A market a day keeps the doctor away … although it could add to the waist line and might not do your bank balance much good. If you want to avoid chain stores and same-old same-old bland international chic malls, it’s possible to shop until you drop at a different market in Jozi every day of the week. Many are open every day so you can swap the days around:
- but why not start with curios on a Monday at the Rosebank Craft Market. Here you’ll find all your African souvenirs – but remember to bargain just a little. Open daily.
- If you haven’t found what you want at the Rosebank Craft Market try the Sandton Craft Market on Tuesday. Located behind the Sandton library which faces onto Nelson Mandela Square, it also offers local & African souvenirs and crafts. And while in the area you can stop of for a bite to eat and do some people watching on Nelson Mandela Square.
On Wednesday it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and venture into downtown Jozi to visit Faraday Market – a real working African muti [medicine] market (corner Wemmer Jubilee and Eloff Street). Its proximity to the local Faraday taxi rank means there is ease of access for the many locals who come from all over South Africa to seek healing potions, herbs, animal skins and good omen charms from sangomas. But this is a real working market so you will need to respect people’s privacy – certainly no photographs. And if you’re a vegetarian or a conservationist I suggest you give this market a skip. While in town you can visit the Mai-Mai market, said to be the oldest market in Joburg (corner of Anderson and Berea streets). Although also very much a working market, used by city residents as a place to find cures for their physical and emotional ailments, you will also be able to buy Zulu tyre sandals, walking sticks and beaded accessories. As with the Faraday Market, it is recommended that visitors be guided by an established tour operator.
Thursday you can hot foot it out to a rural country-fair atmosphere at the Bryanston Organic Market. It has been going for 38 years now and it really is Johannesburg’s original outdoor market. As its name suggests – everything is organic – delicious food to eat at crude wooden tables and benches , there are also goodies to take home as well as wonderful clothes all made from natural fabric. In warm weather they have moonlight markets on a Tuesday evening closest to the full moon, as well as Tuesday evening markets in the lead up to Christmas. And if you miss out on the market on a Thursday, it is also open Saturdays 9 – 3pm 40. You can find them at Culross Road Bryanston
Open from Thursday to Sunday is the new urban space The Sheds@1 Fox St in the Ferreirastown (south east of Joburg’s CBD). Two entrepreneurs who are passionate about Jozi’s inner city have refurbished the historic warehouses into a thriving marketplace – an artisanal food and produce market, surrounded by eateries and bars. It’s the most wonderful space – open, airy, laid back and welcoming and caters for families. Highly recommended.
- Friday Need more delicious healthy organic goodies? Visit Jacksons Real Food Market at 319 Bryanston Drive which is not quite a market but more of a farm store, sit down café cum bakery . Open every day and weekends till 3 www.jacksonsrealfoodmarket.co.za
- Well of course if it’s Saturday, it must be
- Neighbourgoods Market. Those who founded the Biscuit Mill market in Cape Town partnered with Adam Levy of Play Braamfontein to bring this market to the parking lot of a large grey building at 73 Juta Street. Here hipsters, young and old, find themselves spoilt for choice with a huge selection of mouthwatering and varied (but pricey) food items – fresh oysters, paella, Ethiopian platters, different types of mushrooms, and much more besides. Upstairs, along with a great view, you’ll find designer clothes, accessories and various objet d’art. Whilst in Braamies it’s worth taking the opportunity to see what’s on at the many art galleries in Juta street as well as at Wits Art Museum [WAM] over the road on the corner of Jan Smuts Ave. The Wits Hospice shop is also well worth a visit.
- If you aren’t foot weary, broke and suffering from sensory overload, you can make your way across town to Fordsburg, a predominantly Muslim neighbourhood. Here the local community takes to the streets every Saturday night to explore the street market with shops offering everything from chintzy costume jewellery to coloured hijabs and more muted abayas, DVDS and household goods. But best of all are the aromas of incense, pungent curries and briyanis, and samoosas.
- As if this isn’t enough choice, on the 1st Saturday of every month you can make your way to Kramerville Sandton (9 Kramer Rd). At Collective, small designers who don’t have retail space show their wares (anything from ceramics to clothing) resulting in a stylish pop-up market. As with most markets, food is never in short supply and here it is provided by Mother Truckers, billed as ‘the best Food Trucks in Johannesburg’.
- Sunday might see you market hopping with several great choices on offer:
Market on Main is in the Maboneng district (264 Fox Street) in eastern downtown Jozi. Home to art galleries, bookshops, fashion designers and artists’ studios (including William Kentridge’s), the Sunday market is a chilled place to have a late brunch and while away a Sunday morning. And the first Thursday of the month there is a night market.
- Or you might choose to go to Rosebank Rooftop market which had to move during the refurbishing of the Rosebank Mall. Now that is complete stallholders are gradually moving back. It’s a very varied market with a huge range of food, it’s a great place to buy gifts as there are good quality crafts, bric-a-brac and souvenirs. Enjoy the carnival atmosphere with live music, mime artists, buskers and funfair-style games for the kids.
- At the corner of Kudu St and Moema St in Orlando West, round the corner from the more famous Vilikazi Street is a newish market, Locrate, which operates on the 1st Sunday of the month. While it’s the standard fare which is on offer, what makes this special is the distinctly Sowetan vibe with live music and street poetry.
- If antiques and treasure hunting is your thing then on also on the 1st Sunday of every month you can visit the Antique and Collectibles Fair in Sandton (inside the mall behind the statue of Nelson Mandela) where 60 odd dealers have stands.
- And a great option for a chilled Sunday lunch in a seemingly rural setting is the Fourways Farmers’ Market. Although only a few streets from Montecasino at Earth Outdoor Living Nursery, Cnr William Nicol Drv and Montecasino Blvd, it really does feel as though you are out in the country away from the mayhem of city living. It is child friendly and its relaxed setting and outstanding food make for a wonderful family day out.
So bye-bye to Pick and Pay and Checkers, to Malls and chain stores and hello healthy, natural, quirky, laid back and different. We like this in a shopping and eating experience.