Here’s where to get some of the best chilli poppers in SA


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If variety is the spice of life, then this selection of spicy chilli poppers is about to blow your taste buds away! From food trucks to cantinas and brasseries all over the country, we’ve rounded up eight of SA’s best chilli poppers.  

If you are looking to spark interest and create new experiences through your restaurant’s menu, be sure to try McCain’s new P!ckers range, which includes spicy, delectable jalapeño poppers.

Unity Bar & Brasserie (Musgrave, Durban)

This vibey gastro pub’s jalapeño poppers are brimming with cream cheese, then battered and deep-fried till golden and crisp, and served with smoky garlic mayo. Wash it down with one of their craft beers – the American Pale Ale is a winner. 


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Mama Mexicana (Maboneng, Joburg)

Located in the heart of Maboneng, Mama Mexicana’s generous deep-fried chilli rolls (think spring rolls) are made by deep-frying pastry filled with three different types of cheese and jalapeño slices, served with zingy salsa and soothing sour cream. Also on the menu are their street corn poppers, stuffed with corn and cheese, for those not so keen on chilli. 


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Baha Taco (Norwood, Joburg)

Having started out as a food truck, the restaurant is now based in Norwood. Their classic beer-battered jalapeño rellenos are the stuff of spicy dreams, but if you are lucky, you’ll get to try some of their special versions, which include their smoked sword fish poblano relleno, served a with quinoa pilaf tomatillo de arbol salsa – availability depending on the catch of the day. 


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Taco Kombi (Menlo Park, Pretoria)

Recently selected best Mexican eatery 2021/22 in the South Africa Prestige Awards, for Gauteng, this retro Volkwagen kombi is a regular feature at markets like The Club Streetside Market, the Hazelwood Market and the Deep Roots Night Market in Groenkloof. Their popular jalapeño poppers are hollowed out and crammed with cream cheese and cheddar cheese before being deep-fried in a crisp batter. It’s available for private functions and we think serving chilli poppers at your wedding sounds like a fiesta!  

Fat Cactus (Mowbray, Woodstock & Gardens, Cape Town)

Billed as Cape Town’s original chilli poppers, these “Fat Snacktus” are jalapeños stuffed with three cheeses, wrapped in golden fried batter, and served with their signature tangy salsa mayo. You can also request that your chilli poppers be stuffed with their house-made vegan cheese. Wash these fiery cheese bombs down with a jug of one of their famous frozen “moggyritas” aka tequila smoothies.


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Pancho’s (Observatory, Cape Town)

The poppers at this longstanding Observatory favourite are wrapped in flour tortillas and deep-fried to perfection, then served with sour cream and guacamole on the side. You can choose from cheese or refried beans as a filling, and a vegan cheese option is also available. The Mexican portion gets you four poppers while the full portion is a satisfying seven, and their Loco Thursday special upgrades your Mexican portion to a full at no extra charge. And did we mention you receive 10% off your bill if you are vaccinated against COVID-19? 

El Burro (Green Point, Cape Town)

El Burro is famous for bringing a modern twist to traditional Mexican favourites, and their chilli poppers are no exception. Chilli renellos – their version of chilli poppers – are a fan-favourite starter. Smoked jalapeño chillies are stuffed with vegan cashew cream or mozzarella and feta mix, then grilled to perfection and served with their signature guacamole.


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Manny’s Authentic Mexican Street Food (Port Elizabeth)

Manny’s food truck specialises in authentic Mexican street food and is permanently based at La Cantina. From their generous tacos to the addictive breakfast burritos, everything on the menu is fresh, authentic and made from scratch. Their fiery crumbed and fried jalapeño poppers are filled with cream cheese and best of all … bacon! The truck is available for private functions, festivals, birthdays and corporate events.

Have we missed any of your favourite chilli popper spots? Share them in the comments below!

About McCain P!ckers

If you are a restaurant looking to add jalapeño poppers or other appetisers to your menu, check out the new P!ckers range from McCain. They are easy to prepare: just take it from freezer to fryer and voila: an epic experience awaits your diners! Each selection in the P!ckers range is made from authentic ingredients, so diners are guaranteed a fresh and delicious meal every time.

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