Situated a few kilometres from downtown, Braamfontein is one of Johannesburg’s coolest neighbourhoods. The corner of Juta and De Beer is like a Venus flytrap, catching fashionistas, influencers, hustlers, and revelers from sunrise to sunrise. The area is also a foodie hub where young restaurateurs, bar owners and baristas deliver a food and drink offering that’s quite unique to the hood. Here are eight of my favourites.
Occupying prime location on the corner of Juta and De Beer, Post serves a tempting array of breakfast and lunch options. Start the day with warm, fluffy flapjacks with bacon, honey, yoghurt and beautifully cut and arranged fruit (R52), washed down with a double flat white or Americano. The juicy pork belly and baby potato salad with cranberry and onion jam and butter lettuce (R60) makes for a great, light lunch option.
A welcome departure from the usual sandwich or fast-food offering presents itself in the form of a harvest-table style eatery love food. A go-to lunch option is the three salads and one protein for just under R70. From beautifully spiced fish, surprise lasagna, pork sausages, and fish cakes, to salads of roasted butternut, sweet peas, feta, cauliflower and capers, meals here are perfect to grab and go – or eat in. With really bad acoustics but great salad options, Daleahs is a favourite in the area. Highly recommended are the Mexican chicken salad (tender, grilled chicken strips, corn, feta, tomato and greens) or the Rad One (a salad with chicken, asparagus, artichokes) – both priced between R70 to R80.
Daleahs also does excellent sticky chicken wings (R65) and sticky barbecue ribs and fries (R90). The award for meat, though, goes to The Smokehouse and Grill. Few can resist the aroma of meat from their grill, with fillet steak, pork belly ribs, double-patty burgers and more on the menu.
Serving some of the best coffee in Jo’burg, Father Coffee’s espresso bar and roastery has developed quite a cult following. Braam’s coolest can be found seated on the Instagram-worthy bench, offering a great vantage point from which to view all the activities of the suburb – whether it be a dance-off on the corner or a music video shoot on the cordoned-off streets. But back to the caffeine: Father Coffee’s signature blend is the Heirloom Blend, which has a slightly sweet but full and nutty flavour and no bitter aftertaste. Also try the bottled Father Coffee Brew – a chilled alternative to the flat white, pour-over and/or cortado. The blend is also sold by the 1kg bag for R260.
You don’t have to lean against a car and people-watch while enjoying a liquid beverage, Braamfontein has plenty of drinking holes. Drinks at sunset can easily turn into sunrise at The Great Dane and Kitchener’s Carvery Bar, which both offer musical entertainment, dancefloors and drinks. The Dane, as it’s affectionately called, also offers some great shoe-string fries, gourmet hotdogs and a great outdoor courtyard. At Kitchener’s, try the homemade samoosas with various fillings, as a crunchy accompaniment to your tipple.
Don’t underestimate The Orbit Jazz Club & Bistro, which is not just a jazz lounge. It also offers a food menu that always delivers in flavour. The oxtail casserole tastes like home and the beef fillet served with vegetables and a side of your choice is always done to perfection. Try one of their cocktails – the Appleton VX and Appletizer mojito with fresh mint and lime is the perfect summer drink – or enjoy their good selection of wine.
What’s your favourite restaurant in Braamfontein? Tell us in the comments.