Traditional Food South Africa – Delicacies & Tastiness

South Africa has such a diverse culture. This makes the cuisine tell a flavourful story of where the food came from, as well as the background of the people who make the deliciousness.

From the east coast of South Africa to the west coast we are going to go through the unique foods of the country and where you should go to get these delicious cuisines. These original foods are influenced by the traditions of the people, from all around the world, who make them and by the unique characteristics from the area in South Africa they are made.

Let’s look at the exotic food from region to region and see what makes them unique. A unique trend at the moment is infusing CBD oil with your food bringing a full body flavour and effect. If you’d like to try adding a few drops to your next meal, check out pure CBD oil price.

Types Of Food South Africa – East Coast

Durban is situated on the east coast of South Africa. The climate is subtropical meaning its hot with high humidity. This is due to the warm Indian ocean and the escarpment of the Drakensberg mountains. The food you can find in the coastal city reflects these characteristics. 

Due to Indian influences in Durban the mix of spice, flavour and color come through, but more on that later. If you are looking for a flame grilled meal then the tender hot and flavorsome Shisa Nyama (burn the meat) style is where you want to be. 

If you are looking for more authentic Zulu cuisine, set your sights on the Valley of 1000 Hills or the north east coast in ZuluLand. Here you can find grilled crocodile, and walkie-talkies (boiled chicken feet).

To experience the full culture of KwaZulu-Natal, spend a night in one of Kwazulu-Natal’s top hotels.

Exclusive Foods – Durban Indian Cuisine

What would this foods list be without the renowned bunny chow. Typically a bunny chow is a curry served in a half or quarter loaf of white bread where the middle has been hollowed out and replaced with the curry of your choice, mutton, beef, vegetable, chicken or prawn. 

This is a dish with intense flavors and spice bringing a party to your mouth. Interested in the health benefits of curry follow this link for more information

Exclusive Foods – Zulu Cuisine

Shisa nyama is the art of cooking meat on an open flame. The best part of this experience is choosing your cut of meat from the butcher. This ensures that the meat is extremely fresh. This is often served with mieliepap, a type of maize meal, with a chakalaka sauce.

The experience around this style of food is incredible, being welcomed with plumes of smoke from the braai cooking the meats. 

Interested in making the perfect fire to cook your own meats (braai) follow this link to learn how.

Types Of Food South Africa – West Coast

The West coast of South Africa has a vastly different pallet to the eastern seaboard. The Malay influence in this region of South Africa is strong. Here you can find flavourful sweet Cape Malay curries, rather than the spicy hot currys found in Durban.

From the cold Atlantic ocean you can find a dish unique to the Western Cape. Snoek is a type also known as Barracouta. This fish feasts on sardine, anchovy and shrimps and is extremely popular in the local communities making up a big part of their diet.

Another dish that is unique to the Cape Malay community is Bobotie, this is made with ground beef in a sweet raisin chutney custard spiced with ginger black pepper bay leaf and turmeric. There are many different variations of this recipe depending on where you get it from.

If you would like to try your hand at making some traditional South Africa recipes follow this link to the delicious meals.

Exclusive Foods – Cape Malay Cuisine

The Cape Malay curry is unique to the Western Cape thanks to the indoneasian influence. This style of curry differs from the Indian curry but is just as packed with spice and flavours. One of the biggest cultural hotspots in Cape Town is the Bo-Kaap where you will find vibrant people with buildings painted in vivid colors. 

This style of food follows the same trends. Keep an eye out for the Cape Malay chicken curry. It’s highly recommended. For more information on Bo-Kaap follow this link to uncover Bo-Kaap culture

Earlier we spoke about Bobotie. This is a Cape Malay curried dish that has an appearance of lasagna, but is vastly different. This is spiced minced meat baked with a milk egg base creating a custard in the center. This traditional cuisine is the National dish of South Africa. 

The tastes and flavours that come out of this region could be some of the best food in the world.

Exclusive Foods – Cape Snoek

Cape Snoek is a favourite of coastal communities. This fish weighs around 2-3kg with the head removed. The locals enjoy this fish on an open flame braai (bbq) with an apricot jam, the sweetness from the jam balances the exquisite natural flavours from the fish. This type of fish is so close to the hearts of South Africans there is an Afrikaans poem and song about it. The poem is studied in the schooling system titled Snoek tyd in die Kaap! (Snoek time in the Cape). 

Final Thoughts on Delicious Food from South Africa

Due to the different cultural influences in South Africa the style of food changes dramatically from region to region. Each province in South Africa has unique traditions that are reflected through the cuisine. 

This brings life and expression to these parts of the country, food is a celebration and should be celebrated with our loved ones. These are only some of the unique foods in South Africa, there are plenty more, even some bizarre foods, from many different cultures. Now it’s up to you to travel the country and find the most delicious food!


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About us

Actually, Home Food and Travel offers a lot more than just reviews of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities.  We also visit great destinations, receive advice from interior designers and stop to smell the roses and taste the coffee.

Our team of journalists are seasoned travels and love visiting the myriad of exciting places around South Africa.  Whether it is off the beaten track or in the heart of the top attractions of the country, we’ll be there,

Home Food and Travel advice on finding the right accommodation

So what is the right accommodation?  Well more often than not, it’s your travel budget that dictates the type of accommodation that you choose. 

Expensive is not always better.  Our team at Home Food and Travel will tell you that they have camped in areas with limited ablutions and had a wonderful holiday.  They have also spent a night in a five star hotel only to be disappointed because their expectations exceeded the experience.

The reason for your travels will also affect your choice.  A business trip requires different amenities to a beach holiday. 

Our articles, reviews and experiences can certainly help you make your decision.

Restaurants with a good mix of service, food and ambiance

To my mind a great restaurant offers three things – excellent service, great food and a wonderful ambiance.  Of these, service is the most important. 

No matter that the food is delicious and the setting delightful, poor service can ruin the occasion.  However, great service combined with mediocre meal and a plane jane restaurant can still be a pleasant night out.

We’ve eaten in restaurants that are really dirty but with incredible food and couldn’t help but give a rave review.  We’ve also hardly noticed what we ate because the setting was just amazing.

However, the best restaurants come with the best of service, food and ambiance.

Spas are the ultimate relaxation aid

How do you know when you have had a great spa experience?  The answer, of course, is when you doze off on the treatment table. 

Well that’s our theory anyway.  It also doesn’t take a grand location with enormous facilities for a spa to be really good

A small, personal spa that is owner run can result in the best massage you have ever experienced.  However, the grand spas in five star hotels offer unsurpassed facilities in an environment that just makes the stress in your shoulders and neck melt away before you even finish checking in.


You don’t have to be an adrenaline junky to enjoy an exciting experience.  In fact, what are commonly termed adventure activities usually have incredibly high safety standards and unblemished safety records.

Ziplining, bungy jumping and shark cage diving are all very safe.  It’s just that our mind tells us we are craaazzzzyyyy to be doing this.

On the road to great places of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities

If you’re driving, be safe and make use of all the wonderful farm stalls that populate South Africa’s open roads.

If you overhear somebody asking a lot of questions or see someone taking photos of empty bedrooms chances are it’s one of our Home Food and Travel team members.

We’re out looking or those great places of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities.

See you on the road!


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