Cape Town’s food scene continues to impress us with its quality, variety and creativity. It is certainly important to do your research on restaurants as the city is filled with many top-notch eateries. This post is less about the upscale, trendy restaurants in Cape Town and more about the variety of culinary experiences offered throughout the region. If you only have a weekend in Cape Town and you want to eat well and try new foods, this is your culinary itinerary for your quick visit.

Friday Afternoon: Spice Route

Everything you could possibly want to eat or drink all offered within one beautiful “adult playground.” What more can one hope for? Take the scenic drive out to Paarl, just 45 minutes from central Cape Town and you’ll find foodie Mecca. Taste beer, chocolate, coffee, gin, pizza, cured meats, wine, and more- all no more than 50 yards from one another. There are a few options for sit down meals but we like trying little tastes from lots of different vendors. You should plan to pay a visit to the Cape Brewing Company’s brewery for tastes of their awesome beers and an explanation of their beer-making history. Prefer spirits over beer? The Spice Route has that too! Wilderer Distillery offers tastes of their artisanal gin and other spirits made throughout the Cape. You can also try various types of wine, cured meats, biltong, chocolate and more. We recommend taking some food to go and finding a nice spot to sit on the grass looking out over the mountains of the Winelands. The Spice Route is a great place to go as a group because there’s something for everyone!

Saturday Afternoon: Neighbourgoods Market at Old Biscuit Mill

While only open until 2 pm each Saturday, this place is not to be missed by a foodie as it rivals any European open market. The old mill fills with locals and tourists alike who sit together and enjoy a drink and eats as they listen to live music. We suggest that you do an entire lap around the market before you make any decisions as this place is loaded with good stuff. You’re guaranteed to bite off a bit more than you can chew because you won’t be able to resist all the delicious options. You’ll find salads with colors you didn’t know existed, Asian fusion dishes, grilled meats galore, and even mushroom medley skewers. Although the Neighbourgoods market is only open on Saturdays, the Old Biscuit Mill is home to some great restaurants that are open all week long. Make sure you pay a visit toThe Pot Luck Club and Burrata Restaurant.

Sunday Afternoon: Mzoli’s

Mzoli’s, coined the “Church of Meat,” is a butchery/restaurant located in one of Cape Town’s surrounding townships, Gugulethu. The ambiance of plastic chairs, a metal tin roof and sticky tables should be enough to tell you that this is a “no frills” establishment. You come here for the meat, the people and the experience of a true South African braai (barbecue). You start by stepping up to the butchery counter and ordering the meat you’d like grilled. Proceed to grab a cheap beer or two and pray you brought your appetite. They grill your selected meat in their special sauce and soon enough you’ll be feasting your face off! Mzoli’s is open every day, but Sunday is the day to be seen at Mzoli’s. Make sure to get there early as this place fills up quickly and gets fairly rowdy by noon. Mzoli’s may not be for everyone, but if you are looking for a unique, exciting, (and slightly hectic) experience, you should certainly make the trip out to Gugulethu.

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