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Iconic South African street food

By February 9, 2024FinGlobal

Iconic South African street food

February 9, 2024


South African street food is a delightful fusion of traditional South African food and fast food options. These South African takeaways offer a diverse range of flavors and cuisines. South African fast food is a must-try for any food lover, showcasing the rich and delectable fast food culture of South Africa. Let’s explore some of the enticing choices available on the streets of South Africa.

South African street food: 

Bunny Chow

Originating from Durban, bunny chow is a popular street food among locals and tourists alike. It consists of hollowed-out bread filled with curry, usually made with either chicken or mutton. The dish is believed to have originated from the Indian community in Durban, and it has become a staple food in South Africa. You can find bunny chow at almost any street corner in Durban, but be prepared for some serious spice!


Boerewors (which translates to “farmer’s sausage” in Afrikaans) is a traditional South African sausage made from a variety of meats and spices. This simple but hearty dish is a staple among many South African households, and it’s also a popular choice at street food stalls. It is often grilled over an open flame and served either with a generous helping of pap on the side (maize meal) or on a roll with fried onions, tomato sauce, chutney, or chakalaka.


The great gatsby is a sub sandwich filled with chips and a variety of meats, sauces, and salads. It can be shared or enjoyed as a full house with eggs, cheese, and all the fixings. According to reports, it was named after its inventor, Rashaad Pandy, and has become a beloved part of Cape Town’s street food history.


Vetkoek (which translates to “fat cake” in Afrikaans) is a deep-fried bread that can be filled with various savory fillings like mince, cheese, or curried chicken. This popular street food in South Africa and is often served at fairs, festivals, and markets. The crispy exterior and soft doughy interior make for a delicious combination.


Koeksisters are a traditional South African dessert that consists of deep-fried dough soaked in syrup. The dough is twisted into a braid-like shape and then coated in syrup, giving it a sticky and sweet exterior. This popular street food is the perfect indulgence for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Walkie Talkies

Walkie talkies (also known as “chicken feet”) may not sound like the most appetizing street food, but they are a beloved snack among many South Africans. Chicken feet, also known as “road runner” in colloquial terms, are a beloved street snack in townships. Whether stewed, fried, or braai’d, they offer an affordable and delicious option for a quick bite. These chicken feet are seasoned with various spices and then deep-fried. These snacks offer a delightful crunch, a burst of flavors, and have an unexpectedly irresistible quality.


Mogodu, a cherished dish in Africa, is a slow-cooked tripe stew that can also include cow or sheep intestines (known as ‘mala mogodu’). The aroma of this hearty meal fills the air as it simmers in a large pot over an open fire, a common sight in many South African townships. Typically, mogodu is served with pap or rice.

Shisa Nyama: South Africa’s BBQ Delight

Shisa Nyama, derived from the Zulu term meaning ‘burnt meat’, showcases a mouthwatering array of BBQ meats such as boerewors, steak, chops, chicken, and ribs, all expertly grilled on a traditional braai. These delectable meats are typically accompanied by traditional sides like mieliepap and chakalaka. While shisa nyama is often enjoyed in a cozy backyard setting with friends gathered around the braai, numerous street vendors in South Africa offer their version of this beloved culinary experience.


Inspired by bunny chow, this beloved street food from Gauteng township showcases a quarter loaf of bread or ‘kota’. It’s bursting with a range of fillings, reminiscent of the gatsby, such as polony, viennas, chicken, steak, atchar, cheese, eggs, sauces, and slap chips – a complete meal in itself.

Conclusion: South African Street Food Delights

South African street food is a melting pot of different cultures and flavors, making it a must-try for any food lover. From savory snacks like bunny chow and boerewors rolls to sweet treats like koeksisters, there is something for everyone on the streets of South Africa. So next time you find yourself in this beautiful country, be sure to take a stroll down its vibrant streets and indulge in some iconic street foods. Your taste buds will thank you.

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