplements and super-foods, including various biltongs made of mushrooms and brinjal. Rubi’s Roastery from 27 Boxes takes care of your java needs, and Toranj Foods has popular pomegranate-stuffed olives and saffron dairy-free ice cream. There are dairy- and gluten-free artisanal breads, various meze and meals, and vegan shakes.

Scenes from the Jozi Vegan Market. Photo supplied.

Scenes from the Jozi Vegan Market. Photo supplied.

Yeoville Food Market (Yeoville)
Open: Daily

The faces change here but never the address. It is reputedly the oldest market in Joburg and occupies almost a whole block of what was once a cinema complex. Expect nothing to be where you found it the time before or as you bought it before. Full of the aroma of ripe plantains, this market is a fantastic source of African ingredients and vegetables, foreign chillies, yams, cassava or ready-made cassava bread, nuts and nut oils, and baffling but intriguing tinned goods. Many of the traders are French-speaking. There’s always something you haven’t noticed before – a culinary find to inspire your inner continental chef.

Pretoria

Cowhouse Market (Silverlakes)
Open: every Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 4pm, except for the last Saturday of each month, when they are open until 10pm

This new market has quickly become a favourite amongst locals. In addition to more conventional forms of entertainment, they often host events like kids’ candy treasure hunts or duck racing. On the food side, you can indulge your love of crispy calamari, excellent Greek food and pizza, along with local delicacies like potjiekos, afval and more. Take home some of the excellent cheese and meats on offer and indulge in a craft beer or whisky from the whisky bar.

Pretoria Banting Market (Botanical Gardens)
Open: 9am to 1pm on the first Saturday of the month

Taking place at the beautiful Botanical Gardens, this new market has a strict selection process. Only those who adhere to the banting rules are allowed, so you can expect everything to be sugar- and wheat-free and organic, where possible. Tuck into excellent banting waffles and ice cream as well as grass-fed biltong, organic olives, a variety of breads and organic dairy products. There are also frozen banting meals available for busy weeknights. A Real Meal Revolution coach is on hand to answer any and all of your banting questions.

The Banting Market in Pretoria. Photo supplied.

The Banting Market in Pretoria. Photo supplied.

Market @ The Sheds (Central Pretoria)
Open: 11 am to 6pm on the last Saturday of the month

This is the young, edgy sibling of the Pretoria market scene, where the cool kids hang out. The atmosphere is definitely a drawcard for regular attendees. Live music, art exhibitions and delicious food add to the experience. Grab some Congolese cuisine from Kitoko kitchen and follow with a guilt-free dessert from Galo’s desserts. The banting carrot cake is a highlight and goes perfectly with one of the Urban Barista’s coffees.

Brownies at the Market @ The Shed. Photo by Henry Marsh.

Brownies at the Market @ The Shed. Photo by Henry Marsh.

Hazel Food Market (Menlo Park)
Open: 8am to 2pm every Saturday, with night markets and specialty markets held throughout the year.

Set in a leafy suburb in Pretoria’s old east, this market has an incredible selection of food, with cuisines from numerous nations represented. DOUGH Catering’s lamb pitas are mouthwatering, but have serious competition from the burritos on offer at Amigo’s Mexican food, as well as the famous Balkan burgers. Don’t forget to stop at Belnori for beautiful goat’s cheese and grab a loaf of Bread Gypsy’s (the geniuses behind The Lucky Bread Co.) artisanal wood-fired bread.

Belnori's cheese offering at Hazel Food Market

Belnori’s cheese offering at Hazel Food Market. Photo supplied.

Pretoria Boeremark (Silverton)
Open: 5.30am every Saturday until produce runs out

The granddaddy of Pretoria markets is still as good today as it was when it opened 20 years ago. Die-hard fans are here when it opens at 5:30am every Saturday morning. On offer are huge, homemade vetkoeks stuffed with savoury mince, proper boeretroos (coffee), melkkos and kaiings (fried pork fat). The freshest produce is sold at incredible prices. Mouthwatering Dutch cheese, fresh eggs and meat are available directly from the farmer, along with beautiful proteas and a few crafts stalls selling everything from vintage frames to enamel mugs.

Durban and surrounds

Durban Fresh Produce Market (Clairwood)
Open: Monday to Friday 5.30am to 11.00am; Saturdays 5.30am to 9.30am

A hit with local chefs and restaurateurs, this market place brims with fresh fruit and vegetables sold by local farmers.

Essenwood Market (Berea)
Open: Saturdays 9am to 2pm

While this is primarily a craft market, hungry visitors can peruse the stalls for comforting favourites like pancakes, freshly baked breads, cupcakes, homemade desserts and pies. You can also stock up on homemade preserves, fudge, local cheeses and more.

The busy Essenwood Morning Market. Photo supplied.

The busy Essenwood Morning Market. Photo supplied.

Golden Hours Family Market (Durban North)
Open: Sundays 10am to 3.30pm

Listen to live music while browsing a multitude of food and craft stalls. Food products range from fresh vegetables and farm eggs to affordable breakfasts, curries, quiches, salads and pasta. The shady tea garden is a great spot to sit and soak up the vibe.

I Heart Market (Stamford Hill)
Open: First Saturday of every month, 9am to 2pm

Located on the grassy lawns of Moses Mabhida Stadium, this trendy market is known for its hand-picked selection of innovative local food and craft traders. Settle under a tree with a local craft beer or homemade lemonade, or browse the food stalls, which sell everything from falafels and vegan wraps to pulled-pork rolls, homemade Greek savoury pastries, macarons and chocolate brownies.

The I Heart Market. photo supplied.

The I Heart Market. photo supplied.

Karkloof Farmer’s Market (Howick)
Open: Saturdays 7am to 11am

Expect high-quality fresh produce from local farmers and producers in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Fill up your basket with everything from fresh vegetables and herbs to French artisanal breads and organic cheese.

The Litchi Orchard Market (Salt Rock)
Open: second Saturday of every month, 9am to 2pm

Expect quality food and drink, handmade art and live music. There’s a strong focus on local, sustainable food products sourced straight from the farm, but you can also stock up on homemade preserves, coffees, sweets and baked goods. Afterwards, book a spot for lunch at The Shed or Delish Sisters.

The veggie garden at The Litchi Orchard. Photo supplied.

The veggie garden at The Litchi Orchard. Photo supplied.

The Morning Trade (Morningside)
Open: Sundays 8am to 1pm

This buzzing market is located in hip Station Drive precinct at The Plant. Spend your Sunday morning enjoying its farm fresh produce and artisanal eats, such as fresh bagels, decadent mug cakes and gourmet burgers.

The Play Market (Pinetown)
Open: second Sunday of every month, 9am to 2pm

This family market offers delicious local food alongside handmade crafts, toys and clothing. The organisers are dedicated to sourcing homemade, healthy food items and supporting local producers.

The bar at The Play Market. Photo supplied.

The bar at The Play Market. Photo supplied.

Shongweni Farmers’ Market (Shongweni)
Open: Saturdays 6.30am to 11.30am

Get your fill of everything from traditional English sausages to freshly baked breads and cakes, organic cheeses and Middle Eastern and Mediterranean specialties.

Cheese at The Shongweni Farmer's Market. Photo supplied.

Cheese at The Shongweni Farmer’s Market. Photo supplied.

Cape Town

Bay Harbour Market (Hout Bay)
Open: Fridays 5pm to 9pm; Saturdays and Sundays 9.30am to 4pm

Expect an eclectic collection of food stalls selling baked goods, cheeses, preserves and world cuisine. There’s also live music and draught beers on tap to keep visitors refreshed.

Cape Point Vineyards Community Market (Noordhoek)
Open: Thursdays 4:30pm to 8:30pm

Head to this beautiful wine farm market with views of Noordhoek beach. Find a seat on the banks and enjoy a picnic of treats from the food stalls. There’s gnocchi, sushi, dim sum, pizza, Greek mezze and much more.

City Bowl Market on Hope (Gardens)
Open: 4.30pm to 8.30pm

This popular gourmet food market offers a selection of organic fruits and vegetables, home-baked breads, free-range eggs and healthy meals. They also offer live music and some great local wines to taste.

City Bowl Market on Hope. Photo supplied.

City Bowl Market on Hope. Photo supplied.

Earth Fair Food Market (Tokai)
Open: Wednesdays 3pm to 8.30pm, Thursdays 11am to 3pm and Saturdays 9am to 2pm

Meet traders selling locally-produced artisanal foods including gourmet cheeses, homemade preserves, Belgian waffles, free-range meats, stone-ground flour bread and more.

I Love Big Bay Market (Blouberg)
Open: Last Wednesday of every month, 4pm to 9pm

This lively food-and-craft market is held monthly at the Big Bay Surf Lifesaving Club in Blouberg. Visitors are invited to enjoy street food from the food trucks, live music, arts and crafts, and drinks from the fully stocked bar.

The view near the I Love Big Bay Market. Photo supplied.

The view near the I Love Big Bay Market. Photo supplied.

Market at the Palms (Woodstock)
Open: Saturdays 9am to 3pm

Head down to trendy Woodstock and meet over 40 traders selling everything from pulled pork sandwiches and craft beers to gourmet mushrooms, pressed juices, ice cream and artisan preserves. Live music sets the mood.

Neighbourgoods Market (Woodstock)
Open: Saturdays 9am to 2pm

This market is always busy, so get here early if you want the best picks of the produce. Get your hands on home-baked breads, vegan bowls, gourmet breakfasts, artisan chocolates, cocktails, craft beers and so much more.

Fresh juices at Neighbourgoods Market in Cape Town. Photo supplied.

Fresh juices at Neighbourgoods Market in Cape Town. Photo supplied.

Oranjezicht City Farm Market (Granger Bay)
Open: Saturdays 9am to 2pm

This community market celebrates local farmers and artisanal food producers. Situated at the beautiful new sea-facing location, foodies flock here for everything from organic vegetables and free-range eggs to delicious cooked and raw foods. Edible plants, seedlings and gardening supplies are also sold.

Fresh veggies at the Oranjezicht City Farm Market. Photo supplied.

Fresh veggies at the Oranjezicht City Farm Market. Photo supplied.

Peach Pip Market at Rodgers Fruiterers (Tokai)
Open: Saturdays 9am to 2pm

The traders from the Tokai Forest Market have moved to a new spot with a new name. The market will offer locals all the same foodie favourites with plenty activities for the kiddies.

V&A Market on the Wharf (V&A Waterfront)
Open: Monday to Sunday, 10am to 5.30pm

Pick up everything from fresh organic produce and artisanal ice cream to dim sum and gourmet burgers at this permanent market. Truth Coffee is also available, with a buzzing bar upstairs.

V&A Market on the Wharf. Photo supplied.

V&A Market on the Wharf. Photo supplied.

Willowbridge Slow Market (Tyger Valley)
Open: Saturdays 9am to 2pm

Ethical, local produce is the primary focus at this high-quality weekend market. In addition to organic fruits and vegetables, you can find delicious heritage food, slow-roasted coffee, artisan chocolates, organic salads, Belgium waffles, free-range meat, pickled seafood, homemade preserves and more.

Winelands

Blaauwklippen Family Market (Stellenbosch)
Open: Sundays 10am to 3pm

You’ll find plenty of high-quality, unique food items here, including artisanal ice cream and sorbets, pancakes, pastries, fresh fruit and vegetables, deli items, Belgian chocolate and preserves. A wide selection of arts, crafts, antiques, décor and collectables is also on offer. Bring the pooches along for a full day of family fun.

A sunny day at The Blaauwklippen Family Market. Photo supplied.

A sunny day at The Blaauwklippen Family Market. Photo supplied.

De Warenmarkt (Stellenbosch)

De Warenmarkt is situated in a historical building in Stellenbosch and offers a selected range of foods, including speciality meats, cheeses, breads, cold pressed juice, craft beers, coffees and much more.

De Warenmarkt bread and aioli. Photo supplied.

De Warenmarkt bread and aioli. Photo supplied.

The Franschhoek Village Market (Franschhoek)
Open: Saturdays 9am to 2pm

This scenic market offers a feast of local organic produce, exotic foods, handmade deli items, artwork and crafts. Expect great buys like fresh vegetables, artisan breads and pastries, charcuterie, olives and olive oil, biltong and preserves. Visitors can quench their thirst with a range of craft beers, coffees and teas.

Hermanuspietersfontein Market (Hermanus)
Open: 10am to 2pm

Spend the day enjoying farm-fresh products and rustic bakes and treats. There’s artisanal coffee, quiches, mussel pots and glorious breads and cheeses.

The Lourensford Harvest Market (Somerset West)
Open: Sundays 10am to 3pm and alternate Fridays from 4pm to 9pm

Fill your basket with fresh produce, quality gourmet fare and crafts. Here you’ll find everything from dim sum and gourmet cheesecakes to artisan coffee roasts, sweet confectionary and fresh pressed juices.

Venders at the Lourensford Harvest Market. Photo supplied.

Venders at the Lourensford Harvest Market. Photo supplied.

The Market at Val de Vie (Paarl)
Open: Last Sunday of every month, 10am to 3pm

Visitors can look forward to chocolate-and-bubbly pairings and other culinary treats like pies, oysters, light meals and craft beer. Watch the polo game or listen to a live band while the little ones enjoy the kiddies’ entertainment.

Root 44 Market (Stellenbosch)
Open: Saturdays and Sundays, 10am to 4pm

Celebrate the weekend with great food, drinks and lively music. The extensive food offerings here include wines, bubbly and craft beer, sweet treats, wood-fired pizzas, healthy salads and sandwiches, spicy curries, and a range of homemade preserves and smoked charcuterie products.

Slow Food Market (Stellenbosch)
Open: Saturdays 9am to 2pm

Visitors can peruse over 100 stalls showcasing the finest artisanal products, gourmet food, craft beers and items by local designers.

 

Have we missed your favourite food market? Please let us know in the comments below and we’ll investigate.

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