As memorable as it is to eat in a larney restaurant, fine dining is no longer the bar. Some of the most exciting and innovative food is being served out of trailers, carts and vintage vans in and around Cape Town. Here’s our pick of the street-food traders who are transforming takeaways. If we’ve left anyone out, please let us know in the comments below. Viva the food revolution! Viva street food!
1. Jack Rabbit
With various menu items on offer, the most popular is Street Food Options – a fusion of comfort food, gourmet ingredients and classic cooking methods, perfect for a chilled party or festive celebration. All ingredients are sourced locally and everything is made from scratch.
Where find to it At festivals, music events and food fairs. Also available for private events, such as weddings and corporate events.
Wow factor Truffle Mayo Fries, paired with the highly popular Bacon Jalapeño Burger.
2. Posh Nosh Africa
Run by three partners with ample sales, marketing and food-industry experience, this mobile-food company operates throughout SA. Though Posh Nosh Africa has two Cape trucks, its Big Boy truck can produce any food (within reason).
Where to find them primarily Somerset West and Paternoster, though they travel around Cape Town and the West Coast for public and private events. Catch them at Vensters Festival 2017, Kfm’s K Day 2017 (Meerdal Estate) and Cape Epic.
On the menu Thai rolled ice cream, with a choice of toppings (Oreos, fresh fruit and Milo); pancake dogs (sausages fried in pancake batter) on a stick; and bunny chows, served in a bread roll and cup.
Specialising in Texan-style, slow-cooked braai-style dishes, PitMasters is all about low- and slow-smoked meat, as they understand that all good things take time.
Where to find them Major events in and around the Western Cape, such as the Classic Car ‘n Bike Show, J&B (now Sun) Met, Bastille Festival and Groote Post Country Market.
Wow factor Its food truck uses authentic Texan-like, offset smokers, run over grapevine and oakwood fires, and the meat is smoked for long periods, using low temperatures. There’s even a PitMaster restaurant, too.
4. No Ordinary Burger (NOB)
Looking for a custom-made burger in an oversized sesame-seed bun? You’ve come to the right place!
Wow factor NOB uses fresh ingredients, a range of secret sauces, and an amazing array of toppings.
Where to find them Cave Kustoms, Stikland; We Love Big Bay; Durbanville Hills and Kenilworth Racetrack. It’s also available for hire for private events across the Western Cape.
5. Lotus Food Truck
Enjoy contemporary Asian street food that’s made from scratch, using fresh, seasonal ingredients. The focus here is value-for-money, quality food.
Wow factor The lip-smacking dipping sauces and dressings.
Where to find them Based at Salt River Arcade during the week, Lotus focuses on private and corporate events. You’ll also find the truck at Ultra Festival and Rocking the Daisies.
On the menu succulent satays, beef short rib and other tasty tidbits.
6. Moreish Eatery
This mobile food kitchen offers quality street food that’s bursting with flavour. All sauces and relishes are handmade, and their menu changes according to what customers want.
Where to find them At corporate events, festivals and concerts. The truck is also available for hire for birthdays and weddings, catering for 50 to 500 guests.
Recommended The free-range chicken and beef gourmet burgers, and toasted wraps.
7. Pizza Piaggio
SA’s original pizza tuk-tuk, PP has now expanded into a small fleet of tuk-tuks (with a bricks-and-mortar pizzeria also in the works). With their blazing hot, wood-fired pizza oven, they’re out to cook the most authentic (and freshest) traditional Neapolitan pizzas in and around Cape Town.
Where to find them Usually trading at the Old Biscuit Mill’s Neighbourgoods Market (Saturdays), and at select festivals and local markets. They’ll also cater for private parties and functions, and can even set up in your garden!
Wow factor They use Italian “doppio zero” flour to make their deliciously crispy sourdough bases. Add preservative-free Italian tomatoes and fresh buffalo mozzarella, and you have one of the best pizzas in Cape Town.
8. Burger Fellers
Founded in 2015 by two brothers, after they saw the popularity of food trucks (and their variety of street food offerings) in London and Miami respectively.
They focus primarily on top ingredients, sourcing the purest quality beef for their handmade patties and baking the buns daily. Their packaging is US-imported, bio-degradable pleat pack, making it eco-friendly.
Where to find them they’re based in Melkbosstrand so events up the West Coast, like the Darling Flower Show, Yzerfontein Feesmark and Groote Post Country Market. Every Thursday and Friday they serve lunches to companies in Century City. They also do private functions.
Wow factor they’ve been involved in several charity days, including functions and fundraisers for disadvantaged children and local animal shelters.
9. The Mad Batter
Specialising in all things sweet, The Mad Batter presents its food in a fun and whimsical way reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland. Its sweet treats are produced using honest ingredients, such as free-range eggs, unbleached stone-ground cake flour and canola oil.
Where to find them It’s based in Bellville and the Northern Suburbs, and you can find them at the Franschhoek Village Market (Saturdays). It’s also available for private and corporate events.
On the menu Tasty treats include waffles-on-a-stick (with a choice of syrups, toppings and fresh cream), as well as popcorn, Nutella cigars (nutella baked in phyllo pastry), double-thick milkshakes, pancakes and cakes.
10. The Sausage Embassy
Traditional Bavarian-inspired grub is reincarnated into modern street food, with a focus on high-quality German Brätwurst, warm pretzels with butter and chives, and pulled pork in dark beer sauce.
Where to find them At Cape festivals, markets, wine farms, breweries and, if the wind is under control, at Oudekraal.
Wow factor Their sausages are sourced from a German master butcher, who uses no colourants, preservatives or other chemicals. Plus, they’re eco-friendly, running their truck on solar power and gas only!
If you love gourmet Indian cuisine, but prefer flavour to heat, try these guys. They cater to Banters, vegans and vegetarians, using home-ground spices and coconut oil for any fried foods. Although they’re not Halaal-certified, they are halaal-friendly and kosher, with no pork products used.
Where to find them Based in Constantia, they can be found at Pinotage on Tap, Constantia Gift Fair, Winelands Chocolate Festival and Design Indaba. They also do private and corporate events, offering canapé nibbles.
On the menu curry bowls (dhal, rice and curry), Indian-style quesadillas, Aloo Tikki burgers, chickpea and potato chaat, crispy chicken tikka strips (and dip) and Indian nachos.
12. 4Roomed Ekasi Culture
This is one for the books: fine dining township-style. Here, you can expect a variety of township staples, modified with interesting flavours, and presented in a stylish way. Enjoy your street food at one of the nearby tables, or as take away.
Where to find them Based in Khayelitsha, opposite Luhlaza High School, the truck is available for private events within a 60km radius of Cape Town International Airport.
Wow factor Their fresh produce is sourced from Moya Wekhaya organic gardens, and they harvest fresh herbs and edible flowers from their own garden. We love their involvement in community upliftment.
13. Tailgate Foods
Here you’ll find a variety of protein, provided it can be cooked on braai. From their cool and unique braai truck, they serve A-grade meat that’s marinated with their own special basting sauce.
Where to find them In the braai capital of Cape Town, Bellville, where they’re based.Catch them at the Street Food Festival, Cape Town Coffee & Chocolate Festival, Vineyard Oval Market (Wednesdays), and other big-name events. They do private and corporate functions, too.
On the menu Pork-neck steak roll, pork-belly ribs and very delicious bacon bites. Not big on pork? Ask about their salmon and seafood.
Shaking things up by adding a frozen-yoghurt food truck to the Cape Town scene, FrozenYo has proven rather popular since it set up on the Blouberg beachfront a year ago. It has since opened a retail store to cater to the local community, and free up the truck for events only.
Where to find them At weddings, corporate functions, birthday parties and other events, which you can book them for – or at their beachfront store in Blouberg.
We recommend um, the frozen yoghurt… It contains less sugar and kilojoules than ice cream, and has a real yoghurt aftertaste.
15. Syriana Food Truck
It was launched in 2014, out of the owners’ desire to bring their home country’s flavours to the streets of Cape Town. And since then, it has inspired the birth of a restaurant with the same name. Specialising in Middle Eastern cuisine, Syriana serves a selection of shawarmas and falafels.
Where to find them At the Old Biscuit Mill (Saturdays) and at the Vineyard Oval Market (Mondays).
Wow factor They pride themselves on authentic flavours and, as such, have brought in chefs from Syria.
16. Rack ‘n Grill
This Halaal-certified food truck offers deep-south BBQ-style cooking, which is currently so popular in the States. Their truck is painted black, allowing customers to chalk up their comments and feedback.
Where to find them The Vineyard Oval Market (Wednesdays, from 8 February 2017 onwards) and Rondebosch Park Market (mid-month Saturdays), as well as Johnston Road and Frans Conradie Drive.
On the menu Flame-grilled beef ribs, hand-pressed, pure-beef burgers and hand-cut fries.
17. Wahine Food Truck
Specialising in Polynesian-inspired cuisine, this truck offers many cuisines, including Indian, Chinese, Korean and Japanese, and even venturing into the South Pacific (Tahiti, Hawaii and Fiji) to create an ever-changing menu. The only constant is healthy and delicious food.
Where to find them Based in the Southern Suburbs, they can be found at many popular social and sporting events, as well as festivals in and around Cape Town. (They’ve even travelled to KZN for the Splashy Fen Festival). They also cater for private, corporate, school and sporting events.
On the menu Everything from noodles and tempura dishes to wraps, burgers and salads. Their most popular meal is Polynesian Pork (served as a salad, wrap, rice bowl or plated meal).
18. Die Worsrol
Here, the humble hot dog is elevated to a culinary experience in its own right, because the owners believe in sourcing the best produce, and doing things properly. They even have a special pork recipe, honed with the help of their butcher.
Where to find them Based in Stellenbosch, you’ll find them at the Stellenbosch Street Soirées and at various festivals around the Western Cape. They also cater at private and corporate events.
Wow factor The 22cm, gourmet Frankfurter, with potato wedges, American slaw and two additional sauces, aside from tomato sauce and mustard! Massive.
19. Boulevard 82
Expect good service and delicious Cape-style Mediterranean food from these experienced chefs (a combined 28 years in the hospitality inducstry in the States and SA).
Where to find them Various festivals, such as Seasons of Sauvignon and the Stellenbosch Craft Beer Festival. They also do private parties, weddings and other events.
On the menu Offerings range from sirloin-steak rolls, Philly cheese steaks, sandwiches, as well as tailor-made tapas-style menus, including arancini, smoked-salmon blinis espetada, bolo do caco and gyros.
20. Black Beer’d
If seafood floats your boat, then this truck will rev your engine (excuse the mixed metaphor). Inspired by what the owners believed to be a lack of seafood-truck offerings, Black Beer’d was born in 2016, launching themselves at Jack Black’s Food Truck Friday. They use fresh fish from the harbour, and offer a twist on Cape Town favourites.
Where to find them At pop-up markets and office functions, as well as the Constantia Gift Fair.
On the menu Seared (or braaied when possible) tuna and prawn kebabs, hake burgers and craft beer-battered hake goujons.
21. Cosmo Cafe
Serving food offerings from around the globe – including Cape Town to celebrate our city’s wonderful culinary diversity – Cosmo Café is one of the newest trucks on the scene, having launched in August 2016.
Where to find them At festivals, events and weekend markets, as well as Signal Hill for lunch and sunset snacks.
On the menu Homemade Tuscan Fettuccini (with chicken and mushroom), New York lox bagel, Pakistani spicy mince lolly wrap, Thai pork/chicken (with beans green curry) and Moroccan tagines and salads.
We also rate these marvellous mobile vendors:
- Didi’s Bitchin Burritos
- Fetty’s Street Food
- Earthfire Pizza
- Braziliant Express
- Crumbs & Cream
- Durban’s Finest Curry
- Baguette Bicycle
- Stack That
- Scandalous Food Truck
- The Barrel BBQ
- Wok Your Way
- Dos Chido
- Lady Bonin’s Tea Parlour
- The Good Life
- Mon Ami French Afrik Bistro