Budget-friendly foodie escapes across Mzansi

2017-05-06 12:30 - Kavitha Pillay
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Cape Town - After a whole lot of public holidays and extra-long weekends, chances are that you’ve stretched your wallet a bit and you’re now feeling the pinch of indulgence over the last few weeks.

If you’re stuck about what to do this weekend - or the upcoming weeks - while keeping within your budget, there’s no need to suffer from FOMO.

We’ve put together a list of local budget escapes that the foodies – and even non-foodies – will enjoy. Check it out:

Cape Town

The Mother City never disappoints with a myriad of things to do and see – from street food and art, to outdoor activities and one-of-a-kind restaurants.

SEE: Eat, pray, love at the new Bosjes Winelands hideaway

A simple stroll through the CBD is sure to present you with unique sensory experiences - like the aromas of fresh fruit and veg, coupled with sumptuous bites prepared at Earth Fair Market, which has new winter trading hours on a Thursday, from 11 am to 5 pm at St Georges Mall.

Lots to see, smell and eat at the Earth Fair Market. (Photo: Kavitha Pillay).

SEE: Your one-stop Cape Town Foodie guide

Other must-visit markets that promise to take you on a culinary journey across the globe include V&A’s Market on the Wharf at the Waterfront, offering over locally-produced artisanal products and street foods, The Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill that features over 100 specialty traders (and is also in Johannesburg), as well as Bay Harbour Market at Hout Bay where you can get foods from braai’d fish to freshly baked bread.

Check out what you can get at The Neighbourgood Market:

Wine lovers can delight in Tuning The Vine for an #InnerCityWineRoute experience - a wine tasting adventure at vibey inner city venues. It takes place on a Wednesday following First Thursdays, from 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm. Buy tickets at www.quicket.co.za.

SEE: Tuning the Vine: Five ways to wind through the #InnerCityWineRoute

If you’re looking for more than bite-sized meals, at affordable prices and with a bit more spice, then Eastern Food Bazaar is a must-visit, one-stop spot offering everything from Indian cuisine to Chinese food and even “natural ice cream”.

Check it out:

If taking a laid-back route with a few friends or family is what you’d prefer, then picnicking is the way to go. Prepare some of your favourite home-made snacks or grab a few picnic treats from Woolies or Food Lover’s Market, and head to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens for breath-taking views, or if you’re in the CBD, then The Company’s Garden is the go-to spot.

tb to a lekker kirsties picnic ??

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Another foodie’s delight in the Mother City, but at a slightly higher cost, is joining in a number of cooking or baking classes. A new LINDT Chocolate Boutique & Studio Concept Store has opened its doors at the V&A Waterfront’s Silo District  for those with a sweet tooth, or master your inner chef with Liam Tomlin in Franschhoek.

SEE: Long Weekend Fun: 6 must-do things in the Cape Winelands


Although the “place of gold” is known for its lavish offerings, there are a number of restaurants that will appeal to those on a tight budget.

SEE: SA Insider Guide: May is here and Jozi is ready

According to Food24, Urban Angel Café in Johannesburg is becoming one of the city’s favourite bakery cafés with a menu offering toasted sandwiches starting at R30, to more elaborate dishes like potato cakes oozing mozzarella, grilled veggies and hummus for R70.

Also check out Café Picobella Trattoria where you can get a cup of coffee for R14 and a feast of bacon, eggs, sausage, tomato, mushroom and polenta for R72.

SEE: 7 Budget-friendly restaurants to try in Joburg

Try out Food24's 8 Brilliant budget-friendly recipes for the week before Pay Day for a picnic outing at top picnic sites like Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens and Emmarentia Dam.

SEE: Cool Jozi walks in and around the city of gold

Millennials and young-at-heart creatives will take pleasure in popping into Newtown - one of Johannesburg’s fastest growing spots for food, fashion and all things creative. Must-visit places for foodies in Newtown are Sophiatown Bar Lounge, SAB World of Beer and, for seasonal items, gourmet goods and fresh produce, check out Market on Main.

Port Elizabeth

Enjoy craft beer? Well the Western Cape isn’t the only place in SA to get a sip of the artisan drink. Get freshly brewed artisan beer at Bridge Street Brewery from R20 or opt for the 'Tastewheel' with five samples for R42.

Also hop on the Hop on Beer Route. This tour will take you to three microbreweries – Dockside Brewery, Beer Yard and Bridge Street Brewery – where you can enjoy 11 uniquely different crafted beers.

SEE: 17 Budget-friendly activities to get up to in Port Elizabeth

Visit the Lady Slipper Farmers Market for free. This market takes place every Saturday from 8 am to 12 pm in St Albans at the Van Stadens River grounds at the Dutch Reformed Church (NG Kerk) in Old Cape Road.

ALSO SEE: Top five markets along the Garden Route

For artisanal chocolate, bread, exotic paella and more, check out the Valley Market on the first Saturday of every month in the old tramways building. Entry is R10 (which goes to soup kitchens, and making grocery parcels and meals for needy families).

A coffee shop in Baakens Valley called Friendly Stranger is a popular get-together spot for creatives. According to PE locals, their chicken salad with honey, mustard and dukkah is a winner.

SEE: 3 Budget-friendly Free State stays, perfect for a family Easter break


A foodie hotspot in Durban is Station Drive Precinct. Check out The Morning Trade Market for Durban's weekly source of farm fresh ingredients and artisan goods, situated at 5 Station Drive, The Plant. Open on Sundays from 8 am to 1 pm, the market has no entrance fee, but take cash for food and goods.

SEE: 10 Durban street food spots you must try

There's also a trendy Rooftop Night Market with free entry.

Afro’s Chicken bright yellow container right on the beach is a must-visit for meals that cost around R25 - R50.

The Rivertown Beerhall is an art gallery, museum and brewery wrapped in one – certainly worth the visit for a three-in-one experience.

SEE: Day-tripping Durban like a local

Another free favourite is the Durban Botanical Gardens. Pack a picnic and make the most of this incredible natural setting in Durbs.

For meals under R50, check out Little Gujarat for Indian food, and Freedom Café.


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