The oh-so-trendy Maboneng district offers a variety of delightful eating experiences, ranging from proudly South African sushi and fragrant Ethiopian meals to a traditional shisa nyama. The Chalkboard Collaboration Café slots into this dining environment perfectly, serving deeply satisfying pizzas and craft beer in a vibey locale. Located right next to independent cinema The Bioscope, Chalkboard is often the first stop for ardent moviegoers.
While the menu includes sandwiches, bagels, salads and soups for daytime visitors and those with delicate appetites, the pizza menu is undoubtedly the main attraction. The menu gets right down to business, with even the obligatory margherita spruced up with fresh cherry tomatoes. Even so, diners would be amiss to stop their exploration there. The Royal Tennenbaum pays homage to the classic quirkiness of the movie by combining the delights of prosciutto and rocket, while vegetarians can’t go wrong with the rocket, cherry tomato and avocado pizza. For a slightly heavier meal, try the Meryl Streep, with pear, gorgonzola cheese, prosciutto and rocket. Grab a chocolate bar from the counter before heading next door for an independent film.
You can order wine by the glass, but the café prides itself on its vast collection of craft beer. Beer devotees can choose from 50 locally brewed bottles, with some favourites like Jack Black Lager on tap. Grab a fresh one before the movie and ask the waiter to bring you a top-up halfway through. Stick around after the curtain has come down for some prize hipster watching and, of course, another brewski.
Don’t expect tailcoats and white gloves, but rest assured that you won’t be neglected. Order your treats at the counter and watch in amazement as a server manages to find you amongst a crowd of very colourful patrons. If you’re lucky enough to grab a table, point the waiter in the right direction. If not, elbow your way to the counter and enjoy your pizza and beer while ambling about.
Almost every surface in the café can be written on (hence the name), resulting in rare moments of creative inspiration. The old-timey carnival popcorn maker, the trendy staff, the informal and well-fed beer drinking clientele, and the amazing pizzas all come together to create a space you’ll want to visit whenever the opportunity arises.