Although I am a fan of fresh/local/organic food markets and believe every area should have one, I don’t visit markets all that often. So while I will share my opinion, I wouldn’t call it an expert opinion. For expert opinion on markets, check out http://www.mothercityliving.co.za/
My favourite market in Cape Town has always been the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill in Salt River. I’ve been to a couple of other markets and have always happily returned to the Neighbourgoods Market. But this last weekend I went to check out a new market in Tokai (not the Porters Market, which has been going for a while), in the Builder’s Warehouse centre. It’s called the Earth Fair Food Market.
When we arrived we did a quick walk around and I really liked the feel of the place. After the walk around we chatted with Jacqui Simpson who runs the market and I realised why I liked the market so much. Jacqui revealed that one of her strategies for the market is to allow only top quality stalls. I realised then that the quality of the stalls is a big factor. I prefer it when each stall has something to offer which is worthwhile, rather than having to skip every second stall completely because their wares are just plain weird.
The other strategy that Jacqui has applied is to focus the market more on buying things to take away than buying things to consume there. There are several stands selling food for immediate consumption, as well as a coffee stand and a bar, plus some tables and seating. But the majority of stands were offering foods and consumables for off site consumption. Having said that, there are also some activities for kids to enjoy while the parents grab a bite or relax for a bit.
As usually happens at markets, I couldn’t stop myself from buying things. I bought some cheese, some artisnal sausage and some fresh bread. I found the fresh seafood stall very appealing but knew I wouldn’t get a chance to cook the fish until next week. Other things on offer included: fresh pasta, vegetarian products (homemade patties etc), jams, olive oil, wine and much more.
We went at about 11:30am and the market was buzzing nicely but not too busy (a problem with Neighbourgoods Market). We enjoyed having some breakfast and browsing the stalls before moving on to our next appointment. I would recommend this market for a visit. They are open on Saturdays, but plan to open on Wednesdays from 2pm until 8pm which will be perfect for a mid week fridge top up.
Earth Fair Food Market
South Palms, 333 Main Road, Tokai
Tel: 021 788 2333