The Very Best South African Street Foods

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SamosaStreet food or road meals is an indispensable part of travelling – if you’re visiting a strange country and just eat in resorts and hotels, convenience food chains and predefined bistros and restaurants you may as well stay home. But if you decide to go another way and overcome your anxiety of street foods, you’ll discover that you get an authentic taste of the specific meals of the country you’re visiting. So if you are visiting South Africa we advise you to get ready for some really delightful side-walk snacking.

South Africa is not called the melting pot of cultures in Africa for nothing. And with food you will be able to experience it in its full glory by visiting a couple of traditional South African street food vendors.

The Never-ending Gatsby

The Gatsby is generally seen as a Cape Town specialty. The famous Gatsby is particularly well-like in the coloured community of Cape Town and can be bought from various side walk vendors(most of these sell them as Halaal, which means they don’t contain any pork). Essentially a Gatsby is basically a baguette packed with hot chips, meat such as Polony and/or masala meat and a warm sauce or some delicious atchar. Personally I have never been able to finish a Gatsby because of its size, for this reason it was apply named – the never ending Gatsby.

The Smiley

For some this may seem a bit nasty however it’s an indispensable part of township cuisine – the head of a sheep, cooked and charred on a traditional South African braai and sold with some coke and a loaf of bread. This kind of food can effortlessly feed up to 4 starving friends. The name originates from the grizzly smile/grin of fatality; the head sporting a wide smile since the lips has been burned from its face, only exposing a collection of smiling teeth.

The delectable bunny chow

vegtablebunnychowOne story which gives an etymology for bunny chow has it that a bistro run by individuals referred to as the “Banias” (an Indian merchant caste) initially produced the scooped-out bread and curry meal at a restaurant in Durban, South Africa. The meal was a way to serve a take-away to so-called “left out individuals”. Throughout the South African apartheid regime men and women of colour were not allowed in specific stores and shops and so the owners of the shops discovered a means of serving non-whites via back door windows and so on. This was an efficient and effective way to serving everybody

The “Afrikaanse” Boerie or Boerwors Roll

The Boerie Roll is almost sold everywhere, in front of a hardware shop, at an entrance of a shopping mall and even on a Sunday morning at the local church bazaar. The boerewors roll also known as the boerie roll is perhaps the most well-known South African side walk snack in SA. It’s basically a juicy piece of meaty-sausage served on a bread roll with some condiments like onion mix, tomato sauce and some delicious mustard.

The Samoosa

Cape Town has a large Muslim community and the Malay influence on South African cuisine can be tasted in plenty of the traditional foods that are on sale in various parts of South Africa. A tangy combination of meat and veggies (occasionally just veggies) in a folded up, triangular pastry bread, the samoosa is a scrumptious and inexpensive tasty treat for those who don’t want to wait.


The Vetkoek is another traditional South African food item that is sold on the side walk. This delicious recipe is made using flour, yeast and salt. These 3 ingredients are combined and rolled into a ball the size of a man’s fist. Its then deep fried and filled with some kind of savoury meat filling or even some jam if you want to try out something more sweet.

This South African food article was brought to you buy Saffa-Trading, South African online food shop.


One thought on “The Very Best South African Street Foods

    dodgypub said:
    May 26, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Well done, you have SA street food and favorites well in hand. A nice read.

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