Bursting with ethnic diversity, South Africa is bound to have some iconic foods.
These are some native foods that you must try during your visit.


The name means ‘fat cake’.
This ball of dough can be filled up with various native fillings. Usually, though, it’s pumped full of cheese, spiced mince or apricot jam. After the delicious filling is firmly in the dough ball, it’s then fried to perfection.


Dried, cured meat stakes!
These strips of meat have been prepared, dried and then preserved for your eating. Biltong can only be described as being similar to beef jerky, although jerky is smoked and biltong is not. Biltong strips can easily be found in almost every region of South Africa.


A well known South African dish, bobotie consists of gently spiced minced lamb or beef laid underneath a roof layer of eggs-and-milk.


Containing a mix of beef, pork and sometimes also lamb, Boerewors is the South African sausage.

The sausage is curled up like a coil and spiced up with traditional spices. You can fit Boerewors into a roll to make it like a hotdog or even pop it into a quiche.


A Dutch origin stew. Bredie can be made from lamb and waterblommetjies (an edible flower type found in South African dams and marshes) or beef and tomato.
Both versions of the stew are cooked for long periods of time and seasoned with chilli, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Although depending on the chef, the seasoning could be completely different.

Bunny chow

Bunny chow is a hollow loaf of bread filled with curry. The dish originated from the Indian community in Durban and has now become a salient dish of the city.


Denningvleis is a Cape Malay dish and is considered one of South Africa’s oldest recipes.
Denningvleis is a sweet-and-sour slow-cooked stew featuring lamb and seasoned with spices and tamarind.


This is a giant foot-long sandwich. It’s meant to be shared and is full of slap chips (chunky fries) steak, masala, egg, polony and Russian sausage.


Similar to bunny chow, Kota consists of bread hollowed out and then filled.
The soft loaf used is to nest flavourful ingredients like achar, slap chips, polony, cheese, eggs and Russian sausage.

Milk Tart

A classic South African recipe, Milk Tart is a pastry oozing with a creamy filling made from milk, sugar, flour, and eggs.


Mala Mogodu or just Mogodu is stewed tripe (edible stomach lining of animals), that is slowly cooked until it becomes soft. Mogodu is usually accompanied by dumplings or pap.

Peppermint Crisp Tart

One of the most popular desserts of South Africa. Peppermint Crisp Tart is a no-cook pudding that is accompanied by biscuits with a whole lot of whipped cream, caramel treat and Peppermint Crisp chocolate bars.


The name of the recipe comes from the three-legged pot that it was traditionally cooked in.
Potjiekos is a type of stew slowly cooked at the heart of a fire.
Lamb neck, shank, ox tail are considered to be the best cuts for this meal.
Ingredients include meat (of course,) vegetables, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, rice or potatoes cooked with Dutch-Malay spices.


Guess what this is?
Boiled sheep head!
Smiley is a traditional Xhosa dish. Heads can be served whole or the meat can be ground from the bone to be served as part of a stew.

Like what you see? Here are some other South African dishes you should try.

Pap en sous
Malva pudding
Don Pedro