The Best Cape Town Markets

These Cape Town markets peddle everything from native crafts and flea market goodies to artisanal food, local designs, and fresh flowers. Some pop up weekly in neighborhood squares, others operate full-time in airy refurbished warehouses, others are in luxury malls, but what they have in common is that they all sell authentic local flavor.

373 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7925, South Africa
A compelling reason to be in Cape Town on a weekend morning (especially Sunday, if you want to eat your way through the food-focused Oranjezicht City Farm Market, too) is the dynamic Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill in up-and-coming Woodstock. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., hip locals and tourists alike weave their way through what can only be described as an abundance of all things artisanal—edible, wearable, and otherwise. The most jam-packed part of the market is usually the massive tent lined with vendors specializing in mushrooms, bread, paella, pizza, honey, cakes, cheeses, and craft brews. It’s a veritable smorgasbord, so wear your stretchy pants, and work it off afterward by strolling the other section devoted to micro-merchants selling baby moccasins, brightly colored swimwear, offbeat home accessories, recycled brass jewelry, and more.
76 Long Street
On a street that looks a lot like one in the French Quarter of New Orleans sits one of the best markets on the planet. The Pan African Market is three stories of small shops filled with collectibles from all over Africa. My favorite section was on the second floor, full of masks and unique items I hadn’t seen anywhere else. I walked off with a weathered pink leather jewelry box from Nigeria. And while you decide if you really should buy the gigantic ceremonial headpiece made of purple feathers, take a rest at the cozy cafe on the second floor, decorated with African statues and random American paperbacks. Plop down on a comfy couch, order a tea, and watch the world walk by below.
V & A Waterfront, 17 Dock Rd, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, 8002, South Africa
If you only have time to shop one place while in Cape Town, make it the Watershed market on the V&A Waterfront. A magnet for, well, virtually everything, the stalls and shops feature all the classic South African goods, from gorgeous green malachite bowls and bracelets to souvenirs made of springbok hide, recycled bottle caps, and even pressed protea flowers. There are also outposts of beloved local brands like Skoon (for sustainable beauty products), plus art (both affordable and aspirational), East African kitenge fabrics fashioned into simple Western styles, adorable baby clothes, and hand-painted leather clutches that are guaranteed to get compliments no matter where in the world you take them.
Burg St &, Longmarket St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
This little market is full of treasures (and a few tourist souvenirs). What you get to experience here is everyone’s trade and how these crafts help support their family and village. Lots of things to buy...and they’re willing to bargain.
V&A Food Market, Dock Rd, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Unlike the smaller venues which typically host markets once or twice a week, the V&A Market on the Wharf is open daily. If you are staying at accommodation in the V&A Waterfront or Greenpoint area, the is a great market to grab a drink and snacks for a picnic in the park or up Signal Hill. You can find homemade biltong, dried fruits, Cape Malay spices, and artisanal cheeses. If all this talk of food makes your mouth water, several of the vendors sell prepared meals like wraps, pies, salads, etc. For good ice cream, stop by The Creamery’s stall. You can sit outside when the weather is nice, but there is also seating on the upper level (as well as a bar) which makes it a great winter activity, too.
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