In South Africa, markets come in all manner of guises, from foodie-focused affairs to fresh produce and design-orientated dos. Here is our selection of the country’s most well-established markets – all of which have a local-is-lekker attitude and promise a chilled morning (or afternoon or evening) of shopping, browsing and munching.
What: This is a foodie fair of note, which will appeal to the designer-y types too. Housed in an old warehouse, the stalls are tightly-packed and brimming with artisanal breads, chocolate, coffee and various ready-meals. Pick some food and eat it at the trestle tables fashioned from old doors. There is an adjacent clothes market too which dresses the city’s hipster crowd.
When: Saturday mornings, 9am-2pm, but get there for lunch rather than breakfast/brunch if you want to avoid the crowds.
Where: The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town
Blue Bird Garage
What: The Blue Bird Garage is a super chilled market in Muizenberg which brings together a range of stall holders from pizza aficionados to ice-cream experts and clothing designers. Set in an old postal hangar, it has a novel venue but the vibe still oozes the laid-back surfer vibe of False Bay.
When: Friday evenings, 4pm -10pm
Where: 39 Albertyn Road, Muizenberg
Porter Estate Produce Market
What: This is a lovely outdoor market with a rustic feel. Locally-sourced fresh produce is the focus but you can also pick up preserves and sauces, a scrumptious breakfast as well as crafty things like hand-made leather sandals and bags. Enjoy being out in the sunshine surrounded by the forest with the mountain watching over the proceedings. Special kids’ activities too, making it super family-friendly.
When: Saturday mornings, 9am-1pm, weather permitting
Where: Chrysalis Academy on the Porter Estate in Tokai
Root 44 Market
What: This is a well-known, sprawling market in the Cape Winelands with an eclectic offering from arts & crafts, fresh produce and food stalls to live music and specially-designed kids play areas. Furthermore, the market happens under a large marquee so weather conditions are never an issue.
When: Saturdays and Sundays, 10am-4pm
Where: opposite the big strawberry on the R44 road between Stellenbosch and Somerset West
Wild Oats Community Farmers’ Market
What: Wild Oats is the real deal when it comes to farmers’ markets. The focus is on small scale, local producers who bedeck their stalls with fresh veggies, baked goods, preserves, and breakfasts. And don’t forget the flower stall!
When: Saturday mornings, 7.30am (summer) or 8am (winter) -11am
Where: on the N2 highway, on the western outskirts of Sedgefield (on the Garden Route)
I Heart Market
What: The I Heart Market is unique for being focused totally on design work. The majority of its stalls are taken up with small scale designers’ goods, from jewellery to paintings – unique items that have a trendy edge. There is of course food on sale too.
When: the first Saturday of the month, 9am-2pm
Where: Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
Shongweni Farmers’ Market
What: A traditional farmers’ market with everything from hormone-free meat to fresh eggs and bread on sale. There is also an extensive craft market with all sorts of pretty things on sale and when you’re done shopping, sit down for a hearty brekkie at one of the food stalls.
When: Saturday mornings, 6am-10.30am
Where: c/o Kassier and Alverstone Road, Assagay, KwaZulu Natal
Bryanston Organic & natural Market
What: A family friendly outdoor market with the unique claim to being Johannesburg’s original outdoor market. Selling produce, arts and crafts, the producers/artists themselves preside over the stalls so you can ask all you need to about each product.
When: Thursdays and Saturdays, 9am-3pm
Where: 40 Culross Road Bryanston
What: The Market on Main is a super trendy vibe in the heart of Joburg’s up-and-coming Maboneng Precinct. You can indulge in anything and everything from delicious treats to beautiful trinkets – it’s a food and design market after all.
When: Sundays 10am-3pm, first Thursday of the month, 7pm-11pm
Where: Arts on Main building, 264 Fox Street, City & Suburban