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The ultimate Hazelwood food guide

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Trying to imagine the Pretoria foodie scene without Hazelwood is like thinking back to a time before the Internet. How did we ever cope without this top-class culinary precinct? Hazelwood’s restaurants are clustered around two hubs. First is The Village, which is located on 16th street and spills onto Firwood Avenue and Hazelwood Road. One could describe it as Tshwane’s answer to Parkhurst or Florida Road, but this quirky little hub has a character all of its own. The other eateries are found at The Club on 18th street. Although it’s a more traditional retail space with ample off-street parking, The Club is a far cry from the claustrophobic mall experiences that were somehow the norm in life-before-Hazelwood. Feeling overwhelmed by all choices? Here’s the ultimate guide to help you find the perfect spot.

Alfie’s Italian Café

Alfie’s is synonymous with excellent pasta dishes and other mouth-watering Italian fare. In summertime, the outside tables with their trademark white umbrellas are perfect for lazy fine dining at its best, while the cosy interior is a big drawcard on chillier evenings. Be sure to book in advance, as seating is limited and the restaurant fills up quickly.

 

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Alfie’s Pizzeria and Deli

If you’re meeting someone at Alfie’s, be sure to first check which Alfie’s! Just down the road from the fine-dining option, you’ll find its easy-going younger sibling. While you’ll also find seafood, salad and steak options on the menu, the wood-fired pizza is the undisputed star of the show. The laid-back atmosphere makes this an ideal spot for a catch-up with friends.

 

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Aroma

While the original spot in Lynnwood will always be known for serving the best gelato in town, this gorgeous new eatery in The Village is a classy addition to the Aroma portfolio. In addition to the exceptional ice cream that made them famous, they also serve various light meals. Be sure to try some of the mind-blowingly delicious baked goods and, whatever you do, don’t leave without trying the coffee.

 

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Brunch Street

Create your own deli sandwich, salad or bowl at this lovely little newcomer from the same folks that brought you that other Village favourite ­– Culture Club. Take your order to go, or sit down to enjoy the street-art themed furnishings. The coffee is delicious, and they have an epic all-day breakfast menu, including exquisite creations like the brunch burger, stacked bacon bun and buttermilk flapjacks.

 

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Burger Bistro

When it comes to unwinding with your besties, few spots beat this iconic burger joint. There are also steaks and a few salads, but with a list of burgers as long as your arm, you’re bound to find a perfect burger match. The milkshakes are legendary. Catch the lunch special, or round up your friends and try your hand at quiz night on Tuesdays.

 

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Central

A relative newcomer in The Village, Central has fast built up a loyal clientele with its understated atmosphere and Mediterranean-themed menu. Their caffeine game is strong, making it a great spot for a lazy lunch that turns into an extended afternoon catch-up over coffee.

 

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Cowfish

At Cowfish you get the best of both steak and sushi. This cool eatery on Hazelwood Road gets a big thumbs up for serving up some truly exquisite dim sum, sushi and poké bowls. Traditional seafood offerings like kingklip and calamari rub shoulders with substantial steak and chicken options. There are also 10 types of homemade burgers. And if that’s not enough, go for the cocktails!

 

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Culture Club

Tapas is the name of the game at this pretty little eatery in the heart of The Village. From octopus and halloumi to panko-crumbed chicken strips, the small plates are all delicious, fresh and utterly moreish. Culture Club also has an extensive gin menu, making it an excellent sundowners option. You’ll want to linger after dusk, though, and enjoy the festive atmosphere when the fairy lights come on in the trees outside.

 

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Hudsons – The Burger Joint

This much-loved burger spot at The Club consistently serves up some of the finest burgers you could sink your teeth into. Vegetarians can feast with abandon by opting for a Beyond Meat patty. Keep an eye on their social media for epic specials.

 

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Khaleo

This quirky little café at The Club serves delicious baked treats and excellent coffee from its own roastery. The menu is compact but offers some innovative and unusual items, including  savoury oats with boerewors, a fried egg and chakalaka for breakfast. For lunch, try the vetkoek sliders or the Asian bowl with rice noodles and pork belly.

 

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Life Grand Café

Life Grand Café is a sophisticated spot with an equally refined food-and-drinks menu. There’s an excellent array of breakfast options and, for something more substantial, try the sushi, lamb cutlets or seafood paella.

 

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Ozé Café & Bistro

Prawns, prego rolls and that classic Mozambican beer, 2M, can all be found at this authentic Portuguese restaurant on Hazelwood Road. The service is welcoming and sincere, making it classy enough for a date and cosy enough for a large family meal. Also try the exceptional pasteis de nata. There’s also a vibey bar area upstairs, which makes for a great kuier with a view.

Pachas

A much-loved Pretoria steakhouse that has stood the test of time, Pachas has consistently delivered top-notch cuisine and service. It relocated to The Club a few years ago, but the dining experience has remained true to Pachas’s original character. In addition to excellent beef cuts, the menu includes various seafood and poultry options.

 

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Spout

The fine folks at Spout serve some of the creamiest, dreamiest cappuccinos in town. This quirky corner spot is housed in a set of smartly repurposed containers. Aside from excelling in the coffee department, it also serves some exceptional baked goods. Look out for the sublimely buttery cruffins, or some of the most scrumptious canelés outside of France.

 

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