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Traditional Cape Town Food

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Cuisine is an integral part of any local culture, and no trip to Cape Town is complete without tasting the traditional Cape Town food. This directory offers information about the traditional dishes and drinks available in Cape Town to help visitors better understand the local food culture and make an informed decision when trying them.


  • Mushroom tortellini: pasta stuffed with any tasty filling and garnished with chopped mushrooms.
  • Samosa: pastry stuffed with potatoes, onions, peas, coriander, and lentils, or ground beef or chicken.
  • Smoorsnoek: smoked snoek, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, oil, butter, sugar, garlic.
  • Vetkoek: pastry filled with cooked mince or spread with syrup, honey or jam.


  • Melkkos: a classic South African milk dish.


  • Crayfish salad: crayfish, mayonnaise, fromage blanc, tomato ketchup, dill leaves, red lettuce, spinach, sorrel, dandelion, endive, cornsalad (lamb's lettuce), Watercress (salad cress), lemon.

Main courses

  • Bobotie: spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping.
  • Pap: porridge made from mielie-meal.
  • Potjiekos: stew including meat, vegetables and starches like rice or potatoes.
  • Skop: the head of a cow, sheep or goat.


  • Koeksisters: syrup-coated doughnut in a twisted or braided shape.
  • Mealie bread: sweetened bread baked with sweetcorn and buttered.
  • Melktert: a sweet pastry crust containing a creamy filling made from milk, flour, sugar and eggs.
  • Rusks: a hard, dry biscuit.

Fast food

  • Bunny chow: hollowed out loaf of bread filled with curry.
  • Gatsby: a long roll with fillings of anything ranging from polony to chicken or steak and hot chips.
  • Sosaties: meat (usually lamb or mutton) cooked on skewers.

Street food

Drinks (Non-alcoholic)

  • Amasi: fermented milk that tastes like cottage cheese or plain yogurt.
  • Mageu: drink made from fermented mealie pap.

Drinks (Alcoholic)

  • Mint Julep: drink made with mint, bourbon, sugar, and water.
  • Mojito: an alcoholic drink made with white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water and mint.
  • Umqombothi: a beer made from maize (corn), maize malt, sorghum malt, yeast and water.

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Call For Contributions

We need your help with the following Cape Town dishes. We need dish description as well as photos.

- Melkkos
- Constantia Uitsig Wine

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