TOP 5 MARKETS in Plettenberg bay
Looking for the best markets in Plettenberg Bay? Unfortunately, the Plett Market on Main no longer exists, but you’ll be glad to know that there are several amazing flea markets and food markets in Plett and surrounds! Here are five of the top markets in the Garden Route area – in no particular order – so you can start your weekend like the locals do, shop for unique handcrafted gifts, or stock up on local, ethical pantry goods.
Plettenberg Bay is a holiday destination like few others and offers fantastic activities to satisfy the needs of those who like the peace and tranquility of the unspoilt area or are adrenalin junkies and golfers. In Plettenberg Bay there is something for everyone.
Harkerville Saturday Market (Plett)
On a Saturday morning, the best market in Plettenberg Bay is actually technically in Harkerville – luckily just 12km from Plett, as you drive along the N2 towards Knysna. Turning off the highway (18km before Knysna) you’ll discover the Harkerville Saturday Market, an outdoor market in an idyllic country setting, with rustic wooden tables and benches under a mighty oak tree.
The stalls are covered, so the market is open come rain or shine. When it comes to variety, you’re in for a treat at this Garden Route market, which was started back in 2000. Aside from organic and responsibly grown produce, fresh flowers, dried fruit and nuts, and irresistible baked goods, the market has a wide variety of art and craft stalls selling beautiful handcrafted items. If you’re looking for a hearty brekkie to go with your morning coffee, Bundu Breakfast is a good bet. Or, tucked at the back of the crafts section, you’ll find a scrumptious omelette filled with all the goodies, as well as freshly flipped pancakes nearby. Craving Ile de Pain’s famous pastries (think: pasteis de nata, choc croix and baguettes) but don’t want to drive all the way to Knysna? You’ll find them right here in the food market! There’s even a stall specialising in gooey brownies and mouth-watering fudge in novel flavours like cherry, pecan & white sjokolat, Turkish delight, or peppermint crisp that attracts kids (and grown-up kids) with a serious sweet tooth. Little ones will also love the wooden jungle gym, the beautiful knitted toys for sale and the sand art stall. On your way out, pick up a frozen pomegranate juice for the road – you won’t regret it! There are also incredible walks in Harkerville and Plettenberg Bay.
Wild Oats Market (Sedgefield)
When it comes to food markets in the Garden Route, the Wild Oats market is an institution. Locals sometimes call it the Sedgefield market, since it’s located just outside Sedgefield, along the N2.
Founded by Rose Brettel and Susan Garner in 1999, the Wild Oats Market is more than just a buzzing Saturday morning hotspot – it’s a community-building project created with the express purpose of converting locals (whether permanent residents or those passing through) into passionate “locavores”. The enormously popular Garden Route market does this by promoting local food security, local and seasonal food awareness, and local community-mindedness. The idea is to connect growers and producers with shoppers, which makes it the perfect place to buy heirloom tomatoes, a handcrafted wedge of cheese from the local cheesemaker, or an authentic salami from the German Smokehouse Deli. Keep the hunger pangs at bay with everything from a Moroccan shwarma to stoneground flour flapjacks or hand-dived, freshly shucked oysters. There are pickles aplenty, baked goods abounding, as well as delicious vegan options, fresh juices, good coffee, and breads from Knysna’s renowned Maillard bakery.
Old Nick Market (Plett)
With several weekend markets in the Garden Route area, the Old Nick Market is a food market in Plett that really is a lifesaver when the fridge is looking empty mid-week but you still want to fill it with local, ethical produce. Open every Wednesday morning, you’ll find this lovely little market at Old Nick Villlage in Plettenberg Bay. Originally built in 1880, Old Nick Village has a long history and today it is home to a curated mix of creative manufacturers, including the flagship of Plett’s famous Mungo textile company.
Outside Mungo every Wednesday, the Mid Week Market sells homegrown fruit and vegetables, ethically farmed meat and dairy as well as other local, natural and homemade products. Taste of the Med sells amazing spanakopita, feta parcels, zucchini balls, potato latkes and dolmades. Or perhaps you’re in the mood for Thai food, a proudly South African beef curry potjie, or a vegan pumpkin fritter. Trendsetters will enjoy the bamboo sunglasses and wooden watches from Hashtag Bamboo plus the clothes stalls and jewellery – including handmade resin and indigenous wood pendants. You can also shop for Santa Bras Cigars (made from the finest south African tobacco leaves), Pokkelokkie cloth nappies, and pantry staples such as balsamic reductions, raw honey, and colourful macarons. Once you’re done shopping, why not visit the Mungo Mill? Housed in a magnificent one-of-a-kind building by architect Andrea Christoforetti, Mungo’s production hub is open to the public, so you can learn how the textiles are made and watch the skilled team of weavers and seamstresses at work.
Scarab Village and Mosaic Market (Sedgefield)
Adjacent to the Wild Oats Market is one of the best Garden Route flea markets: the Scarab Village and Mosaic Market. The offering is truly unique and eclectic with a selection of high-quality crafts ranging from metalwork and hand-spun wool to handmade clothing, ceramics, wooden products and original art.
Look out for the Olive Branch (selling plump and delicious olives, plus olive oils and spices); amazing beadwork and wooden carvings; Heaven’s otherworldly soaps; and for Edith selling a variety of handbags and wallets. There are even edible crafts (at Mosaic Table) and potable crafts – at the Sedgefield Craft Brewery, which produces custom ales from a refreshing summer-style Blonde Ale to a deep-copper well-hopped India Pale Ale. At the Scarab Paper & Craft Centre, meanwhile, you’ll find Rita Knoetze’s oil paintings and Scarab’s hand-produced paper made with elephant dung! Live music adds to the atmosphere and there’s a play area for the kids.
Outeniqua Market (George)
If you’re looking for Knysna markets or a market in Plett specifically, this one is a bit more of a drive. But if you’re planning a Saturday in George or Vic Bay anyway, the Outeniqua Market is a brilliant place to start the weekend!
Aside from the usual market fare – think pannekoek, burger, and coffee stalls, there are some truly unique offerings. Roosterkoek Paleis is a great example, with their proudly Mzansi roosterkoek choices – including springbokvleis (springbok meat); pork neck or kaas en konfyt (cheese and jam). From dried fruit to chorizo, your cupboards will be stocked after a visit here, and you can even feed your shoe fetish with Ugg-style sheepskin-lined boots from Boots ‘n Goods, or leather crafted shoes from Bummel… cow print vellies, anyone? Take a browse through Ben Ungerer’s fascinating selection of old South African coins and notes, police insignia, Air Force badges and other memorabilia. Commission Judith Oberlander to paint a portrait of your pets from photographs. Or simply sit and enjoy your brunch as you soak up the live music. And for the kids? There’s a Boere train ride, pedal cars, face painting, bunnies, sand art and a play park.