We take a look at a brand new day tour offering in Cape Town that offers plenty for the avid foodie...
From artisanal coffee and craft beer to traditional food, chocolate, biltong and cheese, taste your way around the city as you explore the backstreets and secrets alleys where the locals like to go. This foodie tour showcases some of the best gastronomic experiences and offers the opportunity to quench your thirst and satisfy your appetite. Meet some of the finest food purveyors and local artisans from Woodstock, to the Bo-Kaap and Bree - these are the city's most creative neighbourhoods!
The morning kicks off in the heart of the Mother City in the Company's Gardens, originally created in the 1650s by the first European settlers to grow fresh produce to replenish ships rounding the Cape. Your speciality foodie guide will take you through the garden on foot, sharing the Cape's interesting cultural and culinary influences. The fresh air is bound to get tummies rumbling, and from here it is a short drive across the city to the vibrant neighbourhood of Woodstock. If you had to describe Woodstock in three words, it would be: cool, alive and arty. One of Cape Town's oldest suburbs, this previous industrial area is still home to many of city's factories and bargain clothing outlets, interspersed with trendy street-side coffee shops, hipster restaurants, collective hangouts and artist's studios. The foundries and loft-like spaces are abuzz with activity and home to independent producers, creatives and artisans.
After a coffee tasting at a very cool little coffee joint and one of the many exceptional roasters in the area, it is time to head to a local brewery for a craft beer tasting. Microbreweries in South Africa have evolved from a hobbyist pursuit into a countrywide trend that shows no signs of abating. At present, there are over 60 microbrewers around the country turning hops, malt, yeast and water into a mind-boggling array of beers. Currently, the Western Cape leads the movement championing 'real beer' (real beer being beer that's naturally brewed using artisan methods and with no chemical or artificial additives), with microbreweries setting-up-shop in the industrial-like spaces of Salt River and Woodstock. There are pale ales, alt biers, stouts, Pilsners, barrel-aged beers, smoked malt beers, and beers made using fruit, herbs, spices, honey, wild yeast and more, to savour amidst the rich aromas of malt, hops and yeast. Cape Town beer culture? It doesn't get more real than this.
A visit to Africa's first bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer, is next on the cards to meet the people obsessed with chocolate and to sample delectable, hand-crafted treats! Feeling fully gratified, it is time to return to the city to walk the streets. Biltong is synonymous with South Africa and a staple in many homes. The next stop is a local meat merchant, because what would a South African foodie tour be, without a spot of biltong? The team behind this establishment believe that the quality of the meat is a reflection of how the animal is treated and they have teamed up with a bunch of passionate, old-school farmers. Supplying locals with the best produce, you will be treated to delicious biltong while admiring the space shared by a passionate wine merchant. There's no rest for the wicked (or hungry) and the Bo-Kaap, an area formerly known as the Malay Quarter is next on the cards. Situated on the slopes of Signal Hill above the city, it is the historical centre of Cape Malay culture and an iconic and colourful district of brightly-coloured homes and cobble-stoned streets. A visit to the area is not complete without trying the delights of the Cape's Eastern traditions, including samosas, koesisters and spices. After the Bo-Kaap's sensory overload, you will end your tour on Bree Street, the hippest street in Cape Town where you will find a hive of artisanal activity. As one of the main arteries of the city, this street is building a reputation as the retail, culinary and design centre in the centre of town. A glorious yellow exterior announces that you've arrived at Bree Street's cheese HQ. The owner spent four years as a cheese monger in London, before relocating to SA, and travelling the country to develop local cheese-making. He's incredibly knowledgeable about his trade, and will guide you through the vast array of local and international cheeses.
With a beautiful afternoon behind you, having soaked up the best of Cape Town's food, you can either continue to enjoy the city's vibrant art scene at ‘First Thursdays' (on the first Thursday of the month), be escorted to the Hope Street Night Market (every Thursday night), or return to your hotel.
Please note: the scheduled small group tours operates with a minimum of 2 pax. This tour aims to offer a real-life experience of Cape Town's rich culture, mouth-watering cuisine and wonderful people. From time to time, it may be necessary to replace some elements of this tour with alternative foodie options of equal standing due to factors beyond our control.
How to make the most of every moment?
Local knowledge makes a huge difference! When I asked Ash at Best of South Africa to give me some guidance on how to make the most of our trip to Cape Town and Franschhoek wine valley, I felt sure she would be able to send me in the right direction. It never occurred to me that she would organise our ...