The Old Biscuit Mill: Cape Town’s Best-Known Food Market

The Old Biscuit Mill offers all you could ask for and more.

OLD BISCUIT MILL
PHOTO YASMINE BEYDOUN

It is a beautiful Saturday morning in Cape Town, and all I can think about is the myriad of delicious food I’m about to be eating. Every Saturday from nine in the morning to two in the afternoon, the The Old Biscuit Mill, a large indoor warehouse, hosts a variety of food stands ranging from ostrich burgers, to organic gyros, to farm fresh chicken sandwiches. (After two weeks of pushing my way through the crowds of South Africans, I’ve learned that when it comes to popular local areas like Old Biscuit Mill, the earlier one arrives, the better.) The market attracts South Africans and tourists alike, both looking to take a bite out of Cape Town’s best-known food market. And I intend to join their ranks on this Saturday morning.

I arrive at Old Biscuit around at around eleven in the morning to find it already buzzing with foodies like myself. The outdoor area is filled with people who sit on benches and on the floor, if they came too late to claim a bench. After working my way inside the warehouse, I’m overcome by the aromas around me. When I enter, I see stands that sell fruits, vegetables, pastries, and a variety of pesto and olive spreads. Already I’m overwhelmed by the choices before me. Thankfully most stands provide samples, and I work my way around, tasting the array of pestos and tapenades I never knew existed. After much tasting, I give in and end up buying a spicy Thai pesto from my favorite stand.

OLD BISCUIT MILL
PHOTO YASMINE BEYDOUN

Though I’m already starting to feel the effects of all the free samples on my hunger level, I make my way to the back section of the market, which holds the stands with fuller meal options.  After browsing the aisles of fresh food, I’m excited to see that my Old Biscuit favorite —a potato pancake topped with a poached egg, smoked salmon, and hollandaise sauce—is still available. I learned during my first few times at Old Biscuit Mill that this dish tends to be sold out by noon. So today, I won’t pass up this chance to enjoy a savory breakfast made fresh. I watch as the chef scoops out a chunk of the potato latke mixture and spreads it over the frying pan. When it’s perfectly brown, he adds the salmon, egg and sauce. Already my mouth is watering. I pay fifty Rand, approximately six American dollars, and anxiously take the first bite before I even find a seat. The potato pancake is perfectly crisp and I’m reminded again why I woke up early for Old Biscuit Mill.

Article written by Yasmine Beydoun.

OLD BISCUIT MILL
PHOTO YASMINE BEYDOUN

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