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The bargain hunter’s guide to Cape Town
Second-hand steals, vintage gems and antique treasures
Bargain hunting isn't just a stroke of luck or good timing – it's a sport and locals always know exactly where the best sites are to get good value. So we asked our bargain-hunter readers where their secret sources are, and the results are in!
MILNERTON FLEA MARKET IS A TREASURE TROVE
"I've scored loads of preloved items there, just a wash or a paint and it's perfect. I go especially for the toys as kids get bored very easily," says Fatima Hendricks Brummer. At this open-air informal flea market, you're faced with the thrill of sifting through hordes of inexpensive second-hand goods. And if you look hard enough amid the antique jugs, kitchen utensils, old vinyl records and tea sets you may find an invaluable treasure or two at the Milnerton Flea Market.
What to look out for: Keep an eye out for the real gems. Some items might be worth more than their listed price
Opening hours: Saturday, 7:30am - 2pm & Sunday, 8am - 3pm
126 Marine Dr, Paarden Eiland | 021 551 7879 | milnertonfleamarket.co.za
LOCALS BUY THEIR SPICES FROM THE ATLAS TRADING COMPANY
There is only one vendor Cape Town locals go for the best spices: Atlas Trading Company in the Bo-Kaap and Salt River. Suné Van Der Walt says she goes there for lentils, soya mince and the best-priced incense. But, the company has been selling authentic Indian spices since 1946, many of which are imported straight from the country as a whole and then ground up in-store. "Because of that we can guarantee that it is 100% spice, without any additives," says Wahab R. Ahmed, owner of Atlas Trading Company.
What to look out for: It’s most popular spice, according to Ahmed is, as he describes it, “Leaf Masala, a mix of 12 spices which match with everything – curry with beef, chicken, vegetables, you name it."
Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 8:15am - 5:15am & Saturday, 8:30am - 1pm
104 Wale St, Schotsche Kloof | 021 423 4361 | atlastradingcompany.co.za
THRIFT AT OASIS + SUPPORT ITS COMMUNITY
Did you know that the Oasis Association’s thrift and second-hand shop is one of the best places in town to go bargain hunting? The range of goods is extensive, from pre-loved clothes and jewellery to household goods, kitchenware and even furniture. You can buy delicious baked goods there, and all proceeds go to supporting the 600 intellectually challenged beneficiaries of this amazing non-profit.
What to look out for: Vintage spoon sets, crystal vases, framed paintings, vintage toys and other treasures
Opening hours: Monday - Friday 8.30am - 3.30pm, Saturday 9am - 1pm
Oasis Association | Cnr Lee + Imam Haron roads | 021 671 2698 | email@example.com | Image: Katleho Mohale
HUNT FOR CURIOSITIES AT COLLECT ME A STORY
Next time you’re wandering around the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, Warren Scheuer recommends you take a look at Collect Me a Story. “It’s got a fantastic array of antique, mid-century, contemporary furniture, collectables, clothing, accessories, books, vinyl and nic nacs...it’s a haven of curiosities (and Mea purchases as well!),” says Scheuer.
What to look out for: Collect Me a Story will be hosting exhibitions of local emerging artists and multimedia events very soon. You can stay up to date via its Facebook and Instagram page.
Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 9:30am - 4:30pm & Saturday, 9:30am - 1:30pm
127 Victoria Rd, Woodstock | 076 639 0652 | collectmeastory.co.za
FIND SECOND-HAND STEALS AT THE THRIFT FEST MARKET
The Thrift Fest Market is the ultimate place to shop for second-hand steals, and it comes recommended by Renée Leeuwner. On the last Saturday of every month, Laura Rainbird’s Thrift Fest welcomes in old, new and handmade items. But the best items, according to Rainbird, “is definitely the huge selection of thrift clothing and products in top condition - we are the biggest thrift market in Cape Town so we definitely are known for our thrift”. But don’t get too carried away with the clothes, there are other vendors selling CBD coffee, homemade labneh, chicken, veggie and beef falafels and other fares at the Thrift Fest Market.
What to look out for: Laura is right, this is the spot to find second-hand steals. Just Your Luck clothing store is a permanent vendor that has the best vintage finds.
Opening hours: Saturday, 1pm
THE CURATED FOX SUPPORTS SUSTAINABLE FASHION
As a result of Covid-19, some stores have gone online. We took notice of The Curated Fox, which has taken bargain hunting completely digital. She’s the personal stylist behind The Curated Fox Instagram page where a careful selection of preloved second-hand items find a new home. “I have an array of clients from all walks of life so I receive some really incredible and unique pieces. I really loved these limited-edition Calvin Klein jeans and this organza number was a dream!” says Erdis.
What to look out for: Erdis finds a lot of gems that sell very fast, but she says the “variety of beautiful, intricate summer dresses I have received this season were the most noteworthy. I also always get the best jeans and leather jackets!”
Opening hours: You can contact Roxanne Erdis directly via her Instagram account Shop The Curated Fox.
GROCERIES ARE SORTED AT GIANTS HYPER AND VISFABRIEK
Lana Fabris Alexander says “definitely Giant Hyper for everyday groceries and Visfabriek for chicken and fish''. The Visfabriek branch in Kenilworth has tons of half-price deals but there are another two branches in Brackenfell and one in Kuilsriver, Paarl and Durbanville.
What to look out for: Both stores have ongoing deals worth watching out for
Opening hours for Giants Hyper: Monday - Friday, 8am - 6pm & Saturday, 8am - 1pm & Sunday, 8am - 12:30pm
Opening hours for Visfabriek: Monday - Friday, 8am - 5:30pm & Saturday, 8am - 1:30pm
ECONO FOODS HAS LOADS OF MONTH END SPECIALS
“Econo foods!! They are new in Cape Town and they have a shop in Somerset, they have a wide variety of cold and cured meats, dairy, chicken and frozen veggies. They also deliver!” gushes Teresa Visser.
What to look out for: Keep an eye out for the end-of-the-month specials
Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm & Saturday, 8am - 3pm
Cnr Dickson & Helderzicht Rd The Pines Centre, Firgrove Rural | 021 493 2433 | econofoods.co.za
By Lisa Frew
FOR FURTHER READING
Drop off your recycling, donate items, buy coffee or second hand shop at Oasis.
Bargain hunting should be top on your weekend schedule.
There are even more outstanding and out-of-town markets worth visiting.
Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of what’s happening in the city, ‘burbs and dorpies. Join our newsletter and get quick access on the go by adding us to your mobile home screen for the ultimate guide to discoveries in Cape Town.