Culinary Journeys: Street Foods of Johannesburg South Africa to Try & Video

Culinary Journeys: Street Foods of Johannesburg South Africa to Try

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Johannesburg, the vibrant city of South Africa, is not only known for its rich history and stunning landscapes but also for its diverse street food scene. Exploring the culinary journeys of Johannesburg is an exciting way to immerse yourself in the local culture and indulge in delicious flavors. From savory snacks to mouthwatering desserts, the street foods of Johannesburg offer a gastronomic adventure like no other. In this article, we will take you on a virtual tour of the must-try street foods in Johannesburg.

1. Bunny Chow

Johannesburg South Africa Image 1: Johannesburg South Africa

  • Curry-filled Bread: A popular Indian-inspired street food, Bunny Chow is a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with a flavorful curry. The bread serves as a bowl, and the fillings can vary from vegetarian to meat options.
  • Flavorful Fillings: The curry fillings can include chicken, lamb, beef, or vegetables, cooked in a fragrant blend of spices like turmeric, cumin, and coriander. It is often served with a side of pickles or sambals.
  • Where to Find: You can find Bunny Chow in various street food stalls and restaurants across Johannesburg, particularly in areas like Fordsburg and Mayfair.

Keywords: Bunny Chow, curry-filled bread, Indian-inspired, flavorful fillings, spices, street food stalls, Fordsburg, Mayfair.

2. Boerewors Rolls

Johannesburg South Africa Image 2: Johannesburg South Africa

  • Traditional South African Sausage: Boerewors is a traditional South African sausage made from a mixture of beef, pork, and spices. It is often grilled to perfection and served in a fresh roll.
  • Condiment Delights: Boerewors rolls are typically topped with a variety of condiments, including tomato and onion relish, chakalaka (a spicy vegetable relish), and mustard. The combination of flavors is a true delight.
  • Where to Find: Look out for food trucks, roadside vendors, and local markets for a taste of this iconic South African street food.

Keywords: Boerewors Rolls, traditional South African sausage, grilled, condiments, tomato and onion relish, chakalaka, mustard, food trucks, roadside vendors, local markets.

3. Kota

  • South African Sandwich: Kota, also known as a bunny, is a popular street food sandwich in Johannesburg. It consists of a hollowed-out quarter loaf of bread filled with various ingredients.
  • Fillings Galore: The fillings can include anything from fried eggs, polony (a type of processed meat), cheese, and vegetables to sauces like tomato sauce and mayonnaise. It’s a customizable delight.
  • Where to Find: You can find Kota in street food stalls and takeaway shops throughout Johannesburg, especially in the bustling downtown areas.

Keywords: Kota, South African sandwich, hollowed-out loaf, fried eggs, polony, cheese, vegetables, tomato sauce, mayonnaise, street food stalls, takeaway shops, downtown areas.

4. Pap and Chakalaka

Johannesburg South Africa Image 3: Johannesburg South Africa

  • Traditional Staple: Pap and chakalaka are two traditional South African dishes that are often enjoyed together. Pap is a thick maize porridge, similar to polenta, while chakalaka is a spicy vegetable relish.
  • Flavorful Combination: The creamy texture of pap complements the spicy and tangy flavors of chakalaka. It is a popular side dish served with grilled meat or enjoyed on its own.
  • Where to Find: You can find pap and chakalaka in many local eateries, restaurants, and braai (barbecue) spots across Johannesburg.

Keywords: Pap and Chakalaka, traditional staple, maize porridge, polenta, spicy vegetable relish, creamy texture, tangy flavors, local eateries, restaurants, braai spots.

5. Gatsby

  • South African Submarine Sandwich: The Gatsby is a massive submarine sandwich that originated in Cape Town but has gained popularity in Johannesburg. It is a favorite street food among locals and visitors alike.
  • Generous Fillings: The Gatsby is filled with a variety of ingredients, including polony, French fries, steak, and various sauces. It’s a meal in itself and perfect for sharing.
  • Where to Find: Look out for local eateries, food trucks, and takeaways that offer Gatsby sandwiches in Johannesburg.

Keywords: Gatsby, South African submarine sandwich, generous fillings, polony, French fries, steak, sauces, local eateries, food trucks, takeaways.

6. Samoosas

  • Indian-Inspired Savory Pastries: Samoosas, also known as samosas, are a popular street food snack in Johannesburg. These triangular pastries are filled with a variety of savory fillings and deep-fried to perfection.
  • Flavorful Fillings: The fillings can include spiced potatoes, minced meat, vegetables, and even cheese. They are often served with a dipping sauce like tamarind or mint chutney.
  • Where to Find: You can find samoosas in Indian restaurants, street food stalls, and markets throughout Johannesburg.

Keywords: Samoosas, Indian-inspired savory pastries, triangular, spiced potatoes, minced meat, vegetables, cheese, dipping sauce, tamarind chutney, mint chutney, Indian restaurants, street food stalls, markets.

7. Vetkoek

  • Traditional Fried Dough: Vetkoek, meaning “fat cake” in Afrikaans, is a traditional South African street food made from deep-fried dough. It is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
  • Delicious Fillings: Vetkoek can be filled with various fillings such as mince, cheese, jam, or syrup. It’s a versatile treat that can be enjoyed as a sweet or savory option.
  • Where to Find: Look out for roadside food vendors and local markets for a taste of vetkoek in Johannesburg.

Keywords: Vetkoek, traditional fried dough, crispy, soft, mince, cheese, jam, syrup, roadside food vendors, local markets.

8. Melktert

  • South African Milk Tart: Melktert, meaning “milk tart” in Afrikaans, is a beloved South African dessert that can be found on many street food menus. It is a sweet pastry with a creamy custard filling.
  • Flavorful Delight: The custard filling is made from milk, eggs, sugar, and a hint of cinnamon. It is often dusted with cinnamon on top, adding an extra layer of flavor.
  • Where to Find: You can find melktert in bakeries, coffee shops, and street food stalls specializing in desserts.

Keywords: Melktert, South African milk tart, sweet pastry, creamy custard filling, milk, eggs, cinnamon, bakeries, coffee shops, street food stalls.

9. Biltong

  • South African Beef Jerky: Biltong is a popular South African snack made from cured and dried meat, typically beef. It is a favorite among locals and visitors for its rich flavors and chewy texture.
  • Variety of Flavors: Biltong comes in various flavors, including original, spicy, and garlic. It is often enjoyed as a snack on its own or paired with cheese and crackers.
  • Where to Find: Look out for specialty shops, markets, and even some grocery stores that offer a wide selection of biltong in Johannesburg.

Keywords: Biltong, South African beef jerky, cured, dried meat, beef, flavors, original, spicy, garlic, specialty shops, markets, grocery stores.

10. Koeksisters

  • Syrupy South African Treat: Koeksisters are a sweet South African delicacy made from twisted dough soaked in a sugary syrup. They are sticky, sweet, and irresistible.
  • Two Varieties: There are two types of koeksisters: the Afrikaner version, which is crispy on the outside and syrupy inside, and the Cape Malay version, which is spiced and rolled in desiccated coconut.
  • Where to Find: Look out for local bakeries, sweet shops, and street food stalls for a taste of these delectable treats in Johannesburg.

Keywords: Koeksisters, syrupy treat, twisted dough, sugary syrup, Afrikaner version, Cape Malay version, crispy, spiced, desiccated coconut, local bakeries, sweet shops, street food stalls.


Johannesburg’s street food scene offers a tantalizing array of flavors and culinary experiences. From the savory delights of Bunny Chow and Boerewors Rolls to the sweet indulgence of Melktert and Koeksisters, there is something to satisfy every palate. Exploring the street foods of Johannesburg is not only a delicious adventure but also an opportunity to connect with the local culture and traditions.

Next time you find yourself in Johannesburg, be sure to embark on a culinary journey through the vibrant streets and discover the diverse and mouthwatering street foods that this city has to offer. Your taste buds will thank you.


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