The term "melting pot" doesn't do enough justice to the diversity of South African cuisine. When you're thinking about what to eat in South Africa, you first have to decide what you're hungry for. Craving Thai, Indian, or Chinese food? Like any major country, South Africa (and its major
cities of Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban) has some of the greatest Asian food on the planet.
But there's also the country's native cuisine, which bears influences from all over the world. Settlers from the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe, eventually known as Afrikaners, brought their styles of cooking to South Africa. Potatoes, slow-cooked stews, and various meat dishes were well-known and widely eaten by the time that workers from Southeast Asian countries—most notably Malaysia—came and settled in South Africa in the 1600s. What's known as Cape Malay cuisine began to form: Dutch dishes began featuring Asian-style spices such as curry powder, star anise, and cinnamon, and an entirely new cuisine was born. South African cuisine and its iconic dishes—bobotie, oxtail potjie, peri-peri chicken, and more—is something that travelers should not miss when heading to South Africa!