I love food tours, it’s one of the best ways to discover a new place and culture. My recent Cape Town food tour deserves its own post. There are lots of online options for food tours in Cape Town but in the end I chose Eat Like a Local. The price was sensible and it offered non-alcoholic prices.
Be sure to book online before you go. Rupesh Kassen is the founder and guide. He’s personable, friendly and a qualified chef and a food critic so he knows his stuff.
On a fine Friday morning, my first day in Cape Town, there were six of us signed up for the City Bowl tasting experience – 3 solo travelers and my husband and I.
The tour was excellent. Not all stops on your tour will be the same as ours. But the good news is, that no matter where you go, Cape Town is a beautiful city and there’s plenty of great food to try!
Our first stop was on Bree Street at Jason Bakery for a freshly made Portuguese egg tart. I’m not normally an egg tart fan (there’s a lot of them here in Asia) but this one was exceptional. From there we walked to the colourful neighbourhood of Bo-Kaap that’s right on the edge of the CBD. This is a historical centre of Cape Malay culture in Cape Town and we had two stops here.
Bo-Kaap is a tourist stop in its own right, but it’s not till you go behind the brightly painted houses to discover the food, that you really understand more about Cape Malay culture.
At one of our stops we met Faeeza who cooked three Cape Malay specialties for us – samosas, dahltjes and koeksisters. Faeeza also runs her own cooking class which I can imagine would be a lot of fun! Email Faeeza directly for more information.
Walking on we came to Heritage Square where we sat outside in a gorgeous little courtyard and had some tastings of local food and drink from the smallest coffee shop in Cape Town. Despite its footprint of only 3m wide and 1m deep, this little coffee shop knows how to deliver the goods.
Heritage Square also houses the oldest grapevine in the Cape. Planted in the 1770s it still produces grapes every year and winemakers vie for the owner of producing wine with its grapes. See the photo gallery above to see this amazing vine.
Youngblood Art Gallery
On Bree Street you’ll find Youngblood Art Gallery. This is a 3-story gallery dedicated to helping local artists. The Gallery kitchen had prepared some modern dishes curated specially for us. We learned about chakalaka (South African vegetable relish, usually with a small kick), which is delicious, as well as a really good word to say repeatedly.
The bites all went down a treat; washed down with a local kombucha.
Old Town Centre
Next, we walked into the heart of the city through Greenmarket Square and Old Town Hall to visit Fred who makes his own biltong (dried meat) from all kinds of animals. There are biltong shops and stalls everywhere in South Africa. If I had to choose my favourite, it would be zebra, but I guess I’m too well fed to be a serious biltong fan. If you want to try it, go see Fred at Biltong and Blade who will tell you all about it.
At Maria’s Kitchen we tried salomies – delicious light prata wrapped around curry. Here, Rupesh offered to buy a Great Gatsby for anyone still hungry. Designed to feed an army, a Great Gatsby is a 3 foot long sandwich stuffed full of everything including hot chips. We weren’t up to the task though, especially since there was still a brownie in our future!
At Honest Chocolate we finished our tour. Honest Chocolate is a bean to bar chocolate maker and uses organic cocoa beans from a selected farm in Tanzania. That farm supplies only two companies in the world, and Honest Chocolate is one of them.
Once we’d said goodbyes, 4.5 hours after we first met, I stayed on at Honest Chocolate to try some more goodies. Yes, they were that good.
The next day I saw a variety of local delicacies at a NeighbourGoods market. Only because of my Cape Town food tour did I know what I was looking at. I felt a little proud of my new-found knowledge.
Because this was my very first day in Cape Town, the places we stopped were just as awesome as the food itself. Rupesh answered all our cultural and foodie questions, and I happily recommend his Eat Like a Local tour.
What’s your favourite South African food?
Tour taken October 2019.