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South Africa: typical dishes of South African cuisine


- South Africa: typical dishes of South African cuisine

- The Cultural Melting-Pot of South Africa

- Samosa

- Fish and Chips Gatsby

- Boerie Rolls

- Bunny Chow

- Potjiekos

- Bobotie

- Melktert

- Spiced Pineapple Wedges

Here are all the typical dishes of South African cuisine, or at least the most representative! We will go on a very interesting journey to discover the food and wine delicacies of South Africa: abandoning oneself to the flavors and aromas that this country is able to offer is an excellent plus for all people who are thinking of treating themselves to a holiday in this fantastic nation. Here's everything you need to know about South Africa's most delicious recipes!

The Cultural Melting-Pot of South Africa

South Africa is a country able to offer tourists an extremely wide and varied cuisine: for this reason the national cuisine is called "Rainbow Cuisine". - rainbow kitchen. The latter can in fact boast many influences and contaminations. In addition to the typically African traditions, Holland, Germany, France, and even England, but also the Indo-Asian and Malay culture, are influencing the country's cuisine, combining different elements. Last but not least, South African cuisine is also influenced by Indonesian and Portuguese inspirations.

Thanks to the great variety of cultures that have influenced the cuisine of South Africa, it is possible to taste an incredible number of foods and dishes on the streets of cities and villages of the country. Below we have selected for you what we believe to be the best of South African cuisine.


Samosa - known by the locals as Sambusa - is a dish that has its roots in Indian gastronomic traction: it is a fried puff pastry or alternatively baked in the oven, which contains a spicy filling made with many ingredients and in particular:

  • Spiced potatoes;

  • Peas;

  • Garlic;

  • Onions

  • Lentils;

  • Soy;

  • Pine nuts;

  • Minced meat.

You can find this dish as well as in restaurants, even in bakeries and small shops and gas stations. The outer crust is made with plain white flour, processed into a cone and filled with minced meat and other ingredients.

Fish and Chips Gatsby

This dish is a kind of South African version of the classic American Hoagie: a long baguette-like sandwich, filled with the following ingredients:

  • Chips;

  • Chicken, wurstel, or Marsala steak, or fried fish, squid, grilled steak or other.

The birth of this traditional dish is attributed to the local tradition of filling a baguette with leftovers and then dividing it into four parts. This local tradition has rapidly spread, taking hold on the streets of the country's major cities, where The Gatsby is sold and consumed.

Boerie Rolls

South African version of typical US hot dogs, prepared in a very similar way. The name of this national dish derives from the term "Boerewors", a typical South African sausage made from pork, lamb, beef or a combination of several animals with the addition of spices. The sausage is first grilled and then inserted into the sandwich with the addition of onions, tomatoes, chilli and various sauces. This dish can really be found everywhere in South Africa.

Bunny Chow

Bunny Chow is another typical dish of the South African gastronomic tradition, and in particular of Durban. It is also known in other regions of Africa under the name of Kota, which means neighborhood. The dish comes from the great Indian community which is located precisely in Durban. The Bunny Chow was one of the best-selling dishes during the Second World War. To prepare it you need a packaged loaf: cut a quarter, hollow out the end and fill it with spicy curry (vegetarian or not). The function of curry is to absorb the walls of the bread, giving the dish its characteristic taste.


The name of this dish is inspired by the traditional South African three-footed pot, known by the name of Potjie. We could translate the word "Potjiekos" from Afrikaans as "small plate of food", This traditional South African dish basically consists of a broth prepared over an open fire, The recipe includes the addition of carrots, cabbage, pumpkin, potatoes, cauliflower, and more rice and meats, all seasoned with spices of Dutch and Malay origin. Different types of meats can be used, such as lamb, pork and beef.


This dish originates from Dutch and Indonesian influence: Bobotie is one of the most representative and loved traditional dishes in all of South Africa. It is prepared with minced meat and baked in the oven with the addition of an egg-based cream. Curry powder is then added to give a spicy hint to the dish and raisins - or alternatively other dried fruits.


Melktert means "milk tart" in Afrikaans: it is one of the most famous South African sweets that you absolutely must try during a trip to the country. The recipe includes a tart base with a creamy filling made with milk, eggs, flour and sugar. In some variations of the recipe, the cream is made before cooking, and then placed in the oven to bake with the tart. Before serving this cake, you need to sprinkle it with ground cinnamon.

Spiced Pineapple Wedges

This last delicacy that we want to offer you is a South African dish that not many people have been lucky enough to try, even if it is a very popular street food. South African pineapples are known to be particularly sweet. Marsala is sprinkled on the fruit, creating a sweet and sour taste much loved by South Africans.


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