A bustling city of culture and art, Cape Town locals may find that the shopping experience of mainstream malls are simply not thrilling enough to feed their adventurous spirit. Often on the hunt for hidden gems, we are lucky to be spoilt with a thriving market scene packed with character and crafty finds.
From popular food fairs and trendy night markets, to vintage thrift stalls and outdoor sales, market-hopping has become a staple feature of the Mother City lifestyle.
We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to the best markets around the Cape.
Our first instalment looks at ever-popular food markets – a relaxed alternative to the formal setting of eateries in the city, these markets offer artisan cuisine at affordable prices.
1. Bay Harbour Market
One of Cape Town’s most popular markets, the Bay Habour Market in Hout Bay is abuzz every weekend. The market is housed in a refurbished old fish factory, next to the active docks, where you can enjoy everything from exotic Tunisian falafel and traditional Cape Malay curries to fresh mussels and artisan brewed coffee. With over 80 stalls on offer, keep an eye out for local arts and crafts items as well as an assortment of established and up-and-coming music artists, who contribute to this lively scene every week.
Where 31 Harbour Road, Hout Bay
When Friday 5 pm – 9 pm, Saturday & Sunday 9 am – 4 pm
2. Market at the Palms
Renowned for it’s fabulous locally-produced, specialty food and drink, The Market at the Palms in Woodstock boasts a rustic culture of simple trade and quality fare. Over 40 traders including Darling Gourmet Mushrooms, Stonehill Olives and Eureka Mills Bread ensure a satiating showcase for even the most ardent foodie. The covered location and parking make it the perfect Saturday morning escape come rain or shine, complemented by live music and striking artwork.
Where The Palms @ Woodstock, 145 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock
When Saturday 9 am – 2 pm
3. Neighbourgoods, Old Biscuit Mill
Food market veteran Neighbourgoods at the Old Biscuit Mill is still as popular as ever. A vibrant, warm-hearted village of workshops and micro-merchants, it is also home to over 100 specialty food stalls from local farmers to South African celebrity chefs. Judging by how packed it gets every Saturday morning, this market is still one of the coolest city hangouts, comprised of delectable cuisine, trendy designer fashion and a hip crowd of Cape Town’s creative set.
Where Old Biscuit Mill, 373 Albert Road, Woodstock
When Saturday 9 am – 2 pm
4. Hermanus Country Food Market
This tight-knit community market sports an array of fresh organic produce from homemade pastries, artisan bread, handmade cheeses and wheat-free bakes to craft beers and fresh fruit juice. Local traders from the surrounding towns of Baardskeerderbos, Wolwengat and Tesselaarsdal pour love and heart into all their goods and are more than happy to discuss with you the exact ingredients and processes used for each product. It doesn’t get more local than this.
Where Fairways Avenue, Eastcliff, Hermanus
When Saturday 9 am – 11 am
5. Blue Bird Garage and Food Market
This Friday night market serves as another meeting point for a cool kid congregation, yet provides an extensive collection of specialty cooks, artisans, bakers, producers and designers under one roof. Housed in an old plane hangar in the midst of bustling Muizenberg, this market is eclectic and creative, and exudes the ambiance of a traditional yard-sale for you to enjoy with good food and great company.
Where 39 Albertyn Road, Muizenberg
When Friday 4 pm – 10 pm
6. Oranjezicht City Farm Market
A family-friendly vibe and spacious outdoor seating, this local farmer’s market promotes small-scale food production in the city. A number of independent farmers sell fresh-from-the-patch veggies and herbs, organic dairy, free-range eggs, ethically sourced meat and seafood as well as raw honey and muesli and more. If you can’t wait to go home to cook up your produce, indulge in the vast array of both cooked and raw artisinal fare, where you’ll find something for every palette. What’s more, the market operates in support of educational NPO Oranjezicht City Farm, so you’ll be contributing to a good cause too.
Where Granger Bay, V&A Waterfront
When Saturday 9 am – 2 pm
7. Root 44 Market
Situated amidst plush vineyards and trees, the Root 44 market offers fun for the whole family. Browse through unqiue craft and homeware items while the kids keep occupied with fun live entertainment and activities, including the jungle gyms and mini-golf set-up of World of Adventure. On Saturdays take part in the popular Parkrun to work up an appetite for the wide selection delectable eats and treats.
Where Audacia Wines, Cnr R44 and Annandale Road, Stellenbosch
When Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 4 pm
8. Earth Fair Food Market
Complete all your fresh produce shopping at the Earth Fair Food Market with over 40 traders selling delicious home-baked goods, dried fruit, cured meat, cheeses and craft beers. Live music and scrumptious food make this a fun and festive week night outing. Don’t miss out on the Origin coffee stand and be sure to give Gail’s Kitchen a try too, for yummy low-carb cakes and desserts.
Where Thursday St George’s Mall, Wednesday and Sunday 333 Main Road, Tokai
When Wednesday 3 pm – 8.30 pm, Thursday 11 am – 3 pm, Saturday 9 am – 2 pm
9. Lourensford Market
Escape the bustle of city life at one of the most picturesque wine estates in the country. Lourensford Wine Estate boasts sprawling lawns and majestic trees, setting the scene for an eclectic mix of more than 70 stalls and Po-Up stores. Browse through top quality products of original art, handmade wares, fashion and glorious food. Try the bunless vegan burgers from Sunshine Food while the estate’s superb wine collection and in-house craft beer complement the festive atmosphere. For Friday evening fun visit the Twilight Market and float into the weekend to the hits of popular local artists on stage.
Where Lourensford Wine Estate, Lourensford Road, Somerset West
When Fridays 4 pm – 9pm, Sunday 10 am – 3 pm (Starting September 2017)
10. Tyisa Nabanye Market at Erf 81
Tyisa Nabanye, a non-profit agricultural organisation, grows food on the foothills of Signal Hill and operates the weekly Erf 81 food market. Aside from homey cuisine, the market sports second-hand clothing, books, arts and crafts, plants from the nursery and even a petting zoo for kids. Do your bit by getting involved in the planting day or sign the petition against the eviction threat to show your solidarity.
Where Erf 81, Military Road, Tamboerskloof, Andries Farm
When Sundays 10 am – 3 pm
11. Blaauwklippen Family Market
This charming farmer’s market offers the perfect scene for a relaxed Sunday spent with family and friends. Nestled amongst Stellenbosch vineyards, it is children and pet friendly with a variety of activities and entertainment. Inside the carriage museum you’ll find seasonal fresh produce, cheeses, homemade pastries, baked treats, olives and much more.
Where R44, Strand Road, Stellenbosch
When Sunday 10 am – 3 pm
12. Slow Market
Founded by medical doctor and entrepreneur Gail Blake, the Slow Market is part of a global Slow Food movement promoting foods that are good, clean and fair. The market aims to allow micro businesses to grow and thrive in an alternate retail environment. With over 100 specialty suppliers, it features a weekly platform for local farmers, grocers, artisan bakers organic merchants and more.
Where Oude Libertas Estate, Cnr Adam Tas and Oude Libertas Street, Stellenbosch &
Willowbridge Lifestyle Centre, 39 Carl Cronje Drive, Tygervalley
When Saturday 9 am – 2pm
Look out for our weekly market series for the top picks of different types of markets in and around Cape Town.