Don’t Leave South Africa Without Trying These Traditional Foods

Published on 10/19/2020

South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with stunning landscapes, intriguing history and not to mention mouth-watering traditional foods. So, while you’re visiting this southern African country and experiencing everything it has to offer, don’t forget to indulge in some of their many delicious traditional foods. Not sure where to start? Take a look at these must-try, delicious dishes for the most authentic South African adventure.


Don’t Leave South Africa Without Trying These Traditional Foods


As you first look at this food item, you may think it’s kind of like beef jerky but don’t make the same mistake as other people who have never tried Biltong. Biltong is possibly the most loved snack among South Africans. It is made by drying the meat (generally beef) and then adding a selection of spices. Biltong can be found almost everywhere you travel in South Africa and is often considered as the staple road drip or social gathering snack.


Bobotie is a popular traditional dish that is cooked in many homes and restaurants. It consists of simmered minced meat, curry, dried fruit, and the best herbs and spices. Afterward, it is topped with a mixture of eggs and milk and then baked until golden brown. This is hugely popular comfort food, epically during the winter months. Now, this may sound like a strange combination of foods, but believe us this is one delicious dish you’ll be wanting to make in your own home.


The next dish on our list was actually invented in the townships of Johannesburg which then later became a huge South African favorite. The simple to make dish consists of a spicy vegetable relish as well as, baked beans, peppers, onions, tomato and curry. Depending on the region of the country, other spices and vegetables may be added as well but it is usually packed with the most delectable flavors and spices. This dish can be enjoyed with nearly anything but some of the more popular foods are rice, bread or meat.

Bunny chow

Bunny Chow is actually a tasty street food that originated in the city of Durban around the 1940s. However, this traditional dish can be found nearly anywhere in the country. So firstly, a loaf of (white) bread is hollowed out, then it is filled with a spicy chicken, lamb, or pork curry. There is, of course, a vegetarian option that is available that contains kidney beans, lentils, tomatoes, and onions. Many expert foodies from around the world have given this traditional dish some top-ratings. So this is definitely a must-try!


No food list is complete without at least one dessert. Melktert is the most delicious Afrikaan dessert that came with the Dutch settlers roughly around the 17th century. This scrumptious dish consists of a pastry crust will a creamy, sweet filling made of milk, flour, eggs, and sugar. Cinnamon is also often sprinkled over the top. This is always a terrific way to finish off a truly traditional South African meal. This is one of the most loved desserts in South Africa that they even have dedicated one day of the year to celebrate the iconic Melktart.

Rooibos Tea

Lastly, we have included a beverage. Rooibos is a South African plant, and its leaves are commonly used for brewing tea. The name rooibos means red bush, referring to the plant’s visual characteristics. Rooibos tea has been very popular in South Africa for many generations, however many say that it is an acquired taste. With so many health benefits, rooibos is served as ice tea and even red espresso, even though the most common form is as hot tea (similar to black tea).