The Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill
Located on the bustling street that is Albert Road in Woodstock, an up and coming neighborhood just outside of Cape Town city center, The Neighbourgoods Market is a welcome surprise. Woodstock exemplifies “up and coming,” where fairly dodgy areas and new hipster destinations are all mashed together in a single area. The Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill, or just “Biscuit Mill” as I call it, is the epicenter of the changing times in Woodstock. Exactly as the name implies, the market is situated in and around an old biscuit factory, now offering a mix of a farmer’s market, food stalls, craft goods, shops, and offices. Within the confines of the Biscuit Mill can be found the supposed best restaurant in all of South Africa, the Test Kitchen, as well as several other permanent restaurants. On Saturday mornings, the whole of Cape Town seems to descend upon the Biscuit Mill for an open air food market full of food stalls serving everything from Paella to Thai Food.
Food at the Biscuit Mill
For me, the highlight of the Biscuit Mill is the food. Although it is typically packed to the brim with tourists on Saturday mornings, I still love going. There is something about the atmosphere, and the quality of the food likely helps, that I can’t get enough of. It’s a great place to come to relax and enjoy a coffee, beer, wine, or cocktail while you indulge in some local craft food. I wish I could tell you where to eat, but that simply would not be fair, as all of the food is fantastic. You will just have to bring your appetites and try as much as you can.
Shopping at the Biscuit Mill
The central courtyard of the Biscuit Mill fills with local craft artists and goods vendors on Saturday mornings, but there are also permanent brick and mortar shops along the perimeter. Leeann recently picked up a great leather bag from Rowdy Bags, and she absolutely loves it. Clothes, leather goods, shoes, watches, jewelry, it can all be found for high quality and reasonable prices. Be sure to check out Art Lab at the far end of the Biscuit mill for some great photography prints, and don’t forget to grab a bottle of wine at the wine shop as well.
Biscuit Mill Parking
Parking at the Biscuit Mill is an absolute nightmare, with the streets full of unofficial parking guards trying to get you to park where they can “watch your car” (for a fee). Depending on how far away you are staying, I would recommend simply taking an Uber. It will drop you right off at the door and save you the headache. If you do drive, try to get as close as you can, and just be prepared to pay a fee of at least R5 for the person that guards your car. This is all for show really, as I don’t think there is any chance that someone will break into your car with the amount of tourists walking around.
Despite being a mecca for tourists, I still love going to the Biscuit Mill to relax, drink some wine, and shop for some great stuff. If you are going to pay a visit on a Saturday, I recommend you get there prior to 10:30, as the place really starts to fill up between 11 and noon. While most of the places are starting to take card, several still only take cash. Make sure to bring cash, as the one ATM on the premises ends up having a ridiculously long line every Saturday.