1. The Food Market at the Waterfront
Great for their samosas, quesadillas, oysters, yogurt/smoothie stand with the option of coconut yogurt, and dried fruits. They also have a juice bar, cheese bar, bubble tea*, Thai food, and, of course, pastries. Definitely walk over to the Watershed mall behind the food market where you can find dozens of local artist vendors. It’s a great place for gift shopping—they offer a wide selection of local artists and vendors. I would also highly recommend walking a couple minutes past the roundabout to the Victoria Mall. The mall is gigantic and will take a while to walk through, but it has many souvenir shops where you can find nice gifts. There are stores that you can find in the U.S. (H&M, Zara) but also many stores that you won’t find in the U.S. My favorites at the mall were Chocolate by Tomes, Melissa’s (fancy) grocery store, and Country Road.
2. Old Biscuit Mill in Observatory
Only open on Saturdays until 2pm, this is a must-see, and I recommend going as early as possible. In fact, this was hands-down my favorite spot for unique foods. The mushroom stand was the standout for me, as well as the hummus stand’s falafel wrap, but they also have a salad bar, burger bar, seafood paella, avocado bar, sushi, coffees, wines, ice cream, dim sum, vegan bakery, and vegan wraps. Shops vary from jewelry to women’s fashion to vegan soaps.
3. Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay
This must-see market is approximately a 40-minute Uber ride from University of Cape Town campus. It showcases so much good food: dim sum, sushi, burgers, oysters, pizza, chocolates covered fruits, bubble tea*, poke bowls, Tunisian cuisine, and more. I highly recommend going on a weekend night for the live music, but be warned—it will be packed! Definitely check out the massage spa on the side of the market; they soy candles that you can use the wax as hand cream.
4. Mojo Market in Sea Point
It showcases lots of good food that’s very similar to the Food Market and Bay Harbour Market: bubble tea, poke bowl, sushi, Philly cheese steaks, South African cuisine, and more. Also a great place if you like dainty gold jewelry. J I would actually recommend, however, checking out Jarryd’s down the street and Bootlegger’s Café across the street over Mojo Market for the BEST brunch and study spots with free wifi! And if you’re a chocolate lover, head across the street to My Sugar. They have such creative golden Buddha and duck-shaped chocolates.
5. Green Market Square
If you want a colorful painting of animals, go to Green Market Square and strike a bargain. Otherwise, you’ll find that every stand sells the same African-style scarves, keychains, and toys. I would suggest instead walking a couple blocks away to Long Street, where there are many restaurants and clubs that are very popular especially on weekends.
- Tiffany Le