Culture Food

9 Delicious South African Foods You Must Have

Cape Malay curry
Avatar of Abraham Odhiambo
Written by Abraham Odhiambo

It is a kind of advantage if you are a foodie and planning to visit South Africa. This is because delicious South African foods will leave you craving for more. 

It is no debate that South Africa has some of the most mouth-watering dishes in the world. From biltong and boerewors to bunny chow and chakalaka, these dishes will linger in your mouth. 

During your visit to the rainbow nation, you’ll spend some time in high-end hotels. These hotels have the majority of these foods. 

But if you won’t be lucky to find them in your hotel, don’t worry because they can be found in the streets and supermarkets. 

Delicious South African foods are a must-try before leaving the country which is one of the top travel destinations in the world.

1. Biltong & Droewors 

Biltong is a traditional southern African snack which comprises thinly sliced air-dried meat. It is made by marinating meat in a mixture of vinegar, salt, sugar and spices such as coriander before being air-dried.

Biltong has plenty of nutrients; hence it’s perfect for snacking. Health enthusiasts praise biltong for having high protein and low fat.


Biltong. Photo/ The Food Dictator.

2. Boerewors 

The word boerewors comes from the Afrikaan word ‘Boer’, which means farmer and the Dutch word ‘wors’, which means sausage.

Boerewors, one of the delicious South African foods, is a thick spicy sausage known for its spiral shape. These sausages mainly consist of beef mixed with either lamb or pork.

The flavour you feel when eating boerewors comes from vinegar and spices used in its preparation.

3. Cape Malay curry 

Cape Malay curry is one of the delicious South African foods you should taste before leaving the country. The curry differs from other curries in that it does not contain strong flavours or heavy spices.

Cape Malay curry

Cape Malay Curry. Photo/ A Spectacled Owl.

Cape Malay curry relies on simplicity and fresh ingredients to provide the taste you feel when eating. It is made when combining local produce with aromatic spices such as turmeric, cinnamon saffron and chilli.

4. Bunny Chow 

Bunny chow is a popular street food in South Africa. It is a flavourful food made with aromatic spices, potatoes, chickpeas and meat.

Bunny chow is served in a hollowed-out loaf of white bread. Due to its delicious taste, bunny chow has gained popularity oversea.

5. Chakalava 

Chakalava, one of the delicious South African foods, is a must-try for anyone visiting the country.

It is a vegetable relish made with beans, carrots, onions, tomatoes, peppers and spices. Chakalava is often served cold and goes really well with meat, stews, salad and bread, among many other dishes.


Chakalava. Photo/ Cookist.

6. Malva Pudding 

Malva pudding is South Africa’s perfect answer to British sticky toffee pudding. The Dutch import is a sticky and very sweet baked sponge made with apricot jam.

Malva pudding is served smothered in a hot cream sauce.

7. South African Milk Tart (Melktert) 

Melktert is a delicious South African food consisting of a sweet pastry crust containing a custard filling that has been made from flour, eggs, sugar and milk.

Melktert was originally introduced to South Africa by the Dutch in the 17th century.

8. Koeksisters 

Koeksisters consist of two dough pieces which have been braided together, then fried and coated with icing sugar.

You’ll feel an interesting contrast in flavours when eating Koeksisters because the dough is slightly salty, while the sugar coating brings sweetness.

9. Potjiekos 

Potjiekos, also known as Potjie, refers to the traditional style of slow-cooking meat and vegetables in an iron pot over an open fire.


Potjiekos. Photo/ Food24.

The recipes needed in making Potjiekos include meat, vegetables like cabbage carrots, pumpkin, starches or cauliflower and starches like rice or potatoes.

Potjiekos is one of the delicious South African foods you must try before leaving the country.

What are some famous foods in South Africa? 

  1. Braai (Barbecue)
  2. Vetkoek (Fried Donuts Stuffed with Minced Meat)
  3. Boerewors (Sausage)
  4. Bobotie
  5. Potjiekos (Small-Pot Food)

What foods are proudly South African? 

  • Biltong
  • Malay Curry
  • Malva Pudding
  • Chakalaka
  • Boerewors

What is the most delicious African food? 

  1. Pap en vleis/Shisa nyama, South Africa.
  2. Piri piri chicken, Mozambique
  3. Jollof rice and egusi soup
  4. Bunny chow, South Africa
  5. Kapenta with sadza, Zimbabwe

What are five traditional foods? 

  1. Fermented Cod Liver Oil
  2. Sauerkraut
  3. Bone Brot
  4. Beet kvass
  5. Kefir
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About the author

Avatar of Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo is a writer with interests in nature, travel, African safari and sports. I'm pursuing a bachelor's degree in Media and Communication at Egerton University.

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