10 years ago, you would have struggled to find more than 5 fresh food markets across the country. Nowadays in the age of urban food farms and Farm to Table eating, there's (delightfully!) a food market around every corner just about, even in one of SA's major metropolitan cities.
Nicole Samakosky rounds up the top food markets in Jozi and the best thing to have at each of them.
1. The Greensider
This market is set in a big, open space and has lots of seating so you don’t have to stand while you shovel food into your face. All the stalls are nicely spaced out (cramped markets are the worst, right?) and they’ve chosen to focus on quality over quantity. The best thing to eat here? Definitely the waffles. Bear in mind that they’re pretty huge so will work as a (cheat) meal on their own. Go for the classic ice cream, banana and syrup combo – you won’t be sorry.
When: Thursdays to Sundays: 10:00 – 22:00
Where: 20 Gleneagles Road, Greenside
2. Market on Main
If you’re going to this trendy market, make sure to arrive hungry. Push past a couple of carefully put-together people and head straight for the Ethiopian food stall. Spongy injera (sourdough-risen flatbread) with a variety of delicious toppings is the way to go. The meal you’ll walk away with will look intimidatingly huge but you can handle it on your own. Just make sure you find a good place to sit with lots of elbow – this is a dish that must be attacked with both hands. You’ll really score if you can find a seat on the rooftop.
When: Sundays: 10:00 – 15:00, first Thursday of every month: 19:00 – 23:00
Where: 264 Fox Street, Johannesburg
This weekly market gets pretty busy pretty quickly so it’s best to go early if you don’t want to awkwardly squeeze past people just to get a drink at the bar. If you’ve got a big brunch appetite, get some seafood paella, freshly made in gigantic pans right before your eyes. Follow this with a Consol jar cocktail or some bubbly, even an oyster or two, and that’s your morning sorted.
When: Saturdays: 09:00 – 15:00
Where: 73 Juta Street, Braamfontein
4. The Jozi Real Food Market
This market is quite small but has just about everything you need. The food here is best eaten at home but go to stock up on future breakfasts: pick up some homemade All About Health granola (the honey flavour is something else) and a tub of peanut butter for one of the best combos that exist. The peanut butter is made with only three things: peanuts (roasted with the skin on – yum), salt and coconut oil. You might want to buy two tubs. Trust me on this.
When: Saturdays: 08:30 – 13:30
Where: Pirates Sports Club, 4th Avenue Extension, Parkhurst
5. The Bryanston Organic Market
This beautiful, outdoorsy market is full of healthy treats. Visit Yogibeer and sip on some kombucha to keep you going while you browse the market’s many stalls. If you don’t have your finger on the health pulse, kombucha is a fermented, probiotic drink that helps with digestion, detoxification and immunity. It might taste a little strange at first but, if you’re anything like me, you’ll want more and more and more after you’ve taken your last sip.
When: Thursdays, Saturdays and public holidays: 09:00 – 15:00. Moonlight Markets are held from mid-November up until Christmas.
Where: 40 Culross Road, Bryanston
6. The Sheds @ 1 Fox
If you’re going to this revamped warehouse market, you’ll definitely need some souvlaki for the soul. Not convinced? Picture a soft, delicious wrap, with tasty fillings (halloumi = winner), smothered in creamy tzatziki. Throw in some bubble tea with that and you’re all set before ending the day off at the bar.
When: Fridays: 12:00 – 20:00, Saturdays: 8:00 – 18:00, Sundays: 8:00 – 16:00.
Where: 1 Fox Street, Ferreirastown
7. Blu Bird Wholefoods Market
Fresh and wholesome food is what’s for sale at this weekly market. What they lack in size, they make up for in variety – find everything from dim sum and cakes to Thai food and date balls. The stall that really stands out is The Pasta Ladies. Think squid ink tagliatelle with coriander, chilli and lime pesto, saffron ravioli filled with butternut, feta and almonds or, for something completely different, raspberry ravioli filled with Lindt orange chocolate and raspberry. What’s to stop you from having pasta for mains and dessert?
When: Sundays: 09:00 – 14:00
Where: Blu Bird Shopping Centre, Corner Atholl-Oaklands Road and Fort Street, Birnam
8. Fourways Farmers Market
This is a spacious, beautiful and pet-friendly market that sells just about every type of food you can think of – lamb on the spit, fudge (wasabi peanut butter flavour!), quiche… I could go on. If you appreciate quality cheese, Lorian’s needs to be your first stop. She’ll give you generous tasters of whatever you want (because choosing cheese can be hard and she gets that) so take your time picking the best of the best (for example, the fontina.)
When: Sundays: 10:00 – 15:00
Where: Earth Outdoor Living Nursery, Corner William Nicol drive and Montecasino Boulevard, Fourways
9. Rosebank Rooftop Market
The revamped Rosebank Rooftop market is packed – not only with food but with stalls of every shape and size. It can be a bit overwhelming so it’s best to go with a plan: head to the bar for a cocktail or rum-filled coconut, have a look at all the goodies for sale and, and fill a basket or two to take home the freshest organic fruit and veg from the Bertrams farm.
When: Sundays: 09:00 – 16:00
Where: Rosebank Mall, 50 Bath Avenue, Johannesburg
10. Jackson’s Real Food Market
This is a healthy food market/food store/café all-in-one. The best thing to buy at Jackson’s is a chicken mayo sarmie. Grab it from the fridge, ask them to toast it for you and wash it down with a cup of Origin coffee. Sit down or take away – it’s up to you. If you’re staying for lunch, though, you probably won’t be able to resist satisfying your sweet tooth with a slice of the cake of the day for dessert.
When: Mondays to Fridays: 09:00 – 18:00, Saturdays: 08:00 – 15:00, Sundays: 09:00 – 15:00.
Where: Riverside Shopping Centre, 317 Bryanston Drive, Bryanston