“A Gatsby is a South African submarine sandwich consisting of a bread roll filled with chips and a choice of fillings and sauces.” This uninspired description by Wikipedia simply does not do the iconic Capetonian dish justice. A food steeped in culture and worshipped by loyal subjects who will defend its integrity to the last. At its simplest it is a long baguette filled with chips, salad and polony, or it could be a hot delicious mess layered with salty slap chips, crisp salad, cape Malay style saucy masala steak/viennas/polony, fried eggs and sticky finger-licking sauces.
It is a food of the people and difficult to lay claim to its origin. Rashad Pandy, who is the owner of Super Fisheries in Athlone is reputed to be the original creator in 1976. He had to feed a group of labourers who had done some work for him. Not having much at hand he took a round Portuguese bread, cut it open and filled it with chips, polony and atchar. It was a hit and one of the labourers called it a Gatsby Smash, with reference to The Great Gatsby which was playing in cinemas at the time. Pandy tried it on his customers in his takeaway, and the rest is history.
You cannot visit Cape Town without hitting at least one from this list. Here’s a round-up of some of the Best Gatsby Spots in Cape Town.
They’ve been around since 1976 in Wynberg and have also opened 3 other branches in Montague Gardens, Grassy Park and Athlone. Known for their secret spice and sauce they are one of the oldest and a firm Cape Town favourite. More about them here.
One of the more recent additions that have quickly risen in popularity. They opened around 5 years ago in a small venue in Athlone and have progressed to 2 branches. One at the V&A Waterfront and the other at Canal Walk food courts. They have brought the peoples’ gatsby to 2 of the most tourist frequented malls in Cape Town. More about them here.
Recently voted as having the best Masala Steak Gatsby in Cape Town by the Expresso Show, Golden Dish has no shortage of fans. Located in the bustling Gatesville precinct, the heart of Indian territory in Rylands, they are always busy. Expect to take your place in the queue or be smart and call it in ahead. More about them here.
From humble beginnings in Salt River Mariams have now got six branches in Cape Town. Their most well known would have to be the foreshore branch. In the heart of the city, it’s where suits and flip flops rub shoulders at lunchtime. They’ve been doing it so long they have perfected their recipe and do not compromise on quality ingredients. More about them here.
Farm Stall Takeaways
Previously in Ottery and now a popular spot in Athlone, Farm Stall have a loyal following in the Southern Suburbs. More about them here.
Established in 1973, Cosy Corner is one of Cape Town’s first Halaal eateries and remains one of its most popular. The Cozy Corner Gatsby is an institution and is by far the one most favoured by the locals. Best known for their Fried Masala Spicy Rump Steak Gatsby, you’ll even get a Boerewors or Calamari option. Find them on Ottery road in Wynberg. More details here.
Did we miss one that you think should be on this list? Please tell us in the comments.
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