A year-round calendar of popular food and wine festivals, such as Taste of Cape Town in April and the Good Food and Wine Show and Gugulethu Wine Festival in May, are amongst the events that Capetonians and travellers look forward to every year. The Spier Secret Eat events include pop-up food and movie nights, and a secret harvest market in March. But it's the day to day hum of a vibrant coffee culture, (Cape Town's steampunk-style Truth Coffee Shop was named best in the world by MSN Travel) and the after work craft-beer community, make Cape Town a place you need to taste.
With fresh produce, gourmet picnic food and skilled Saturday chefs galore, markets have become social hangouts for weekend mornings, occasional evenings and celebrations. The Neighbourgoods Market in Woodstock may have set the benchmark, but there are now more than 70 markets in just about every corner of Cape Town and surrounds- most are family friendly and full of eye candy, with the most delicious culinary offerings and many opportunities for people watching.
In addition to its food and wine events, Cape Town is also well known for its award-winning restaurants and top chefs. Eight of the Top-10 South African Eat Out Restaurants for 2013 are situated within or on the outskirts of the Mother City with the Test Kitchen topping the list once again. From fine dining to African, Asian and a fusion of flavours in-between; all of it can be served up with excellent, often award-winning wines (many of them garagiste or small yield) from the region.
This year a project called 2014 Food will also run throughout the year at various venues around Cape Town for World Design Capital 2014.2014 Food curates a series of food events that aim to activate the public and stakeholders to take a sustainable approach to growing fresh produce for our urban food economy.
Match food with design and culture and come to Cape Town in its "cosy season". Winter also means that Cape Town restaurants offer up excellent specials to enjoy gourmet for less, watch Cape Town Tourism's blog for details.
British expat Luke Dale-Roberts, owner of The Test Kitchen and The Pot Luck Club, said: "I've lived in South Africa for seven years now and during that time the food scene has really exploded. Seven years ago the food scene had just started taking off, but in the last three to four years there has been this trend of setting up smaller offerings like burger bars or tapas restaurants, where the usual rule book is thrown out and start-ups go with their gut feeling. I think that in the next few years we will see even more of a boom in the food industry. I have a lot of favourite eateries in Cape Town - some of my favourites are 95 Keerom in central Cape Town for beautiful Italian food, the exceptional Chef's Warehouse in Bree Street by Liam Tomlin, and a more recent find is Redemption at the Old Biscuit Mill for really great burgers."
CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Enver Duminy, concluded: "As the original port city in South Africa we have been influenced by food and flavour for many years. Today this has culminated in an extraordinary food scene. The year-long calendar of gastronomic events adds to the international appeal no matter the season and is a big part of what visitors love about Cape Town."