Budget-friendly foodie escapes across Mzansi to get you through Januworry

2019-01-08 08:30 - Kavitha Pillay
Post a comment 0

After a whole lot of keDezemba vibes, 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 Januworry 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.

SEE: 9 Budget staycation options for every South African

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 aromas that waft from the many street food vendors around the St George's Mall area. In Church Square, Afro's from Durban has opened another branch in the Mother City, bringing its prices with it.

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 Neighbourgoods 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: Beach cottage ideas for an island-style getaway right here on our shores

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”.

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.

READ: From city parties to coastal relaxation: The 20 best backpacking spots in SA


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: Take a long trip: Southern Europe's Malta, Greece, Croatia and Montenegro on a budget

According to Food24, Urban Angel Café in Johannesburg is becoming one of the city’s favourite bakery cafés with a menu offering burgers starting at R52, to more elaborate dishes like potato cakes oozing mozzarella, grilled veggies and hummus for R88.

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.

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.

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 at Maboneng Precinct which will be open from 13 January.

SEE: Budget alternatives for expensive cities: Trade Paris for Madrid and Greece for the West Coast

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.

You can also check out the city's other breweries – Dockside Brewery and Beer Yard - where you can enjoy more uniquely different crafted beers.

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: 14 Tips for turning that end-of-year holiday into a reality

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).

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


A foodie hotspot in Durban is  Station Drive Precinct where they also host First Thursdays with bands and a lovely variety of food trucks to keep you full.

There's also a trendy Rooftop Night Market with free entry showing of Durban's best.

SEE: Your budget-friendly guide to three days in Dubai

Afro’s Chicken bright yellow container right on the beach is a must-visit for meals that cost around R25 - R70.

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

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

For one of the best bunny chows in Durban, and for a spicy price, visit Cane Cutters where you the cheapest bunny is about R30, although you can go all out for some fancy bunnies like Prawn for about R100 for a quarter. 

SEE: No booking needed - Durban pop-in eateries to visit this summer

Find Your Escape by searching and comparing flight prices hereYou can also sign-up for the Traveller24 Weekly Newsletter – Subscribe hereOr download the News24 App hereto receive expertly curated travel ideas and deals directly to your mobile.