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Gourmet shopping in Cape Town
How to impress your dinner guests
The word, gourmet can refer to food of refined taste and quality. It’s often described as elite, because it isn’t mass produced and is often hard to come by and/or expensive. But, perhaps you’re not looking hard enough. Cape Town is abundant with butchers, delis, exotic supermarkets and bakeries — sure to make all the difference to your dinner party.
“Our message is simple: free-range doesn’t have to be expensive,” says owner, Sam Elliott. Try free-range bacon, pork and Kalahari raised beef.
What they’re best at: a range of biltong, from eland to gemsbok, made with an old Afrikaans recipe and slow-dried in traditional, leather bags.
Unusual products: game Carpaccio including warthog and kudu.
6 Cardiff Castle | Corner of Kildare and Main Streets | Newlands Village | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 671 0573
Gardens Continental Butchery and Deli
You won’t find pre-packed meat here, but rather delicious steak and chops are served over the counter. Expect springbok rump and organic chicken.
What they’re best at: German sausages and smoked kudu.
Unusual products: “quail and rabbit,” says owner, Owe Hansen.
120 Kloof Street | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 423 6944
The best thing about this German butchery is that they can order anything you don’t see in their shop from their factory outlet, from chicken kebabs to schnitzel.
What they’re best at: “beef fillet and pork neck, that’s tenderised and soft,” says butcher, Vuysile Gamete.
Unusual products: German sausages, such as bratwurst.
Shop 38 | Gardens Centre | Mill Street | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 465 2729
The Foodbarn Deli
Franck Dangereux’s open plan deli is rustic and authentic, yet not over the top. Browse the drool-worthy selection of cakes, pies, jams and jellies, as well as local wines and cheeses. We enjoyed our Foodbarn breakfast.
What they’re best at: “our bread is the best in town, particularly the sourdough, ciabatta, and farm butter croissants,” enthuses owner, Pete de Bruin.
Unusual products: pork and red wine pie, lavender shortbread biscuit, Thai chicken lasagna and granadilla cake.
Noordhoek Farm Village | Noordhoek | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 789 1966
Health conscious foodies who love food, but without the bad stuff, flock for wholesome breakfasts and lunch buffets, quiches and salads.
What they’re best at: fluffy, egg-white omelettes.
Unusual products: beautifully painted ceramic plates.
94 Kloof Street | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 424 5540
Giovanni’s Deli World
What started out as an Italian deli has since embraced other European delicacies. Shelves are packed high with unusual condiments and preserves, and the produce is always fresh and seasonal. Find all the charcuterie, cheese and homemade bread you need to build your own sandwich. Or tuck into a ready-made gourmet meal.
What they’re best at: cappuccino.
Unusual products: truffle oil and white anchovies.
103 Main Road | Green Point | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 434 6893
This country-chic spot at the Old Biscuit Mill has food-quotes written on the walls and baby blue surfaces. Specialising in local meat and cheese, they’ll wrap a tailor-made sandwich in wax paper for you.
What they’re best at: “our cured sausages and bratwurst are from The Black Forest German butchery and our Green Goose cheese,” says owner, Amanda Lewis.
Unusual products: free-range duck and quail eggs, and vinegars that include flavours such as, lavender, tarragon and champagne.
Unit A112 | The Old Biscuit Mill | Woodstock | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 447 7177
Sagra Food and Wine Merchants
Importers of French, Spanish and Italian gourmet goods, Sagra stocks real balsamic vinegar, aged for 25-years, as well as unusual pulses, French cheeses, a range of honey vinegars by Melfor and Morel mushrooms, from France.
What they’re best at: “our truffle pastas, oils and batters are used by professional chefs,” says owner Darren Lazarus.
Unusual products: snail shells from France, nut oils including hazelnut and almond, as well as handmade and hand packed panettone.
10 Flamingo Crescent | Lansdowne | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 761 3360
A taste of the exotic:
“We offer something different to your average grocery store – a wide range of authentic, Asian spices,” says a representative. Pick up Japanese mayo, sesame oil, edamame beans and rice wine vinegar.
What they’re best at: pork dumplings, seafood wontons and Chinese pastries.
Unusual products: packaged jelly fish, micro shrimp and preserved eggs.
126 Main Road | Sea Point | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 434 7843
The cookery demonstration school and kitchen shop has a wide range of kitchen equipment, baking utensils, glassware, crockery and cookbooks.
What they’re best at: hard to find spices including juniper berries, white peppercorns, ras el hanout, ground cardamom and smoked, whole chilies.
Unusual products: Callebaut chocolate and cocoa powder, pickled garlic, Turkish delight, jam and a range of Nielsen Massey extracts.
50 New Church Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 422 0128
Owners, John and Lynne Ford, sell a range of salts, spices, preserves, vinegars, sauces, flours and chocolate, as well as luxury goods including duck fat, truffles and tins of duck confit. Find them at the Neighbourgoods Market on Saturdays, Dean Street Arcade Market on Wednesdays and The Place at Cavendish on Fridays.
What they’re best at: they stock the finest wine to match their fine gourmet goods.
Unusual products: oak smoked butter, preserved hibiscus flowers, and all kinds of flavoured vinegars.
+27 (0)21 439 5169
Imhoff Free Range Farm Shop
Organic, wholesome and fresh food is sourced directly from the farm including apple and date chutney, lamb, cranberry and nut pies, award-winning cheeses and organic, lavender honey.
What they’re best at: olive varieties include Moroccan, Portuguese, sweet and sour, Turkish, smoked and chili.
Unusual products: wildflower honey infused with gooseberries.
Imhoff Farm | M65 | Kommetjie Road | Kommetjie | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 783 5828
Popular cakes include Double Chocolate Cheesecake, Chocolate Mousse Cake and Bailey’s Ultimate Gold Chocolate Cake.
What they’re best at: celebratory cakes, for that special birthday, wedding or baby shower.
Unusual products: a range of edible glitter and luminous icing ensure that your cake will stand out of the crowd.
38 Canterbury Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 461 5181
Over 100 different varieties of artisan truffles and chocolate creams wait in glass cases, inside this chocolate lovers’ boudoir. Heart shaped and oblong boxes, tied up with gold ribbons line tables, vintage armchairs and a gold cash register make up the rest of the furniture. We love Torino's champagne corks.
What they’re best at: beautiful giftboxes with a variety of chocolate treats.
Unusual products: rare whiskey and Cognac truffles.
Kloofnek Road | Tamboerskloof | Cape Town
Owner, Henry Twigge, bakes Belgian and French style pastries, artfully presented and made to order. Tuck into his famous Belgian waffles at the Neighbourgoods market, every Saturday.
What they’re best at: one of the only places to serve Belgian flans – try the chocolate or apple flavour.
Unusual products: “we sell a Javanaic, delicate chocolate gateaux with thin layers of almond biscuit, mocha butter cream and dark chocolate,” says Henry.
11 Central Park | Platinum Crescent | Marconi Beam | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 552 8381
By Lisa Nevitt
Dinner with a difference: try a cultured menu at the Fermented food pairing.