The holidays may be over but summer’s just getting started. Here’s how to cope with working again and have fun in the city: we’ve rounded up 11 cool new places in Joburg for having a drink, a burger, or just hanging out.
Warning: only one place may line up with your 2016 Get Fit goals.
Also read: 10 unusual things to do in Joburg that won’t cost a fortune
1. Hell’s Kitchen
Address: Shop 4, 7th Street, Melville
Why? A delectable in house cinnamon-flavoured whiskey called ‘hellfire.’ It’s got a fun vibe and is split into an outdoor area, lounge and bar. It’s also got a delicious menu and fun decor, both best experienced as a Sunday lunch. They always have specials ranging from a kilo of ribs, to prawn and chorizo gumbo or a giant burger for roughly R150, which also includes a free craft beer to wash it down (bookings essential).
2. The Rosebank Sunday Market
Address: Rosebank Mall, Rosebank
Why? The Rosebank Sunday Market is an old hat on the Jozi scene, but with the addition of a cool new cocktail bar, more types of food stalls and a general facelift it now has much more style. It takes place every Sunday from 9am to 4pm on the upper level parking lot of Rosebank Mall.
3. Lenin’s Vodka Bar
Address: 300 Commissioner Street, Maboneng
Email: Contact Roman on firstname.lastname@example.org
Why? Reasonably priced cocktails, comfy couches, flatbreads with toppings, skinny sweet potato fries and did we mention the extensive list of reasonably-priced cocktails? The outdoor bar is set in trendy Maboneng and stocks vodkas from around the world: over 40 brands including a handcrafted South African variety, Polish, Swedish, French, American and Russian brands. Open Wednesday to Saturday from 4pm and Sunday from 12pm.
4. The National Eatery and Speakeasy
Address: 19 4th Avenue, Parktown North
Website: Find them on Facebook
Why? Opened by the same team behind Coobs in Parkhurst, this new joint has a fresh feel in a chic space with a varied menu. Diners can expect a laid-back vibe with sidewalk-style eats using organic, free-range, locally sourced ingredients and meals like smoked pork belly made with their Texan-style smoker.
5. Underground Pub Tour
Address: 302 Fox Street, Curiocity Backpackers, The Maboneng Precinct
Why? Visit the Underground hidden nightlife of Joburg’s drinking holes for just R200 a person (includes two shots and a beer). Start off with a Shisa Nyama at Curiocity Backpackers and visit these spots: the Taxidermy Bar at Zebra Inn, Fairview bar, Troyeville Hotel, Beryl Court rooftop and BTJs (Don building). Tours run on the last Friday of every month.
Why? Our food editor Nikki Werner says this is where you’ll find the best burger in Joburg. The grass-fed ground-to-spec beef mince has a juicy crust, the custom-made milky rolls squash gently between your fingers, and it’s impossible to stop eating the crisp, slender fries. Her recommended order is the cheeseburger (R59) with ‘The Works’: lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, pickles and BGR’s sauce. Add french fries (R19) and homemade lemonade (R17).
7. Secret Sunrise
Address: All over Joburg
Why? It’s the best way to start the day. It’s not a dance, it’s not a party, it’s not a silent disco, it’s not a yoga session, it’s not a meditation. It’s all of these things rolled up into one early morning session that celebrates the rising sun at different locations across the city. Follow them on Facebook for the latest events.
8. Ace + Pearl
Address: Shop 8, Albans Square, 357 Jan Smuts Ave, Craighall (next door to Warm&Glad)
Why? One of the best selections of exclusive boutique wines in Joburg with knowledgeable staff, French food and unusual wines us Joburgers don’t often get to see. Glasses start at R55 although ordering by the bottle is better value.
9. Bounce Inc.
Address: Waterfall Lifestyle Centre, Woodmead Dr & Maxwell Dr.
Why? Trampolines. The best way to get to get fit is to have fun and jeez, jumping is a lot more tiring than you think. But also fun because you can run up walls, do somersaults and get giant air to smash a basketball into the dunking ring.
10. Flames Restaurant
Address: 67 Jan Smuts Ave, Westcliff
Why? The view from the Westcliff Hotel is spectacular. It’s a pricey excursion (lunch seems to be the most affordable option), but you can suckle on craft beer and appreciate this crazy beautiful city. It was also on CNN’s list of 15 global eateries we’re dying to try in 2015.
11. Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream
Address: The Zone, Rosebank, Shop NM11
Why? The tastiest ice cream in Joburg. Paul’s been around for a while but he’s now committed to retail with a new store that’s opened up in the Rosebank Zone. In store, they will be creating a monthly sundae to be served for the entire month – this month’s sundae is a milk chocolate ice cream with white choc brownie – and they serve ice cream sandwiches with home baked chocolate chip cookies that you can fill with with a flavour of your choice.
Got any suggestions? Let us know in the comments!