Here are 10 restaurants in Johannesburg that have the very best sights for sore eyes – from city and mountain views to breathtakingly beautiful garden views.
This is still one of the most unassumingly handsome restaurants. It may be tucked in at the back of a book shop but it still offers breathtaking sunset views of Johannesburg through a 40m span of glass. Ravenous diners can go for the Fishmonger’s Choice with chermoula (Algerian pesto), smoked confit tomatoes and chickpeas. Or there’s the lamb shank with couscous and spiced bean stew, which comes highly recommended. The dishes change depending on the availability of the ingredients, or at the chef’s discretion, so inquire at the restaurant for more details.
The tranquility of Muldersdrift is the bucolic backdrop for this country-style restaurant. Enjoy the deck’s view of a dam leading off the Crocodile River. A rustic restaurant with down-to-earth charm, The Fat Olive is also a family restaurant. Their most popular dishes are home-style peri-peri chicken and lamb shank.
From The Great Eastern Food Bar’s elevated setting at the top of the Bamboo Centre, you can see The Melville Koppies, Rosebank, parts of Westcliff and as far out as Sandton. The restaurant is popular for its eclectic Asian food menu, which changes seasonally and features mainly vegan, vegetarian and pescatarian eats. Stand-out dishes include double-fried Korean chicken and sashimi tacos, green papaya salad, tteok-bokki (stir-fried rice cakes) and deep-fried sweet buns.
A sophisticated setting, Southern Sun Hyde Park’s pool deck gives guests respite from business, travel or shopping with gorgeous views of the city. Popular for its cocktails, Island Bar is the perfect way to toast to the weekend while watching the sun dip.
High up in the sky in the perennially hip inner city, this Maboneng rooftop restaurant is a must for enjoying breathtaking Joburg cityscape views. It’s complemented by great music and the energy of a hip crowd. Their most popular dishes are Twice As Nice, a duo of mini beef burgers with pickles, served with French fries and wasabi mayo; and the Nice to Meat You tapas board, an assortment of mini beef and chicken burgers, BBQ lamb riblets, ostrich carpaccio, chicken skewers, French fries and sauces.
Marble’s third-storey vantage point offers spectacular sunset views of Johannesburg. On a clear day, visible to the naked eye is a vast and gorgeous expanse stretching all the way to Magaliesburg. While celebrated chef David Higgs’s menu is focused on food cooked over coals, the rib-rye steak has been a firm favourite since Marble opened in August 2016, as well as the blackened octopus starter. Higgs’s Namibian upbringing comes through in standout dishes like his seared tuna and salmon.
Set in a vast and marvelous garden to which legions of birds are attracted, this enchanting, botanical view is what sets this southern Johannesburg restaurant apart. Like something out of a fantastical work of fiction, the bountiful blossoms together with the quirkiness of the furniture and décor inside create a warm and cheerful ambience. The spellbinding charm extends to the farm-to-table fare on offer. Their vegetable and herb garden provides some of the key ingredients of their meals and their most popular dish is the lamb pita, which has tender pieces of slow-roasted lamb infused with fragrant spices and served with mint yoghurt and hand-cut skinny fries.
San Deck at the sumptuous Sandton Sun offers magnificent views of the Sandton CBD and beyond. When eating out here, expect easy-dining fare like tapas and slider-style foods along with cocktails, all of which will appeal to a wide variety of palates.
Pushing the concept of restaurants with spectacular views even further afield is the Sky Dining experience at Higher Ground Restaurant, on the premises of St Stithians College. There are eight cable car-like lifts per day, with each table seating 22 guests. Contact them to find out exact dates and prices. A champagne breakfast on a Sunday morning (R495 per person for 45 minutes) or a three-course dinner (R795 per person for 90 minutes) is the perfect way to lift off into the new week.
The view from this much-lauded restaurant is renowned for its jaw-dropping magnificence. To make the experience even more memorable, enjoy the fun trip on a golf cart from reception to the restaurants up on the hill. Once there, you can take in the splendor of the city; its architecture and bright lights. Scrumptious meals are, of course, part and parcel of this experience. Recently appointed chef Farrel Hirsch keeps guests curious and entranced with seasonally inspired menus that change every week. The dishes are made from ingredients sourced from local suppliers and farmers, as well as the hotel’s very own food garden.