I love food tours, my first experience was with Culinary Backstreets in Istanbul, if you go to Istanbul you HAVE to do one of their tours it’s such an amazing experience and the food is superb.
When I was in Scotland in February my roommate recommended doing a tour with Cape Town Culinary Tours whilst in Cape Town.
I gave them a google and liked the look of the tour, I dropped them an email to ask about my food issues. I had a really quick response saying that they would do their best to cater for a gluten free menu and recommended I take the Cape Town Food Safari as this had stops with the least amount of gluten foods! It is also the 2.30pm tour which for me was my preference as I hoped I then wouldn’t need to eat again that day!
The tour met at the meeting point, it turns out this is a restaurant! Which massively confused my poor brain as I thought the meeting point was 67 Strand Street…..which it was but it’s also an actual place! Anyway I made it on time and all was well!
Our tour guide was Elsje who is super lovely, she is also the owner of the company.
The tours cost £60/£70 which is expensive but all the food is included, obviously the guides knowledge. For me the experience is worth the money.
We went to 5 stops on the tour, I’m not going to list them all as I don’t want to take away the surprise when you go.
The food in each place was amazing, I was full by the end of the tour so make sure you don’t eat any lunch.
One of our stops was a super cool Ethiopian restaurant which had me announcing I was moving to Ethiopia! They have a bread like food made from Teff which is naturally gluten free which means I can eat all the Teff! The food as you can see in the next picture comes on a big sharing platter and you eat it with your hands using the Teff bread to pick up the food. The restaurant was decorated with interesting curios most of which were for sale.
One of our stops was at Khadim’s coffee shop, Khadim is originally from Senegal, he runs a small coffee shop selling Senegalese food and coffee ceremonies. The coffee is strong but not in a UK strong coffee kind of way, it is made with quite a lot of sugar as this is the senegalese way! I’m not a massive coffee drinker, I liked it but I didn’t love it but I did love the experience. Khadim’s coffee shop was small but it felt like a small oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city, whilst still being in the centre of the business district and overlooking Long Street. I didn’t ask if he had wifi but I feel like it would be a good place to go and write some blogs or read a book.
Khadim was a lovely guy and clearly loves his business, pop by and say hi or go and grab a Senegalese cookie which my tour mates assured me were tasty!
Khadim runs Airbnb breakfast and coffee ceremony experiences which look really cool, when you go please send me a picture or tag me on social media and let me know how how you get on.
Our last trip on the tour was a wine bar. We were poured a white wine which I didn’t really like, the waiter then went to pour a red wine. In my head I was groaning as I don’t drink red wine, but hold the line caller, I have now found a red wine that I actually like! Which means I need to try and sneak back to the wine bar before I leave Cape Town for another glass!
So summing up what did I like about this tour, Eljse was wonderful, she was polite and friendly, she was accommodating, she ensured my food was gluten free. She answered all our questions and told us about her own experiences and travels and about the culture of the owners of the restaurants we visited.
On this tour we experienced food from other African countries, Eljse said the other tour was more based on South African food / culture.
I loved going into restaurants and cafes that I would never have gone into alone, I would probably have gone to the wine bar but not the other 4 places, would I go back to them….definitely.
Eljse chooses places on her tour where she can support small businesses which I think is really important.
That’s part of the reason I have written this blog and shared stories / pictures of the food tour and Khadim’s coffee on social media so that I can support these businesses.
I paid for my tour and am not receiving anything in return for writing this blog from any of the businesses mentioned. I am writing the blog because I enjoyed my experiences and hope it inspires people to join one of the tours.
Food recommendations from Eljse:
The Spice Route:
It is in Paarl, about 1 hours drive from the city. Great for Beer, wine, Gin, and chocolate tasting. There are lots to see also very relaxing.
Close to the Spice Route is Fairview farm, great for Cheese and wine tasting.
About 10 min drive from Fairview is the estate Babylonstoren, they have amazing taste rooms and gardens to visit.
Africa and Cape Town style food:
The Meeting Point, the Pot Luck Club & Gold, these restaurants are fantastic and they have great food.
For Meat: the Butcherman & The Hussar Grill Mouille Point.
Go to the Eastern food bazaar Or Food Inn India, they are very trendy places, also very local and Cape Malayan with an Indian Fibe. Lots of food and a must try is the Bunny Cow and Gatsby.
If you want a very relaxed place with seafood to go to Hout Bay at Snoekies and there is a market next to it open every day until 5 pm it is amazing. Panama Jack’s is a personal favourite, located in the V&A Cruise Terminal. Great food selection great drinks and an amazing view.