The South African cuisine have a taste of many other cuisines as they are a blend of many regional dishes. The colonization and immigration during the colonial period have bought a great difference in the cuisine, which is why finding Indian, Malaysian, French, and Mexican influences may not come as a surprise to you. But what may come as a surprise is the lip-smacking flavor of all of these top dishes that make a food walk in the country an absolute must-do. And just so that you don’t have to worry about what to eat first, here’s a list of the ten best cuisines of South Africa that’ll keep you going!
15 Best South African Cuisines
Here’s a list of 15 top cuisines in the country that will surely add more flavors to your trip to South Africa. Start scrolling and don’t forgot to take a note of the dishes you’d want to indulge in!
This staple food was originated in Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. A salty dried meat of beef or kudu but sometimes of ostrich and even rhino. The word biltong is discovered from the Dutch language where ‘bil’ means rump and ‘tong’ means the tongue. This is among the very popular South Africa cuisine and there are some added versions to it like chicken biltong and venison biltong. It tastes like a mixture of black pepper, coriander, vinegar and also raw meat. Sometimes soups and stews are also made using these ingredients.
Place To Try This Cuisine: Babel at Babylonstoren, Cape Town
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A popular traditional South African food, it originated in not only South Africa but also in Zimbabwe. To qualify as boerewors this dish must have at least 90% of meat. This well-known food is thicker that a sausage and is known to be derived from a type of sausage made in the south of Ardour River in France. This sausage is made from beef mince and has coriander, cloves and nutmeg added to it. Every braai has boerewors added to it and locals like to make theirs on their own. The name is given by the Afrikaans where ‘boer’ means farmer and ‘wors’ means sausage.
Place To Try This Cuisine: +27 Cafe, Gauteng
This meatloaf with raisins and baked egg on top was originated in Malay and is usually served with yellow rice, banana slices and chutney. The word bobotie comes from the Malay word ‘boemboe’ that means curry spices according to the Afrikaans dictionary while some people think that it is derived from the word ‘bobotok’ which is an Indonesian dish that has different ingredients altogether. The first recipe of Bobotie was seen in the Dutch cookbook in the year 1609. This food is a dinner-time favorite and curry, turmeric and almonds are also included in this dish. Bobotie has a sweet taste and is enjoyed by locals with the famous hot sauce.
Place To Try This Cuisine: Skotnes Restaurant, Cape Town
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4. Bunny Chow
A half loaf of bread which is hollowed out and filled with delicious curry. This mouthwatering dish was first originated in the Durban Indian community and has made its way to many parts of South Africa. It is popularly known as bunny and can be found in the Indian restaurants in Cape Town. Mostly considered as a non-vegetarian dish but sometimes the curry is made with veg ingredients and is called as beans bunny. It is among the lop listed South African cuisine in Cape Town which serves better in your tummy!
Place To Try This Cuisine: Any street side cafe
This native dish is for every person with a sweet tooth as it is fried dough which is twisted or plaited and then dipped in the sugary syrup. This is a heavenly dish and is like a donut but a very sweet and sticky one. This dish is made in Cape Malay but in a different way where they add a cake texture to it and roll it in desiccated coconut and has a spicy flavor. This fried delicacy is spread throughout the country and is a traditional South African food. The name koeksisters is taken from the Dutch word ‘koek’ which means cake.
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6. Malva Pudding
Another sweet delicacy which has a Dutch origin. This sweet spongy apricot pudding delight is usually made by Cape Malay people. This pudding has apricot jam added to it which is really saucy and has a caramel taste added to its spongy texture. When this delicious pudding is removed from the oven a cream based sauce is added from the top to make this dish even more sweet and delicious. Ice cream and custard is given on the side with this soft pudding which act as a great combination.
Place To Try This Cuisine: 33 High Street, Johannesburg
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A spicy dish served with boerewors and is a wonderful combination usually served at braais. Vegetables such as peppers, onions, carrots and tomatoes are added to this spicy relish that adds to the flavors of this dish and was made by gold miners nut was later improved and enhanced. Chakalaka has many spices added to it like ginger, paprika, curry powder and many other spices which make this one among the true South African dishes, delicious and flavorsome. This is an accompanied food that is usually served with bread, pap, samp, curry or stews.
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This pie like dessert is loved by every person in South Africa and this delicacy has sweet pastry crust and a creamy filling which is made of milk, flour, sugar and eggs. Families like to make their own melkterts but you can also find these in supermarkets. This typical tart dessert is known as melktert by Africans is also known as mil tart in some areas. This tea tie snack is delicious and loved by many native people.
This is a traditional Africans stew made on a three legged pot. Meat and vegetables are added to this stew and cooked for long hours on coals in iron pots. Various spices and ingredients are added to this stew which gives it a unique flavor and is popularly made during family gatherings and get together. Many people experiment with different spices and vegetables and sometimes even with seafood. A large group comes together and makes this amazing stew and it is a kind of social gathering which is fun and easy.
Place To Try This Cuisine: Moyo, Johannesburg
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These are a bunch of mullets which are salted and tied in a knot and hung up to dry. Quiet popular dish on the west coast in South Africa. These mullets are kept in the sun to dry and then eaten after peeling of their skin and is sometimes smoked by some people. It is a kind of fish biltong. This dish is not really an all-time favourite among the South African snacks but is loved by fish lovers and can be served with pastas and soups.
Gatsby is a giant foot long roll which is a street food of South Africa. The roll is bursting with soft fries soaked in vinegar, egg, spiced steak, sausage, and peri peri. If you are in South Africa, then you must try this legendary roll to satiate your hunger.
Place To Try This Cuisine: Mariam’s Kitchen, Cape Town
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12. Pap En Sous
Pap is considered as a staple in South Africa which is prepared from ground maize. You can have it in different ways – porridge, balls dipped in sous ( tomato and onion sauce) or as a fruity salsa. In modern restaurants, it is served as wedges with fried eggs.
Place To Try This Cuisine: The Grillhouse, The Bannister Hotel Bar and Restaurant
A species of mackerel, snoek is easily found in the seas around South Africa. It is a bit tricky to eat snoek but the taste is amazing. Snoek is usually served as a battered fish with french fries. If you want to try local delicacies then you should pick Snoek from the South African cuisine menu.
Place To Try This Cuisine: Kalky’s, Kalk Bay
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14. Peppermint Crisp Tart
Even though is not one of the stylish desserts available on earth, still it is one of the most popular dishes in South Africa. It is a no-cook pudding layered with biscuits, caramel treat, whipped cream, and thin peppermint chocolate bars. It is one of the must-try food items in South African cuisine.
Place To Try This Cuisine: Thunder Gun Steakhouse, Northcliff
Denningvleis is a traditional Cape Malay delicacy which is considered as one of the oldest South African dishes. It is a sweet and sour stew that is cooked slowly with a hint of tamarind and spices. You can still find this ancient dish at restaurants like Bo-Kaap Kombuis in Cape Town.
Place To Try This Cuisine: Bo-Kaap Kombuis, Cape Town
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These are some of the native foods of South Africa which you will definitely enjoy. The South African cuisine is a blend of many flavors and is loved by many tourists. So, make sure you keep enough time reserved for indulging in these dishes on your next South Africa trip with TravelTriangle.
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Frequently Asked Questions About South African Cuisines
What is the most common food in South Africa?
Bobotie is the most common dish in South Africa. It is baked with an egg-based topping and comprises minced meat.
What food is Cape Town famous for?
Braais is the most famous dish in Cape Town which includes spiced sausage, beef steak and pork chops.
What fruit is indigenous to South Africa?
Wild plum is the indigenous fruit of South Africa. It has more antioxidants as compared to blueberries and cranberries.
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