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Cape Town food that will make every visitor feel at home

If you are planning on visiting Cape Town and plan to eat just like the locals do, here are some must-try meals for every mood.

Cape Town Festival Lights Switch-On
Cape Town. Image: City of Cape Town

Planning on visiting Cape Town soon? Dive into Cape Town’s culinary scene with this must-try food list.

Bobotie is classic Cape Malay dish that’s been around for many, many years. It is a dish that is made in the oven consisting of curried beef mince topped with a layer of an egg mixture. It is usually served with yellow rice and raisins, and chutney on the side.


The Gatsby is a Cape Town staple – a definite must on the list of Cape Town’s food. It is a huge, toasted roll (similar to a baguette) filled with a big variety of meat, “slap chips” sauce, and lettuce. Because of the size, people often divide it into a few servings and share it. It has evolved over time and today there are many filling options to choose from, for example masala steak to calamari.


This is a firm favourite among Capetonians and there are plenty eateries that offer this all around the city. It is most often a take-away meal. Many Capetonians like to sit with a fish and chips parcel near the sea, for example at a harbour, and indulge in this popular meal. Snoekies is one of the oldest fish and chips outlets in Cape Town. It started in 1951 as a converted caravan selling coffee and snacks to local fishermen.


Staying on the fish topic, snoek is a very popular fish variety in South Africa and in especially Cape Town. A snoek braai is a favourite among many people.


Samoosas or samosas are triangular, deep-fried pastry with a spiced, savoury filling. There are many types of fillings, for example chicken, curried beef, and even potato. People usually eat it as a snack. Even though it is associated with Cape Malay culture now, it originated in Central Asia and the Middle East.


This African stew dish is very comforting on a cold winter evening. It is a hearty dish that includes tomatoes, onions, cloves, potatoes, and mutton or beef. People usually serve it with white rice.


Another stew-type dish often served with white rice and a popular dish when it comes to food in Cape Town, is waterblommetjie (Afrikaans for little water flower) bredie. It is made of meat, typically lamb, stewed together with the waterblommetjiesWaterblommetjies are endemic to the Western Cape and grow in dams. You can only harvest the edible flowers during flowering time, which runs from about June to mid-October. It is primarily sold as fresh produce.