South African township meal
South African township meal

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.

malva pudding
Traditional malva pudding drenched in custard

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

Jessica Festa is the editor of Epicure & Culture as well as Jessie on a Journey. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia, agritouring through Tuscany, and volunteering in Ghana.

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