• Karen Seiger

Guest Market & Blogger: The Neighborgoods Market in Cape Town South Africa

I am thrilled to welcome back Guest Blogger Joey Cameron, US Managing Director of Ukuva iAfrica USA. He was home in Cape Town, South Africa recently and visited the amazing Neighbourgoods Market. As if we needed another reason to visit this beautiful city! ~Karen Seiger, Markets of New York City

When I say “African Market,” I’m almost sure that you expect to hear about the typical beads, wooden spoons and painted ostrich eggs. Newsflash my American friends: we’ve evolved.

Entering the Neighborgoods Market in Cape Town, South Africa

Think wooden surfboard tables, ostrich egg French toast and locally grown iced Rooibos tea, stirred with edible homegrown honey spoons. Okay, so that was almost 100% true, except the part about the ostrich French toast. And the honey spoons. But wouldn’t that would be cool? (Don’t steal my ideas.)

Surfboard Table handmade by Jasper Eales

Artisan Jasper Eales At Work

Enter the Neighbourgoods Market, a mecca for the local peeps in search of a boozy, Saturday chow-down and perhaps a shopping spree. In their own words,

“The Neighbourgoods Market is an independent initiative founded in 2006 by entrepreneurs Justin Rhodes and Cameron Munro, whose aim is to revive and reinvent the Public Market as a civic institution. This award-winning market features over 100 specialty traders every Saturday, creating a weekly platform for local farmers, fine-food purveyors, organic merchants, bakers and distributors, grocers, mongers, butchers, artisan producers, celebrated local chefs, and micro enterprises.

“The market is housed in an old sky-lit brick warehouse and courtyard at the Old Biscuit Mill in the industrial neighborhood of Woodstock, Cape Town. It is as much a source for farm fresh as well as organic foods and locally produced specialty goods as it is a meeting point to enjoy community, swap ideas and stories, and become educated about what we buy and eat by going directly to the source. A calendar of seasonal events, specialty festivals, and live music feature throughout the year.”

The Neighbourgoods Market inside Cape Town’s Biscuit Mill

Here’s the thing, I was raised in Cape Town and I watched this space grow. Justin and Cameron have truly curated the market in such a way that it feels South African but has a well-rounded international influence. Their selection of prepared foods is impressive, with one or two apparel stalls worth punching keys about. I’ve decided to feature a few of my favs.

The Apparel & Accessories

Chapel Bags Handmade in Cape Town

Local Apparel Section at the Neighbourgoods Market

The Chow

If you’ve been sipping on Rooiboos tea, the indigenous South African export, and didn’t know about it’s iced possibiliTEAS (see what I did there?), then you’d better get to recipe googlin’.

Rooibos Iced Tea – A Thirst Quenching South African Classic

Once you’ve tried Juan’s empanadas, chimmichurri or chicken Pamplona, you will soon realize that your life as a wannabe chef is meaningless. After devoting your Saturdays attempting to steal his recipes, you will end up being his friend, because he is an all round legend. But he will still charge you for his glorious Argentinian food. Go to him.

Come eat with Juan from Argentina

Juan’s Argentinian delicacies at the Neighbourgoods Market

For those that do not know about ‘biltong’, it’s our version of beef jerky, without the high fructose death syrup. No, it’s not raw; it’s cured. You may notice that it simply hangs from the ceiling, to that I say: TIA, baby – This Is Africa. Seriously though it’s mad delicious.

South African cured Biltong, or Jerky, from The Charcuteriie

Cured meats hanging in the market. This is Africa!

In South Africa, we have a saying: ‘If it moves, braai (BBQ) it.’ In a very South African fashion, these guys have taken to foraging – with a twist. They offer a barbecued wild mushroom skewer/kebab that will change your life and make you feel like a local. You’ll find yourself wanting to BBQ unnecessarily, and you’ll like it.

Mushroom Skewers on the Braai

Possibly what we are most known for in South Africa – wine! We produce some of the world’s finest, and we gladly drink most of it.

World Renowned South African Wines at the Neighbourgoods Market

The only reason Babycakes has not yet been arrested for driving people insane with candy is likely because she pays off the local cops with it. Her ridiculous handmade chocolate combinations will put you into a happily self-induced diabetic coma. Unless you dislike cinnamon, caramel and peanut butter fudge, in which case you can go now.

Delectable fudge from Baby Cakes

Some people sell science coffee, some do espresso or drip, and some just modify vintage Datsuns and sell it out of the boot (trunk).

This Datsun espresso bar gives a whole new meaning to “alternative energy”!

Expresso from the back of this Datsun

Hit these guys up to creatively caffeinate your afternoon. You’ll need it to stay awake for your next adventure.

Hard life.

Thanks, Joey!

On Facebook:

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  3. Ukuva iAfrica USA and read about their amazing South African condiments here

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© 2020 by Karen Seiger

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