11 unusual places to eat in Joburg

Posted by Melanie van Zyl on 3 August 2016

Stuck for a dinner date or just sick of the same old haunts? Try these unusual places to eat in Johannesburg. Because good taste in décor means good taste in, ah, taste.

Also read:

 

 

1. The Potato Shed

Address: Newtown Junction, Corner of Carr and Miriam Makeba street
Opening hours: Monday 12h00 – 16h00; Tuesday to Thursday 12h00 – 22h00; Friday & Saturday 11h00 – 23h00; Sunday 12h00 – 18h00
Average meal cost: R150 – R190, corkage R65.
Website: Check out their Facebook page

The entrance hall to the Potato Shed in New Town. By Melanie van Zyl

The entrance hall to the Potato Shed in New Town.

Leave the suburbs and embrace the vibe in Newtown at this trendy new eatery. There’s safe parking, the waiters were top notch and I was lucky enough to catch live music when we went to eat there for Sunday lunch. The price of your meal can vary a lot because you choose a main meat dish (don’t think about it, just choose the slow-roasted Jozi beef) and a potato side (like the slashed and stuffed spud, a generous potato with truffle mozzarella, soy glazed mushrooms and salsa verde, or the crispy potato skins with saffron mayo.) Their unusual granitas are also incredible with concoctions like mint, cucumber and elderflower.

Don’t believe me? Read the reviews.

 

2. Town

Address: Corner of Miriam Makeba and Gwigwi Mrwebi streets, Newtown
Opening hours: Monday to Wednesday 10h00 – 18h00; Thursday to Saturday 10h00 – 02h00; Sunday 11h00 – 16h00
Average meal cost: R100
Website: workshopnewtown.com

Photo by Brandon de Kock.

Photo by Brandon de Kock.

Also part of Work Shop New Town (next door to the Potato Shed) is a small but sexy bar with Gregor Jenkin tables and bamboo baskets of dim sum prepared by Newtown resident Sbu Msongelwa. (Sbu also has a stall at the Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein.) Browse the fashion between drinks and order saketini.

Don’t believe our food editor Nikki? Read the reviews.

 

3. District Six Eatery

Address: 35 Greenville Road, Emmarentia
Opening hours: Every day from 12h00 until late
Average meal cost: R110
Website: districtsixeatery.co.za

The brightly-coloured interiors of District Six. Photo from In Your Pocket Guide to Johannesburg.

The brightly-coloured interiors of District Six. Photo from In Your Pocket Guide to Johannesburg.

Also read: Free walking tour in the Bo Kaap

This cosy ten-table restaurant has been named after the historical Cape Town precinct of Bo-Kaap and is just as colourful. Cape Malay dishes like samoosas, babotie, melktert and pumpkin fritters are just some of the delectable, iconic South African dishes on the menu. Everything is homely and the owner is bound to give you a hug.

Don’t believe me? Read the reviews.

Don’t want to leave the house? Try our traditional bobotie recipe.

 

4. Pablo Eggs Go Bar

Address: 2 7th Street, Melville
Opening hours: Monday 06h30 – 12h00; Tuesday to Saturday 06h30 – 16h00; Sunday 06h30 – 15h00
Average meal cost: R60 – R100
Website: Check out their Facebook page

Pablo Eggs-Go-Bar. Photo by Melanie van Zyl.

Pablo Eggs-Go-Bar. Photo by Melanie van Zyl.

Quite a lot has been written about this Art Deco eatery and I’ve been dying to try it. I wasn’t disappointed. The Yemeni flat bread with a medium-boiled egg, creamy hummus and chopped salsa was delicious and then next time I go I’m tucking into the green shakshouka – a big portion of poached eggs and delicious spinach sauce. It’s not all eggs though. From the end of July they’ll have a bar menu and serve from 15h00 – 18h30. It’s busy on weekend mornings so book if you want to dine as a group, otherwise try your luck solo and try get a seat at the bat that looks out onto 7th Street.

Don’t believe me? Read the reviews.

 

5. Urbanologi at the Mad Giant Brewery

Address: 1 Fox Street, Johannesburg
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 12h00 – 22h00; Sunday 12h00 – 18h00
Average meal cost: R110
Website: urbanologi.co.za and madgiant.co.za

Awesome interiors at the new Mad Giant breweries and restaurant space.

Awesome interiors at the new Mad Giant breweries and restaurant space.


New at the revamped Fox Shed’s market you’ll find a big barn-like structure that’s making delicious beer. I went to check it out over the week and also found exciting-looking cuisine floating around. I haven’t eaten here (yet) but the open kitchen means you can watch the chefs at work and I’m convinced. The industrial interiors with enormous murals are amazing and the affordable, asian-inspired tapas-style menu has my taste buds all revved up.

 

6. Peoples Republic Of Noodles

Address: 69 7th Street, Randburg
Opening hours: 12h00 – 15h00 and 18h00 – 22h00. Closed on Sundays.
Average meal cost: R70
Website: Find out more with this useful Joburg Guide

The quirky interiors at PRON. Photograph by Anna-Belle of Shesaid.co.za

The quirky interiors at PRON. Photograph by Anna-Belle of shesaid.co.za

Emma Chen is well-loved for her acclaimed Red Chamber restaurant in Hyde Park Corner and PRON is bound to win her more fans. At her Linden restaurant she serves authentic North Chinese food in generous servings that are light on the pocket. I love the fun decor with splashes of red and turquoise, big revolution-style posters and playful, kitsch objects like golden cats and white rabbit sweets. The menu is simple with no deep-fried dishes or rice and is a healthier alternative to South Africa’s idea of Chinese food.

Don’t believe me? Read the reviews and find some more great pictures of PRON here.

 

7. Baha Taco

Address: 39 Grant Avenue, Norwood
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 12h00 – 21h00; Sunday 11h00 – 20h00
Average meal cost: R45 to R70
Website: Check out their Facebook page

Freshly-pressed corn tortillas. Photo by Brandon de Kock.

Freshly-pressed corn tortillas. Photo by Brandon de Kock.

There’s a pink wood-fired oven for baking house-made nachos (noticeably not smothered with toppings) or slow-roasting the 14-hour pork shoulder that’s paired with pineapple-habanero salsa. Having worked the festival circuit since 2013, owners David and Kat Smale parked their taco truck and opened a modest shop in up-and-coming Norwood. Baha Taco has a food-on-the-go feeling with a from-scratch ethos, right down to the homegrown Frankie’s sodas. Be sure to try their signature beer-battered fresh hake in a corn tortilla (house-made, hand-pressed with chopped lettuce, slaw and guacamole).

Don’t believe our food editor NikkiRead the reviews.

 

8. EB Social Kitchen and Bar

Address:  156 Hyde Lane, Sandton
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 12h00 – 21h30; Sunday 12h00 – 16h00
Average meal cost: R200
Website: Check out their Facebook page
EB Social Kitchen Bar in Hyde Park. By Melanie van Zyl
I’m a writer so I love book shops, but besides the fact that this cosy eatery is located in a big shopping centre, it’s cosy and has some of the best views over the city if you visit during the day. The reason I like it even more is that Silvio Rech, the extraordinary architect and visionary who has created some of the most beautiful lodges throughout Africa is responsible for the design. It’s pricey, but everything is made and delivered impeccably. Meals and drinks are served in gorgeous crockery and the food is superb with a varied menu of dishes designed to be shared.

Don’t believe me? Read the reviews.

 

9. Cafe Hemingways

Address: Kyalami Down Shopping Centre, Corner Kyalami Boulevard and Kyalami Main Road
Opening hours:  Monday to Friday 07h00 – 19h00; Saturday 07h30 – 17h00, and Sunday 08h00
Average meal cost: R65 – R120
Website: www.cafehemingways.co.za
Cafe Hemingwas - EAT JHB - Cafe Hemingways
Hidden in a nondescript shopping centre in Kyalami, this really is a hidden treasure where classy bistro-style and fine dining meet in a diverse menu. Everything is made from fresh local and organic ingredients and there’s something for everyone – from generous burgers with tasty toppings to salads, pastas, fish, vegetarian options and healthy breakfasts. They’re also well-known for their sumptuous high teas themed to classical book characters target=”_blank”.

Don’t believe me? Read the reviews.

 

10. BGR

Address: 172 Jan Smuts Ave, Rosebank
Opening hours:  Monday to Sunday, 11h00 – 18h30
Average meal cost: R100
Website: www.eatbgr.com

The picture-perfect BGR, as featured in our November issue. Photo by Brandon de Kock.

The picture-perfect BGR, as featured in our November issue. Photo by Brandon de Kock.

The shop isn’t easy to find, tucked into the Caltex Garage on Jan Smuts avenue, but according to our food editor, this is the best burger in Joburg. The idea is to bring the Great American Burger Experience to South Africa and this is basically a purist’s McDonalds. Actually, Shake Shake is a more accurate reference since they’ve invested in the same chrome flat-top grill used by the US institution. 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. Our recommended order is the cheeseburger with ‘The Works’: lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, pickles and BGR’s sauce. Add french fries and homemade lemonade.

Don’t believe our food editor Nikki? Read the reviews.

 

11. Che Argentine Grill

Address: 303 Fox Street, Maboneng
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11h00 – 23h00
Average meal cost: R200
Website:cheargentinegrill.co.za

Che Argentine Gill in Maboneng. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

Che Argentine Grill in Maboneng. Photo by Vuyi Qubeka

Why hide the kitchen in the back? That’s Oscar Farad’s take on grilling steak. Co-owner of the trendy inner-city spot he explains that the grill is the star of the show. An open kitchen takes up the majority of the space in this refurbished warehouse. Stacks of hay dot a low-lit space with high ceilings giving it a ranch-like feel. The feats began with empanadas de carne – traditional pastries stuffed with beef, onion, olives, eggs and red pepper. But it was the Bonidola Rellena main that got me: pork neck stuffed with blue cheese, bacon, paprika and prunes, and I added a rocket salad of tomato confit and goat cheese. Most meals are meat-based and cooked on the asado (Argentinian for braai) and are traditional and simple. All meat is free-range, grass-fed and additive-free.

Don’t believe Vuyi? Read the reviews.






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