With music by Cyndi Lauper, several Tonys and a Laurence Olivier Award
De Warenmarkt Food Market in Stellenbosch
Shop for fresh produce and match wine with gourmet grub at this authentic new Stellies food emporium
The real market: that’s what ‘De Warenmarkt’ loosely translates to from the Dutch language. Well, almost. Directly translated, it actually means ‘commodity market’, which is a place that trades in primary rather than manufactured goods. It’s also the name of a fresh new food emporium in the heart of Stellenbosch that combines history, fresh produce (a nod to the primary focus) and a good vibe in order to create a wholesome offering that, as the owners of the establishment explain, is about giving town residents and visitors from afar something that lines up with the loose translation of the phrase: real food.
De Warenmarkt is the brainchild of a creative Capetonian group called Am I Collective and sits in a charming 18th-century building that has housed everything from a stable to a police station and, more recently, a Cape Town Fish Market branch. Today, this structure, which features white-washed walls, Oregon pine floors, a thatched roof and rustic windows, lends a historical richness to the new food emporium, and this authentic vibrancy is injected into its goods.
“We really just want to make ‘organic’ real again,” explains Mark van Niekerk, a member of Am I Collective. Being a passionate foodie himself, Mark says he has realised that the term ‘organic’ has become something of a buzzword that has lost its meaning. But in many ways, its real meaning can now be found here at this bazaar. Not only does De Warenmarkt stock fresh ethically grown produce (think carrots, mushrooms, beetroot and more) and homemade condiments (like jam, chutney and pickles) in the traditional market sense, but it also houses 10 vendors who are seriously focused on giving shoppers nothing but the healthiest and most nutritious food anyone could ask for.
Some of these tenants include Ryan Boon, whose focus is grass-fed speciality meats; Mano’s Bakery, which serves up delicious wood-fired artisan bread; java brand Deluxe Coffeeworks, which is well known for its rich brew; Around Cheese, which crafts artisan dairy delights; and The Juice Revolution, a stall that is passionate about serving cold-pressed nectar.
Since the bazaar is in the Winelands, it’s fair to expect it to feature a broad array of reds and whites to sip on. Patrons can make their way to the market bar to browse through a stellar list curated by sommelier Higgo Jacobs. If wine doesn’t tempt the palate, visitors can rather delight in Devil’s Peak Brewing Company’s craft beer, all while being a part of the relaxed yet buzzing vibe of the market either in the central quad (there are tables and chairs) or out on the lovely terrace, which is perfect for people-watching or soaking in the warmth of the summer (and winter) sun.
And it doesn’t even end there. The one-of-a-kind food spot also features By Invite, a pop-up kitchen concept where shoppers can wine and dine to their hearts’ content during market hours. It is currently manned by top chef George Jardine, but will feature other notable culinary geniuses in the future in order to live out another important aim of the market: to serve tasty prepared nosh that is a reflection of the Cape’s diverse heritage (that is, food that features British, Malay, Dutch, German, Italian and French influences).
Ultimately, De Warenmarkt offers something unique to those living in or passing through Stellenbosch and delivers a steaming hot plate of authentic food, a rich sense of history and an experience centred on realness.
Tip: De Warenmarkt will soon host events like Oktoberfest and other exciting happenings. Keep checking the Facebook page for more information.
The Bill: Food at De Warenmarkt is reasonably priced and costs vary from stall to stall.
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 7am – 7pm (wine bar is open from 11am to 2am).
Corner Ryneveld Street and Plein Street | Stellenbosch | Cape Winelands | +27 (0) 21 883 2274
by Dudu Luthuli
Looking for other cool food bazaars in the city? Check out our overview of Top Markets in Cape Town.
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