Eastern Food Bazaar
The heady scent of aromatic spices mingles with a bustle of seemingly ravenous people to create one of the most authentic cafes in Cape Town. An environment you simply must investigate. This is very much a community hang- out, and – for visitors to the city – a place to experience a local way of life that’s neither upmarket nor sophistcated, but right on the money when it comes to all-round appeal. Comprising various foodstalls, the location is in the former Welling Fruit Grower’ Market – the building itself dates to 1934, forming a narrow wedge of real estate linking Longmarket and Darling streets – which offers character and an authentic sense if history. In a place that some might label ‘fast food’, you might expect plastic chairs, but instead they’ve put in wood and granite (although you eat with plastic utensils), and in fact, they’ve gone to extraordinary lengths to create a welcoming ambiance, with ornate detailing amidst a space of warm, earthy hues. Cobbled stones underfoot, wooden pillars, decorative screens and crafted artefacts, with Moghul paintings on the walls, and chandeliers above. Decide what to eat – mostly Indian, but with other ethnic cuisines on offer, too – and then order and pay at the central terminal and use your receipt to pick up your meal. It’s thoroughly no-frills, but the food is delicious, authentic and, truly, dirt cheap.