Words: Charene Labuschagne
The vibrant, cosmopolitan city of Windhoek has a market and street food scene that’s on the rise, with new additions emerging regularly. Not only is it a great excuse to gather friends and family for some quality time to mix and mingle, it also spurs the growth of small, local businesses – after all: Local is Lekker. Here we’ve compiled a list of our favourite Windhoek Markets and why you shouldn’t miss them.
The Biggest and Boldest Bi-monthly market needs no introduction to the capital city slicker, but we’d put it at the top of our to know list for visitors.
Every second weekend, Windhoek City Events hosts a market that lures old and young alike.
The atmosphere is always vibrant, especially with live performers as background music. Within the confines of the courtyard at The Village in Liliencron Street, it feels as though you could be anywhere, be it a New York City rooftop or Woodstock in Cape Town.
Whether you choose to drop by early while the sun’s still out or linger for what is sure to be a cosmopolitan Friday night, curated gourmet food and drinks prevail. Returning vendors set up their stalls of fragrant Indian finger foods, authentic German Bratwurst rolls, chicken wings to feed a village (pun intended), tacos, pizza, cocktails made to order and cheeky desserts. Be sure to also indulge in the wide selection of wine on offer.
We strongly advise popping by straight after work, as seating is limited and all of Windhoek seems to join the themed Windhoek City Market evenings.
Windhoek City Market is held every second Friday at The Village, 18 Liliencron Street, Windhoek from 16h00 to late. Follow them on Facebook for updates.
A rare occurrence but definitely worth the drive – The Shed is a seasonal market held every three or four months, each time with a different theme along the lines of the seasons and festive holidays.
Just a ten-minute easterly drive out of Windhoek you’ll find yourself underneath a massive windmill grinding away at its underground water source. Within the accompanying two-story high silo, you’ll find the friendliest vendors selling everything from organic greens to handmade home decor. Among them is a small-batch winery selling aromatic Shiraz and lip-puckering Witbiltz, a dynamic German farming couple with authentic salamis, biltong and prime Namibian steak, and hobbyist crafters with handmade bags and scarves.
One can easily spend your entire Saturday morning here, your coffee and obligatory apple strüdel only briefly interrupted by a foot massage in a quaint teepee. It’s a lovely event for friends and family.
The Shed is held once every few months on a private holding 30 km east of Windhoek. It’s best to follow their Facebook page for updates.
Saturday mornings should never be dull, and paying a visit to this authentic German weekly market should do the trick!
The New Apostolic Church across from Wilde Eend Bistro in Klein Windhoek plays host to this organic market. The setup is quaint and humble with stall vendors eager to chat and introduce you to their products. A small café run by the church itself sells yummy brötchen (buns), cake and coffee all morning long and offers you a seat under their big umbrellas – that’s if you’re lucky enough to find an open spot.
Budding artists and small-scale entrepreneurs sell all kinds of goodies. You can expect handmade jewellery, recycled glass beads, veggie farmers, handmade throws for winter and the well-known organic farm, Krumhuk, stocks healthy tinned dog food. There are also quite a few food vendors with cheese and olives in addition to salamis and other dried cured meats.
The whole market is quite an early affair – true German fashion – and it packs up around lunch. Health nuts who’d like to support their local farmers will seriously benefit from visiting and stocking up on organic goods here for the week to come’s menu.
The Bio Market is held every Saturday morning from 8h30 to 12h30 at Kenneth David Kaunda street, Windhoek. Visit their Facebook page for updates.
Just a couple kilometres drive north of Windhoek you’ll find one of the capital’s up-and-coming markets. Akin to The Shed, with the lovely addition of horse-rides – I mean when was the last time any place offered that? – the Tannery Market boasts great food vendors and a festive, family-friendly atmosphere. The whole thing goes down in a rustic and undeniably Instagram-worthy warehouse.
The kids can stay busy in the designated (and adult-supervised) play area that comprises a jumping castle, while parents stroll around with good coffee (a la SlowTown Namibia Coffee Roasters) and an array of delicious food.
As they’re just starting out, the stalls are quite limited, but it’s worth psyching up the family and spending your Saturday here.
The Tannery Market is held regularly on Saturdays from 9 to 15h00. For dates and direction, check out their Facebook page.
Afrikaans culture prevails with this monthly market. Not only is it an opportunity to stock up on jams, condiments and cured meats, but lends itself to a whole day of family fun.
As it’s held on a wide open grass lawn, the Boere Mark is ideal for packing a small picnic and lounging while the kids play. Dad can shop tools and equipment for his DIY projects or browse around the laser-cut wooden model aeroplane kits. Ladies may enjoy the Himalayan body products on display.
For the foodies, this market is also the perfect introduction to authentic Afrikaans treats and dishes such as jaffles, koeksisters and vetkoek, so come hungry! This intimate little farmer’s market is held behind the Windhoek Showgrounds.
The Boere Mark is held every first Saturday of the month at the Livestock Arena of the Windhoek Showgrounds from 8h00 to 14h00.
2018 will be the second instalment of this fabulous affair. Although it’s held only once a year, the build-up is so worth it!
Get your gang together and buy weekend passes, because one day won’t be enough to see and experience everything they have to offer. Diverse is the single word that describes the event the best – handmade leather goods, gin tasting, vintage fashion, craft-chocolate and everything in-between.
If last year was a snack, get ready for the main course, with celebrity TV chefs to be flown in from South Africa to show us how it’s done. Within a little open-air theatre in the centre of all the creative chaos, speakers and cooks captivate an audience – all on schedule of course. Last year they had the fabulous former editor-in-chief of Elle South Africa to speak to crowds of women about timeless dressing, while Herman Lensing – the popular South African cooking show host and food editor of Sarie magazine – hosted step-by-step cooking shows.
Strolling through the stalls of ice-cream, clothing and jewellery, street food and crafts allow you to fill your belly while shopping for Christmas gifts in advance and beating the rush. There really is something for everyone, and if you’re not into shopping and scouting for bargains, it’s worth every penny to attend purely for the atmosphere.
If you’re still not convinced, let’s have a pink Gin and Tonic and revisit the idea. You’ll be hooked!
Inspiration Tables 2018 will take place from 30 August to 1 September. Tickets will be released closer to the event date. Follow them on Facebook for updates.
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