Six markets to meet and mingle at in Gauteng

Whiling away hours at fresh produce and flea markets is a popular weekend pastime among locals and visitors to the busy province of Gauteng. Although there are dozens of inner-city markets to be found in urban-renewal hubs and in trendy upmarket suburbs, many traditional markets lie further afield, including Johannesburg's oldest.   

Market on Main, 385 Helen Joseph Street, Pretoria

This is a weekly market trading in regional foods and locally designed goods. In addition to the original market held in downtown Johannesburg every Sunday, the Pretoria Market on Main takes place in tandem with local events according to a pre-planned monthly schedule. Open times are generally from 10am to 3pm on market days. 

The market provides a meeting place in a relaxed atmosphere that promotes an inner-city lifestyle and shares the creativity of talented local crafters. 

Neighbourgoods Market, 73 Juta Street, Braamfontein

From 9am to 3pm every Saturday, the undercover Neighbourgoods Market brings life to Johannesburg’s revived inner-city space. Safe from the elements, the market happens in a modernist building featuring a 15-storey high mural by Eduardo Villa.

A cornucopia of freshly prepared cuisine from different countries, the market is also a source of fresh farm fare and specialty goods, and a great place to meet up with friends for breakfast, lunch or drinks on an extensive outdoor verandah.

The market has been instrumental in transforming the once-dilapidated neighbourhood of Braamfontein into a creative hub.

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Neighbourgoods market in Braamfontein. Photo courtesy of South African Tourism

Irene Village Market, Jan Smuts Avenue, Tshwane

Set in the grounds of the history-rich Smuts House Museum, 40km north of Johannesburg, the Irene Village Market is close to the village of Irene on the banks of the Hennops River.

With a primary focus on the arts, the market provides a platform for more than 250 exhibitors of arts and crafts, apparel, antiques, flowers and curios. New additions include a variety of food stalls and a delicatessen. 

There’s ample guarded parking, safe kids' entertainment and a fully licensed tea garden, so make the most of the opportunity to mingle with artists and enjoy the camaraderie of the locals while learning more about the history and heritage of Irene.

Markets usually take place on Saturdays from 9am to 2pm. Check the events calendar to make sure the event is on before heading out to Irene. 

The Bryanston Organic and Natural Market, Culross Road, Bryanston

Johannesburg’s original outdoor market, the Bryanston Organic and Natural Market has been running for nearly 40 years, creating a colourful shopping oasis twice weekly in the upmarket suburb.

From 9am to 3pm on Thursdays, Saturdays and public holidays, the market is described as “a place of relaxed enjoyment for the whole family”.

Thanks to a strict stamp of approval, produce found here is organic, natural, delicious and nutritious, and mostly grown locally. Baked goods are certified organic or guaranteed free from additives, preservatives and colourants.

Other stalls at the market sell accessories, art, sculpture, clothing, knitted goods, items made from wood, leather, glass and metal, pottery, curios, jewellery, toys, plants and flowers.

Authentic Boeremark, Askari Game Lodge, Plumari Game Reserve, Doornhoek, Magaliesberg

Priding itself on its authentic boeremark (farmers’ market) status, this market is set up near the Magaliesberg mountain range at the Askari Game Lodge, among ox wagons and a heritage museum, less than an hour from Johannesburg and Pretoria.

During the Authentic Boeremark lunch period it’s traditional to relax and watch the elephants at play in the dam – a rare treat!

In keeping with traditional boereresepte (farmers’ recipes) you’ll find South African fare such as tasty koeksisters (deep-fried sweet doughnuts), melktert (milk tart), potjiekos (food slow-cooked in a cast-iron pot) and lekker (tasty) drinks, including mampoer (peach brandy) and ginger beer.

The fun takes place on the first Sunday of the month, starting at 10am and ending at 3pm. Pre-booked Big 5 game drives and Sunday lunch are also on offer.

Take along your second-hand books to donate to the book table – all proceeds go towards an anti-rhino poaching fund.

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Many flea markets offer their patrons sit-down lunches. Photo courtesy of SoulProviders

East Rand flea market, corner Ridge and Elizabeth Roads, Boksburg

This market is dedicated to purveyors of fresh produce, home-made goods, a variety of hand-crafted items, and, best of all, a delectable range of cooked-on-the-day meals.

It's a popular a meeting place for all who appreciate quality food and relaxing with friends and an ideal place to buy your weekly supply of fresh produce while supporting the local community.

A taste of what’s on offer at the East Rand flea market: chilli plants, cheese, cakes, breads, jams, biltong (dried meat), vetkoek (fried dough cakes) and wild mushrooms.

For eating on the day there are meatball sandwiches, mushroom kebabs, vetkoek with mince, gourmet boerewors (farmer’s sausage) rolls, crêpes and other tasty treats.

Get there every Sunday from 9am to 3pm for a relaxing and enjoyable day’s outing.