Having recently returned from Cape Town and Johannesburg, I enjoyed getting a look at the street food scene and saw how it compared to other parts of the world. Most of South Africa’s street food can be coated in some delicious chakalaka or monkey gland sauce to add more flavour and pizzazz! Although, compared to other countries in Africa, the South African street food is often very pricey! Fortunately, you get what you pay for here, and as well as tasty portions, those portions are always quite large!
Gatsby is possibly the most unhealthy street food in the world, as it is a huge bread roll stuffed with chips and a meat of your choice. While it is intended to share between a small group, the fast food scene is rife with Gatsby takeaways, especially as a hangover cure!
Biltong is a snack of dried and cured meat pieces that originated in South Africa, and it is similar to beef jerky. South Africans – and tourists – cannot get enough of it!
Boerewors is the name for the coiled South African sausage (similar to a Cumberland Sausage from the UK) that is usually grilled outside on the street in braai gatherings. By law, 90% of this sausage must contain meat, and different varieties come in beef, lamb, and pork.
Koeksister is a kind of syrup-coated cookie that is twisted in a braided shape. As well as being a popular street food, the koeksister has now made its way into South African convenience stores.
Frikadelle is the name given to South African meatballs. These scrumptious meatballs are sold by the bucket load by hawkers and street food vendors.
Hoenderpastei is a simple yet delicious chicken pie that has been a street food favourite for generations in this part of the world.
Mealie Bread is a sweetened bread that is baked with sweetcorn and is buttered as soon as it leaves the ovens. One of the more healthy street foods in this list!
Ostrich Braaivleis is an exotic form of grilled meat. Braai is the South African term for a communal street food feast, as the local community gathers around to enjoy popular meats such as ostrich that are cooked on the barbecue.
Walkie Talkies are basically grilled chicken feet, which are similar to “phoenix claws” that are eaten as part of dim sum in China. However, here in South Africa you can occasionally find a chicken’s head thrown into the mix, hence “walkie” and “talkie”.
Sosatie is a traditional form of kebab which is served up on a skewer. Many meats can be used, but nothing seems more popular in South Africa than lamb!
Vetkoek were born in the townships and these are simple bread rolls/fat cakes that are served up on the streets with various sweet and salty fillings, such as potato crisps. What you do with the roll is up to you, but most people combine the two! The literal meaning of Vetkoek is “Fat Cake” and they can also be called Amagwinya.
Boerie Roll contains sausages that have been laid into the bread and topped with mustard and ketchup, as well onion. Yep, you guessed it – this is what the South African community call a hot dog!
Which of these 12 South African fast foods really whet your whistle? Is there anything you wouldn’t want to try?