De Warenmarkt: Stellenbosch’s coolest artisanal food market

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Located at the heart of the Stellenbosch historic district and inspired by the Cape of Good Hope’s legacy as a trading post, De Warenmarkt is a bustling artisanal food market, deli, bakery, restaurant and chilled-out wine bar all rolled into one.

When the cherished 18th-century building at the corner of Ryneveld and Plein street in Stellenbosch became available after many years of housing commercial franchise restaurants, a creative conglomerate in Cape Town seized the opportunity to turn it into something beautiful and historically relevant, showcasing diverse merchants, each passionate about their craft.

Mark van Niekerk, Koba Dumas and Stefanus Van der Watt joined forces with a hand-picked selection of purveyors to create De Warenmarkt Stellenbosch, a food emporium and fresh fare market that tips its rather stylish hat to the Cape of Good Hope’s legacy as trade post along the maritime route to the Spice Isles.

Here you’ll find a beautifully curated space that hosts some of the region’s foremost suppliers of specialty meats, cheeses, baked goods, craft beer, coffee, and fresh produce.

The communal area:

From the rustic tables on rowdy trading vessels to decadent medieval courts, communal dining has been central in culinary culture throughout the ages. What better way to really absorb and drink in the authentic aspects of any given culture than sharing delicious food and conversation with like-minded people?

De Warenmarkt takes having a good time seriously and made it their mission to create a convivial atmosphere of sharing. Whether you grab a quick sandwich, assemble your own picnic from a variety of vendors, or order from the menu of the restaurant, you’re welcome to kick back and enjoy the gesellige (sociable) atmosphere.

A delicious line-up of artisanal purveyors and restaurants for the best shopping, eating & drinking

De Warenmarkt Stellenbosch offers a versatile culinary mix that is great for everything from a quick lunch- or study break, to an indulgent breakfast, lingering afternoon coffee with a friend, lazy Sunday lunch,  date night with your partner, or a well-deserved drink after work.

It’s a lovely place to get a feel for authentic South African cuisine and to meet local producers face to face. You could also very well do your weekly shop here – between the ethically sourced meat, freshly baked bread, rotisserie chicken and deli department, you can easily pull together everything you need to feed your family quite handsomely at home.

De Warenmarkt Butchery

Ryan Boon is a specialty butcher from the Boland and keeps the De Warenmarkt butchery stocked with great quality ethically sourced meat.

Grass-fed beef with no growth hormones from Fairfields in Napier, Pork from Oakvalley Farm in Elgin where the pigs roam freely and feast on acorn, free range chicken from Hillside Farm in Laingsburg and delicious lamb certified directly from the Karoo where they frolic freely and munch on indigenous Karoo veld.

Luckily you don’t have to wait until you’re home to dive into a meat feast. Punters can select their preferred cut of meat from the butchery and have it expertly prepared by the knowledgeable chefs of the onsite kitchen.

Artisanal roasted Coffee

You know that you are in for a treat when you catch a whiff of Terbodore’s Coffee brewing upon entering De Warenmarkt. The humble ambition of this family business to produce the nation’s finest coffee has propelled them to create an artisanal coffee roasted with precision and care. It is a thing of beauty.

For the love of all things delicious

Decadent waffles and heavenly crêpes are the order of the day at For the Love of Yummyness. Prepared à la minute with family recipes passed down over generations it lands on your plate hot, crispy, and delicious. Menu options take you from breakfast to supper and satisfy your every whim, all be it savoury or sweet.

The daily bread

At 2 am every morning when we are still snoring away Manoli and his four bakers get up to create their bread magic. Manoli grew up in Greece where the kitchen table was central to life and food was prepared by hand, with a good dose of love and care thrown into the mix.

He brought these sentiments to his baking and use age old methods shaping each loaf by hand. “Food is our culture and I want people to have that experience”, says Manoli. For sure, we have no arguments with that.

Grab and go deli

Everything you need to spice up your cooking you can find at the De Warenmarkt Deli. Stock up on fragrant spice rubs, smelly cheeses, glistening olives and fruity jams. And for those nights when you just can’t even, a ready roasted chicken hot off the spit will save your bacon.

Canteen-style eatery

The kitchen boasts robust flavours from far and wide. New items creep onto the menu on a regular basis but the stellar favourites such as the juicy burger starring a Ryan Boon patty, crispy rotisserie chicken, and moreish bitterballen reign supreme.

Small plates include yellowfin tuna tartar and beef tataki but for bigger appetites, there’s always delectable Rump steak.

Just up for a snack? Ask your waiter for a biltong slicer and slice away at the all-time SA favourite.

Kaapse Vonkel MCC Oyster & Wine Bar

Who does not find joy in one of life’s greatest pairings, bubbly and oysters? Freshly chucked Saldanha Bay beauties are washed down elegantly with Simonsig’s Kaapse Vonkel Méthode Cap Classique. This iconic wine estate was the first producer of MCC in South Africa and oh man do they do it fine.

Simon Wine Bar

The cool wine bar Simon is a worthy namesake for Simon van der Stel, founding father of Stellenbosch. Cozy, relaxed and filled to the rafters with wines from the Stellenbosch region you might just want to settle in for a bit.

The exclusive Legends wine list has you swirling and sipping on Stellenbosch’s finest and most exclusive wines, or you can simply pair your favourite glass with the menu of specially designed tapa dishes.

Monthly wine tastings will keep you coming back for more. Huddle up next to the fireplace in winter or camp out on the sunny patio in summer, the choice is yours.

THE IMPORTANT BITS ABOUT DE WARENMARKT

Where? Corner Ryneveld and Plein Street, Stellenbosch. There is ample parking available across the road next to Decameron.

When? De Warenmarkt Restaurant: Monday – Saturday, 07h00 to 22h00, Sunday, 07h00 to 15h00; Each purveyor keeps their own hours, so be sure to check the Purveyors page if you need specifics on a particular stall.

MUST TRY: Make sure you have plenty of time to spare so you can work your way around the open-plan market, leisurely chatting to each of the purveyors, enjoying a few samples and getting the lay of the land in general (we’d recommend doing so with a glass of Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel in hand). Then put together a nice tapas-style meal, settle at one of the tables, enjoy your spoils and indulge in some prime people-watching.

Photography: Jenni Elizabeth, De Warenmarkt, Mano’s Bakery, Terbodore / Writing: Anna-Bet Stemmet

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