Cape Town has earned its status as the market capital of South Africa, featuring an all-encompassing assortment of neighbourhood markets that sell everything from nibbles to curios and souvenirs to antiques. We’ve rounded up our top picks you can’t afford not to visit.
1 V&A Food Market
Situated at the V&A Waterfront, this market is easily accessible and open every single day of the week. If you’re on a tight schedule or can’t make it to the store in time, the V&A’s shopping hours also applies to the market so you have no excuse not to pick up something fresh. Speaking of which, fresh produce is at its core and foodies will find a range of yummy snacks and more filling meals within its walls. The building also offers free wifi so you can upload those foodstagrams or have an impromtu work meeting outside the office.
When Daily 10 am – 8 pm
Where Dock Road, V&A Waterfront
Contact +27 21 418 1605
2 Bluebird Garage Food & Goods Market
Revitalise yourself after a hectic working week with a browse through the food and goods available at Bluebird. Whether you’re craving a hot dish, a spoil for your sweet tooth or a sip of booze, you’re bound to find something that tickles your fancy. Take your pick from curries paired with roti, egg-fried Asian noodles with dumplings, chocolate fudge brownies or craft beer. You won’t want to leave without something from their range of vintage originals while older kids can enjoy the play area while you shop.
3 Greenmarket Square
Potentially the most well-known of Cape Town’s markets, Greenmarket Square is an energetic shopping destination in the heart of the CBD. The plaza has developed from its humble beginnings as a trading site for weary sailors arriving at the nearby harbour into a one-stop shop for African curios. Everything from African masks, trinkets, textiles and ornaments are in stock so tourists are guaranteed to leave with intriguing souvenirs. Bargaining is the order of the day at the plaza, so start low and don’t crack under the pressure – stall owners’ vast experience makes them well-versed merchants who will use all the tricks in the book to charge the heftiest prices possible.
When Monday to Saturday 9 am – 4 pm
Where Intersection of Burg, Longmarket and Shortmarket Streets, CBD
4 Neighbourgoods Market
This wildly popular fair is where the market trend in Cape Town was born. Since its establishment, numerous markets have come into being, all attempting to imitate its high standards. Nestled in a small division of an actual biscuit mill, it’s packed each Saturday with the city’s most modish residents and keen travellers eager to pick up fresh bread, pastries, cheeses, smoothies and coffees. Feeling peckish? Grab a sandwich or light snack – it might cost you a few more bucks than your average fare but we promise it’s worth it.
When Saturdays 9 am – 2 pm
Where The Old Biscuit Mill, 373 – 375 Albert Road, Woodstock
Contact +27 21 447 8194, [email protected]
5 Milnerton Flea Market
Every weekend and on most public holidays, a small area next to Marine Drive (R27) livens up as informal sellers and thrilled shoppers arrive to peruse pre-loved fashion, antiques and quintessential thrifty buys that cost a fraction of what you’ll pay in a shopping mall. With more than 200 stalls, this flea market is a veritable bargain hunters’ paradise. Look forward to walking away with old-world furniture, vintage cameras, secondhand dresses and even classic vinyl. If you have a few hours to spare, take a thorough look around to stand the chance of scoring unmatched deals.
6 City Bowl Market
Over the past few years, this bazaar has become a crowd-pleaser, especially for those keen to do some mid-week shopping. While it offers a selection of predominantly edible wares, it has a more easy-going vibe in comparison to that of its counterparts. It’s also located indoors, making it a fitting place to frequent during the Cape’s harsh winters. The superior quality cuisine is commonly cooked by the vendors themselves, resulting in homely experience for patrons.
7 Bay Harbour Market
For anyone planning to redecorate their home, the seemingly unobtrusive shed that plays home to this market is a must-visit venue. Eccentric decor can be seen everywhere, including creations like mobiles made from tiny sailboats and chandeliers fashioned with the tops of cold drink cans. Patriotic South Africans can show off their love for our country by bagging crafty merchandise unlikely to be discovered anywhere else. Among these is jewellery embellished with multicoloured beadwork and inventive metal curios. Bon Appetit also serves up sumptuous delicacies such as salmon salads or omelettes stuffed with gooey, melted cheese – yum!
Photography Courtesy images