If Portland Oregon and the Camden Markets had an extremely attractive baby, it would be called Old Biscuit Mill. An eclectic blend of music, food, fashion, and crafts, Old Biscuit is established as a Cape Town staple for those in search of a truly unique shopping experience. Located in the ironically named, Woodstock, this re-purposed biscuit factory houses a night/day market, workshops, art galleries, restaurants, and even a design school. For any creative type, this is a must visit.
An Eclectic Food Culture on Display
The food scene here is surprisingly good. I was a bit shocked to see such a variety. From Belgian Waffles to Raw Juices, you’ll find something that will appeal to your discerning taste. I especially enjoyed the personality that each vendor brought to their stands.
Despite what they sold, each vendor has a distinct style and personality which adds to the vibrancy of Old Biscuit. My day was not only filled with delicious food but some very good conversations about the evolution of Cape Town’s foodies scene. Blending western dishes with African produce has given Old Biscuit a unique flavor.
Beauty and Commerce Come Together
My god. People here are simply beautiful. It really borders on ridiculous how attractive everyone is here. Generations of mixed “breeding” has created a large group of universally attractive people. And they love their markets apparently. What makes it all the more impressive is it would seem they aren’t trying. But what really stands out isn’t their outter beauty, but inner beauty.
I can’t tell you how many truly kind and passionate people I met here. From the girls visiting on holiday from Johannesburg to the vendor who referred to himself as Greek-South African because of his ancestry. Everyone here beamed with energy and positivity which made the experience that much more enjoyable.
Natural stunning beauty is on full display. #NOFILTER folks. I’m leaning towards a combination of mixed “breeding”, healthy eating, and good weather. Whatever it is, if you’re looking for beautiful people, inside and out, then this is the place you’ll find them on a Saturday morning in Cape Town.
The Soundtrack of Old Biscuit Mill
Most farmer/artisan markets have a certain soundtrack. Ambient sound which amplify the experience. Old Biscuit is no exception. However, you’ll get to experience some creative musicianship here as well. We were treated to TribalNeeds A new wave musician who uses everything from a Roland keyboard to those little frog toys that you get in Asia. Located in the prime center location of the market, TribalNeeds sets the musical tone for your day. Unofficially, I think the stars of this market soundtrack aren’t even allowed into it.
You’ll quickly notice how “white” Old Biscuit is. From the vendors to the customers. A vast majority are white. Prior to entering the market though, you’ll hear the familiar sound of African drums played with an urban twist. Black street kids use buckets, trash cans, and buildings to create a unique blend of traditional and modern music. Unfortunately, these kids aren’t allowed into the market. I don’t know the socioeconomic circumstances surrounding this but what I do know is these kids are VERY talented and deserve a chance to shine.
My Must Try Vendors
Wine at The Mill (Artisan Beeer and Wine sellers) Devils Peak
Wine at The Mill sells Artisan Beer and South African wine. I met Becki and Dan who were more than willing to point me in the right direction regarding beers and wine. Not to mention Becki had one of the cutest babies I’ve ever seen. Genuine kindness goes a long way and the team over at Wine at The Mill has that in spades. Definitely stop in for a taste of Devil’s Peak.
Production of high quality hand crafted leather is alive and well at Old Biscuit Mill. The guys at Stockton Goods customize and create leather goods on the spot here. Everything from wallets to journals. You’ll be able to grab it here. I also loved their product naming. The Beatnik (Journal), The William Tell (Pen Holder), and my personal favorite The Adams (Photo Album).
Raw Mojo (Inside the Neighbour Goods Market Section)
At 32 years young I need to keep an eye on my health. Lately i’ve been getting into juicing. Specifically Raw Organic and Cold Pressed Juice. Juicing allows you to consume your daily recommended dosage of vitamins in one go. Removing much of the preservatives, additives, and garbage they put into processed food these days. The Raw Mojo team understands that taste doesn’t have to be sacrificed for health.
I tried their Mean Green and Awesome Orange drinks. Both were damn good but I leaned toward the Awesome Orange. Orange, Carrot, and Ginger gave me that energy shot I needed for the morning. Light, smooth, and healthy. Exactly how juice should be done.
MIND BLOWN!!! Ever dream of being in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory? Well this is pretty much it without Oompa-Loompas and Technicolor. Cocoafair is a chocolate factory inside a former biscuit factory that offers a firsthand look at the chocolate making process. Tours are every Saturday for 50 Rand pp. You can also take full on chocolate classes that will see you creating your own varieties.
If you prefer to just quell that sweet tooth, Cocoafair has a wide variety of readymade chocolate products for sale as soon as you enter.
Dasdog (Inside the Neighbour Goods Market Section)
BACONNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!! I’m sorry, but nothing will ever change my love for bacon. Dasdog sells delicious bacon sandwiches on light artisan breads with carmelized onions. They have a couple other sandwiches but I couldn’t see them through the food of fatty goodness that is a pure Bacon sandwich. Pair that with their homemade tea and you have a recipe for a diabetic heart attack.
At a low cost of R55 these bad boys won’t break your wallet at all. And given the high quality of the roll and bacon i’ll say it’s even a steal. BEST Bacon sandwich i’ve had outside my own kitchen.
Located in the center of the Old Biscuit Mill experience, this Italian eatery provides a dynamic shift from the “street cart” esque vibe of Neighbour Goods Market. Voted Best Italian Restaurant at the South African Restaurant Awards 2013, Burrata hangs their hat on the outstanding wood fired pizza they consistently churn out for guest.
This is definitely the most expensive place to eat in Old Biscuit but makes up for that with large portions at still a reasonable price. The most expensive pizza they have cost R122 OR USD10. You definitely won’t leave this place hungry or broke.
This Visit was part of my trip with #MeetSouthAfrica