Shopping in South Africa

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Johannesburg

    27 Boxes

    This shipping-crate complex of boutiques, galleries and eateries is well on its way to establishing its Melville street cred. A newly planted park, indigenous nursery, and fun kids' playground add to the allure. 27 Boxes highlights include fantastic bread from the Baker Brothers, African-inspired clothes and souvenirs from Krag Drag, and delectable Portuguese cuisine from Reserved Cafe.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Johannesburg

    44 Stanley

    The antithesis of consumer tack, 44 Stanley is a blueprint for future mall development. It’s a warren of lanes around shady courtyards and features an eclectic collection of local designers and speciality boutiques as well as pleasant bars, cafes and restaurants.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Green Point & ­Waterfront

    Watershed

    One of the best places to shop for souvenirs in Cape Town, this inventively designed retail market gathers together over 150 tenants representing the cream of Capetonian and South African producers of fashion, arts, crafts and design – there's something here for every pocket. On the upper level is an exhibition space, and a wellness centre offering holistic products and massages. Many boutiques and craft stores you'll find elsewhere in the city have outlets here, but there are also unique stalls such as Township Guitars (www.townshipguitars.com), which makes and sells all-electric guitars made from oil cans, wood and fishing wire.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Green Point & ­Waterfront

    OZCF Market Day

    Produce grown on the Oranjezicht City Farm and other local farms is sold every Saturday here alongside many other edible and souvenir products. It's a great event – one of the best of its kind in Cape Town – with plenty of food and drink stalls for brunching, a DJ and a community-coming-together atmosphere. To learn more about the farm and market, pick up two illustrated coffee-table books – Oranjezicht City Farm: Food. Community. Connection and Oranjezicht: Recalling the Past, Cultivating the Future – both sold here.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Green Point & ­Waterfront

    Guild

    Trevyn and Julian McGowan have made a business out of cherry-picking the cream of the South African design community and promoting it to the world in annual collections. Opened in 2017, this is their permanent showcase, so the go-to location for spotting emerging talent and to buy incredible, distinctive pieces. For something more affordable – not to mention portable – check out the boutique gift section co-curated by Guild and Wallpaper. The company has teamed up with local designers such as Wola Nani to create its own range of products.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Sea Point to Hout Bay

    Bay Harbour Market

    This imaginatively designed indoor market at the far end of Hout Bay Harbour is one of Cape Town's best. There’s a good range of stalls selling items from clothes to craftwork, as well as very tempting food and drink. Live music gives the former fish factory a relaxed, party-like atmosphere. In the adjoining Harvest Centre are the Urban Brewing Co (http://urbanbrewery.co.za) craft brewery, Ethno Bongo, and metalwork and wooodwork studios and shops.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Cape Town

    Africa Nova

    One of the most stylish and desirable collections of tribal and contemporary African textiles, arts and crafts. You’ll find potato-print fabrics made by women in Hout Bay, Ronel Jordaan’s handmade felt rock cushions (which look like giant pebbles) and a wonderful range of high-end ceramics and jewellery. There's a smaller branch at the Watershed at the V&A Waterfront.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Cape Town

    Neighbourgoods Market

    This is the artisanal goods markets that kickstarted the craze for similar markets across the Cape – and it's still one of the best. Food and drinks are gathered in the main area where you can pick up groceries and gourmet goodies or just graze, while the separate Designergoods area hosts a must-buy selection of local fashions and accessories. Come early, unless you enjoy jostling with crowds.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Cape Town

    Montebello Design Centre

    This development project has helped several great craftspeople and designers along the way. In the leafy compound, artists' studios are scattered around the central craft shop, where you can buy a range of gifts, from Irma Stern cushions to tyre handbags. There’s also a plant nursery, the excellent Gardener’s Cottage cafe and a farm shop.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Johannesburg

    Kim Sacks Gallery

    Kim Sacks, a renowned ceramicist and ceramics teacher, has assembled an astounding collection of handcrafted pots, baskets, tapestries, rugs, jewellery, and other crafts from all over Africa. This is not a place to shop for average souvenirs, but rather for fine art pieces that will last forever. The unusual adobe-style building is a tourist attraction in its own right.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Cape Town

    Streetwires

    Their motto is ‘anything you can dream up in wire we will build’. And if you visit this social project, designed to create sustainable employment, and see the wire sculptors at work, you’ll see what that means! They stock an amazing range, including working radios and chandeliers, life-sized animals and artier products such as the Nguni Cow range.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Johannesburg

    Market on Main

    Spilling out of Arts on Main onto Fox St is this buzzy weekly market. You'll find the usual selection of takeaway food stalls downstairs (look out for the one serving delicious cups of Ethiopian coffee or spiced teas, served with free popcorn), while upstairs and on the street are colourful arts, crafts, new and pre-loved fashions and accessories.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Simon's Town & Southern Peninsula

    Kalk Bay Modern

    This wonderful gallery is stocked with an eclectic and appealing range of arts and crafts, and there are often exhibitions here by local artists. Check out the Art-I-San collection of printed cloth, based on designs by San artists in Namibia and Angola.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Johannesburg

    Art Africa

    Arts and crafts from across South Africa as well as Mali, Ghana and the Ivory Coast are attractively displayed here – you'll be spoiled for souvenir choice whether you're in the market for a carved wooden mask, beaded jewellery or even the incredible ceramics of Ardmore (www.ardmoreceramics.co.za).

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Cape Town

    Old Biscuit Mill

    This former biscuit factory houses an ace collection of arts, craft, fashion and design shops, as well as places to eat and drink. Favourites include Clementina Ceramics and Imiso Ceramics; the organic bean-to-shop chocolate factory Cocofair; and Mü & Me for supercute graphic art for cards, wrapping paper, stationery and kids’ T-shirts. This is also the location of the massively successful Neighbourgoods Market.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Cape Town

    Woodstock Exchange

    As well as good places to eat and drink, there's a fair amount of original retail at the Exchange, including the boutique Kingdom, which mixes fashion and accessories with interior design, and Ballo, which makes trendy eyewear from a combo of recycled paper and off-cut timber. Also here are the atelier and showroom of Grandt Mason Originals, which uses luxurious fabrics from ends of rolls and swatch books to make one-off footwear; Chapel leather goods; and the factory shop for Honest Chocolate.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Cape Town

    AHEM! Art Collective

    Shining a light on the graphic art and illustration talents of local artists, as well as importing some great pieces from France and elsewhere, this gallery/cafe/co-working space is at the vanguard of Obs' arty revival. Works are affordable and exhibitions change regularly. There are plans to provide basic overnight accommodation in the gallery for R300 per person: contact them for further details.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Green Point & ­Waterfront

    Out of this World

    Buddha statues meet Nigerian tribal crowns at this interior design emporium piled high with treasures from across Africa and Asia. Here also, in a courtyard garden, is the pleasant Stranger's Club cafe, which is good for a quiet coffee and snack. There are branches in Victoria Wharf and in the Promenade complex at Camps Bay.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Cape Town

    Rialheim

    Locally sourced clay is used in the Robertson-based factory to make these stylish, mainly monochrome ceramics that range from plates and mugs to decorative items such as dogs and rams' heads. Upstairs check out the Walter Battiss Gallery (https://walterbattiss.co.za) – they have the rights to reproduce images of this important South African artist.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Cape Town

    Monkeybiz

    Colourful beadwork crafts, made by local township women, are Monkeybiz’s super-successful stock in trade – you'll find their products around the world, but the largest selection – in myriad colour combinations – is here. Profits are reinvested back into community services such as soup kitchens and a burial fund for artists and their families.