6 must-visit markets in and around Cape Town

With summer upon us there are gazillions of opportunities to be outdoors. And if you’re visiting Cape Town, you may want to include some of its markets on your bucket list. So here are my recommendations – some for the delicious food, other for the usual bric-a-brac. Take a look and make sure to visit as many as you can – they’ll give you all the more reason to linger in the Cape for a little longer.

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1. The Neighbourgoods Market aka The Biscuit Mill, Woodstock Cape Town

Every Saturday, no matter the weather, you will find that the Neighbourgoods Market in Woodstock is the place to be, and to be seen. It was established in 2006 by entrepreneurs Justin Rhodes and Cameron Munro, with the dream of reviving and reinventing the city market concept in Cape Town.

Now more than 100 traders, including local farmers, fine-food producers, organic merchants, bakers, grocers, fishmongers, butchers, artisan producers and celebrated local chefs set up their wares and trade here.

The market is housed in an old sky-lit brick warehouse and courtyard at the Old Biscuit Mill in the industrial neighbourhood of Woodstock. It’s as much a source for farm fresh and organic foods and locally produced speciality goods, as it is a meeting place to trade ideas and stories, while becoming educated about what we eat and encouraging one to buy directly from the source.

When: Saturdays from 09h00 to 14h00
Where: 373 Albert Road, Woodstock

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2. Bay Harbour, Hout Bay Cape Town

Located at the edge of the sea in Hout Bay and overlooking Chapman’s Peak, this once-abandoned factory is now the legendary Bay Harbour Market, home to entrepreneurial traders and attracting over 24,000 visitors a month.

An inspiring destination for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this weekend market kicks off with live music on a Friday night, and is open all of Saturday and Sunday. It is great for food lovers, with over 26 culinary experts catering to everything you may desire, including Tunisian cuisine, seafood platters, oven-fired pizza, gourmet sandwiches and sweet treats and pastries.

The strict criteria for the trader selection ensures that some of the most innovative and creative dealers can be found here. So expect top quality vintage clothing, natural fabric linens, antique collectables, funky fashion and craft products to suit all tastes and more.

In a bid to give back, their initiative to collect ‘change for change’ from visitors goes to supporting the local community. They are serious about recycling and work hand in hand with traders and local NGOs to raise awareness on sustainable living.

When: Friday evenings. Saturday and Sunday from 09h30am to 16h00.
Where: 31 Harbour Road, Hout Bay (Next to Fish on the Rocks)

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3. Green Market Square, Central Cape Town

In Cape Town’s city center is one of the oldest and most popular markets known as Green Market Square. For decades, artists and traders have gathered from all corners of the African continent to sell their wide range of fabrics, sculptures, art and beadwork.

The historical cobbled square blends naturally with the many representations of Africa on sale here. Be it Masai, Xhosa, Zulu or West African. Be sure to have conversations and ask the shop owners where they’re from and for any info about their merchandise.

While you walk between the glassware, jewellery, clothing, footwear, sunglasses and paintings, you’re bound to be entertained by buskers, drummers, jugglers and mime artists, many who earn their living here. This is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks and is synonymous with shopping for a bargain (so you may even want to negotiate on the price a little!).

When: Monday to Saturday, 09h00 to 17h00 (often closing earlier on a Saturday)
Where: Burg St & Longmarket Street, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000

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4. Oranjezicht Farm Market, V&A Waterfront Cape Town

Held every Saturday at the historic Granger Bay site of the V&A Waterfront, the OZCF Market Day is a community farmers-style market for independent farmers and artisanal food producers. Here locals come together to do their weekly food shopping of vegetables, fruit, bread, organic dairy products, free-range eggs, honey, muesli and more. Try out some of the delicious cooked and raw foods and learn more about the pioneering work down at the Oranjezicht Urban farm.

This market is renowned as a great spot for breakfast and if you’re inspired to start your own garden, they have edible plants and seedlings, compost and gardening supplies for sale too. Dogs are welcome, as long as they obey the rules.

When: Every Saturday from 09h00 to 14h00
Where: Next to The Lookout event venue, Granger Bay, V&A Waterfront

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5. Milnerton Flea Market, Marine Drive Cape Town

No, it’s not in Milnerton anymore but it was at its inception some 20 years ago. Today Milnerton Flea Market is found along the R27 on Marine Drive opposite Milnerton’s Lagoon Beach. Here you’ll need time to work your way through the treasure trove of collectables, rare bargain finds, ceramics, jewellery and eclectic odds and trinkets. Most items are sold out of the boot of the car or off rickety tables set up devotedly for the day.

As they say, ‘one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure’, so chances are you will have a lucky find here. Negotiating over the price is almost expected. Dogs are more than welcome, as long as they are on a lead.

When: Saturdays, Sundays 08h00 to 14h00, Weather-dependent.
Where: Marine Drive (R27) & Milner Road Intersection, Metro Industrial Township, Cape Town

Parisian flea market

6. Organic food market in Tokai, Cape Town

Earth Fair Market can be found in Main Road in beautiful Tokai and is very popular with the locals. Rather more intimate and with a focus on organic produce, the market has free range meat traders, green grocers, incredible cheese and speciality breads, sustainably sourced fish, farm dairy, patisserie, pet foods and pretty much everything you would need for your weekly shop.

While the traders take themselves and what they do seriously, it doesn’t detract from the atmosphere- a craft beer and live music add to the fun. The Little People’s Corner offers great activities to keep the children entertained while you shop – and eat. Here, you’re bound to feel like a local.

When: Open every Saturday from 09h00 to 14h00
Where: 333 Main Road, Tokai (where Builders Warehouse is)

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