South African Food Adventure

South African cuisine has many influences including Dutch, French, Malaysian and indigenous cultures due partly to its history of settlement and colonialism as well as its position on the coast.

Johannesburg, the largest city has an eclectic mix of fine restaurants with mouth-watering South African delicacies. There are several nice traditional foods you should try when you visit Jo’burg’s top restaurants. Here are some dishes representing the country’s rich culture.


One of the most popular is Chakalaka, a salad of Indian / Malay origin which is a side dish for most dinners or braai. This salad consists of a combination of spritzed canned breasts, grated vegetables, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and spices. Try them out in these restaurants and more in South Africa such as:

  • Marble Restaurant
  • Urbanologi
  • Parreirinha Restaurante
  • Olives and Plates


Biltong and American beef jerky are quite alike but not exactly. Its probably the most loved South African snack made from beef that is dried, fried, and spiced. There are also more unusual variations available, such as chicken biltong. Served as a snack at almost all gatherings, many potjiekos recipes often use Biltong as an ingredient. You can find Biltong in these restaurants:

  • Butcher’s Best Biltong
  • Marble Restaurant
  • Level Four Restaurant
  • Pigalle Restaurant – Melrose Arch
  • The Butcher Shop & Grill


The dish an influence of Cape Malay, has a sweet taste and it contains curry, turmeric, and sometimes almonds. Bobotie consists of spiced mince, egg-based topping and traditional raisins or sultanas that are added to the mixture.

  • Not Bread Alone
  • Patisserie Belle
  • Woolworths Cafe
  • The Green Peppercorn


These traditional South African bite-size dessert items from Malay origins are made from deep-fried dough and are especially common in Cape Town. Koeksister and Koesister are variations that are quite similar. Both are deep-fried, but the former is plaited, has a hard exterior, and is doused in syrup. They’ve got a golden crust, a fluffy, doughnut-like middle, and are very sticky. The latter is comparable to a conventional doughnut and is mostly bun-shaped with coconut dusting and a touch of spices. These sweet desserts can be found in these restaurants below:

  • Arpin Koeksisters
  • Wembley Roadhouse
  • Mariam’s Kitchen
  • Farieda’s Koeksisters
  • Ouma Rooi


Meeting a South African claiming they don’t like this popular dish is unusual. Milktart is a pie-like dessert composed of a warm pastry crust and a fluffy filling made of milk, flour, sugar and eggs. Most supermarkets will buy it whole, and almost every family has their own special recipe. You can find delicious Milktart in these places:

  • The Whippet
  • District 6
  • Knead
  • Something’s cooking by J
  • Voncake


Common in Afrikaner cuisine, Vetkoek is a fried doughbread. The word means “fat cake,” similar to Dutch Oliebollen. Sweet or savory toppings like minced curry and chutney can accompany it. Tasty Vetkoek can be found in these restos:

  • Fat Cake City
  • Vetkoek Paleis
  • Marble Restaurant
  • Onenineone
  • Pata Pata

So there you go. The African continent has a lot to offer especially with food. If you have curious taste buds like myself, why not take a trip to Jo’burg and have some food adventure.

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