By Joanna Hurlston
There’s a reason why markets are always on my weekend itinerary – the combination of mouth-watering smells, incredible tastes, sounds and bubbly crowds are perfect for a lazy Saturday morning of people watching. And as a Cape Town local, the choice is endless, from the sunny seaside Hout Bay market, to the super-trendy Biscuit Mill in Woodstock. Each one has a set of unique charms that make it super special in its own way.
These are a few of my favourite Cape Town weekend gems:
The award-winning Neighbourgoods Market, more commonly known as “The Biscuit Mill” is my favourite weekend go-to for shopping, indulgent eating, and mellow music in the sunshine. The super trendy hotspot is chock-a- block with gorgeous wholesome artisanal goods, fresh locally sourced produce, and all round happy vibes. It’s packed with over 100 speciality traders, farmers, fine-food purveyors, bakers, organic gardeners and grocers, mongers, butchers and local chefs that and you exactly what you’re buying, how it’s made and where the ingredients are sourced. My favourite Biscuit Mill combo? The incredible crispy Flammkuchen flatbread packed with bacon-ey deliciousness, and a glass of gorgeous Sauvignon Blanc. Yum!
There’s nothing better starting your day with a lazy stroll on the Sea Point promenade, with the Oranjezicht City Farm Market as the end destination. The market is held every Saturday at the Granger Bay site of the V&A Waterfront, and is a charmingly rustic farmer's market for local farmers and artisanal foodies. It’s absolutely perfect for stocking up on fresh, organic fruit and vegetables, home-baked bread, dairy, free-range eggs, honey, muesli, and delicious cooked and raw foods. If you’ve got a green thumb, they also stock edible plants and seedlings, compost and gardening supplies and equipment. This market is packed with jovial families, cyclists, joggers, and (much to my delight!) loads of fluffy friends.
The Bay Harbour Market (or The “Hout Bay Market” to locals) is one of my absolute favourites, and the stunning seaside drive there adds to the whole experience. It’s charismatically cosy atmosphere is it’s best feature, topped off with a snuggly fireplace and live music acts. The market is made up of pop-up and semi-permanent stalls in a charmingly shabby old factory. The market has an epic choice of delicious foods from around the globe, from Chinese, to Mexican, to Mediterranean, to African. I love trying small nibbles from a number of different stalls, like a multi-cultural tapas feast. Throw in a zesty Bloody Mary from the The Naked Drinks bar, and you’ve got a winner. It’s perfect for South African memorabilia and locally made gifts, and has earned it’s winning reputation as a celebration of South African creativity, food and culture.
The MOJO Market is the new kid on the block, but it’s perks are quickly setting it apart from the rest! This 7-day- a-week food and lifestyle market is nestled perfectly between the picturesque promenade and bustling Regent Road, and has 45 designer retail stores, a daily fresh goods section, and 25 food vendors. The best thing about it? Unlike most markets, it opens at 9am and closes at 10pm, which means you can visit (basically) whenever you want, for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. I’m gradually working my way through each of the stalls, but my favourite nibbles so far are the amazingly fresh poke bowls at Hokey Poke, and the super juicy burgers at IYO – washed down with a lovely glass of bubbles or an icy craft beer. It’s perfect for a lazy Saturday morning brunch with friends and family.
The V&A Market, like The Mojo Market, it’s open seven days a week! The market is packed with fresh, wholesome street food from every corner of the world, from German, to American, to Thai, to African, to Mediterranean – and that’s just a few.
The market is indoors with loads of inside and outside seating, which is great for window shopping, free food sampling and delicious feasting, rain or shine. The best thing about this market is the gorgeous Table Mountain view. Simply divine!
And there you have it. I hope you enjoy each of these magnificent markets as much as I do. Salut!
Until next time,