Out of Africa Part 1: Cape Town’s Neighbour Goods Market

View of Cape Town

View of Woodstock and Cape Town’s stunning scenery from The Pot Luck Club

 

Cape Town is a long way to go for a market but well worth it. The region has a rich culinary culture owing to the many peoples that have called the Cape home over the centuries.

 

sign inside neighbour goods market

Entrance to Neighbour Goods Market in Cape Town

 

The Neighbour Goods Market is a weekly event that showcases an incredible diversity of cuisine. It was started in 2006 by entrepreneurs Justin Rhodes and Cameron Munro with the mission to restore the concept of the public market. They aimed to create a space where people can gather to trade and exchange; goods, ideas and even greetings! 10 years on it’s still going strong with over 100 specialty traders that attract a crowd of hungry shoppers every Saturday.

 

Shopper sitting at market table Neighbour Goods Market

Macrame decor and long communal tables at the Neighbour Goods Market

 

Two empty warehouses are transformed for market day.  Macramé hanging vases are suspended above communal dining tables that quickly reach capacity. Stalls line the perimeter and central aisles. At its busiest shoppers overflow into the courtyard. On our visit many were reveling in the winter sun outside.

 

shoppers sitting on pavement Neighbour Goods Market

Pavement picnics outside the Neighbour Goods Market

 

two girls serving ice cream

Smiling faces on The Creamery stall

 

Glass jars filled with fudge

A dream display – jars filled with assorted fudge flavours

 

This is a true foodies market and it’s hard to match the variety on offer. Familiar market fare can be found; a main produce stall, flowers, a couple bread stalls and ice cream (try The Creamery’s lemon curd). What takes this market up a notch is the range of cuisines (Vietnamese, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian) and variety of food (mushroom kebabs, candied nuts, artisanal fudge, paella, mayonnaise, honey waffles, honey, cheese, wine, dim sum, cocktails, roti and inspired salads).

 

Salad stall display

Salad bounty and other Middle Eastern-inspired fare

 

Pot pies on tray

Freshly baked pot pies

 

Jars of cocktail mixes

Market day cocktail mixes at the Copper bar

 

Assorted nuts market stall

Under cover – chocolate, yogurt and candied nuts

 

Flammkuchen stall

Tasty flammkuchen – just don’t call it a pizza

 

Chalk board sign for biltong stand

Telling it like it is on a biltong stall

 

bowl of biltong samples

Biltong tasters

South Africans love love love their meat. Having a brai (BBQ) is a national pastime. There’s also an Afrikaans expression that reinforces this – ‘vleis, reis en aardtappels’ (meat, rice and potatoes). Cast iron pots of stew and BBQ meat could be spotted at various stalls around the venue but it is biltong (dried cured meat) that makes for a unique souvenir. One stand offered beef while another specialized in tuna, caught in the waters off the Cape.

To find the Neighbour Goods Market make your way to Woodstock, an industrial area of Cape Town. It’s housed in the Old Biscuit Mill complex. Many shopfronts on the street outside are shuttered, with grills on the windows and numerous To Let signs. Come Saturday though, the street fills with shoppers jockeying for parking spots and making a beeline to the market.

 

Protea flowers

Proteas in full bloom

 

Shoppers at the Old Biscuit Mill

Shoppers enjoying warm winter sunshine at the Old Biscuit Mill

Neighbour Goods Market is just one component of the Old Biscuit Mill. It is also home to specialty fashion and homeware stores, a boutique winery and The Test Kitchen. The latter was voted one of The World’s Best Restaurants in 2016 coming in at #22 and the only African restaurant on the list.

On Sundays the complex is quiet. At ground level you’d never know that a jazz brunch was in full swing high above at The Test Kitchen’s sister operation – The Potluck Club. Make a reservation and take the elevator to up for a fabulous 360 view of Cape Town.

Neighbour Goods Market isn’t to be missed. You can also find the market in Johannesburg.

Contacts:

The Old Biscuit Mill

373 Albert Road
Woodstock, Cape Town

The Test Kitchen

Silo Top Floor, The Old Biscuit Mill
E: reservations@thetestkitchen.co.za
T: +27 (0) 21 447 2337

The Pot Luck Club

Silo Top Floor, The Old Biscuit Mill
E: reservations@thepotluckclub.co.za
T: +27 (0)21 447 0804


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