Eating at a shisa nyama is an experience like no other; a vibrant occasion where the smell of sizzling braai meat perfumes the air and the atmosphere is one of celebration.
Shisa nyama, chisa nyama, chesa nyama, shisanyama: while the spelling may vary, the terms abide by the same sentiment – friends and family united around an open fire. Intrinsic to South African townships, the Zulu term means “burn meat” and is used to describe an informal gathering where meat is bought at the local butchery and grilled on an open braai.
If you’re looking for a spot to celebrate Heritage Day, you couldn’t get more proudly South African than shisa nyama. Here are some of country’s best spots for a sizzling shisa nyama experience:
Chaf-Pozi in Soweto (011 463 8895)
Select your braai meat from the deli and enjoy a cold beer from the cash bar while your meal sizzles on the open braai. Side dishes include traditional pap, chakalaka and coleslaw.
Chesa Nyama in Braamfontein (011 403 0095)
This lively franchise grills up steak, chicken, brisket, hamburgers and more. They have a halaal menu and a selection of side dishes including chakalaka, relish, salad and pap.
Endaweni Shisa Nyama and Car Wash in Vosloorus (011 070 9768)
Kill two birds with one stone: have your car washed while you snack on beef chops, boerewors or chicken with a complementary side of pap or chakalaka.
Imbizo Shisanyama BUSY CORNER in Midrand (011 312 0630)
The Original African BraaiMix is hugely popular with customers and consists of boerewors, lamb chops, chicken wings and short ribs served with sides of chakalaka, salsa, pap and spinach. Some of South Africa’s most popular musical artists perform live at this venue, so be sure to check out their calendar.
Sha’p Braai in Kruger Street (072 810 3109)
Sha’p cooks up a storm at their traditional shisa nyama stand on Kruger Street. Grab a table inside or on the sidewalk while they prepare steaks, short ribs, chicken drumsticks and more on an open braai. Sides include chakalaka, pap, dumplings, rice or samp.
Comfort Zone in Clermont (031 368 7587)
Take your pick from the array of South African favourites including the ever-popular ox liver, barbecue chicken wings and local Indian curries. Complement your protein with a side of pap, chakalaka or beetroot salad. A jukebox sets the mood and drinks are available from the fully-licensed bar.
Max’s Lifestyle in Umlazi (031 906 1393)
A selection of rump steaks, T-bones, pork chops and chicken wings are prepared on a hot braai while the resident DJ spins house music in the background. Enjoy your meat with a side of dumplings, pap or baked bread.
Nina’s Foods and Splish Splash Car Wash in Cato Manor (031 261 7224)
Buy fresh meat products and let them grill on a traditional South African braai while you wait for your vehicle to be washed. The restaurant has a cash bar and big screen TV for sports fans.
The Rainbow Jazz Club in Pinetown (031 702 9161)
Try the bestselling isibindi (ox liver) served with homemade bread and a traditional shatini salsa made with fresh tomato, onion and chilli. The restaurant hosts a jazz event every Sunday afternoon where they serve their famous flame-grilled Mozambiquan-style chicken.
Amadoda Braai in Woodstock (021 447 2133)
Choose a braai pack and let the folks at Amadoda cook your meat to perfection on a traditional braai. Grab a drink at the bar while you wait or find a table and enjoy the smooth jams mixed by the resident DJ. This venue is especially busy on Fridays.
Kwa-Maphindi in Nyanga (021 386 0582)
Pick your protein: choose from a variety of beef, chicken and sausage and grab a seat while your meat is grilled to perfection on the braai.
Mzoli’s in Gugulethu (021 638 1355)
This famous Gugulethu butchery serves up a rich assortment of steaks, chicken and sausage while you sit and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. Sides include pap, chakalaka and freshly baked bread and you can bring your own alcoholic drinks or purchase them from the bar next door.
Did we miss any of your favourite shisa nyama spots? Let us know in the comments.