Over the last decade since their first location in Lisbon opened, the Time Out Markets have become a gourmands’ playground, each showcasing the best of a city’s culinary soul. On November 17, the company ushered in a significant next step in its journey by opening its location in Cape Town, South Africa. With its first location in Africa, the company now has its boisterous gastronomic workshops on four continents, genuinely establishing a global brand.
Located inside the heart of the city’s thriving V & A Waterfront Precinct, the 30,000-square-foot facility is housed inside the recently renovated historic Old Power Station building. Behind its centuries-old brick walls, thirteen food stalls offer a spicy culinary roadmap of the region inside a building with a steampunk speakeasy vibe.
As with the other six Time Out Markets across the globe (Lisbon, New York, Boston, Chicago, Montreal, and Dubai), each vendor operating under its roof has been carefully vetted from the surrounding city’s dining ecosystem. Each Time Out Market has quickly become a hot spot for locals and tourists by emphasizing quality and diversity. Well-established chefs from fine dining restaurants use the locations to roll out new concepts alongside up-and-coming street food vendors.
“Our goal for Time Out Cape Town is to shine a spotlight on the vast array of culinary influences in South Africa. There are over twenty-five million visitors to the V & A Waterfront annually. Most of them are locals, so we wanted to make sure that our food and drink offerings spoke to them,” says Russ Meyer, the general manager of Time Out Market Cape Town. “Part of what makes each Time Out Market special is that it ties into the local community and becomes an active member. Since this is our first offering in the Southern Hemisphere, we worked hard to make sure that everything offered shines a spotlight on the melting pot that is The Mother City.”
The thirteen food vendors chosen for the opening showcase the broad swath of culinary offerings that have vaulted Cape Town to the upper ranks of cities known for their culinary excellence.
- Barakat: Chefs Anwar Abdullatief and Yolani Abrahams offer a fresh take on traditional Cape Malay cuisine.
- CARNE: Chef Giorgio Nava is a household name in Cape Town, and he lets the meat do the talking in true Italian minimalist tradition, offering fresh-cut steaks and vegetables grilled over wood-fired grills here.
- De Vrije Burger: Celebrity chef and television personality Bertus Basson’s De Vrije Birger draws crowds daily to its location in the heart of the Stellenbosch wine region, which now has an outpost at Time Out.
- How Bao Now: Chef duo Matt Van Den Berg and Carla Schulze bring How Bao Now and their Asian-inspired high-end street food to the Market.
- Kapoochka: Chef Hitesh Panchal offers a contemporary take on Indian street food.
- MLILO ‘Fires of Africa’: Chef Vusi Ndlovu created a new concept for the Market with dishes that celebrate African shisanyama heritage.
- Ramenhead: The team behind The World’s 50 Best nominated restaurant, FYN, brings their take on a Japanese favorite to the Market.
- NØSH CAFÉ: The team behind Truth Coffee pour roasts three of South Africa’s best-loved brands as part of their one-stop-caffeine-shop.
- Sushiya: Chefs Peter Tempelhoff, together with Shin Takagi of the two-star Michelin restaurant Zeniya in Kanazawa, Japan, collaborate to bring authentic contemporary Japanese sushi to the Market.
- The Melting Pot: Drawing on the Cape’s bountiful seafood offerings, this satellite location of chef John van Zyl’s phenomenally successful The Melting Pot cooks up the freshest fish and shellfish.
- The Siba Deli: Chef Siba Mtongana, a chef best known for her show Siba’s Table on the Cooking Channel, showcases modern South African flavors through her deli delights, from gourmet sandwiches to vibrant salads at this casual eatery.
- Unframed Ice Cream: Founded by Yann Rey, aims to excite foodies with its innovative twist on classic ice cream flavors.
- YARD: Chef Eugene Smith serves authentically inspired pizza from local favorite Pizza Warehouse.
There are also four stand-alone bars located throughout the facility. The Pumphouse Bar focuses on South Africa’s growing craft beer scene. At the same time, the Studio Bar pours handmade cocktails, many made with local spirits. Culture Wine Bar, an outpost of one of the city’s most popular wine bars, pours a wide array of South African wines, and the Drydock Bar caters to every taste.
Cape Town’s Time Out Market isn’t just a delectable outpost; it’s also a declaration of intent. As the brand looks to expand its footprint globally, Africa has become fertile ground, with Cape Town blazing the trail. This is more than just a successful launch; it’s a glimpse into the future of a global culinary network leading the food hall movement in a new direction.
The company has eight more locations opening over the next three years. Europe will see locations in Porto, Barcelona, and Prague, while the Middle East will welcome locations in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, and Riyadh. Vancouver will expand its North American footprint, and Osaka will be the first Far East addition to the company. If things keep falling in line the way they have, the chances are good that more will follow over the next decade.