Located in what could be called the armpit of Hout Bay harbour, the Bay Harbour Market is a shining beacon of trendy weekend living. Other than the expensive tarps covering the side, the building from the outside could easily be mistaken for an old fish factory. Which it probably was, once upon a time. But enter through the unassuming doorway and it’s as if you’ve been transported to the lovechild of a Middle Eastern souk and an African industrial building. Even the restroom area is pimped out with a Manhattan industrial loft look. Then there’s the large medieval-style fireplace dominating the eating area, complete with metal chains dangling menacingly from its sides. The overall result is a gem of a place that is pumping a vibrant pulsing energy into the once poky and rank-smelling corner of the harbour.
The stalls boast a variety of different goods, from the usual African sculptures and young designers’ clothing to unique sellers such as a working blacksmith. Most importantly, similar stalls are not all bunched together. So instead of the “same tat, different vendor” scenario, you get an inspiring juxtaposition of options.
My favourite part however, has to be the food court. Much like the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill one is spoilt for choice when it comes to food. But whereas the Neighbourgoods market has become rather too popular for its own good, the Bay Harbour Market has a setup which is at once more cosy but also more spacious, with a great ambience. In a word, it’s cool.
I couldn’t resist breakfast at a vendor called Bon Appetit, who offers sarmies, croissants, omelettes and more. I ordered a full breakfast for just R 40 and a croissant with fried halloumi, avo and rocket for R 40 as well. At another stall I had a cafe latte for R 20 and a chocolate croissant for R 10. So all in all, if you have about 70 bucks on you, you can expect to leave with your stomach amply satisfied, even if your eyes cry out for more. Everything I had was absolutely delicious, except for the cafe latte, which was heavenly…
I suggest you get down to the Bay Harbour Market this coming weekend. They are open 9am till 5pm on Saturdays, 10am to 4pm on Sundays and you can even enjoy some funky dinner vibes on a Friday evening from 4pm to 10pm. Final verdict? The vibe is trendy, the decor is smart, the stalls are stocked with cool merchandise and the food is absolutely wicked.
Bay Harbour is part of a Hangberg Social Upliftment Project. Professional management and floor staff are in attendance during trading hours, and the 300 parking bays are overseen by dedicated parking marshals.