13 South African delis that put the "art" in artisan
Image: Naikon for iStock
Artisan producers are masters at their craft, take it in their stride to understand the raw materials with which they work, and better yet, the source of their ingredients and the positive and negative attribute of farming and working with a particular food. If you're looking for a curated selection of environmentally-friendly fare, unique spices, organic ingredients and holistic dispensaries, read our round-up of countrywide favourites.
Situated on the picturesque Chapman's Peak Drive, Barney's offers local, ethically sourced products sold in collaboration with the best artisan Cape producers. Choose from quality food prepared traditionally and using excellent ingredients. The menu includes classic deli options like cold meats, salads, sandwiches as well as vegetarian options.
We love: Build your own salad, or take all the ingredients and build it at home.
A meeting place for farmers, producers, market vendors, chefs, mixologists, food activists and all who love to eat food with a conscience, Olive Branch Deli is a community grocer providing seasonal and artisan market vendors with a platform to grow their brands and the movement of conscious, mindful living. Located in the Lifestyle Centre on Kloof, if you're walking too fast you may just miss it. It really is a little slice of heaven.
We love: Placing emphasis on our diet and what we choose to eat, the dispensary offers an astute selection of prescribed ingredients highlighting the link between food, nutrition and our overall health. From gastronomic-healing foods to collagen-rich bone broths, tonics, teas and tinctures – to superfoods and pure therapeutic-grade essential oils – you’re spoilt with it all.
We our humbled to have our friend @bioboertie's Organic, Heirloom wheats, berries and nuts arrive at the @olivebranchdeli today. A massive thank you to @inspector.adam for putting us in touch. Bertie has very kindly sent us samples of his epic range of unsifted, wholemeal flours and we would like to invite local chefs and pastry chefs (please tag someone you might know) to come and pick up samples from us for free to experiment with in their kitchens.
"We find the right farmer. We buy the whole animal. We take it apart with respect. We use every piece we can." These are the words and qualities in which "Cape Town's ethical butchery", founded and spearheaded by Andy Fenner, is run. Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants provides a quality array of meats from its three outlets (Woodstock, Gardens and Claremont). Not just offering meat, but retail items such as homemade sauces, pickles, kombucha, apparel and free-range eggs (actual free-range eggs not agriculture's biggest lie sold to consumers).
We love: Give your loved ones the gift of quality food made ethically with a gift voucher, available to spend at any of the three stores
Wishing all you ine olks out there a very, erry, erry Christmas. (What’s the festive season without FFMM, hey?) We are now open for holiday orders, people. For a full breakdown of the offering, please mail us on email@example.com - we’ve got 48-hour cured ducks, sausages made from actual mince pies, rib roasts that have been aging since October, Christmas bacon etc. Hit us up.
Brenda's at Spice Route
Spice Route, now a leading Winelands destination, offers not just craft beer, excellent wine and a varied restaurant choice in its beautiful vineyard-facing settings, but sensory stimulation too at Brenda’s Deli. As you enter, be envelopped by the smell of spices evoking images of bustling North African souks and markets, aromatic dishes such as a Tunisian tagine and Moroccan teapots. Mix your own blend of spices to create adventures in flavour for your next dinner party.
We love: All products and preserves are additive-free and made from fresh, natural ingredients. Try the Tayberry Jam or Lemon Granadilla Cordial – a summer quencher.
"With a van full of fish and no idea what I was in for, I set up a stand at the Neighbourgoods Market in the Old Biscuit Mill and Ocean Jewels was born", says founder Julie Carter. Bringing only the freshest SASSI-friendly fish to her now Woodstock Exchange shop, Julie provides discerning shoppers with excellent quality fish. "Sustainable fishing practice is extremely important to me. I can’t with a clear conscious sell fish where the fishing method is destructive to the environment."
We love: Can't make it to the Woodstock Exchange? Join the mailing list and have your fish delivered to you.
Originally an "Organic Box Scheme", Organic Zone is now a health dreamland in Lakeside operating seven days a week. The warehouse-type shop supplies fresh, organic fruit and vegetables, as well as a wide variety of organic foods and health products, such as nuts, seeds, gluten-free flours, sucrose- and dairy-free chocolates, cereals, BWC-approved cosmetics and cleaning products. It's a one-stop-shop for a healthy mind, body and conscience.
We love: "Whole foods" and artisan markets are often town-based in Cape Town. We appreciate the importance of organic and health food resources like this in greater Cape Town areas.
A trip to Spier is special on any occasion, but they've upped their ante with the latest addition: the Farm Kitchen, a farm-to-table offering to be enjoyed as a picnic on the lawns overlooking vineyards and heritage thatched gables, or take-away. Customise your picnic with the selection of freshly-prepared options: rotisserie chicken, handmade pies and sandwiches made using wood-fired Hoghouse bread. Farmer Angus' pasture-reared products include eggs, biltong, bone broth and chicken, pork and beef. Choose a freshly-made salad from the farm deli or make your own at the salad station.
We love: Vegans can call a day ahead to ensure a specially packed vegan picnic basket.
Located on Lilian Ngoyi Road in Durban, Bread is an artisan bakery and bistro serving breakfast, lunch, light meals and fresh, sweet and savoury baked goods.
We love: Learn to bake your own artisan bread with owner and baker Peter Venter. (And the croissants are among Durban’s best rated.)
Karoo Kitchen is a local butchery and deli specialising in quality meats, fresh deli goods and ready-made meals. The flagship store situated in the heart of Durban North is a family-style butchery that focuses on customised service and an exclusive shopping experience.
We love: Visit for their excellent game Carpaccio.
Bocodillos on 1st and on 6th in Port Elizabeth specialises in fresh fish, quality meat and garden-crisp ingredients. The relaxed, intimate dining room is ideal for light lunches and suppers, while their breakfasts are excellent too.
We love: Visit the wine room for cellar door wines available to take home.
"There was a time when you knew what you were eating. Ingredients weren’t listed as codes, you knew the people you were buying from, the Butcher, the Baker, the Cheese Maker. There was a time before artificial preservatives, long-life anything, and additives to keep your ‘bread’ fresh for two weeks. We’re bringing back this way of cooking and eating, the basics from a time gone by.”
Intending to enliven this lost notion, Zana’s Bakery creates artisan cakes, pastries, breads and cafe-style food, using quality and considered ingredients.
We love: The open kitchen means you get the chance to see exactly how the goods are prepared, including roasted meat cuts done in a Roman-style wood oven.
A sunny deli in Joburg's Maboneng Precinct, Eat Your Heart Out creates delicious, healthy and wholesome Jewish-inspired food. Visit for all-day breakfasts and simple yet tasty lunches, coffee and juices.
We love: In addition to the permanent menu, view the boards on Fox Street for daily and weekly specials.
Jacksons Real Food Market is a small, family-run business showcasing South Africa’s best artisan food producers, bakers and butchers. Owner Gary Jackson, having more than 25-years retail experience, left a well-known franchise to become a fulltime an advocate for the Real Food Movement. He encourages families to eat grassfed and pasture raised animals, eggs and dairy, while simultaneously promoting an organic, naturally grown – chemical-free – daily diet with goods sold at a reasonable price.
We love: All chosen suppliers at Jacksons are small holder farmers in South Africa, using honest, old fashioned, organic and biodynamic principles and ethos; chosen, too, for their taste, quality, nutritional value and price.
The Organic Natural and Whole Food Emporium, situated at the Bryanston Shopping Centre in Joburg, is a Real Food Revolution store catering to the discerning health and environmentally conscious shopper. Choose farm produce from South Africa’s most sustainable farmers, a selection condoned by Organic Emporium owner, food activist and writer Debbie Logan. She stands for farmers making meaningful effort to create an alternative food system in South Africa, supplying not only fresh, organic fruit and vegetables, but also a wide variety of organic health products.
We love: Debbie has personally visited and interacted with each farmer on her Real Food voyage, a seven-year long journey that led her to opening the emporium and showcasing first-hand the compelling food heroes of our country.