Apologies for the random question! It came up in office conversation.

Greggs is a low cost Bakery chain in UK. My colleague was concerned that, should he visit South Africa, he would not be able to find the vital sustenance he gets from his daily Greggs, or a local equivalent - i.e., to make it more pertinent to travel, how alike are South African and British culinary habits?

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    Greggs is a UK discount "Bakery" chain - it sells ready made sandwiches and warm pastry products like pasties and sausage rolls, for a low price. They are ubiquitous in the UK (or at least were before they started haemorrging money a few years ago).
    – CMaster
    May 15, 2015 at 7:30
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about bakeries rather than travel. It may be possible to edit it to be on topic (consult the Help Center), if so also please explain what Greggs is (for the non-UK users) and what you mean by 'equivalent'.
    – SpaceDog
    May 15, 2015 at 10:10
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    Thanks for the edit -- I edited a link into the Greggs website so people have more idea -- I think the question is arguably on-topic now so I've removed my close vote although there's a chance it'll now get closed as 'too broad'. You might be better off asking what the normal on-the-go/fast-food is in SA but I think you'll get an answer as is. I'm not in SA, but I understand your colleagues worries, I miss Greggs' pies. :)
    – SpaceDog
    May 15, 2015 at 11:50
  • I never tried, but I would definitely prefer the local Biltong over cheap bakery... (nor very constructive comment, I know). Oct 17, 2016 at 15:37

3 Answers 3


I love this question! Really, the FCO should include "Closest local equivalent to Greggs" alongside its safety and visa information for every country. It's essential information :-)

There are quite a lot of Greggs-like pastry-heavy bakeries in South Africa. One widespread franchise is King Pie, who are quite Greggs-like: (pic from WikiVillage)

enter image description here

Their "steak pie" pasty should cure any Greggs addict's Steak Bake withdrawal, and the Steak and Kidney pasty is possibly more Greggs than Greggs itself.

FYI, in South Africa, a "Russian" (like in "Russian roll" in this image) is basically a large frankfurter-type hot dog sausage. Apart from that it's all very familiar, but if you want a cuppa with your pasty, ask for "Ceylon tea" or "Five Roses" as "tea" often defaults to rooibos and "black tea" sometimes causes confusion (on occasion in KZN I asked for black tea and they didn't recognise the phrase and gave me black coffee instead - I suppose they thought "black tea" must be like the opposite of "red cappuccino").

There are also many stands serving Greggs-like recently baked, rapidly cooling pasties in the shops next to petrol stations on main motorways. I didn't catch the names, but at least one "Bonjour" shop at a Total station had one of these.

Finally, you can also get freshly baked pasties at some large supermarkets' in-store bakeries, including Woolworths, which in South Africa is an upmarket Marks & Spencer-like supermarket/department store chain.

South African Woolworths is a bit more swanky than Greggs though: (image source)

enter image description here


Not a South African, but I have family there.

Piemans Pantry is a very popular brand in South Africa. The products are also available in supermarkets.

In North Krugersdorp (in Gauteng and near Johannesburg), we got pasties and meat pies from a shop that is owned by a family friend called The Food Farm with a connected The Factory Shop. The Factory Shop is open Monday - Friday 8 AM to 5 PM and Saturday 8 AM to 1230 PM and is at 62 Kingdon, corner of 4de (4th) St. The building has a sign for Chapat's Food Farm. The Cornish pie was wonderful.

  • This mostly seems to be an excuse to plug the business of a friend: the level of detail about this shop is far in excess of what's proportionate for a shop with only a single location, in a not-very-large town. Jul 12, 2017 at 12:31
  • It's a personal recommendation. I have a family connection, but no monetary connection to it. All the details came from Google after asking my partner the name.
    – mkennedy
    Jul 12, 2017 at 13:53

I'm not sure how pies can be vital sustenance to be honest they are pretty unhealthy as these things go but I would not worry about it. Most petrol stations have some sort of convenience store on the premises and it is all to likely they will be selling some sort of "gemors kos" like pies and sandwiches.

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    I think the "vital sustenance" comment is a joke, Greggs in the UK is often seen in that category of "we know it's a bit trashy, but we love it anyway" Oct 17, 2016 at 14:22

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