Do you dream of doing the tango on a rooftop? Lazing under olive trees, while drinking champagne and eating oysters? Buying bunches of fresh flowers, warm just-out-the oven home-baked bread, a vintage skirt, antique dresser, or perhaps a lovely jar of rooibos marmalade?
It’s time for you to visit Johannesburg’s fabulous markets!
If it’s Saturday, it has to be the Braamfontein Neighbourgoods Market. It’s open rain or shine and offers food, fashion and fun. Buy yourself a delicious pizza or paella after exploring the stalls, sit at one of the long communal tables and get into some serious people watching. There’s a hip bar upstairs, a spectacular 15-story wall mural by artist Eduardo Villa, and tons of funky shops and galleries in the area. Be warned, there is always a queue to get in.
Market on Main is where you can dance on the rooftops, buy art, get buried under tons of olives, taste any kind of cupcake and snooze under the sun. Their motto – ‘Made for the people of Joburg by the people of Joburg’ – and this is where the artists and musicians hang out. They’ve created a beautiful space in a large warehouse, the stallholders are Jozi based food and design fanatics, and it’s open every Sunday. Be square or be there! And take a picnic blanket and your wallet. No queues, but tons of people…
If you’re after ‘earthy’ then the Bryanston Organic Market is for you. Johannesburg’s first outdoor market has been around for thirty-six years, and this is where the barefoot and beautiful do their shopping. Huge bunches of carrots, health breads, hand made toys and even massages are on sale. Everything is natural, the market is family friendly, the kids will love it, your dogs are welcome and their preservative free food is sublime. It’s open on Thursday and Saturday mornings, and in the evening under a full moon!
The Farmer’s Market @ Bamboo is a small, suburban market in Melville, and is a vibrant grocery-style rooftop event, with fresh fruit and veggies, home baked goods, raw honey and spectacular pesto. You need to arrive early as they sell out quickly. It’s open on Saturday mornings, and can be combined with visits to the many antique stores in the area, and the delicious Service Station restaurant and Love Books below.
Also on a Saturday – The Jozi Food Market This one is at Pirates Sports Club and be careful – you can get lost beneath the freshly baked pastries and turn delirious round the decadent delicacies. We suggest you walk from your Johannesburg Guest House as this is a Parkhurst / Greenside northern suburbs market, also easy walking to many boutiques and restaurants nearby…
Looking for birdsong, butterflies and hay-bales? The Fourways Farmers Market is gorgeous! A real break-away from supermarket shopping, divine food stalls, fantastic picnic areas with a playground and large marquee, this market is open every Sunday with over 50 vendor stalls offering local, seasonal and delicious produce. A real country getaway in the middle of suburbia.
A little further afield is the Soweto Arts and Craft Market, a brand new one, on the first Saturday of every month. Your guide, and we suggest Peter at Mashaba Tours, can include this market on your Soweto sightseeing, or arrange private visits to some of the artists and sculptors. It has a fantastic African flavor, there is drumming and dancing, and we wish it was open more often.
So, whether you are after a pair of bargain boots or a present for your partner, Johannesburg markets are a must, and it’s worth planning your visit around them. Our markets are great places to buy gifts or to spoil yourself, but also to get a real sense of Jozi people and Jozi city, the vibrancy of the city and the community spirit of the people.