6 must-try foods in South Africa’s townships

Posted on 26 March 2024

If you’re a foodie, you know the best way to get to know a place is over some local cuisine and conversation. South Africa’s townships showcase spectacular culinary diversity, steeped in culture and flavours.

Have a look at these six must-try foods in South Africa’s townships.

Cape Malay food

A staple in Captetonian culture, Cape Malay food has a wide range of spicy and aromatic flavours. Samoosas, koeksusters, roti-based food and the gatsby – these are the top foods you can find in townships in the Cape Flats.

READ MORE: Traditional Cape Malay pickled fish recipe

For the best gatsby in town, stop by local eateries Super Fisheries, Golden Plate and Wembley Roadhouse.

Monster Freakshakes

This is for all those with a sweet tooth. A freakshake is a scoopful of ice cream meshed together with cookies, wafer, cake and anything else your heart desires in a jug.

Of course, different townships have their own spin on this delectable delight – Skeem Corner in Tickyline, Limpopo offers some of the most creative freakshakes around.

The Kota experience

If you’re going to try this dish, make sure you’ve got plenty room in your stomach. A kota is made out of a quarter loaf of bread filled with a variety of meat, fruits, vegetables, relishes, eggs, condiments and mopani worms.

The name for this dish varies on what area it’s in. If you’re from the Vaal triangle, you may know it as skhambane whereas in Durban it’s known as bunny chow.

For the ultimate kota experience, save the date for 3 – 4 September for the Blue-Ribbon Soweto Kota Festival – an annual township dish competition.

Ox liver with a kick

Beef offal is made from stomach, liver, kidneys or the intestines from cattle. Even though it doesn’t sound too appealing, you’d be surprised how flavourful a dish can be using these ingredients.

If you’re curious, Spanda-by-Day sits across the Protea Gardens Mall in Soweto and serves fried ox liver with bell peppers soaked in a special sweet and tangy sauce.

The chicken dust experience

Every township has its own take on braai culture but have you heard of chicken dust? It’s spicy open flame grilled chicken featuring a variety of spices and relishes.

READ MORE: 3 banging braai recipes for the weekend

If you ever find yourself in Rustenburg in North West, Kasi Chicken Dust will give you the ultimate chicken dust experience.

If you’re looking for good food and good music, stop by Value Meat Real Braai in Emalahleni or Max’s Lifestyle in Durban, where the food goes hand-in-hand with a vibe to die for.

The trusty favourites

Now if you want to play it safe, you can never go wrong with traditional dishes. Gama La Magama African Cuisine serves traditional isiXhosa dishes near East London, such as steam bread and sheep head.

READ MORE: Scrumptious steamed bread recipe

With travel fully open in South Africa, now is as good a time as any to go explore townships and take your appetite with you!

Pictures: Supplied


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