Cape Town, in many ways, is the culmination of all things foodie heaven. We literally have every type of food available, from street food to fine dining, and there’s nothing your taste buds can desire that Cape Town won’t be able to offer. But there are certain things that can be seen as the epitome of Cape Town food culture, those dishes and food styles that are typically Cape Town or seen as the stuff Cape Town can’t seem to live without.

Sure, Cape Town has tons of tourist attractions – we have the mountains, the forest, and the beaches – but if you only have 48 hours in the Mother City, why not skip the traditional tourist goodies and explore the city in terms of its culinary offerings? Here are five of the best Cape Town food trends that you have to try if you find yourself in the Mother City.

The Best Burger In Town

Every new kid on the block offers ‘Cape Town’s best burger’, and while no one has yet been able to decide who offers the real best burger, there’s so much on offer that testing them all is a pretty fun experience. I’ve attempted to find the best burger, but they’re all so different that there’s really no way of telling. So here are a few winning spots: Jerry’s Burger Bar (wonderfully stuffed burger patties), Slug & Lettuce Kloof Street (best Banting burger), Woodies (value for money), The Taproom at the Devil’s Peak Brewing Company, Mondiall, and all-time classics such as Hudsons, Café Manhattan, and Franky’s Diner. All these spots offer great burgers, are open at all hours of the day, and definitely form part of the latest number one Cape Town food trend.

Cape Town Food Trends Jerrys Burger Bar Image

Some delicious burgers at Jerry’s Burger Bar. Photo by the talented Francis Gersbach.

Sushi Galore

Cape Town loves sushi, so much so that you can literally find a sushi bar on every street corner (well, not quite, but you get the idea). And because salmon maki are boring, or so Cape Town seems to think, you can get some pretty weird sushi dishes, complete with cream cheese, smoked salmon, and chilli sauce tempura. You’ll probably find the best sushi in town at places such as Nuri or Active Sushi, where you can experiment with some of those weird sushi dishes and even try some Banting-style (that is, rice-free) sushi! Personally, I also love the little Asian gems you’ll find in Green Point and Sea Point, where the sushi is authentic and available at a great price. Top spots include Best of Asia in Green Point and Make in Sea Point.

South African Style

No trip to Cape Town would be complete without trying something uniquely South African. Sure, here you can visit the more conventional tourist spots such as Mama Africa, where you’ll find a great selection of game meat, but you can also head on over to one of my personal favourite spots, The Village Idiot. Here you can find truly South African gems such as the braai platter (literally the best meat you’ll ever have), the boerewors burger (a South African twist on an international favourite), the koeksister dessert, and the melktart shot (both of which are traditional South African goodies).

South African yumminess at The Village Idiot. Photo by the lovely Marieke du Plooy.

Coffee Culture

Cape Town proudly boasts one of the world’s best-rated coffees, which you’ll find at Truth Coffee. But coffee has become such a thing, that you’ll find pretty amazing coffee shops wherever you go. Of course you have to try Truth, but other top spots include Bootlegger, Mischu, and Bean There. All of these are purely coffee-focused, and while places such as Truth and Bootlegger now also serve food, it’s the coffee that’s the real seller.

The Cape Town Market

Cape Town loves its markets, where you can get gourmet-style foods with an emphasis on organic, home-grown, and oh-so-yummy. There’s the permanent food market at the V&A Waterfront, which you can visit any day, but if your 48 hours in the city happen to fall over the weekend, then you have to visit the Oranjezicht (now Granger Bay) Market at the V&A Waterfront, the Neighbourgood’s Market at the Old Biscuit Mill, and the Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay. True foodie gems!

Cape Town Food Trends Bay Harbour Market Image

Food by Vagabond Kitchens, one of the amazing stalls at the Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay.

So there you have it, five of the best typical Cape Town food gems that you absolutely have to try when visiting the Mother City. The nice thing about these is that they’re all available all day long, so you can start with breakfast at a market, have a coffee on the go, and settle down to South African style in the evening, and then still have sushi and burgers the next day. Plus, you can do all of these in-between other touristy adventures, certainly making a Cape Town culinary tour the best thing ever to say #HelloWeekend!

Written by Benike Palfi

Article Date: June 2016