Today my companion and I stumbled across yet another one of Cape Town’s unexpected treats: the Earth Fair Market.
This market runs every Thursday (Winter trading hours: 11:00 am to 17:00 pm) from 11:00 am until 15:00 and can be found near the vibrant streetlife, stalls and cafes of the ever-bustling and colourful St. Georges Mall.
(It is apparently the sister market to the Tokai Earth Fair.)
As the name indicates, it is an ‘earthy’ and organic fair, with fresh fruit and vegetable produce, an assortment of cheeses, dried fruit and nuts, pasteries, confectionaries, smoothies and ice-creams, as well as delicious take-away and healthy cuisines from the world over.
There are also stalls selling hats and clothing, as well as bottled local- and Mauritian-based sauces. (I even saw a biltong-based sauce.)
(Many of the stall umbrellas seem to be sponsored by the Durbanville Hills wines.)
The stall owners were very friendly and a few were eager and kind enough to explain (in-depth) what their products were made from, consisted of or, in some instances, even provide pamphlets and signage with a step-by-step explanation on how to prepare or make these things yourself.
If you’re a foodie or a fan of farm/local markets, then this will definitely be down your street and it’s located in the city’s epicentre.
It was pretty busy when we happily stumbled upon it (which was just before 14:00 pm) so I imagine it can get very busy just before or during the lunchtime hour(s).
The stalls are all situated underneath small gazebos and many of them have blackboards or colourful signs demarcating the stall and product names as well as the prices.
Some stalls of note for those with a sweet tooth include: The Creamery (sells divine looking ice-cream, with flavours such as: “65% chocolate peanut butter, sea salt caramel, sweet cream, coffee, strawberry, chocolate, white choc. and bitter almond”.), Sweet Dreams – The Fudge Makers (the name is self-explanatory) as well as ‘Handcrafted chocolate bars by Babycakes’, which offers some interesting-sounding choices, such as: “salted caramel & almond, creme brulee and fudge and dark chocolate pumpkin pie.”
Then there are stalls with spicy foods and/or rice dishes (Asian and Indian), a dim sum stall (‘Silk Road’), vegetarian ‘sushi’ stall. (#vushi) and numerous stalls selling baked goods or health wraps/rolls.
And just in case you need a bouquet of flowers for your vase or a special someone, there’s even a flower stall, with a beautiful selection of bouquets, many of which include our local flowers like the proteas.
Many of the stalls have samples for you to try if you’re interested in tasting new tastes or can’t quite make up your mind on what to buy.
(I sampled a Mauritian green chili sauce on a piece of fresh bread and it was excellent but pretty nippy so be sure to read the labels and ask for the stall owner to advise you if you have a fear of hot foods – something I don’t have – or strong, unusual flavours)
The goods are reasonably priced (they are home-made and naturally, slightly more expensive as a result) without being either overly cheap or expensive but you are surely paying for quality.
I bought a prawn spring roll (one of the best I have ever had) and a smiley ‘Coco Pop’ macaroon, which was also divine and tastefully decorated.
So if you’re in the area or need somewhere to relax while you grab a bite to eat for brunch and/or lunch, then be sure to pop by the market on a Thursday for your very own culinary and sensory overload in the eternally ‘alive’ Cape Town CBD.
(It’s interesting to note that while many of the stall owners are foreigners, the shoppers tended to be mainly locals.)
Below are some photos I took at the market:
Colourful: The Earth Fair Market.
Food-on-the-go: Shoppers walking away well-contented with their purchases.
The flower stall.
Fresh juices and smoothie stall.
The juice + smoothie stall and ‘The Creamery’ just beyond it.
The market’s a great place to catch up with friends and loved ones.
#vushi: The vegetarian sushi stall.
Dim sums stall: Silk Road
Above: Some examples of the ‘healthier’ foods on offer at the market.
Most of the stalls have neat or clear signs and labels indicating product names, ingredients and prices.
Dried fruit, nuts and sauce stall. (where I sampled my green chili sauce)
Death by chocolate: Designer cupcake stall.
Fresh fruit & veg. stall
Oh, my fudge!: ‘Sweet Dreams’ fudge stall.
Above and below: My delicious Coco Pop macaroon.
Author: Tamlyn Amber Ryan
Tamlyn Ryan is a writer and blogger, who runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust. Despite a national diploma in Journalism, her preferred niche remains travel writing. She is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and above all else, the great outdoors.