As a food stylist and food content creator that has been working in Cape Town for over 12 years, I sometimes feel like I live in food shops. I am frequently hunting down rare and unusual ingredients and the rest of the time I’m just obsessing over food and where I can find the best of everything. I have wanted to compile this list of the best food shops in Cape Town for the longest time and I have finally put this list together. I shop across all the major food retailers (Woolworths, Checkers, Spar and Pick n Pay) so unless they are particularly noteworthy or stand out in some way, I have not mentioned them here. Sourcing my food from multiple suppliers has become a way of life for me. I want to be more closely connected to the source of what I eat and especially in the case of animal products, to procure from places where the animals have been raised and treated ethically.
I have divided the shops up by area as this makes the most sense and in the end, I have done a best of the best list in case you are wanting to short circuit this very comprehensive one. There are a few small delis that I have not mentioned because I have either not discovered them or I feel they are too small to mention. There are many places that call themselves a deli or food shop but are more of a restaurant, so I have also left these off. I have listed places that sell a decent range of food products that I would consider going out of my way to and I intend, as I do with my Comprehensive Guide to Eating out in Cape Town, to keep this list updated.
First up I cover my own hood. Either click on the heading to go to the website / find out more, or see address details below my listing where there is no website.
GREENPOINT, SEA POINT & ATLANTIC SEABOARD
This is my all-time favourite food shop and deli and I’m so lucky it’s in my hood. This 30-year-old iconic establishment is owned and operated by two Italian brothers that hail from Naples in Southern Italy. They have a huge and very loyal following to both their eat-in coffee shop and deli. They stock a staggeringly large array of food products that are efficiently merchandised in this smallish space that crosses the spectrum from freshly baked bread, cheese, deli meat, ice cream, snacks, dry goods, fresh produce, wine, prepared meals and drinks. You will find a plethora of Italian products here as well as food imported from other countries. This is my go-to whenever I’m looking for something special, want a freshly made sandwich to my exact specification or if my craving for Iberico ham gets too strong.
Whilst this is also one of the nicest lifestyle markets in Cape Town, it’s also an emporium to great food. Every Saturday and Sunday, the market hosts a multitude of local artisan producers selling their goods. This is one of my favourite places to buy food. I can’t list everyone that sells there but a few of the producers also have their own permanent food shops like Woodstock Bakery, Son of a Butcher, Delicious Fish and Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants (see below for more details). They curate a beautiful and robust fresh produce section in the middle of the market where seasonal fruit and vegetables are sourced from the Oranjezicht City Farm as well as other local farms like Boschendal and Justin Bonello’s urban farm in Noordhoek. Seasonal produce is also brought in from other parts of the country where it can’t be sourced locally for eg, litchis and sulphur-free dried mangoes come in from Mpumalanga. I love Puglia cheese, Woodstock Bakery, Delicious fish for smoked tuna & snoek & snoek pate, Richard Bosman’s charcuterie and many more.
This is definitely more of a restaurant, but they sell really good bread and baked goods here, so they deserve a mention. Every Saturday they make a limited edition and different doughsant that rival the cronuts that Dominique Ansel Bakery produces in NYC.
This is an exquisite ethical grocer and home lifestyle shop in the Artem Centre in Sea Point that sells a range of higher-grade meat and dairy products from ethically reared animals (much is sourced from Farmer Angus at Spier). Their fresh bread comes in daily from their sister establishment The Loading Bay and they stock seasonal fresh produce and dry pantry goods.
This is a proper French bakery & they make the best baguettes in town. The pastries are also delectable. Open from Wednesday – Sunday from 7 am until they sell out and on weekend you will need to get there early. Expect queues.
This is world-class luxury coffee, bakery/patisserie and all-day café brand in one, including a speciality espresso bar and retail capsule emporium. Located in the Artem Centre in Sea Point.
New Asian Spice Supermarket – Sea Point
There are many Asian supermarkets in Cape Town, but I like my small local one the most. The owner Mr Lu is almost always there to help, and this small shop has exactly what I need. They stock two kinds of fresh tofu (delivery is on a Friday) and other greens like fresh lemongrass, coriander, Thai basil, bok choi and sprouts. This is where I buy green papayas to make my delicious Thai green papaya salad. You will also find frozen wonton wrappers, edamame beans and dumplings amongst many other things.
186 Main Rd, Sea Point, Cape Town
Located in Arthur Street in Sea Point this little café sells a small but lovely range of products and is the cutest and most Instagrammable shop on my list. Home-baked goods, bread, Frankie Fenner lamb & anchovy hot dogs, Cure Deli bacon, El Burro chilli sauces and preserves, eggs from pasture reared hens and other bits and bobs. You can buy olive oil by the litre and can bring your own container to top up and avoid waste. They are also an eatery selling a small range of light meals, home bakes and drinks. The space is becoming increasingly packed as their popularity soars and I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before they expand their premises.
This stalwart from various Cape Town markets including OCFM has opened a permanent home in Regeant Street Sea Point. They sell all the usual smoked fish products they do at the market as well as a range of fresh seafood. Prices are very reasonable.
Son of a Butcher – Sea Point
Salvin Hirschfield, a well-known Cape Town butcher has opened a beautiful new butcher shop and deli next to the stunning Rileys florist at the end of Regeant Street in Sea Point. The meat and flower hub is called Carnifleurs and it’s a must-stop shop if you are in the area. In addition to the full butchery with a room to dry-age meat cuts to perfection, you will find local cheeses, various imported pasta products, local olive oils, bone broth, pies, soups and bread from Woodstock Bakery. They also stock Eddies Eggs, duck and GOOSE eggs. You can also find Son of a Butcher at the OZCF market.
103 Regent Rd, Sea Point, Cape Town
Spar Sea Point
This is my local Spar and I’m including it here because they have a very impressive and extensive range of food products in this store. They stock a staggering amount of imported and unusual products, and their health food section rivals a Wellness Warehouse. They have a number of vegan dairy alternatives along with many gluten-free options across the categories. They have a Fish 4 Africa and J & M biltong shop within the shop, along with a kosher bakery and a regular bakery. This is where you can buy frozen turkeys and Cornish hens all year round.
94 Regent Rd, Sea Point, Cape Town
CAPE TOWN & EASTERN PRECINCT & VICINITY
Someone referred to the Olive Branch Deli the other day as the ‘Willy Wonker food shop’ and I have to agree. It is any food lovers fantasy land and is stuffed to the brim with the most incredible products. The staff and owners are the friendliest people and it’s worth going just to experience this old school local-grocer vibe. They are a community grocer that offers Cape Town artisan producers and market vendors a permanent space to build their brands. I cannot list all that they sell here and there are so many highlights, but you can expect a bit of everything, including incredible teas, coffees, olive oils, cookbooks, imported sweets & chocolates, Asian products (amazing miso pastes), spices, every condiment imaginable and a range of meat, eggs and dairy products. This is definitely one of my top 3 favourite shops in Cape Town
This is my go-to and favourite spice shop in Cape Town. It has moved a little up Wale Street from its original shop and has become more user-friendly although I did love the over the counter service system of the previous premises. You will find every conceivable spice here along with a range of non-wheat flours, nuts, seeds and grains. Make sure you look in the fridge of the back. This is where they stock a few other fresh goodies and rotis.
Nude Foods have created a plastic-free shopping experience, and they sell high-quality, sustainable foods and products, without any wasteful packaging. Their bulk wholefoods, health foods, and earth-friendly products are all non-GMO, plastic-free and sold by weight.
This small neighbourhood Spar imports fresh Norwegian salmon every week and sells it at the best price you will find in Cape Town. You can buy it on prepacked portions fresh or hot smoked. They also sell fresh local tuna & swordfish when available, and you can get on their SMS list to receive notifications when this is.
37 Derry St, Vredehoek, Cape Town
This is one of my favourite local fishmongers and I generally buy whatever is freshest on the day. You will also find chest freezers stocked with various other local and imported seafood. They have outlets within a few large Spar stores around Cape Town as well as their main Woodstock shop
This popular butchery business is dedicated to sourcing and selling only meat from farmers that ethically treat their animals. This is meat with a conscious and you will find a wide range of meat cuts and processed products. Their main production facility is in Woodstock with a small shop attached that also offers Rosetta pour-over coffee and a simple food menu including their famous toasted ham and cheese sandwich. They have branches in Gardens Centre, Palmyra Junction (Claremont) and in Durbanville.
Cape Fish is located 5km’s outside of the city centre in Paarden Eiland they stock/sell fresh Tuna, swordfish, sea-run trout and mussels. They have a small fish processing facility that supplies local restaurant and retailers and opened this shop to sell directly to the public. They have a small range of local and imported seafood and you can find more about it here.
MILNERTON AND MONTAGUE GARDENS
This small deli and shop is housed inside the Italian club in Milnerton and they sell a range of imported and authentic homemade products. They have olive oil on tap, fresh cheese and ricotta and stock my favourite De Cecco brand of pasta
The German Grocer – Milnerton
There are two German Grocers in Cape Town. One in Gardens and one in Milnerton. They stock a plethora of imported German products from food, beers, other beverages to cleaning materials and toilet paper. This is where you will find them:
- Gardens – 14 Mill St, Oranjezicht, Cape Town,
- Milnerton – Milnerton Business Park, Racecourse Rd, Milnerton, Cape Town (in the Business Park opposite Hirches’s)
The UK Emporium – Milnerton
The UK Emporium sells a wide range of food products from the UK. Think Cadburys, Branston pickle, Kellogg’s cereals in variety packs, and everything in between.
Unit B20, Milnerton Business Park, Racecourse Rd, Milnerton, Cape Town
Rialto has been importing a range of quality Italian and other leading branded products from the around the world for over 20 years. Their factory shop is one I frequent regularly to stock up on tinned tomato sauce, Kikkoman soy sauce, anchovies, pasta, and so much more.
Adriatic import a large range of high-quality Italian products from leading Italian companies. In addition to the huge range of food and beverage products you can buy here (either by the case or single pack), you will find equipment like coffee machines – for domestic or industrial use, and pasta machines amongst others. This is where you can find Parmesan cheese (in various levels of maturity). The service is super friendly as you might need help being navigated around the warehouse.
This importer of fine international products is the smallest of the 3 Montague Gardens food shops list here but it’s the place I go to buy my Maldon salt in bulk. They also sell and distribute a range of premium South African products such as Nomu, Oryx salt, Pesto Princess, Woodview Wagyu, Gourmet Greek and Klein River Cheese.
SOUTHERN SUBURBS & SOUTHERN PENINSULA
This is a wonderful food shop and health emporium and is an excellent place to find dried fruit, nuts, any conceivable grain, seeds and so much more. They have all the nut flours you will need, and I adore their caramel roasted cashews. Sourcing, preparing and packaging superior healthy snacks is what this family-owned business is all about.
Sam and Deirdre Elliott are passionate about quality food and they stock high-quality meat from free-range farmers. Here you will find old fashioned personal service and a connection to the source of the products they are selling whether it be lamb and beef from the Karoo or Namaqualand or the Lazena chickens from Gordons Bay.
Ryan Boon Meat Deli – Newlands
See below Stellenbosch
Karen Short who founded the well known Johannesburg catering company By Word of Mouth has started a frozen food division and they have opened their first store in Cape Town. Located in the fab new Constantia Emporium Mall in Constantia (next to the new Checkers) they sell home-style quality frozen meals in various portion sizes. They also have a branch in Gardens Centre.
Shop 3, Constantia Emporium Mall, Intersection of Ladies Mile and Spaanschemat Road, Belle Constantia
Southern Cross Seafood Deli has shifted their focus to wholesale and supply to restaurants, but they will self-fresh fish to you from their Muizenberg factory. Unit C2 Enterprise Village | Capricorn Drive | Capricorn Park | Muizenberg
The Bakery behind the Olympia Café in Kalk Bay is one I stop at every time I’m in the village. They make the most delicious ciabatta loaves (try the butternut too for a variation) and loads of other pastries. I can never resist their nutter triangles which are shortbread pieces topped with a caramel almond layer and then dipped in chocolate.
This bakery emporium is my absolute best baking shop in Cape Town. You can expect to buy anything related to baking, cake decorating and chocolate making from moulds to tins and packaging. They have two smaller stores in Claremont and Milnerton too.
This little food shop is located in the Industrial area of Ottery and stocks a wide range of nuts, flours, seeds, dried fruits, grains and much more. They sell the corn kernels that pop into extra fluffy and round popcorn.
You will probably find everything you need at this food shop and deli next to Joostenberg Bistro. Catering to people who shop for milk and bread on the daily to those looking for French champagne and caviar. They have fresh produce from local farmers, baked goodies, a wine shop and large butchery which focuses on pork products. In addition to the food shop, you will find great homeware and local cookbooks.
This is the retail outlet of the well-established distributor Wild Peacock. Trading in top-end speciality ingredients, they are particularly well known for their oysters, Norwegian salmon local trout and other imported seafood which they supply to the local hospitality industry. This shop is an absolute treasure chest of interesting foods and you will find soft shell crab, Ducko ducks, gigantic scallops, dried corn flours, salt-cured capers, imported Mexican foods, preserves from The larder and much more. As the local distributor of Valrhona chocolate, you can get all the bulk packs here.
Ryan Boon is a speciality butcher based in Paarl and he started his butchery operation with his wife Soné in 2011, and now supplies some of the finest restaurants in and around Cape Town. He has a small shop in the Warenmarkt in the heart of historic Stellenbosch and in Newlands.
You will find this charming organic farm grocery shop in a rustic old house on Annandale Farm just off the R44 outside Stellenbosch. It’s absolutely beautiful and a must stop at destination shop for a variety of farm produce. They sell coffee and homemade brownies and if you have children they will be charmed by the horses in the field and the huge roosters roaming around.
Tokara Estate is a fabulous destination all round and a must-visit for wine tastings and their Restaurant. Their deli is their more casual eatery and the place to buy the estate olive oil which is among my favourite. Be sure to do a tasting while you are there.
OTHER WINELANDS & FRANSCHHOEK
The farm shop and butchery on the main Werf at Boschendal Estate is well worth visiting. They are a large working farm with a herd of Angus cattle, free-range pigs and chickens, a beautiful vegetable garden and acres of fruit orchards so you will get the best produce here. Along with selling their own produce, they stock an array of goods from other local artisans.
The gardens at Babylostoren are the best you will find in the area and a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike. They have a selection of speciality shops including a meat room, a cheese room, a bakery and a lekker room (or sweet room) that sells coffee, vegan fudge, chocolate, sweet & savoury granola and a few other treats. A visit to the food shop emporium and a walk through the extensive garden makes for a fabulous outing.
Dalewood Fromage makes some of my most flavoursome cheeses in South Africa and their quaint cheesery shop on the farm is worth the tiny detour off the main drag. In addition to their full range of cheese (in various pack sizes including small picnic packs), they make and sell a delicious range of preserves and cheese accessories from aprons to boards and knives. This is a great place to buy gifts for yourself and others.
The food shop & deli at Fairview in Paarl is a well-loved tourist destination to buy and taste the Fairview range of cheese and wine. The shop also sells a diverse selection of home-made local products and sustainably farmed foods.
You will find La Cotte Inn as you drive into Franschhoek on your left-hand side they sell over a hundred local and imported cheese. You can find out more by checking out their website, but if you are after cheese and wine, this is the place to stop.
Home to the famous Healeys cheese, this little shop at the entrance to Waterkloof Estate in Somerset West is worth a detour. In addition to their range of cheese which is made and matured on-site, they sell a variety of other pickles and preserves.
Woolworths Waterstone Village
This is the best Woolies I’ve ever been into and is a flagship store. They have an incredible range of products. I’m often tempted to drive from CapeTownn to shop there but swing past whenever I am in the area.
Shop 38/39 Waterstone Village Corner of R44 &, Main Rd, Somerset West
I still need to complete this section of my guide and I haven’t included any food shops after Sir Lowry’s pass along the N2. But if you are travelling that way the ONLY farm stall I stop at in Elgin is Peregrine. They do delicious pies, fresh produce, baked treat and so much more
If you are visiting Stanford, stop in at Klein River Cheese shop and Ou Meul Bakery.
Fenshams chickens are properly free-range and pasture reared, and you can buy them online via WhatsApp and Facebook. They deliver to Cape Town each week and the quality and taste is discernable.
Terra Madre is becoming very well known for their single variety apple juice which you will find at OZCF market each week as well as at various food shops and delis and Spar’s (many listed here). As these juices have no preservatives you will often find them in the freezer section, so be sure to look there too. Nicole also sells seasonal produce boxes and these can be ordered online for weekly delivery. She makes the most delicious spanakopita with halloumi and spinach so be sure to add that into your basket when you place your order. They will also be selling freshly harvested seasonal fruit from Terra Madre farm and other Elgin farms directly to you as it comes into fruit.
This is an online food grocer that sells a range of artisanal higher grade and ethically sourced produce. You can find fresh produce from the amazing Meuse Farm in Hout Bay and the Umthunzi Farming Community. Grass-fed meat from La Farms up the West Coast, Klein River Cheese form Stanford and more. Check out their site for more details.
Lana sells her pasture-reared Sandveld beef, chicken & lamb directly to you on a weekly basis. You need a minimum of R500 per order plus a delivery charge. She also sells raw organic fynbos honey, heerboontjies and extra virgin olive oil from the region too. You can get on her mailing list for extra convenience.
Julie Carter of Ocean Jewels offers fresh and frozen seafood delivery and collection in Cape Town and also run a small deli in the Woodstock Exchange. Born from a love of fishing and passion for fresh-caught fish, they are committed to selling only the best quality products that are sustainable and are 100% SASSI compliant. You can find more information on our website oceanjewels.co.za.
They send out a weekly newsletter with the fish we have available for delivery and instructions on how to place an order. To get onto our list, please sign up here
Order using the order form (in the Newsletter). Orders are packed the afternoon before delivery and we will mail you an invoice (from our point of sale – Ikentoo pos). You are then welcome to pay by EFT or SnapScan. Approximate delivery time will be emailed to you on the morning of delivery.
Delivery Fee: R30.00
Collections: you are welcome to collect from the Deli.
Cecil’s Handmade cheese
Cecil makes small-batch cheese in Riebeek West and delivers to Cape Town weekly (minimum order). He makes: Havarti, Halloumi, Cheddar style, French Mountain Tomme, Havarti, Morbier, Ricotta and a cheese box selection for R250. Contact Cecil directly for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
MY TOP 10 FOOD SHOPS IN CAPE TOWN
- Giovanni’s Deli World
- The Olive Branch Deli
- Atlas Trading
- Oranjezicht City Farmers Market
- Rialto Foods
- Spar Sea Point
- Woolworths Waterstone Somerset West
- The Baking Tin
My best bakeries in CT:
- Paris Cape Town
- Jasons Bakery
- Coco Safar
- I love the sourdough from Woodstock bakery (sold at the Oranjezicht Market) & from Sans
Please do let me know of any other amazing food shops I may have missed