Last Updated on December 27, 2019

Popular and Delicious South African Foods

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South Africa is one of Africa’s most beautiful holiday spots, providing extremely diverse safari for your amusement with some of the most Popular and Delicious foods. Your enjoyment would not be complete without a taste of some South African dishes. South African dishes are among the most nutritious on the continent and will not only excite your taste but at the same time provide more nutrition than you expected. Whether you’re in South Africa or still planning to visit one of your holidays, develop an opportunity to grab a bite from some of South Africa’s most incredible foods we’ll share below. From meat stuffed meals to tastier and tailored South African food daily. They will give you a wonderful memory to cherish for your entire lifetime.

Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious. 

Ruth Reichl


Chakalala dish
Chakalala dish
Photo credit: Immaculate Bites

Chakalaka is a popular traditional South African food with an easy to prepare recipe that leaves plenty of room for creativity. Make a tomato and onion chopped gravy. Add lots of shredded carrots, chillies, garlic, sliced cabbage, baked beans, or diced cauliflower. Cook until smooth. Tomatoes, carrots, baked beans, and warm curry powder are also renowned for a classic taste from its unique ingredients like Baked beans, curry, peppers and, carrots. Finding a South African barbecue (braai) without Chakalaka is nearly impossible. People serve Chakalaka with barbeque.


Biltong is South Africa’s most famous and best-known food. It’s one of the Jerky-like South African dishes. It’s a sort of cured meat, an air-dried meat (beef) that a lot of individuals savour almost everywhere.  Biltong is one of the top South African foods to test from its humble beginnings as a Normally, biltong is a snack and not a full meal. Many South Africans love it, but for others, it may be an acquired taste. If you’ve attempted and loved beef jerky, biltong is very probable to go down very well.

Delicious South Africa Foods - Biltong
Photo credit: biltongandboerewors



Potjiekos is a traditional and well -known food in  South African food that is mainly a Boers meat and vegetable dish. This dish looks like stew, but it’s not cooked like a stew.

perfect potjiekos
Perfect potjiekos
Photo credit: Food24

Potjiekos is a quintessential South African dish born solely out of necessity to cook while on the move outdoors. The meal emerged from an Afrikaan tradition that emerged during the Great Trek. Potjiekos has come a long way, yet as we know it today, it is part and parcel of the food culture of South Africa. Usually prepared over coals in a small pot, and typical ingredients include meat, vegetables, and starch (generally potatoes).

#Durban Chicken Curry

Durban Chicken Curry
Durban Chicken Curry
Photo credit: Melissa Mayo

An introduction to ​Durban curries, this chicken curry recipe is quick and easy. The outcome of the mixture from different ingredients is very satisfying and tasty. You end up with a moreish and comforting curry that goes very well with basmati rice and sambal on the side. Sometimes served with bread.

#Milk Tart

Cream butter and sugar together
Photo credit: Wild Peacock

Milk tart, also known as (MELKERT) in Afrikaans, is South Africa’s milky response to traditional custard tart. Nevertheless, a Dutch-imported recipe (MELKTER) is a component of the South African food fabric. Every year, on the 27th of February, is marked as the formal milk tart day in South Africa.

#Apricot Blatjang

Apricot Blatjang
It is a popular chutney made from South Africa’s favourite ingredients; dried fruit.
Photo credit: Pinterest

Apricot blatjang is a South African chutney made with dried apricots. It is the perfect condiment that goes well with cheese or even bobotie. You may recognize this as chutney, but not all chutneys qualify as blatjangs.

#Malva Pudding

Malva Pudding
It contains apricot jam and has a spongy caramelized texture.
Photo credit: EatSmarter

Malva pudding is a Cape-based South African dessert. The Dutch settlers are said to have created it and incorporate apricot jam into the recipe. It’s decadent and similar to sticky pudding of toffee, but it’s much better.


Pap food
Putu pap, or ‘pap’ is an old-time South African favourite dish
Photo credit: Savoury Pap

Pap is the name of South African stiff cornmeal porridge so popular across the African continent. It is one of the known meal in braais (South African barbecues) and is ideal for scooping up thick and tasty sauces and stews.


Boerewors is a high-quality sausage that is often spiralled and displayed in a circular form. It is produced from high meat content and made from beef, pork, or game meat. It’s a must-have at a braai.

A type of sausage which originated in South Africa
Photo credit: Meat Online

Apologies for veggies, this one is for meat enthusiasts. Boerewors are traditional sausages complete of flavour and sizzle from South Africa. They may not be the most exotic meals like a Cumberland, but they’re the best local beef. Cooked on a smoking hot grill, they’re essential when you’re travelling.

#Beef Bobotie

Bobotie is a purely South African dish produced with meat, fruit, and spices minced or shredded. It is finished off with a savoury custard and bay leaves and baked in an oven until the custard is well cooked.

Dish consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping.
Photo credit: Caroline’s Cooking

In many respects, this dish is locally cooked in many families to honour traditions. Typical food is traditionally produced from dried fruit, spiced beef or lamb and with topping based on an egg. It is South Africa’s national dish, comparable to moussaka. Curry powder is the main ingredient that provides this dish with a slight tang, but a range of flavour in this dish makes this cuisine complicated. The dry fruit such as apricots and raisins blend very beautifully with meat and curry flavour.


Erring on the unusual side, we’re not sure you’ll be smiling once you see this dish. It is a sheep’s head that’s boiled until the burnt hair reveals the teeth in a smile.

sheep head - Smiley
sheep’s head that’s boiled until the burnt
Photo credit: my travel fever

A street food favourite in smaller towns, you can dig right in on the street or take it along on your next journey as an ideal bus snack. Be sure to check it comes with the brains, tongues, and eyes. Otherwise, there’s a good chance you didn’t get enough Billy for your buck.

#Bunny Chow

Don’t worry, no real bunnies harmed during this curry making. It originated from Durban.  This dish cooked with minced chicken, or lamb. Serve with a crusty loaf of bread hollowed out and then filled to the brim.

Bunny Chow
Dish cooked with minced chicken, or lamb.
Photo credit: Taste

Extremely inexpensive and filling, bunny chow is the ideal backpacker meal. In Durban, you can discover all the best in locations like Cane Cutters and Impulse by the Sea.


A traditional Afrikaner confectionery made of fried dough infused in syrup or honey.
Photo credit: 196 flavors

Sweeten things up with South Africa’s answer to the doughnut. A koeksister is fried dough dipped in honey and braided into a long strip. You’ll find the best of these in Cape Malay, where the sweet treat originated.


Gatsby meal
Cape Town’s signature super sandwich.
Photo credit: Cape Town Magazine

Gatsby is considered to be a glamorous meal (sandwich). It packed with all types–chips are a popular filling –and intended to share with not just one friend, but up to four. South Africans, especially those in the Cape area, see the bap as a big part of South African culture and for visitors, sampling the sarnie is a rite of passage. Top locations to attempt include Cape Town’s Cosy Corner, Anesa’s and Biesmiellah take away.


Vetkoek is a traditional dish from South Africa. Vetkoek is a South African regular pastry. It is either packed with boiled thin (ground beef) or spread with syrup, honey or jam, deep-fried in cooking oil. With Jam and Cheese, you can appreciate this dish. It becomes crispy outside after cooking the meal, hot and fluffy inside. It is one of the dishes that is taken as a dessert by many individuals.

A traditional Afrikaner fried dough bread.
Photo credit: Rhodes Quality

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