Eat, Drink, Cape Town

Cape Town, renowned for its panoramic landscapes and vibrant culture, also boasts a rich culinary tapestry that reflects its diverse heritage. Guiding us through this gastronomic journey is Cape Town Culinary Tours, an expert in uncovering the city’s hidden gems and culinary delights. Come along as we embark on a flavourful exploration of South African cuisine and its interconnectedness with the world.

Marco’s African Place

As we set foot in Marco’s African Place, the aroma of traditional spices and the rhythmic beats of African music greet us warmly. Chef and owner Marco is the first black restaurateur in South Africa, opening his first restaurant in 1989. He welcomes us with a smile as he shares the story behind his establishment. This stop on our culinary itinerary promises an authentic taste of South Africa.

Signature Dish: Traditional Xhosa Dishes

A feast for the senses, their meals showcase the best South African meats, expertly grilled to perfection, offering a rich and savoury flavour with a hint of smokiness. Accompanied by sides of pap, samp, and beans, each bite is a journey through traditional South African culinary heritage. The pap, a maise-based porridge, provides a comforting contrast to the robust flavours of the meats, while the samp adds a delightful textural element with its slightly chewy consistency.

At Marco’s, guests can also taste traditional home-brewed African beer, a staple in traditional South African households. This unique beverage, crafted with care using age-old recipes and techniques, embodies the spirit of community and hospitality. Served in calabashes, the beer’s earthy aroma and refreshing taste complement the hearty flavours of the Pan African Platter, creating a truly immersive dining experience reminiscent of a traditional South African gathering.

The Charles Cafe & Guesthouse

In the heart of De Waterkant, nestled amidst the cobblestone streets and colourful facades beneath a hundred-year-old tree, in a charming district steeped in history, we find The Charles Cafe, a hidden gem known for its delectable bobotie. Our guide shares anecdotes about the area’s maritime past as we step into this cosy establishment, where the scent of spices fills the air.

Signature Dish: Bobotie

An authentic South African classic, bobotie is a symphony of flavours and textures. Beef mince, seasoned with aromatic spices like turmeric and coriander, is baked to perfection with a layer of fluffy egg custard on top. Each forkful reveals a harmony of sweet and savoury notes, with the subtle warmth of the spices complementing the meat’s richness. It is served alongside turmeric-infused lentil rice and tangy chutney. This dish is unexpectedly paired with a glass of bubbles as our guide regales us with tales of De Waterkant’s storied past, from its origins as a vibrant maritime hub to its transformation into a cultural enclave beloved by artists and creatives.

Madam Taitou Ethiopian Cuisine

Our culinary journey takes a global turn as we venture into Long Street to discover Madam Taitou, a hidden gem specialising in Ethiopian cuisine. The vibrant decor and inviting ambience transport us to the bustling streets of Addis Ababa as we prepare to explore the flavours of Ethiopia.

Signature Dish: Injera

At the heart of Madam Taitou’s culinary experience is the iconic injera, a beloved staple of Ethiopian cuisine. Made from teff flour and fermented to perfection, injera is a spongy, sourdough flatbread that serves as the foundation for a delectable range of dishes. Accompanying the injera are an assortment of traditional Ethiopian dishes, each bursting with bold and complex flavours. From doro wat (spicy chicken stew) and misir wat (red lentil stew) to aromatic vegetable dishes like gomen (collard greens) and atkilt wat (spiced cabbage and carrots), every bite offers a tantalising glimpse into Ethiopia’s rich culinary heritage.

Openwine on Wale Street

No culinary adventure in Cape Town is complete without a wine-tasting experience. Openwine on Wale Street offers an extensive selection of South African wines to delight the senses. Under the guidance of our expert sommelier, we embark on a journey through the vineyards of South Africa, sampling their extensive selection of varietals and vintages.

Signature Experience: Wine Tasting

From the robust reds of Stellenbosch to the crisp whites of Franschhoek and over 200 wines available by the glass, each wine tells a story of the land and the people who cultivate it. As we swirl, sip, and savour each glass, we discover the unique terroir of South Africa’s wine regions, with notes of ripe berries, floral aromas, and hints of spice dancing across the palate.

Fireman’s Arms

Retreat to Fireman’s Arms, one of Cape Town’s oldest and most beloved pubs. Steeped in history and tradition, this iconic establishment offers a warm, welcoming atmosphere where guests can indulge in hearty comfort food and local favourites.

Signature Dish: Bunny Chow and Malva Pudding

A quintessential South African dish, Bunny Chow is a hearty curry served in a hollowed-out loaf of bread, providing a satisfying blend of flavours and textures. It is believed that the origins of bunny chow stem back to the ingenuity of Indian labourers who hollowed out loaves of bread and filled them with curry as a convenient way to transport and savour their traditional meals. The creamy curry, infused with fragrant spices and tender meat, pairs perfectly with the soft and pillowy bread, creating a comforting and satisfying meal. 

With its roots tracing back to Dutch settlers who brought their baking traditions to the Cape, we indulge in Malva Pudding for dessert. Served warm and drenched in a sticky caramel sauce, the moist and sponge-like pudding melts in your mouth, while the rich caramel sauce adds a luscious sweetness that lingers on the palate. Paired with a dollop of creamy custard, each bite of malva pudding is a decadent delight.

Exploring South Africa’s rich culinary heritage with Cape Town Culinary Tours is more than just a culinary adventure; it celebrates South Africa’s diverse flavours and cultural and architectural history. From traditional South African dishes like bobotie and bunny chow to global delights like Ethiopian cuisine, Cape Town offers a gastronomic experience like no other. With the expertise of Cape Town Culinary Tours guiding you every step of the way, visitors can embark on a journey through the tastes and traditions that define this vibrant country, one delicious bite at a time.

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