10 Best Traditional Bites To Taste In South Africa

Traditional Bites To Taste In South Africa
Stewed or Grilled – The Traditional Bites of Africa

Going on a holiday vacation to South Africa! One of the best holiday destinations offers a highly diversified safari for your entertainment and enjoyment and also has for you the taste of South African food.

South African food is one of the most nutritious in the continent and has all the colours and flavours especially non-vegetarian, meat-stuffed dishes to excite your taste buds and to learn the traditions of Africa. Here are Stewed or Grilled – The Traditional Bites of Africa.

A number of restaurants in South Africa serve both modern and traditional African food. Each dish reflects one or more of the different cultural influences found across the continent.

Traditional African food is generally cooked over an open fire or in a three-legged pot (or potjie), so meat tends to be served in either stewed or grilled form.

Starch usually accompanies the meat: mielie pap (maize porridge), potatoes or rice. Beetroot, carrots, cabbage and pumpkin are the vegetables most commonly served.

Read also – Iconic South African Meals

Here we will know about the ten best typical South African dishes that you can enjoy!

10 Best Traditional Bites To Taste In South Africa

1. Chakalaka


It is a traditional bite to taste in South Africa with an easy-to-prepare recipe and a spicy relish served alongside the main course.

A gravy from chopped tomato and onion upon which is added plenty of grated carrots, chillies, garlic, a bit of grated cabbage, baked beans and/or cauliflower (diced). Cooked until soft with hot curry powder. Generally in South Africa, Chakalaka is a required component for serving barbecues.

2. Potijekos


Potjiekos is a traditional and popular food of South Africa and is essentially a meat and vegetable meal of the Boers although it resembles a stew and is not prepared like a stew. It is slowly cooked in a three-legged Cast iron pot over coals with little supervision.

3. Vetkoek


This traditional bites to taste in South Africa looks like a stuffed bun but actually, it is a traditional South African Pastry. This dish is made of cooked minced beef meat and spread with syrup of honey or jam. It is crispy outside as is deep fried and warm and fluffy inside.

4. Mealie


This traditional bite to taste in South Africa is a maize meal and is served on the cob or made into a beer. This dish forms a part of South Africa’s staple food and is a quick meal for most African households. It is often processed into the form of Mealie Pap which is a porridge made from ground maize and other grains.

It is served hot and cold with milk and sugar as breakfast or with meat and tomato stew as a complete meal.

5. Boerewors


The boerewors roll is purely South African cuisine. It can be found at a roadside stand, char-grilled over an open flame then placed into a bun and covered in mustard and tomato sauce. It is a type of sausage made from seasoned pork minced beef or lamb and spices are added to make it delicious.

6. Bredie


It is a heavily spiced stew consisting of lamb meat and vegetables. The most common variant of Bredie is the Tomato Bredie which tastes great.

7. Frikkadel


This dish is a South African meatball almost baked and sometimes deep fried and is prepared with onions, bread, eggs and other spices.

8. Sosaties


This is a traditional meat-based food of South Africa. The meat is lamb or mutton and is marinated skewered and then barbecued or cooked in skewers.

9. Bobotie


This too is a South African food that is typically South African food made of dried fruits, spiced beef or lamb and topped with an egg. It is the national dish of South Africa and is similar to Moussaka. It is prepared with curry powder giving it a tangy flavour.

10. Biltong


It is a South African food and is a kind of air-dried meat usually beef. Many different types of meat are used in making ranging from beef meats to fillets of ostrich from commercial farms. Typical preparation involves cutting strips of raw fillets of meat following the grain of the muscle.

Other local favourites include a wide variety of delectable Cape Malay dishes and sweet delicacies such as the Koeksister and Melktert.


You will find traditional African and South African restaurants in all major cities and most larger towns across the country. African food changes with the seasons: open-air grilling is popular in summer; hearty stews and soups in winter.

Most restaurants serving traditional African food are very reasonably priced. Traditional street food, such as Boerewors rolls, is even cheaper. An open mind; traditional African food may not always sound, or even look, that good, but it’s all delicious.

About the author

Kamal Kaur