We've hit our friends up for their fave foods and places to eat, and come up with what we think is a pretty comprehensive list of what to eat and where to eat it, whenever your tummy starts rumbling at the bottom of Africa.
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- Snacks - eat them on the go
- Mother City meals and cool places to eat
- Desserts & puddings
- Drinks - how to wash it all down
Let's kick things off by trying to solve that all too common travelling dilemma - on the road snackage.
1. Droëwors – dried, spiced sausage.
2. Biltong – dried, salted and spiced strips of beef or game (springbok, kudu and ostrich are common).
.. and the end result:
3. Niknaks – bright orange maize snacks.
4. Top Deck – a two-tone milk and white chocolate bar from Cadbury.
5. Chuckles – malted puffs, peanut, raisin or shortbread coated in chocolate (at Woolworths).
6. Bacon maple croissants from Jason Bakery in Bree Street.
7. Freshly-baked muffins, particularly the cappuccino ones, at the in-house bakeries at Spar supermarkets.
8. Rusks – Dip a buttermilk or condensed milk Ouma rusk in your morning coffee.
9. A monkeygland burger or steak at the Spur. No monkeys were harmed in the making of these.
10. Boerewors (farmer’s sausage) rolls from street vendors.
11. Calamari – have it grilled or crumbed. Hout Bay, and specifically the Chapman’s Peak Hotel, is a good place to taste it.
... which goes well with this:
12. Waterblommetjie bredie – a lamb and pondweed stew (it’s delicious, honest!).
13. Ribs at Sticky Fingers in Obs – half price on Tuesdays.
14. The Love sandwich at The Kitchen in Sir Lowry Road - Woodstock and Michelle Obama's favourite Cape Town lunch spot.
15. Giant burgers at The Dog’s Bollocks in the city centre.
16. Snoek – this local fish is often braaied (barbecued) with apricot jam, or smoked. Dried and salted, it’s known as bokkoms.
17. Springbok carpaccio – try it at Beluga in Green Point.
18. Cheese and wine tastings at wine farms – Fairview near Paarl is fantastic, or make a quick hop from the city to Constantia or Cape Point Vineyards in the South Peninsula.
19. Fish and chips at Snoekies in Hout Bay or Kalky’s in Kalk Bay.
20. Steers chips (fries) – this South African fast food chain uses a delicious and unique seasoning salt.
21. A braai (barbecue). For an unforgettable experience, head out to Mzoli’s in Gugulethu for a DIY shisa nyama. Braais can also include boerewors (farmer’s sausage), pap (maize-based porridge) and braaibroodjies - tomato, onion and cheese sandwiches toasted over the fire.
22. Braai pie – SA’s YouTube sensation, Suzelle, shows you how to make one of these yourself.
23. Anything and a beer at the Brass Bell in Kalk Bay.
24. Breakfast at the Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay.
25. Gourmet and artisan tasties every Thursday evening at the Cape Point Vineyards Community Market.
26. A steak gatsby (meat and fries sandwich) from the Wembley Roadhouse.
27. The Cape Malay Estate tasting plate at Jonkershuis restaurant, Groot Constantia.
28. Pastries, bread and breakfast at the Olympia Café in Kalk Bay.
29. Bunny chow – no, no rabbits involved. This is a hollowed out half-loaf of bread filled with curry.
30. A prego steak roll at Chippies in Observatory.
31. Bobotie – a Cape Malay dish made with spiced, ground meat and topped with egg custard.
32. Sushi at Willoughby’s – this restaurant’s location in the middle of a mall thoroughfare is immaterial when you’re eating their delicious creamy rock shrimp maki or 4x4 rolls.
33. Ceviche at Keenwa, currently Cape Town’s only Peruvian restaurant.
34. The lunch plates at Café Frank in Bree Street.
35. Peppermint Crisp – the chocolate itself, or the dessert layered with tennis biscuits, caramel and cream.
36. Artisan ice lollies from Las Paletas, available at various stockists. Guava cheesecake or roast peaches and coconut, anyone?
37. Gelato at Gelato Mania in Green Point – particularly the watermelon sorbet.
38. Koeksisters – fried doughy treats soaked in lightly spiced syrup. The round ones found in Bo Kaap are wonderful, but the plaited ones in the supermarkets are yummy too.
39. Ice cream from The Creamery in Newlands, Salt River and various markets.
40. Malva pudding – a hot sponge dessert; sweet and delicious comfort food.
You probably already know about Cape Town’s world-class wines, and reputation for being a coffee-lover’s paradise, but the locals want make sure you don’t miss out on these drinks too:
41. Rooibos tea – ‘red bush’ tea, grown in the Cederberg region, is a caffeine-free, anti-oxidant packed national treasure. Try it black (red!) with lemon, or order a cinnamon and honey-topped red cappuccino or latte. Bos ice tea is a great cold version.
42. Dom Pedros – vanilla ice-cream blended with whiskey, Kahlua, Amarula (see below) or other liqueurs.
43. Amarula – African animals get intoxicated on fermented marula fruit but we recommend this cream-based liqueur version. Drink it straight or in a Dom Pedro.
44. Vin de Constance from Klein Constantia – this sweet dessert wine has been discontinued but if you can find some, try it.
45. Springbokkie shooter – Amarula is layered over mint liqueur to make this patriotic drink. The colours represent the green and gold kit worn by SA’s rugby team.
And if you’re staying in self-catering accommodation, look out for this in the grocery stores:
46. ProNutro – This energy-boosting breakfast cereal that many South Africans grew up on has mysterious ability to absorb crazy amounts of milk.
Many thanks to all who contributed to this article: Andrea, Adeleida, Belle, Peter, Lynn, Sam, Coralie, Mongezi, Jaclyn, Jackie, Jacqueline, Ian, Simone, Judith, Alice, Emily, Belinda and Nicolas.