Food is a major reason people love to visit South Africa. With access to a wide array of meats — including many exotic varieties like springbok, zebra and ostrich — as well as fresh produce and seafood, visitors can sample delicious dishes made with high-quality ingredients. That being said, in South Africa you won’t just find one standard set of dishes, as the country’s rich and turbulent history and its melting pot of cultures has lead to everything from spicy Malaysian to hearty Italian to rich French dishes and beyond. One type of cuisine not to miss out on is traditional township food.
I was able to sample a tasty township meal in Johannesburg’s Soweto township at a venue called Sakhumzi Restaurant (6980 Vilakazi Street), located right across the street from Nelson Mandela’s old house (which is now a museum) and adjacent to Desmond Tutu’s family home. Here you’ll dine buffet style, sampling typical delicacies like tripe, farmers sausage, lamb, baked chicken, salad with olives and tomatoes, maize pudding and chakalaka, a spicy South African relish with onions, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, curry powder, chili powder and green chili. For dessert, it’s standard to have a hot and sweet malva pudding with custard or ice cream. Having a township meal is a delicious way to explore South African culture.
Jessica Festa is the editor of the travel sites Jessie on a Journey (http://jessieonajourney.com) and Epicure & Culture (http://epicureandculture.com). Along with blogging at We Blog The World, her byline has appeared in publications like Huffington Post, Gadling, Fodor’s, Travel + Escape, Matador, Viator, The Culture-Ist and many others. After getting her BA/MA in Communication from the State University of New York at Albany, she realized she wasn’t really to stop backpacking and made travel her full time job. Some of her most memorable experiences include studying abroad in Sydney, teaching English in Thailand, doing orphanage work in Ghana, hiking her way through South America and traveling solo through Europe. She has a passion for backpacking, adventure, hiking, wine and getting off the beaten path.