If you’re in Cape Town and looking for a real local activity to do, look no longer! Mzoli’s is a butchery located in a township on the outskirts of Cape Town and the best place to go for a party on Sundays. It is mine and my roommates go-to Sunday weekly activity since it’s cheap and a good time. However, being a tourist of Cape Town can leave you feeling a little uneasy about going to a township, so I’m gonna address all of those concerns and more!
Q: Is it safe?
A: Yes! I understand the fear of going out to the townships where locals are protective of their neighborhoods, but for lack of a better word, Mzoli’s is a total tourist attraction. You will see locals, but also tons of other college students and young adults who aren’t from Cape Town. Once, I even met a girl who was from about 5 minutes from my hometown in Portland, Oregon (but really, what are the chances?). The point is there are tons of people from around the world, which tends to make it a bit safer than if you were just strolling through a township by yourself. As always, use common sense and you will be fine.
Q: What time should I go?
A: The best time to go to Mzoli’s is around 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. and leave by 6 p.m. at the latest. That gives you time to order your food, go into the party scene, eat your food, and dance your heart out before it’s time to go home. I have always been advised to leave when the sun starts going down because that’s when it gets a little unsafe, and I’ve never had any issues.
Q: What kind of meats do they offer? Any other food?
A: Mzoli’s offers lamb, beef, chicken, sausage, pork, and probably some other I’m forgetting. No seafood, though! My favorite is the lamb (it’s seriously amazing), but the sausage is also quite popular in my circle of friends. That’s pretty much all they offer besides a couple other side dishes that I’ve never tried before. Most people will bring their own chips, fruits, and alcohol and just order the meat there.
Q: How does the process work and how much money should I bring?
A: So, it goes like this: Arrive and wait in line for 30-40 minutes to order your meat. The lines are long and unless you get lucky, you’re probably not gonna avoid them. My advice is to crack open a beer and chat with your friends – time will go by fast! Once you get up to the counter, you tell them everything you want and they put all the raw meat onto a scale and weigh it. We always do around the equivalent of R200 per bucket and share it between 4 people, so we each pay R50. Not bad! After that process is taken care of, you can finally go inside and partaaay. The cover fee to get in is R100, so be prepared for that. You will go in and find a place to settle (it’s usually pretty crowded) and start drinking and dancing until your food is ready. Usually after 30-45 minutes we will go check and see if it’s cooked. It’s actually a pretty simple process once you get it down, but it can be a little confusing at first.
It’s also important to note that alcohol cannot be bought at mizoli’s, so you should buy some beforehand and bring it, and (local secret – there’s a lady that sells alcohol in her house across the street. Ask anyone and they will point you in the right direction!)
So, to summarize, bring about R200 just in case and that should be plenty for the cover fee and meat.
And there you have it, folks! I highly encourage anyone who is visiting the Mother City to take advantage of this local braai. It’s almost impossible not to have fun. Plus, the CEO’s at Once In Cape Town will guide you through the whole thing, and what’s not to love about that?
See ya at Mzoli’s!