The best restaurants in Johannesburg: Where to eat out in 2020

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Fast-moving Jozi offers one of the most diverse dining scenes in SA. From ground-breaking inner-city revivals and genre-bending gastronomy to family-run favourites and trendy new hotspots, the choice of breakfast, lunch and dinner for Joburg residents and visitors is abundant.

This selection comprises all the Johannesburg restaurants that made the cut for the 2020 Eat Out 500, the list of the best restaurants in the country as rated and reviewed by our panel of critics for the 2020 edition of the Eat Out magazine (on sale now). But we know the city is crammed with loads more gems and mainstays that didn’t crack the nod. Please tell us about your favourites in the comments section at the end!

Johannesburg CBD and Central Suburbs

’86 Public

The compact menu has just five pizzas, but that’s all you need. Classics such as the option with bacon, salami, green pepper, onion, mushroom, avocado and garlic or a good old faithful of bacon, avocado and feta will do the trick. The pizza Bianca with figs, rocket leaves, prosciutto and balsamic glaze is also delicious. Or make your own! Choose from one of four bases and your type of crust, then add your selection of toppings. Aside from pizza, crowd favourites are the chicken wings with dip and ribs in 500g or 1kg portions. For a healthier option, try the ‘86 Public salad, which has a special dressing.


Ba-Pita specialises in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean street food: kebabs, shwarmas, laffas (stuffed and rolled flatbreads) with all the trimmings, hummus, tzatziki, falafel and an array of grain- and legume-based salads packed with nuts and herbs. They make everything in-house and flavours are subtle and fragrant with touches of cumin, za’atar and sumac throughout. Highlights include moreish falafel served in bowls thickly smeared with hummus; unapologetically garlicky baba ganoush; lamb and mince koftas with tzatziki; and any one of the laffas. It’s tasty, wholesome food that should draw in the crowds.

Baha Taco

You’re greeted by a big chalkboard menu behind the serving counter, filled with staples like nachos, tacos, quesadillas, and a selection of other specialities. You’ll also notice the chef chopping up fresh ingredients in the open kitchen, using the same traditional cooking methods she used to use in the food market stalls of Johannesburg, where this eatery has its origins. Order a variety of tapas to share, like the hand-made chicken quesadillas, the famous goat empanadas, and pulled-pork soft-shell tacos, which are almost overshadowed by delicious refried beans and myriad of other toppings. For good measure, add cheesy nachos to your order, too. For dessert, there’s another classic: churros with chocolate sauce.


The menu here focuses on what the little people will eat, from make-your-own pizza to mini fish and chips, though grown-ups aren’t left out. For starters, try fried calamari rings, and for the main event, the lamb cutlets are succulent and flavourful, served with perfectly roasted baby potatoes that taste as they came straight from the spitbraai. At the end of the day, the traditional malva pudding with vanilla ice cream is a good option for dessert.


Breezeblock is all about brunch and sports an all-day breakfast menu. This includes beans and bangers, made with free-range pork sausage, grilled and packed with herby flavour, on a bed of south Indian-style curried beans, and served with your choice of bread. The generous portion of eggs Mirza, with perfectly smoked aubergine, seasoned with mint, turmeric and tomato, is another favourite. Vegetarians will relish the interesting oatmeal options or pancakes. The lunch menu has tasty and crunchy salads with the freshest of greens, and for a sweet treat, try the butternut dumplings drizzled with butterscotch sauce.


Mexico meets New York in this small restaurant/ bar. Nachos, pico de gallo, smashed avocado, cheddar and sour cream jalapeños, as well as the hot artichoke-and-jalapeño dip with tortilla chips, will make a fun start. For mains, move onto something like the chipotle rotisserie chicken – in half and full portions – with salt-and-vinegar shoestring fries on the side. The quesadilla with chicken and beans is particularly tasty, finished off beautifully with a cold Corona and a slice of apple pie or chocolate brownies and ice cream.

Che Argentine Grill

The famous empanadas could easily make a whole meal and come with a variety of fillings, but do also try the provoleta, a decadent smoked provolone, and the grilled chorizo, popping with paprika, parsley and pepper. But the main attraction here is the meat, lovingly cooked on the grill with coarse salt the only seasoning. There are also short rib, rib-eye, and fillet on the bone, but the aranita steak really stands out and is as tender as it looks. Once you’ve tried the chimichurri sauce on the side, you’ll want to take a whole bottle home. The flan del Rio de la plata is a perfect portion of creme caramel served with the restaurant’s signature dulce de leche.

The Countess

This is quintessential American smokehouse fare, and the burgers keep the crowds coming back. The Chilli Burger is fantastic, but the simple BBQ burger, topped with aïoli, tomato and gherkins, proves that sometimes simpler is better. The onion rings here are the stuff of dreams: enormous and perfectly crisp. The chicken wings and pork ribs are tender and sticky sweet, and the 18-hour brisket is comfort food at its best. (Rather skip the pastas and salads also on offer.) For dessert, the signature pot de crème, a twist on the traditional crème brûlée, is delicious, as is the dense chocolate brownie.

One of The Countess' delectable burgers

One of The Countess’ delectable burgers. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Fresh Earth Café & Restaurant

This breakfast and lunch spot offers an ever-expanding selection of vegan and vegetarian fare as well as abundant choice for those following a low-carb, sugar-free or banting diet. Delicious all-day breakfast options include a delectable quinoa, herb and butternut frittata with basil and gorgonzola, parmesan-doused wild mushrooms on toast with a poached egg, and gluten-free golden flax flapjacks with strawberries and honey. Lunch is all about choice – and virtually everything is made in-house. The hummus bowls are very enticing, with home-made hummus, falafel balls, crunchy vegetables and rich dressings. The spinach-and- feta phyllo pie is wholesome and generous, as is the deconstructed burrito bowl. For dessert, there’s waffles and ice cream and an array of delicious baked treats.


Most of the meals are Turkish-inspired, ranging from breakfast, sandwiches, pastas and platters to burgers and a few vegetarian options. Meals worth trying are grilled chicken breast served with spicy, crispy and delicious chips, and the mixed omelette served with sucuk (Turkish spicy sausage), mushrooms and mozzarella. There are just a few options for vegetarians. The freshly baked cakes and sweet treats on display are tantalising from the moment you walk in and the cakes are indeed delicious and worth the visit alone.

Gema Trattoria and Pizzeria

A simple list of starters includes a salad with just tuna, lettuce and olives, as well as soups and a selection of cheese and cold meat platters. The rest of the menu is just as simple – Napoletana, bolognese, carbonara, arrabiata, and seafood pasta dishes are all on offer, with portions as generous as the fresh, natural flavours that come through with every dish from this home-cooking style Italian establishment. Their thin-based pizza is satisfying, with fresh and seasonal toppings. Outside of the pizza and pasta, the lamb shank is a favourite with Gema’s most frequent customers. For dessert, sorbets are available in a variety of flavours – orange, lemon, pineapple, coconut – with tiramisu and home-made ice cream also on offer.

The Great Eastern Food Bar

The perfect location to order a variety of small plates for the table. The go-to starter is the sashimi tacos: the trout ceviche with pickled lemon and wasabi is an exquisite palate cleanser. Other starters portions include the famous hot and spicy vegetable gyoza dumplings and the crispy scallion pancake with kimchi pickle. Vegan options such as the cauliflower nuggets and the marinated oven-roasted tofu are also delicious. The Korean fried five-spice chicken comes highly recommended, especially with a side of jasmine-coconut rice. For dessert, choose between a hibiscus panna cotta or a vegan coconut panna cotta with granadilla syrup.

La Petite Maison

This French-inspired bistro offers an eclectic, refined dining experience. The seasonal menu is as petite as the restaurant; however, there’s also a vegan menu on request and a charcuterie-and-cheese platter on offer over lunch. To start, choose between wonderfully rich squid and squid-ink risotto with Cape Malay spiced prawns, and a fresh and delicate ostrich tartare with deep-fried mushrooms, crushed coriander, ponzu and avocado. Mains include perfectly crispy duck with five-spiced plums and a spiced lamb rack with harissa, prunes and caramelised onions. For dessert, opt for the delicious tiramisu.

The Leopard: Kitchen, Larder and Can Do

The Leopard is a spin-off from Andrea Burgener’s award-winning restaurant of
the same name. For a light breakfast try the melty brie cheese with apple atchar and black-pepper toast or the Leopard huevos rancheros with chilli beans, fried eggs, raw tomato-onion salsa and cheddar cheese, served with a delicious flatbread. For lunch, daily specials like soups and curries make an appearance. A highlight is the Pata: taro leaf and masala rolled up with apple atchar, tzatziki and smoked chicken. The Vigour Bowl with short-grain rice, slivered raw vegetables, sweet chilli, sesame sauce and shiitake mushrooms is delicious and healthy. For dessert, check the counter cakes and lemon bars, which are all freshly baked. Everything is available for take-away or delivery, and a catering service is offered.

Living Room

There’s a wide selection of tapas to kick things off, with bigger plates, such as the Fala-Full (falafel in pita bread with hummus, coriander yoghurt, carrot and cucumber ribbons and chopped tomato) to keep everyone happy. The Twice As Nice comes with a pick of two mini burgers: crumbed chicken with pickles and caramelised onions, crumbed chicken with sriracha mayo or falafel with coriander yoghurt. All bigger bites come with wedges, fries or a small salad. Salad bowls also available. There are only four desserts, with the lemon meringue being a favourite.

Lucky Bean

For starters, try the snoek with cumin-baked apricot, steamed coriander, or garlicky lemon-butter sweet potato bun, or the vegan tamari summer pumpkin with horseradish, dill and a creamy sunflower seed sauce. Mains include a good number of vegan options. The vegan spaghetti and meatballs comprise a spiral courgette spaghetti, red bean and sweetcorn balls with tomato-and-thyme sauce. The Cape Malay Chicken curry comes with basmati rice, potatoes and vegetables. There are a variety of steaks with sauces, as well as boerewors and umngqusho – samp and beans – with tomato relish and chakalaka. Desserts feature malva with Amarula cream, and a generous cheeseboard for sharing.

The Marabi Club

The menu is interesting, fresh and combines chef Katlego Mlambo’s knowledge of French cooking with his love for Asian flavours and fare. (The chef is destined for big things; he was named the 2019 Eat Out Nederburg Rising Star.) Try the sweet potato starter with pecan, cinnamon and ginger, which is served with a coriander and spring onion salsa or the Marabi mussels cured in tom yum. For mains, try the chicken sliders, The Marabi Club’s take on bao buns. Think crisp deep-fried chicken thighs marinated in pink salt, cabbage and pickled ginger on a steamed bun, simply delicious. The Sebastian the Crab with almond crusted soft-shell crab is also a must-try. End on The Marabi Kit Kat with chocolate mousse, soft almond sponge cake and orange ice cream.

Momo & O

Ramen bowls are the signature at this Momo branch. There are six options, which are slightly in terms of heat and ingredients, but most flavour profiles are the same: a bowl of ramen noodles (made on-site) with chicken/beef/veggie broth and a multitude of sweet, sour, spicy and fresh toppings. The tapas and enormous bao are more-ish. The smoky wok-fried green beans with ginger and chilli are one of the best items on the menu. The gyoza potstickers with sweet plum sauce and the twice-cooked beef ribs and Korean fried chicken wings are fantastic. For dessert, choose between lemon yuzu tart with homemade strawberry sorbet, a dark chocolate matcha tart with pistachio gelato and their ‘deep-fried bun’ with salted caramel dip.

NCW Restaurant

The kitchen is headed up by the talented Ence Willemse, who has spent time working at Forum Homini in the Cradle of Humankind and under Bertus Basson at Overture in Stellenbosch. On offer is a choice between the five- or six-course degustation menu, which include deceptively simple-sounding dishes like cauliflower soup – but featuring sweetcorn, pickled onions, truffle ice cream and escargot with parsley purée rye and chives. Vegans are looked after with their own six-course offering, which offers dishes like textures of sweet potato – grilled, puréed, chips, with pomegranate, onion and coriander. To finish, the simple dessert of guava, almond and honey hits the sweet spot.

Pablo Eggs-Go-Bar

The punchy menu is filled with flavourful, rich and spiced delights. People flock here for their red shakshuka: eggs poached in a Middle Eastern-style tomato sauce with hummus, fattoush salad and Yemeni bread. Even the more traditional scrambles, omelettes, French toast and Benedicts have a Pablo twist: eggs are offered poached or crispy fried (deep-fried), the French toast is made with kitke and dipped in a lemon-and-vanilla-infused egg batter before being oven-baked, eggs come scrambled either carbonara-style or with truffle oil and chilli and the omelette is a BBQ jam and bacon one. Everything on the menu is seriously delicious.

Pata Pata Restaurant

If it’s traditional African cuisine you’re after, opt for the tripe-and-trotter potjie, simply prepared with the slightest hint of curry, served with morogo, umngqusho (samp and beans) and squash sides. Alternatively, choose from light meals of burgers, prego steak, chicken and chips or half-shell mussels steamed in a creamy white wine, garlic and leek sauce. Vegetarian options include vegetable lasagna, roasted butternut, or falafel balls with cabbage, carrots, pickles, sauerkraut, sprouts and tahini. More substantial meals include curries, ribs, lamb chops, various cuts of meat, seafood like salmon teriyaki and a hanging skewer comprising hake, queen prawns, calamari and squid heads. Sweet treats include a Peppermint Crisp sundae, banana split and chocolate panna cotta.

Roving Bantu Kitchen

This is a down-to-earth melting-pot experience. You walk in, grab a table, and check out the dishes of the day written on a blackboard. The food is proudly South African and all-embracing of the country’s culinary profile, such as fall-off-the-bone oxtail, expertly cooked lamb trotters, and hardbody chicken with an assortment of vegetables (coleslaw, steamed spinach or chopped tomato-and-onion salad) and roti or rice. Finish off with a tot glass of layered multi-coloured jelly and custard.

Salvation Café

Simple, delicious and consistent food, their Benedicts are legendary for breakfast. If you’re looking for something a little less wicked the creamy basil mushrooms on toast or their omelettes are the way to go. The Caribbean flapjacks are also fantastic with berry coulis, yoghurt and syrup. For lunch the menu has a wonderful Asian and Middle Eastern influence: Think Thai-style fishcakes, five-spice calamari, teriyaki salmon and an Egyptian veggie burger served with grilled halloumi, avo and tzatziki. There’s also a devilishly good BBQ pork belly bun with coleslaw and shoestring fries. For something sweet, try the best carrot cake and baked cheesecake in town.

Sumting Fresh

The quick meals here are tasty, crunchy and packed with aïoli or sweet chilli, other sauces or parmesan. Ask them to go easy with condiments if you’re looking for something lighter. From the generous Taiwanese steamed buns stuffed with a crumbed, deep-fried chicken thigh or duck breast and sriracha, to a juicy beef burger covered in mozzarella and avocado, the favours are full-on. Do try the waffles and chicken, and don’t forget the cheesy corn on the cob or mac-and-cheese balls as sides. No need for dessert and there’s none on the menu.

Tortellino d’oro

Expertly cooked dishes keep patrons returning to this family-run favourite. If you manage to sidestep the well-stocked deli groaning with supplies, focus on a starter of plump mussels in an aromatic white wine, tomato and fresh herb sauce that there simply couldn’t be enough lightly toasted bread to soak up. Follow with a succulent veal piccata in a lemon butter sauce served with potatoes to make your eyes roll back in delight. You’ll need to go back for the crumbed artichokes to start and decadent pastas, including a summer truffle tagliatelle. There are only hits and no misses on the dessert menu, too: opt for millefoglie layers with custard or a light sorbet.


Chef Jack Coetzee sources all ingredients within a 150-kilometre radius, and each menu item includes where and by whom it’s produced. To start, baby gem lettuce (sourced 24km away in Wadeville) is simply served with a zesty lemon pesto, creamy labneh and a thyme-infused oil, or choose beautiful shiitake mushrooms sandwiched between mieliepap shards with a creamy duck liver. Venison comes as a glorious tartar with capers, gherkins and brioche crumb, and cured egg yolk grated on top. The bao are not to be missed either, stuffed with gorgeous duck and grapefruit, coriander and cucumber for extra crunch. For dessert, ricotta works fantastically with delicately poached fig and the contrast of macadamia butter.

The Wing Republic

As the name suggests, The Wing Republic is all about chicken wings. You can have them ‘buffalo’-style – battered, fried and then sauced or salted – or grilled, but it’s hard to beat crispy-fried. The list of sauces is extensive, including peri-peri, teriyaki, peri sacana (not for the faint-hearted), chilli tomato, hot garlic, and more, but the honey sriracha and barbeque come up tops. Ribs are the next best thing on the menu, in pork or beef iterations, both sweet, sticky and slightly charred from the grill. Order the delicious shoestring fries on the side: just right for mopping up any leftover sauce. A couple of cakes of the day make up the dessert menu, but rather fill up on the reason you’re here.


Café Hemingway’s – Temporarily closed

New York-style bistro dining and impressive high teas are the name of the game. Try the ‘Celie’ for breakfast – eggs Benedict, toasted sourdough, draped with bacon, mushroom and avocado or salmon and a generous dollop of home-made Hollandaise sauce. There are also vegetarian options. For dessert, try one of their designer cakes such as the ‘Anne of Green Gables’ – deconstructed lemon meringue pie served with shortbread ice cream and garnished with home-made macarons. Alternatively, choose from different types of sponge or cupcake and match it to your favourite filling such as lemon curd or chocolate salted caramel. Book a chef’s table for your very own fine-dining experience.


The modern menu here provides ample choices without overwhelming you. If deep-fried crocodile tail strips with smoked crocodile carpaccio, pickled celery and tamarind dressing is too adventurous, the creamy garlic snails are delicious. For mains, the perfectly crisp and generously portioned whole trout comes with warm lemony baby potatoes, capers and Hollandaise sauce. A wide selection of salads will appeal, as well as grills, more seafood and sushi. And specials of the day! The blonde chocolate ganache tart is a triumph, served with Earl Grey streusel and a bright pink scoop of berry sorbet.

Life Grand Café

They have a large selection of dishes on offer, whether you want something laid-back such as pizza or sushi, a light snack such as a salad, poké bowl, tapas with dips like the olive salsa verde and spicy vegetable dip, or something more filling like pasta. The fish cakes are superb – three medium-sized fish cakes fried to perfection without being greasy, which come with preserved baby potatoes, fennel and an avocado-and-papaya salsa. If you have a sweet tooth, you will enjoy the desserts on offer such as the hot and crispy waffles served with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and juicy strawberries.


33 High Street Restaurant

The menu caters for all tastes – everything from calamari rings (battered or grilled), carpaccio, prego rolls and wings to Mozambican-style seafood dishes, steaks, Portuguese espetada, chicken, craft burgers, south Indian curries, pasta and bubble bread (flatbread pizza made with garlic and origanum). The kids have also been catered for with options of bubble bread, pork ribs, mac and cheese and burgers. For dessert, have the waffles or chocolate-and-nut brownie with ice cream or indulge in the decadent Modderfontein Mud Slice made with cardamom coffee chocolate mud cake and 85%-cocoa Lindt chocolate.

Café Billi B

The menu is superb, offering well-thought-out, unique dishes for breakfast and lunch. The BBQ pulled pork, two poached eggs and rösti off the breakfast specials board and the protein power breakfast comprising two poached eggs, 100g fillet steak and half an avo are equally beautiful and delicious. Multiple dietary requirements are also catered for. Café Billi Bi is also well-known for its cakes – not only are they gorgeous and displayed perfectly to attract your attention, but they also taste as good as they look.

Sandton and surrounds

Arbour Café and Courtyard

The super-light buckwheat galettes are the stars of the French-inspired show. Order them savoury with spinach, leek and feta or Norwegian salmon, capers, cucumber and dill crème fraîche or sweet with classic cinnamon sugar and lemon or Nutella and banana. Other breakfast items include omelettes, croissants, French toast and health bowls. The lunch menu offers sandwiches on seeded rye or French baguette, steak and salad. Other mains range from pan-seared salmon to crispy duck confit and lamb cutlets. Vegetarians have a choice of delectable pastas and soups. Enquire about the harvest table for a selection of meat, fish, vegetable and starch options. Desserts are delicate and light – try the star anise cinnamon crème brûlée or the trio of pistachio, chocolate hazelnut and Madagascan-vanilla ice cream.

AtholPlace Restaurant

Elegant seasonal set menus with fresh and beautifully presented ingredients. Start with crispy squid with an ink sauce or a round of melted goat’s cheese on a rich tomato- and-olive relish, sharpened with a salad of spinach and celery. For mains, you may be offered a meltingly tender beef fillet with simple baby vegetables and a thick, dark jus. Pescatarians can enjoy the seabass fillet served with a crisp, herb- encrusted skin. For dessert, treat yourself to the unusual and delicious pineapple cake with puffs of white chocolate, or a decadent cheeseboard.


Bellagio is a firm favourite and well worth the price tag. For starters, there’s a three-cheese soufflé with a salad of baby spinach, caramelized walnuts, sliced pears and mint vinaigrette, and an oyster shooter with tobiko, sake, ponzu sauce and spring onion. For mains, try the spaghettini with smoked salmon, vodka, sour cream, dill and caviar, or the seared salmon served on a bed of asparagus, new potatoes, roasted cherry tomatoes and salsa verde. Optional sides include zucchini fritti and baby spinach with parmesan. The steaks are melt-in-your-mouth spectacular. The seafood risotto with clams, mussels, calamari and prawns is a highlight. There is also a good selection of vegetarian and gluten-free options. The dessert menu changes weekly, but you can look forward to amazing chocolate desserts like the divine chocolate soufflé.

The Big Mouth Sushi and Grill

Diverse menu with plenty of options. Start with The Big Mouth’s signature sushi or a less filling classic plate of sushi from the marble sushi bar. The salmon California rolls are as fresh as the prawn fashion sandwiches. Other starters include small plates such as calamari, grilled halloumi or hummus. For your main course, order the beer-battered fish and chips or a half portion of the peri-peri charcoal chicken. Full of flavour, with a generous serving of chips on the side, the satisfying main courses are best followed up with sweet, crunchy churros for dessert.

Bread Basket

This incarnation of one of Joburg’s first delis is popular, and for good reason. The stacked halloumi hashbrown, drenched in tomato salsa and pesto and topped with a poached egg, makes a filling breakfast. For lunch, try the roast beef slices on grilled hummus flatbread garnished with cheese, sundried tomatoes and wild rocket, or the locally inspired beef-and-lentil bunny chow served with chutney and yoghurt salsa. For dessert choose a crisp phyllo triangle of baklava drenched in nuts and syrup, or take home a box of melt-in-the-mouth almond shortbread kourabiedes.

Buitengeluk Restaurant

Think farm-style cuisine that reflects the quaint country setting. For starters, choose between the sweet and spicy bootie tart and the grilled asparagus topped with hollandaise and parmesan. For mains, it’s hard to beat the chicken pot pie, a generous portion of succulent chicken and vegetables in a rich gravy topped with crispy puff pastry, the braised oxtail with creamed garlic potatoes, or the fall-off-the-bone lamb shank. For dessert, the dense and delicious carrot cake pairs perfectly with a cup of Earl Grey and kids go crazy for the brownie sundae.

The Butcher Shop & Grill

Classic South African favourites like boerewors with sweet tomato relish, kudu and springbok carpaccio and Izizambo Zemvu – a traditional starter of grilled lamb riblets. For mains, no stone has been left unturned when it comes to the wide variety of grain and grass-fed signature steaks, sourced both locally and abroad. Must-taste signature entrées include a tender cubed lamb fillet sautéed in olive oil and fresh rosemary and hearty oxtail in a red wine sauce. There is also a selection of chicken, pork, fish and vegetarian dishes that are equally as tasty. The dessert menu offers wholesome, home-made goodness such as malva pudding and lemon meringue.

Café del Sol Botanico

Start with deep-fried squid heads with garlic, chive and lime- flavoured mayo, or an unusual beetroot carpaccio, enlivened with strawberry, orange and pomegranate and a touch of gorgonzola. Pastas include a black “taglioni di seppia”, made with sparkling wine, fennel, cream, prawns, mussels and calamari. Pizzas include a winning combo of butternut and goat’s cheese, and a simple porcini-and-pea risotto will impress with its unctuous depth of flavour. For a meaty main try a beef Wellington, which is perfectly pink inside the golden brown pastry. Botanico’s ice creams are home-made and include flavours like peanut butter, salted caramel or raspberry and rose water. Or experience la dolce vita through the sticky pavlova meringue.

Casa Bella

Fantastic antipasti sharing platters are a great way to start, including four focaccia options, or try the springbok carpaccio or Caprese salad with yummy buffalo mozzarella. For mains, the pizzas are wood-fired and thin-based and interesting toppings include deboned roast lamb shank. The pasta is made fresh daily and there’s a great selection of sauces to choose from, including the option where a chef prepares your pasta at your table in a huge hollowed wheel of parmesan cheese. There’s also an excellent selection of steaks. Leave space for the decadent desserts – the limoncello cheesecake and the Eton mess are particularly delicious.

The Course

The Course hot breakfast is popular: eggs with oven-baked baby potatoes, crispy bacon and roasted cherry tomatoes. The brioche French toast with mascarpone, maple syrup and strawberry compote is delicious as is the classic Benedict. For later in the day, try the salmon fish cake starter with tomato-and- fennel salsa and mild curry aïoli or tomato-and-pea arancini in Napolitana sauce. For mains, choose between chicken liver with home-made flatbread, 350g rump steak, chargrilled rib-eye on the bone with a pearl onion tarte tatin and marsala mushroom sauce or one of the affordable salads. Sides are delicious: both the roasted vegetables and skinny fries are perfection. The frangipane tart with vanilla mascarpone cream dried strawberry tuille and seasonal berries is a delightful dessert. Quarterly pairing menus also available.

Epicure by Chef Coco

Inspired by cities in Africa, chef Coco Reinharz is educating palates on
the different foods of the continent. A sharing menu of dukkah-spiced tuna slices with fresh greens dressed in pomegranate and ginger or oysters baked in a garlic-and-herb butter will kickstart the taste buds. For mains, the seafood matadi – like paella but wrapped in banana leaves – with succulent calamari, mussels, prawns and soft- shell crab on a bed of jollof rice is an exquisite, fragrant and beautifully presented dish to impress. Other highlights include goat’s meat, lamb rack and savoury porridge. The offering is rounded off with sweet plantain with salted caramel and ice cream and other surprises like the beetroot pudding with rose-water syrup and ice cream.


Tapas like delightful house pickles, croquettes and aïoli, beignet with sumac and smoked paprika, blue cheese and cornichon crackers are just precursors for the fabulous food to follow. Braised garlic cappelletti, celeriac and asiago is simplicity and heaven combined, and while hake, peas and prosciutto may not sound like much, when you tuck in you’ll realise that with chef Alex Windebank less is more: so much more. Finally, the coffee panna cotta, cocoa and salted caramel is the perfect end to an exceptional meal: not overly sweet, rich and creamy with a salty edge from the caramel and bitterness from
the coffee.

Fruits & Roots

If you want to explore healthy living, this is a great place to start. For breakfast, if you’re hungry for more than a cheesy mushroom omelette, eggs on toast, or scrambled tofu, why not go big with the Big Boer brekkie of free-range eggs, soy sausages, sautéed mushrooms, roasted potatoes and grilled tomato? Lighter meals include soups, or you can take your pick from harvest table laden with savoury plant-based dishes; think golden-brown cauliflower bake, legumes with baby spinach, Caprese salad and creamy broccoli salad. The desserts include carrot cake made with almond flour, brownies with a twist and flourless chocolate cake. They might even let you sample the treats before settling on what you like.

Gemelli Italian Restaurant

The seasonal menu at this sprawling restaurant ranges from snacks to hearty pasta, risotto, fish, meat and poultry dishes. Start with cichetti, or snacks, like salmon arancini, crumbed and fried, or tempura prawns. Salads are substantial: the house salad packs in assorted greens, marinated tomatoes, pickled onion, cucumber, zucchini, feta, avocado and seeds, and the option to add grilled beef fillet or smoked salmon trout to it. If it’s Sunday lunch, try the chicken stuffed with pancetta, olives and peppers, served with glazed carrots and butternut and potato purées. For dessert, the crème brûlée arrives accompanied by marshmallow ice cream, and a delicious rich pistachio and olive oil cake is paired with a buttermilk gelato.


Chef Candice Philip puts food at its core, using fresh ingredients (some from the on-site garden) and carefully tinkering with classic recipes to put an elevated spin on nouvelle cuisine. The herbaceous flavour profile is celebrated in the delicate tuna with fresh avocado and coriander. Another stand-out dish is the chicken with asparagus and lemon balm. (Any chef confident enough to put chicken on a short menu must know how to make it special, and Candice really does.) Her plating is vibrant, with liberal use of colour but in the most finessed way possible, right down to the liquorice-tinged litchi, lemon and fennel dessert.

The Hussar Grill

The place for classic grilled steaks in old-world comfort. For starters try spicy bites of boerewors or, in season, fresh prawns in a tangy Marie Rose sauce with avo slices. Go back in time and order the Hussar carpetbagger classic – fillet mignon stuffed with oysters and oozing cheese and doused in a brandy and mustard seed sauce. Or opt for a straightforward juicy 600g T-Bone – with one of several speciality butter or sauces on the side. Team it with blunt-cut chips, mash or baby potatoes. For dessert try the popular baked cheesecake or smooth crème brûlée.

J Rabbit Tequileria

If you love tapas you’re in for a treat. The prawn tostones – three crispy pressed plantains and three chargrilled Argentinian prawns with chimichurri sauce – are simply divine also available in vegetarian. For something meaty order the buffalo wings seasoned with a Louisiana hot sauce, jalapeño aïoli and topped with thinly sliced julienne carrots and celery. For dessert, there is one option: churros with chocolate sauce.

LBV Bistro

LBV is known for merging classic and modern flavours using seasonal ingredients. Standout starters include the crispy duck with condensed chilli mayo and orange gel and the sesame seared tuna served with wasabi mayo and cream, pickled cucumber and a mouthwatering chilli-ginger glaze. For mains, the lamb shank is served with green peas, mint purée and charred onions, a perfect balance of flavours. The beef fillet and mushroom pasta is delicious too, and vegetarians are looked after with the veggie burger of mushroom, chickpeas and spinach. A small dessert menu, but the savoury options are the main draw-card here.


The antipasti menu is divided between cold (freddo) and hot (caldo) starters. For the latter, oven-baked brinjals with mozzarella and parmesan cheese in a tomato sauce or pan-fried porcini mushrooms in a garlic, herb and white wine sauce are excellent. The generous main courses include everything from the creamy mushroom sauce pasta known as linguine forestiera, to the spaghetti al fresco – a cold sauce of fresh chopped raw tomatoes with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, fresh herbs, capers and black olives. The home-made gnocchi is perfectly fluffy and comes in choices of either a four cheese, bolognese or arrabiata sauce. For dessert, there’s the panna cotta with wild berry sauce, crème brûlée or mango, mixed berry, granadilla and lemon sorbets.

Momo Soko

A bowl of fresh shrimp-flavoured rice chips welcomes you while you choose your food. Tapas dishes include salmon ceviche tacos with plum, teriyaki and wasabi or the spicier Korean fried chicken wings. Skewers of meat, seafood, chicken, tofu or shiitake mushrooms, grilled with a variety of sauces ranging from green basil and mint for the lamb to a spicy fried onion, teriyaki and togarashi marinade for the beef sirloin are also good. Bao buns, noodle bowls and poké bowls with various dressings complete the menu. Yuzu is also on the dessert list in the form of a citrus tart, or indulge in deep-fried buns dunked in a sticky salted caramel sauce.


For starters, order the fried calamari (perfectly crunchy and chewy), or falafel served with Turkish salsa, mint-leaf tzatziki and pita bread. For mains, the coal-grilled skinny pork chops with crispy potato chips and a secret dip are sticky and moist. Burgers include the Greek burger – a beef mince patty, sliced tomato, red onion, tzatziki and mayonnaise that comes with a side of crispy potato chips. Healthy options such as Greek salad, roasted cauliflower and fish dishes are also on hand. The dessert options are rich and include halva ice cream which comes sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. If you are out with the family, try the loukoumades – mini Greek doughnuts served with syrup or chocolate and nuts.

Olives & Plates

So named because of its Mediterranean-inspired menu, this spot is all about great value food made with love. The parmesan-crumbed chicken – with aromatic garlic butter flowing out from its centre as you slice – never disappoints. The accompanying vegetables are perfectly roasted: crisp yet tender, slightly caramelised, and extremely flavourful and colourful. The ability to elevate a simple grilled fish and chips is a testament to their passion. The light and fluffy vanilla chiffon cake are life-changing. Even if you come just for the cake and coffee, it’ll be worth the trip.

Pantry at Gemelli

Plating is simple but pretty, ingredients are top-notch, with free-range eggs, and flavours are well-balanced. Start with the fantastic breakfast quarter-pounder: a seeded milk bun with a beef-and-lamb patty, aged cheddar, fried egg, smoky bacon and sweet tomato confiture. For something lighter, the avocado toast is great: smashed avo on toast or potato rösti, with chilli, lemon ricotta and a poached egg. The quinoa breakfast bowl is another seriously healthy option: quinoa, seeds, kale, avo, a poached egg and tahini. If in doubt, you can’t go wrong with either of the Benedicts, both of which are served with decadent porcini Hollandaise.


If you’re sipping a cocktail before indulging in delicious Mexican food, start off with a nibble on jalapeño poppers, the burnt corn croquettes or the chargrilled corn. For mains, the toasted flour burrito wrapped around chargrilled strips of steak with chipotle, spring onion and salsa, is a great combination of flavours, as is Oh Happy Glaze, pork belly slow-cooked with chilli, lime and agave served with Mexican potatoes, refried beans, crema and tomatillo salsa verde. To end off with, the churros are always a winner, a delicious Mexican doughnut rolled in cinnamon and sugar and served with a coconutty dulce de leche, or the quirkily named I Pity the Fool, white chocolate raspberry and passion fruit double cream and yoghurt.


Generous portions befit the price tag. A complimentary amuse bouche of creamy butternut soup is offered before you make your choice from the menu. Famous for their incredible seafood, there is a great selection, cooked to perfection. Start with the prawns dusted with tandoori spice, shallow-fried and served on warm julienne vegetables, accompanied with a papino and coriander, or the salmon duo of cured Norwegian salmon served on fresh avo and sesame encrusted seared salmon drizzled with a teriyaki sauce. Langoustines come highly recommended – grilled in lemon butter and lightly brushed with garlic – they are divine. There’s also a variety of poultry and meat cuts with optional sauces. Desserts feature favourites such as malva pudding, crème brûlée and panna cotta.

Qunu Restaurant at Saxon Hotel

To get the best from the mouthwatering experience, share dishes. Start with the vegetable and leaf garden of freshly harvested raw vegetable shavings, herbs and baobab mayonnaise, or the langoustine and caviar, with watermelon jelly, sorghum, litchi and coconut. For mains, the duck leg is irresistable, cooked in a spicy confit, paired with a potato rösti and an Asian twist of lemongrass, ginger, coconut and lime oil, and the slow-cooked rib-eye is succulent. To end with, try the perfectly balanced honey cream with oat cake, honeycomb ice cream, compressed apple and apple gel, or a denser chocolate torte with lime whip, vanilla custard and berries.

The Red Chamber

There is a wide variety of starters that hit the spot just right, from delicious dim sum – pork steamed dumplings, beef potstickers, choi and shiitake, among others – to the fried green bean and black bean with chilli salad. Excellent mains include the firecracker beef: crispy beef strips tossed in plum chilli. The Mandarin-style pork chops strike a beautiful sweet-and-sour balance and the stir-fried lamb with cumin, garlic and chilli is also thoroughly satisfying. There’s a wide selection of fish and vegetarian dishes too: steamed kingklip, calamari and seasonal Chinese vegetable dishes pepper the menu. Dessert is not a feature here; rather fill up on everything else.


For breakfast, try eggs rancheros, or the delicious health omelette, stuffed with parmesan, mushrooms, avocado, roasted cherry tomatoes, feta, baby spinach and jalapeños. Order tapas like the Rockets hot wings or the crispy salt-and-pepper calamari. The main menu is huge, but standouts include the lamb assiette, or the rösti, served with a choice of grilled chicken, fillet steak or smoked salmon. For something lighter, there’s a lovely fish-cake salad. The caramel chocolate bomb served with hot caramel sauce is the perfect ending to any meal.


Saint is an opulent concept restaurant, centred on Italian cuisine with a bit of an edge. The signature Neapolitan-style pizzas are fantastic: the simple margherita with fresh mozzarella and the pepperoni are the way to go. When it comes to the pastas, less is more once again: the tagliatelle carbonara with pancetta, cauliflower and parmesan is rich and delicious, and the ricotta gnocchi with a leek-and-parsnip purée and salsa verde is delicate and delightful. From the grill, the fillet of beef with a mustard caper sauce, charred broccoli and pearl onion is just the ticket. Finish with either the orange and Campari cake or the affogato.

San Deck Sandton Sun Hotel

A focus on sustainable and local sourcing is a refreshing twist for a ‘hotel restaurant’. Start with the grilled calamari starter, a fresh salad with soft, grilled calamari tentacles, topped with crispy calamari tentacles and a sriracha dressing. The caesar salad is also delicious. If you’re looking for a meatier option, the aged cuts are sure to impress, including tomahawk steaks and tender beef fillet. End off with a decadent dark chocolate torte served with candied almonds, dulce de leche and macarons.

The Secret Tea Garden

Very generous portions in a homely style can easily be shared for breakfast. For lunch, vegetarian options include lasagna or filled croissants with mushroom and scrambled eggs. For something heartier, choose chicken breasts, grilled with lemon and herb and served with a side salad, or the Sunday roast: roast lamb, chicken, potatoes, rice, vegetables, gravy and mint sauce. For dessert, think traditional: bakes, scones, pies and cakes. A special kiddie menu offers burgers, chicken nuggets and toasties.

Tashas Morningside

For breakfast try the sautéed livers in a garlic-and-parsley gravy, topped with a fried egg and roasted tomatoes, served with village bread, or the sweetcorn fritters served with streaky bacon, roasted tomatoes, rocket and avo. For lunch, the quinoa and chickpea salad with grilled chicken and a tahini dip is delicious. The chicken ramen bowl with rice noodles, teriyaki sauce, spices and veggies is flavourful, and there are also soups, steaks, curries and fish options to choose from. There are freshly baked cakes for dessert or to have with your coffee, like the famous red velvet cake or a generous slice of lemon meringue tart.

Thief Restaurant

With a small, well-curated menu that changes to suit the season, Thief Restaurant offers a selection of simple, delicious meals that are well-executed and presented with a creative flair. Try the delicious prawns with chorizo and crispy sourdough or the exotic mushrooms with peaches starter, a surprisingly delightful taste combination. Such novelty is mirrored by other options on the menu like the chicken confit main with pommes rösti, grapefruit, jalapeño and sundried tomato relish. The porchetta pork belly is excellent and a gem of this bistro-style menu. Dessert options include banana bread, apple crumble and malva pudding.

Thyme on Nicol

The menu of affordable and healthy Asian- inspired dishes, salad bowls, burgers, wraps, toasted sandwiches and sushi caters for everyone. The ginger-and- coconut salad bowl and the crumbed calamari salad with cucumber and an avocado dip are wholesome options. A dragon-shaped tempura prawn roll with avocado, mayonnaise and caviar is a treat. The prawns with bok choy and bean sprouts is a stand-out dish, with tangy lime and basil, as is the delicious Crying Tiger beef with oyster sauce, lime, chilli and cashew nuts.

Tiger’s Milk Bryanston

Described as ‘dude food made good’ – and offering breakfast, wood-fired pizza, Tex-Mex, salads, steaks and wings – this Cape Town-export gastropub is best-known for its towering burgers. ‘Kickstarters’ range from southern-fried wings, succulent fried calamari with roasted garlic aïoli and chipotle chicken livers, and then, even if you’re not vegetarian, you’ll enjoy the flavoursome Pretender burger, with a crunchy lentil, bean and nut patty and vegan avo mayo. Order the hand-cut fries as a side and ask for the truffle-infused mushroom sauce as a dip. Pizza is also perfectly executed, with a crispy thin crust and fresh toppings. For dessert, choose the Jack Daniel’s sundae, the bread-and-butter pudding baked in cinnamon-vanilla custard and raisins, or the cheesecake with berry coulis, vanilla crumble and ice cream.

Trabella Pizzeria

This is your quintessential neighbourhood eatery, a pizzeria that’s stood the test of time thanks to the hands-on owners and consistency of both food and service. The menu is simple: pizzas, pastas and salads. The pizzas are thin-based with quirky topping combinations, like honey-roasted beetroot, pumpkin, sesame seeds, pine nuts and chilli, and their famed Tracy special: a feast of peppers, mushrooms, olives, artichokes, sundried tomatoes, chilli, garlic, basil pesto, parmesan, avocado and the option of pancetta, chorizo, salami or bacon. It sounds over the top but it’s positively delicious. Pastas and salads are tasty but rudimentary, though the lasagna stands out. It’s sinfully rich and gooey – just the ticket to fix a hangover or a broken heart.

Truffles on The Park

To start, there’s a range of Asian-inspired dishes: Thai-spiced salmon fish cakes and salsa; tempura baby squid with a garlic-and-chilli sauce; and peanut-and-citrus spicy prawns with a sesame-and-lime aïoli. Signature mains include miso-glazed short rib with crispy wontons, sesame seeds, spring onions and twice-fried truffle fries and braised lamb shoulder with minted peas, jus and vanilla fondant potatoes. There’s a selection of salads such as the flame-grilled Mediterranean crispy chicken thighs with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, semi-dried tomatoes and garlic cream. There are also burgers, pregos and sandwiches. For dessert try the New York-style baked cheesecake with berries, carrot cake with ginger konfyt, or one of Paul’s ice creams and sorbets.

Wombles Steakhouse Restaurant

The prawn and mushroom cocktail – with button mushrooms topped with prawns, garlic butter and finished off under the grill – is a flavoursome starter. For the main, you must try the succulent lamb chops, chargrilled to perfection and served with home-made lamb gravy. A complimentary serving of seasonal vegetables is offered with all the mains. Although this is a steakhouse, there’s also a wide variety of fish and poultry options. While the meal portions are generous, you can still squeeze in a dessert such as the refreshingly fruity and dairy-free trio of home-made sorbets: passionfruit, mango, and strawberry on fruit coulis.

Rosebank and surrounds

4th Avenue Coffee Roasters

This is a Parkhurst landmark, in all its pink glory. Choose from a menu that offers everything from French toast to fluffy crumpets and eggs, presented on pretty antique crockery, to chicken strips and salad for the weight-conscious, or a decadent croque-monsieur served with smoked ham, Dijon mustard and emmenthal cheese drizzled with béchamel sauce. For something heartier, there’s a classic burger and chips so good your mama could have made it, and even a spicy Napoletana pasta made with fresh fettuccine. Ask about their freshly baked cakes and treats, which you can order by the slim or full slice.

A Streetbar Named Desire

Exciting tapas means sharing is key here. Must-trys for meat- lovers are cured trout tartare, with pickled onions, tarragon and pistachio nuts, freshly steamed mussels to mop up with flatbread, and melt-in-your-mouth pieces of sirloin marinated in harissa and balanced with lemon chimichurri. There’s a large separate menu for vegetarians, and pastry-filled mushroom boureka or light courgette fritters to dip into a yoghurt sauce will delight all. The dessert menu includes unusual surprises: for warmer days, the pistachio, almond and rose-water baklava with refreshing tea granita are perfect, and when it’s cooler, try the chocolate delice with miso ice cream and sesame brittle.


The menu is simple and sophisticated, with Portuguese, Mexican and French flavours. The focus is on sustainable fish, game, game birds and vegetarian delights. For starters, try the ceviche with squid-ink tiger’s milk, pickled radish, marinated cucumber and crispy quinoa, or the tuna tataki with habanero salsa, avocado-and-soy purée, charred corn and red onion. Mains include ‘ten-a-day risotto’, peri-peri mussels, pan-fried linefish, slow-roasted duck breast and Mexican-inspired pork belly. The linefish with cauliflower, lime-and-curry-leaf butter and coriander chutney is a showstopper. Portions are small but sublime. Dessert is a choice between crema Catalana (naartjie granita and lemon-leaf snow), red-wine poached figs with a smoked chocolate mousse, date cream and almond praline, and a cheeseboard for two.

BGR Burger Restaurant

A short, abbreviated name delivers a short, uncomplicated menu. Essentially sophisticated fast food, simple and tasty burgers are paired with fries and a soft drink. Meat-eaters can select either a single or double cheese or beef burger, while vegetarian diners can enjoy herb-loaded patties or a grilled cheese. Toppings include crispy ‘American’ bacon, or ‘The Works’, which comprises burger favourites such as lettuce, pickles, grilled mushroom, jalapeño and other ingredients. A variety of condiments is also on offer. Dessert is also simple – a scoop of either vanilla or chocolate ice cream to satisfy your sweet craving.

Chef Micky’s Thai Dining

People will be delighted chef Micky is once more making her from-scratch, outstanding food. Tom yum and chicken coconut soups are rich, sultry and delicious, and the stir-fries crisp and fresh. The curries are beautifully aromatic and intense, but it’s worth visiting for the prawn pad Thai alone: a delicate, fresh balance of noodles, herbs, sprouts, egg, big scrumptious prawns and crispy pieces of tofu, served with lemon wedges. Also notable are the fish dishes: whole deep-fried or steamed fish with tamarind, ginger and spring onion, lemon chilli or Micky’s home-made sweet chilli sauce. Cooking like this takes time, but it’s worth the wait.

Clico Restaurant

The seasonal menu emphasises locally sourced ingredients. The winter menu starters include wild mushroom soup served with basil curd, mushroom chips and pickled shimejis and quail served with butternut, couscous and rooibos. For mains, the golden-brown pork belly served with bacon jam, pumpkin and jus strikes a perfect balance between sweet and savoury. The beef fillet comes with oxtail pudding, confit onions and yam purée, while the crusted line fish is served with smoked marrow, fennel and mushrooms – excellent winter fare. The tempting dessert treats include chocolate torte, fallen apple and a cheeseboard. The citrus dessert features lavender, rhubarb and blood orange ice cream.


For starters, try the ‘house’ offering of burrata, prosciutto, artichokes, and rocket, the simple Caprese salad, or a small celery salad with white anchovies, parmesan and red onions. For mains, Coalition is best-loved for their pizzas. Classic menu options include margherita, Holtini (coppa, thyme, mushrooms and Italian parsley), Siyani (with chorizo, chilli and cherry tomatoes), the heavenly Cedare (salami, garlic, blue cheese and olives), and the Helen with salsiccia, friarielli and capers. Their Bianca variants include the Juliani with grilled zucchini, pesto, mushrooms, wild rocket and chilli and the Noxi with porcini, stracciatella, truffle oil, and wild rocket. For a non-pizza option have the short rib with focaccia and greens. For dessert, order the panna cotta, affogato – home-made ice cream with a shot of espresso – or tiramisu.


For starters, try the crispy wild mushroom wontons in tom yum broth with kimchi, pickled ginger and cucumber, or the chipotle pork soft-shell tacos with a tomato-and-red-onion salsa and avocado. Light meals include a schnitzel panini, craft beer-battered hake, and a tuna poké bowl, while the Coobs Caesar is made with poached free-range eggs and wild boar bacon. The pork bolognese features homemade pasta and acorn-fed pork that’s been reared at the chef’s family’s farm. The roasted Jerusalem artichoke soup with croutons and imam bayildi (Turkish-style stuffed aubergines) with bulgur wheat and cherry tomato tabbouleh are thoughtful vegetarian options. For dessert, order the chocolate fondant with mascarpone whipped cream, berry gel and rosemary shortbread.


Craft prides itself on offering fresh food with an old-school feel. The portions are handsome, the skin-on potato wedges and sweet potato chips are hand-cut and moreish, and the burger buns are plump. For a different kind of burger try the tangy sriracha salmon burger with a spicy patty of salmon cuts, grilled to your liking, or try one of the sharing boards. The wood-fired pizza oven also turns out a comforting mac ’n cheese with melted havarti cheese. The dessert section is a nostalgic delight of candy, marshmallow, caramel and fudge indulgences – and of course, there’s cheesecake.

Douglas + Hale
Organic, free-range and hormone-free comfort food by renowned Parkhurst chef James Diack. Think bangers and parmesan mash, chicken pot pie, roast pork belly with apple mash and crackling and an array of hand-made pastas – one of the only restaurants to make their own spaghetti. They also serve some of the best burgers in town. For dessert, there’s nothing to beat their infamous deep-fried Snickers bar with marshmallow ice cream or the chocolate fondant with fudge drops and vanilla anglaise.

Dukes Burgers

Gourmet burgers are what Dukes has been doing creatively and deliciously for nine years. First, you’ll have to make a difficult choice between the beef, lamb, chicken, ostrich and vegetarian options – all of which are accompanied by generous portions of either chips or a salad. Try the conquistador: a zingy beef patty mixed with spicy chorizo. Vegetarians also have choices beyond just mushrooms with the Gandhi burger, comprising a red lentil-and-chickpea patty spiced up with mango-and- red-pepper chutney. Finish the meal with a piece of home-made pie or a creamy milkshake.

DW Eleven-13

South African flavours and textures are chef Marthinus Ferreira’s playground and his tasting menu changes weekly. Pre-pairing menu snacks might include skhokho, the crust of a pot of pap, with chakalaka, served on a bed of popcorn kernels. The kabeljou, curry, coriander and mint dish smells like Easter on a plate, and the gnocchi, pork and turnip gives equal pleasure. Even the gorgonzola with celery, walnuts and grapes transcends the idea of a cheese plate. The lime, mango, papaya, lemongrass and meringue dessert is a work of art, a burst of colour and flavour.

Espresso Caffe & Bistro

An enormous menu of Italian- inspired meals with local flavours will cater to most taste buds. Pizzas come with the options of gluten-free and banting bases, which include rice, pumpkin, beetroot and activated charcoal. The spicy pizza with calamari is delightful, especially with the addition of the crispy bacon. There are over 20 salads, and the signature fillet-steak prego roll is generously portioned, with creamy, spicy sauce oozing off the roll – perfect for dipping fries. Other winners are cubed grilled fillet drizzled with lemon, olive oil, oregano, garlic and chilli, and lamb cutlets served with mustard and mint. End on the cake of the day, or the original American brownies with cream or ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Est Est Alea

This is a deconstructed food adventure from Dario De Angeli, previously of the Cube Tasting Kitchen. The five-course tasting menu – which changes often – starts with sweetcorn and dashi custard served with a tempura egg yolk, followed by chicken dim sum with snow peas and a black reduction, roasted pork belly with parsnip, cabbage, crackling and baby onions, ostrich fillet with beetroot, carob and coffee, and to end it all id ‘The Forest Floor’, which looks as it sounds, complete with soil, twigs, rocks and moss. Other standout dishes include the pork belly with honey butter, apple purée, toasted walnuts, pak choi and pancetta, and the chilli chocolate bomb. The tasting menu comes with a vegetarian option.

Flames Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel

Firstly, fresh bread, tahini dip and zesty lemon pesto are brought to the table to share. Then start with either grilled tuna with melon caponata, cucumber-and-olive-oil emulsion or calamari with chilli, lemon tzatziki, aubergine and smoked paprika aioli. Knysna oysters with a chilli-and-gin dressing are also recommended. For mains, order the Angus beef fillet with a morel mushroom risotto, confit white onion and Béarnaise or the Norweigian salmon with calamari bolognese, saffron and basil. The fermented potato piccata and oven-baked celeriac comes recommended as a plant-based option. There are also burgers, pastas and a kids’ menu. For dessert, try the decadent tiramisu bar – a mascarpone delice bar with coffee jelly, Belgian chocolate sorbet and piped cherry gel. There are also a few sorbets and ice creams. Buffet dining is available.

The Foundry Café

Pizzas are made in their woodfired oven with options like the carbonara – roasted garlic, bacon, mushrooms, baked egg, pecorino, fresh basil and black pepper aioli or the Empire Chicken with Cape Malay curry, marsala, mozzarella, pineapple, raita, coriander and poppadom. Stalwarts like mushroom ravioli with truffle brown butter and toasted pine nuts, beer battered fish and chips and pork belly spareribs sit with a range of small plates and sharing boards. The harissa chicken with butternut, cauliflower rice, mint, seeds, apricots, sultanas, pecan praline and a sumac lime yoghurt is their most popular salad. Desserts include rocky road mess with chocolate, biscuits, nuts and sweets topped with whipped cream, passion fruit curd and fresh berries or a honeycomb affogato made simply with honeycomb gelato topped with espresso.

Franco’s Pizzeria and Trattoria

This budget-friendly, family-run, neighbourhood pizzeria and trattoria has been a favourite with locals since 1986. If you’re after a more substantial starter try the zuppa di cozze with half-shell mussels marinara in a subtly balanced tomato broth. Mains might include a tagliatelle beef ragu or a delicious brown mushroom risotto. Naturally there are several thin-crust pizzas to choose from including Franco originals such as the dall’orto with mozzarella, tomato, zucchini, mushroom and brinjals, or the Salsiccia with spicy sausage, mushrooms, chilli and garlic. End on tiramisu or a bitter hit of coffee and sweet liqueur whipped up with mascarpone.

The Greenside Café

The English breakfast with scrambled spiced tofu, vegan bacon, avocado, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, greens, carrots and beets and gluten-free toast is a real treat. For a light lunch, try their hummus, lentil and tahini wrap with baby spinach, onion, tomatoes, cucumber, cabbage and sesame gomasio
in a wholewheat, gluten-free or nori seaweed wrap. All the burgers come with either sweet potatoes with caramelised onions or butternut and roasted black sesame seeds. The buddha plate with pumpkin, mushrooms, tofu, tomato and rosemary stew with brown rice, wilted greens and sesame seeds is delicious. For dessert, try the phyllo pastry with warm melted chocolate or their Brilliant Bar: peanuts, chocolate, goji berries, cranberries, raisins, macha, hemp, chia seeds, flax seeds, cacao, agave, oat bran, corn and popped rice.

The Grillhouse

Classic and nostalgic starters such as the grilled lemon butter calamari, peri-peri chicken livers and flame-grilled marrow bone are all delicious. For mains, steaks are the main attraction: they come basted or rubbed in their magic mustard seed and pepper mix. The New York sirloin and rib-eye come highly recommended, but if you’re looking to splurge try one of their Black Angus beef cuts: seriously tender, flavourful and juicy. The burgers and ribs are also fantastic. Sides include the usual suspects along with a seriously South African selection of dishes: morogo style spinach, pap and chakalaka and even a side of boerewors. For dessert, have the malva pudding or crème brulee with a glass of Vin de Constance – perfection.

Il Contadino

This is chef James Diack’s tribute to the rural food from Spanish, Italian and French farmhouse kitchens, with ingredients sourced from the family farm in the Magaliesberg. For starters, try the pumpkin-and-herb ricotta arancini or a beef carpaccio – delicious, with complex, fresh flavours. For mains, the roasted pork belly with wilted greens and a rosemary jus is a fantastic choice, and the coal-roasted pumpkin with pan-fried oyster mushrooms, sumac and red onion bulgur wheat is delicious whether you’re vegetarian or not. The dessert menu is short and sweet, but a favourite is the coconut lemon tart, served with coconut gelato.

Jamie’s Italian

The steak Fiorentina is delicious – 450g free-range T-bone steak marinated and grilled with garlic, olive oil and salsa verde – as is the Sicilian chicken, grilled and served in a spicy tomato, aubergine and olive sauce. The artisanal pizzas are hand-stretched. The Julietta: slow-roasted tomatoes, basil, buffalo mozzarella parmesan or the funghi misti: wild mushroom sauce, roasted herby mushrooms, mozzarella and chervil are good. Pastas are all made fresh – ask about the specials of the day. Whipped buffalo ricotta and spinach in tomato sauce with baby mozzarella and basil and the crispy fried ravioli stuffed with mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan are both tasty. For dessert, the Amalfi lemon meringue cheesecake with lemon curd and blackcurrants is decadent, as is the melted chocolate praline pudding with salted caramel ice cream.

KCC La Vie en Rose

For breakfast order the guacamole on rye or seeded bread with cottage cheese, tomato and gherkins, a fluffy omelette or a waffle: the Marley Dee with crispy bacon, peanut butter and banana, or the Emily with almond butter, green apples and honey. For lunch and dinner there are burgers – including a vegetarian option – steak and chicken with wild rice, wilted spinach and rosa tomatoes. Try the spiced fillet with Moroccan dates, baby spinach salad and home-made sweet potato fritters, or the Flamingo with salmon, baby potatoes, cumin yoghurt and wild rocket-and-ricotta salad. The menu also includes sandwiches, wraps, salads and pastas. For dessert, the pecan-nut squares with vanilla ice cream are a must, or the waffle with peanut butter, banana, maple syrup and cookie dough ice cream.

Kolonaki Greek Restaurant

The mezedes, jars and small plates are refined, balanced and exquisitely presented. Not to be missed are the slow-cooked beef cheeks stifado on a sweet and earthy carrot purée, crispy fried calamari on a bed of tirosalata, red pepper purée and Greek yoghurt and the coal-charred octopus with lemon zest, squid ink tarama and dehydrated mint. Mains include the slow-cooked lamb shank with crispy potatoes, garlic and roasted cherry tomatoes, charcoal-grilled rib-eye steak served with potato-style skordalia, charred onion, ouzo pepper sauce and crisps, and the sweet and crispy pork belly open yiro with grilled spring onions, tzatziki and chives. For dessert it has to be the baked baklava cheesecake, grilled strawberries with mastiha consommé, meringue and Greek yoghurt or the chocolate mousse, pistachio ice cream and chocolate crumble.

La Boqueria

Begin your meal with a lamb empanada or another flavourful tapa, but leave room for the generously sized main courses. These are fired on coal and hearth, creating rich, smoky aroma. The chipotle chicken thighs, served on a skewer, are bursting with flavour from smoky jalapeño and paprika, and the chicken is tender and juicy. It all comes served on a bed of corn and edamame salsa, alongside fried sweet potato and a roasted pumpkin-and-coconut purée. The hand cut chips are thick and soft, as all good chips should be. For dessert, the sizeable churros are a memorable end to a delicious meal.

La Cucina Di Ciro

An on-site deli sells all things Italian and delicious, but grab a table to really experience chef Ciro Molinaro’s taste bud manipulations. Start with roast artichokes with a lemon butter and caperberries, a fantastic flavour combination. The tongue carpaccio is also worth a mention, perfectly paired with a lime-and-mustard confit. For mains, it’s hard to resist the shredded lamb pasta with mint and fine greens, and the pan-fried calf’s liver served with lentils and port wine sauce is also a favourite. The dessert menu is equally delectable: the sour cherry and cardamom panna cotta served with dark chocolate is the perfect ending to a delicious evening.

Level Four Restaurant

The menu is a simple one-page affair, offering dishes brimming with personality. Their renowned seafood bisque is a deliciously velvety and indulgent reduction that never fails to impress. The seared yellowfin tuna with coconut purée, avocado, wasabi labneh and anchovies is also on point. For mains, try Foxon’s signature 45 day dry-aged ‘Jersey’ fore rib of beef on the bone. For something lighter, try the miso-cured sustainable line fish with bok choi, mushrooms, broad beans and baby leek in clarified broth. Desserts are sublime: rich, intricate and exquisite. Think lemongrass and ginger crème brûlée with lime, coriander and pineapple and a chocolate ganache with dark chocolate, raspberry gel, Szechuan pepper and yoghurt sorbet. They also do a superb afternoon tea.

The Local Grill

For starters, you are spoiled for choice with the venison skewers or the kudu platter with venison salami and marrow on the bone. The biltong soup is creamy and delicious. For mains the grill menu is extensive. Wet- or dry-aged, grain- or grass-fed options are all available. The off-the-bone rib-eye steak is grilled on a salt block at a temperature of 300 degrees for two-and-a-half minutes on each side. The result is an unparalleled medium-rare steak. A side of traditional pap’ and gravy complete the meal.


Marble’s stand-outs demonstrate an interesting fusion of flavours: wood-fired rib-eye with smoked bone marrow and grilled oyster mushrooms, coal-fired sirloin with roasted garlic dressing, perfect lamb cutlets and mouthwatering fillet with smoked-onion purée, roasted tomato, red pepper and onion. The vegetarian and fish offerings, such as salmon done on coals with fresh pea, quinoa, sweet potato and salsa verde, and the cauliflower steak with Madras curry sauce, parsnip purée, parsnip crumble, and curried sultana, coriander and pine nut salsa are delicious. The dessert menu doesn’t disappoint, either: smoked apple crumble with orange-blossom caramel and cardamom ice cream is a flavour sensation, as is the cheesecake with spanspek and winter melon, candied ginger, and dried mint. The produce is fresh and the plating beautiful.


Shared tapas and platters define the dining style, while individual portions make it a business-lunch favourite. Choose from a variety of seafood options such as linefish in oil or sardines served with coarse salt. There is also an ample vegetarian selection, such as dolmades – rice and herbs wrapped in steamed vine leaves – or pockets of pita bread with dips like hummus or tzatziki. When dining alone, the souvlaki chicken pita is a memorable meal. Bursting with the flavour of red onions, tomatoes and dips wrapped in a warm pita, the tasty meal is magnificent. For dessert, consider grilled Macedonian halva, grilled in foil with fresh apple slices and sprinkled with cinnamon and lemon juice.

Mix Cocktail Bar

On the snack menu, to be shared, is delicious tuna tartare served on potato crisps, seriously good mushroom arancini, and crispy whitebait. Not to be missed is the brisket stew and steamed buns based on Julia Child’s beef bourguignon. Other favourites include the pork bangers with polenta, tomato relish and parmesan, and the beef sirloin with sauce verde and triple- cooked fries. For something light, the fermented barley salad with sous-vide egg yolk and kimchi dressing is the ticket. End with churros or a cheeseboard for two.

Momo Baohaus

Start with the firecracker prawns with puffed vermicelli, sriracha, togarashi spice and wasabi mayo. For mains, the Chairman bao deserves a special mention: a steamed bao bun with pulled lamb, hoisin, kewpie mayo, crushed peanuts, spring onion and toasted sesame seeds. Also try the Szechuan bowl: spicy kung pow beef, cashew, red peppers, egg, Szechuan peppercorn oil, Asian slaw and wokked greens with jasmine rice. For vegetarians, the Greenway bao bun combines crispy deep-fried tofu, pickled ginger, sesame seeds and kewpie mayo.

Momo Kuro

Momo Kuro’s focus is on tapas, bao buns and poké bowls. In a group, it’s best to order a selection to share. The sui mai is a take on the traditional Chinese steamed dumpling: the chicken-and-prawn open dumpling with shiitake mushrooms, toasted sesame seeds and coriander. It comes with a selection of dipping sauces and a Szechuan-chilli vinaigrette. The firecracker chicken (crispy fried chicken with Szechuan chilli oil, ginger, garlic, crushed peanuts and spring onion) and the baohaus (a bun with teriyaki beef, hoisin, kewpie mayo, diced spring onion, coriander, fried onion, pickled onion and toasted sesame seeds) is a crowd favourite.

Tashas Rosebank

What differentiates the different Tasha’s branches are their signature ‘inspired by’ menus. Rosebank nods to New York, which fits its urban hustle, and it’s followed through with breakfast items like chilli eggs and hash browns, and maple bacon flapjacks, and bagel options for lunch. On the classic menu, breakfast is served all day and the options might feel overwhelming. A good place to start is the popular salmon scramble, with salmon trout, scrambled eggs, cherry tomatoes, cottage cheese and chives. For lunch, a fun choice is the beef burger – two mini burger patties with all the trimmings and served with potato chips. The cakes on display all come served in big enough slices to satisfy two adults.

Turn ‘n Tender

The menu is extensive, with delicious meat, fish and vegetable dishes. For starters try the beef fillet caprese, topped with sliced tomato, red onion, buffalo mozzarella and avo, drizzled with basil pesto, or the grilled chicken wings, served with a blue cheese dressing or a spicy dipping sauce. The oxtail potjie is legendary and cooked in a red-wine sauce with butter beans and vegetables. The deboned leg of lamb to share is perfectly spiced, served with vegetables and carved at the table. For something decadent, the chocolate sponge pudding is soaked in a rich chocolate sauce and served with a rocky road ice cream.

View Restaurant at Four Seasons

Choose between four seasonal tasting menus and whet your appetite with unusual home-made bread, like an ash-crusted sesame sourdough. Chef Daniel Payne adds light African accents to classic nouvelle cuisine – shredded crab is served up in a miniature vetkoek, the tartare is kudu, and the oak-smoked lamb loin and breast is, naturally, from the Karoo. The quail porridge is excellent – a creamy barley risotto teamed with foie gras, a delicately crumbed drumstick lollipop, ceps and a fried quail egg – as is the pork belly. Asian ingredients feature strongly in the vegetarian menu. Desserts include ‘Embers’, childhood-inspired ideal milk and smoked peaches combination, expertly plated, and a dark chocolate delice roll, with fig purée, yoghurt and pumpkin seeds.

Workshop 55

Every dish here is well balanced and beautifully plated. Under the sharing plates, the tandoori spiced-chicken thighs with a cauliflower purée and the fire-grilled ostrich with smoked potato mash never fail to impress, and the calamari with a seafood and squid ink risotto and saffron mayonnaise is gloriously rich. If you’re going the full-sized dish route, the exotic mushrooms with truffle mash is a vegetarian delight and a rich and tender flame-grilled lamb rump with harissa-spiced sweet potato purée is just fantastic. For dessert, the spiced poached pear with a honey and ginger sorbet or the dark chocolate fondant with passion fruit sorbet, caramel honeycomb and marshmallow are excellent.


Restaurante Parreirinha

All the Portuguese favourites are on offer here, like grilled prawns in all sizes, a legendary chicken peri-peri, and Bacalhau, the quintessential Portuguese dish of braaied codfish. Start off with fried prawn cakes, or kale and potato caldo verde soup with thick slices of chorizo sausage. Follow up with a rump espetada or sirloin steak topped with fried egg. For something fishy, try the grilled sardines or line fish. There are only a few simple salads for vegetarians – and mounds of moreish chips. Finish your feast with the lightest barril de natas – custard tartlets – or one of ‘Mama’s home-made favourites’ such as crème caramel, chocolate mousse or crêpes Suzette.

Randburg and surrounds

1920 Portuguese Restaurant

Authentic Portuguese cuisine. For starters, the pan-fried chicken livers with garlic, chilli tomato and cream come highly recommended, as does the grilled calamari with lemon, garlic-and-herb butter or peri-peri sauce. For mains, the feijoada – a traditional bean and pork stew with beef and chorizo served with rice – is a house favourite. The ten queen prawns in a home-made curry sauce is also a winner. The chalkboard specials include a 400g picanha cut espetada grilled on an open flame and basted with a reduction of balsamic vinegar, garlic and butter. Traditional beef tripe cooked with butter beans, a hint of curry and served with rice adds to the authenticity.

Brian Lara Rum Eatery

The menu is a straight-forward one-pager showcasing West Indies-inspired dishes. Not to be missed is the jerk chicken – four pieces of chicken, flame-grilled and marinated in their signature jerk spice mix served with their home-made pepper sauce. Also notable are their rum-basted BBQ ribs and the spicy lentil and coconut curry served with Trinidadian flatbread and pineapple slaw. For sides, order bowls of their warm, blackened corn salsa, fragrant coconut rice and vibrant coleslaw. Note: you can order a whole spit-roasted suckling pig (but 48 hours’ notice is required). Dessert changes daily so ask your waiter.

Café del Sol Classico

Start with a contemporary take on the avocado ritz with prawns dressed in basil pesto, lemon panna cotta and a rocket salad, or the thinly sliced beetroot carpaccio topped with parmesan and a pomegranate reduction. Main dishes are Italian classics such as the highly recommended seafood risotto comprising prawns, calamari, smoked salmon and baby tomatoes, and the slow-cooked duck ragu served with broad flat pasta and a secret truffle scent. For a sugary ending, try the hard-to-resist chocolate fondant with orange ice cream or a beautifully plated sticky meringue pavlova with vanilla cream and fresh berries.

Cheese Gourmet

This is primarily a cheese deli with a vast array of local and international cheese, home-made sauces, preserves and marinated olives. Attached to the deli is a small café. For one of their ‘all-day’ breakfasts, consider the omelette with chives, peppers, gruyère and mozzarella; the salmon frittata with machado salmon trout, capers and chive crème fraiche; or the breakfast wrap of scrambled eggs, roasted baby tomato relish and cheese. For lunch, the goat’s cheese quiche with artichokes, olives and roasted vegetables is worth a look. For something sweet, order a slice of chocolate or carrot cake, baked cheesecake and baklava cheesecake. They also serve pancakes with black cherries and crème fraîche and cheese tasting boards.

CNR Café & Bistro

Trendy and popular, CNR café is open for breakfast, lunch, early dinner and take-away. For breakfast, order the crispy potato with red onion, teriyaki bacon, poached eggs and tomato watercress salsa. For lunch try their salad meals like The Truck Driver, made with cos lettuce, snap peas, potatoes, a 200g beef patty, streaky bacon and caesar dressing. Their signature dishes are also creative and delicious, like the mussels with white wine, chorizo, lime leaf, roasted tomatoes, red onion, garlic and cream, served with shoestring fries. For something sweet, their iconic ginger-and-cranberry carrot cake is a winner. There is also an extensive range of vegetarian dishes, pizzas and pasta.

Col’Cacchio Hyde Park

This Col’Cacchio franchise remains an inviting and busy dining spot, thanks to constant reinvention of the menu. They offer a wide selection of salads, and pizzas and pastas, with a long list of desserts and drinks, and cater well for the indecisive by giving you the option of building your own pizzas. There’s also has an inclusive approach to banters, vegetarians and vegans. The Hollywood Scene pizza, featuring crispy bacon, thyme, rosso tomatoes and sesame seeds, is a yummy treat and the Morituri, topped with roasted peppers, avocado, chicken, bacon and feta, is another star. To end with, the citrus pancake, with orange segments, orange sauce and vanilla ice cream, is delicious, and the chocolate brownie can’t be beaten.

Dolci Cafe

Delicious, authentic Italian fare. Start with the prosciutto and gorgonzola salad with toasted walnuts and crunchy mixed lettuce or the deep-fried balls of mushroom risotto with a Napoli tomato sauce. The main menu abounds with meaty stews and grills, seafood, gourmet salads, tartares and burgers. Pasta is fresh and home-made. Try the Amatriciana – a mix of pancetta, chilli, onion and arrabbiata sauce – or the cheese- rich pasta parcels stuffed with buffalo mozzarella served with a tomato sauce. You cannot leave a restaurant called ‘dessert’ café without a sample of the pastry chef’s talents, who used to run a pastry shop in Italy. The fluffy and creamy tiramisu or the crème brûlée with an Amarula custard are hard to resist.

The Fat Zebra

For breakfast or brunch go for the Eggs ‘Ben-Addicted’: all the trimmings of a Benedict with the option of ham, pastrami or bacon, or the home-made buttermilk crumpets stacked with berries, bacon, crème fraîche and almonds. Healthier options include honeyed Greek yoghurt with seasonal fruit. For lunch or dinner, their wood-fired pizzas are a must. Thin and crisp bases are topped with the likes of Parma ham and rocket or beef mince and red peppers. Also out the pizza oven comes the wood-fired baby chicken served with legendary house peri-peri sauce, a side of potato and a simple salad. They also do home-made pasta with a variety of classic and simple sauces. Dessert calls for a slice of delicious cheesecake.


Glenda offers a variety of light and tasty meals. The breakfast menu is lovely, with a satisfying selection of breakfast favourites like sugar-free granola, gruyère cheese omelettes and eggs Benedict options. Starters include a soup of the day and a delicious pumpkin, blue cheese, walnut and sage salad. A special Sunday lunch menu features simple dishes like slow-cooked lamb and roast chicken, though few vegetarian options. Great choices any day are the chicken confit with fresh corn polenta and roasted rosemary grapes, or crispy pork belly with pear salad, cabbage and bacon velouté. The patisserie offers stunning cakes and pastries for dessert.

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Moda’ Ristorante

Beautiful, authentic Italian cuisine that is guaranteed to impress. All the flavours are traditional and wholesome. Start in true Italian style with the insalata caprese with fresh fior di latte mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, basil leaves and extra virgin olive oil. For mains, the rigatoni with fresh cream, Italian pork sausage and mushroom was the epitome of a great combination of Italian flavours. Also highly recommended are the pizzas and if you’re a lover of seafood, the tagliolini ai frutti di mare will knock your socks off. If you don’t opt for the classic tiramisu to end the evening with, consider the mousse al cioccolato nero e Amaretti – home-made dark chocolate mousse and an amaretti biscuit.


Eclectic and fun, the menu is broken up into small plates to share, larger plates and their signature burgers. Try the fried mac ’n cheese: squares of rich mac ’n cheese – crumbed, deep-fried and served with their home-made barbecue sauce. Just as good are the tempura aubergine and the braised brisket croquettes. The NGC beef burger topped with emmenthal and roast onions definitely hit the spot, as does the buttermilk chicken burger with chipotle coleslaw and barbeque sauce. For something more serious, the 300g aged sirloin with potato gratin, bone marrow and confit garlic butter is absolutely delicious. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with the chocolate fondant with salted caramel and vanilla bean ice cream.

Possums on Burnside

The magic of Possums lies in fresh ingredients, delicious food and a relaxed atmosphere. Start your meal with ample-sized ‘small’ plates, such as the spinach-and-feta parcels, wrapped in phyllo, rolled in sesame seeds and served with a small Greek salad, or a crisp pork belly salad with leaves, zucchini, feta and nuts for your table to share. But save space for generously sized mains. The seared beef fillet is juicy, served with pepper sauce on the side and excellent fries, or share a wood-fired pizza. Should you have room for dessert, there’s a selection of cakes, including a delicious cheesecake.


Chef Emma Chen grew up in northern China, and brings her history to whimsical People’s Republic of Noodles, or PRON, using simple ingredients, such as spring onion, coriander, garlic, chilli and Szechuan peppercorn, to create subtle flavours. Starters are the best part of the meal: go with pork potstickers or sweet-and-sour pork dumplings. For mains, add a noodle dish, like the black pepper chicken noodles with spinach, and a few more tapas, like the tasty gangbao beef short rib slices or flavourful spicy aubergine salad. For dessert, split a few fortune cookies.

The Royale

This quirky Cuban eatery serves up sticky, salty, dig-in, share- with-friends, call-for-another-drink type of food. Bar bites include crispy battered salt-and-pepper prawns and cheesy jalapeño fries. On the main menu go for the sticky guava barbecue ribs, melting off the bone and served with chips and onion rings. The creamy mussel pot is another must-try, mopped up with ciabatta. Don’t miss out on the sides, like smashed potatoes and Cuban-style coleslaw. End off the meal with a scoop of Paul’s home-made ice cream or the rum- and-caramel-slathered almond waffle.

Sin + Tax Bar

There are snacks like popcorn to nibble on, but the main focus is cocktails, with no shortage of culinary art in the edible ingredients. The drinks menu is seasonal but drinks are always deliciously gobsmacking. The Tropic Like it’s Hot comprises Beefeater pink gin, rhubarb-and-vanilla consommé, ginger, sour strawberry cordial, rose water and Ginifer anise bitters, and the Big Cheese features parmesan-infused Bombay Sapphire, pear, white balsamic and acacia honey.

So Yum

Whether you’re shopping or catching a quick snack with friends, start with a selection of steamed dim sum filled with chicken and Chinese mushroom, or crab and cream cheese. For mains, the peppered battered prawns, stir-fried with onion and fresh black pepper, is thoroughly delicious. The bang bang duck, stir-fried with green beans, lemongrass, chilli, garlic and Thai herbs, is another spicy favourite. For dessert, the Thai silk is a decadent duo of white and dark chocolate mousse balls, bursting with delectable flavours.

Soul Souvlaki

One of the cutest and smallest of the many Greek food outlets popping up all over the country. The ultimate hand-held street food, souvlaki, is the obvious choice here –- chunks of lamb or chicken with tzatziki sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion and a touch of chilli wrapped in a soft, and freshly grilled, pita bread – and a major contender for the best pita bread in town. There’s also the option to create your own meze plate or enjoy plated main meals including grilled chicken or lamb skewers or a generous portion of golden-seared halloumi cheese.

Thunder Gun Steakhouse & Pub

Starters include black mushrooms filled with spinach, topped with cheese, and tempura prawns with sweet pepper jelly. The charcoal-grilled sirloin steak, served with perfectly crispy potato chips, is what will draw you back here next weekend. Other cuts of steak, all locally sourced and grain-fed, are also good options. Or pick hake and chips, done just right, either grilled or deep-fried. The staff are happy to make adjustments, so ask for a vegetarian variation from the flexible menu. And there’s lots of choice for the kids, too. For dessert, the chocolate brownie or the Bar One ice cream are both rich, sticky and sweet.


The small food menu combines interesting Middle Eastern and Asian flavours. Start off with the hand-cut potato chips with chorizo ketchup, warm gin and citrus Kalamata olives, and sticky Korean pork ribs. For mains, the flatbread with gin-spiced poached pear, gorgonzola and Parma ham pairs well with a cucumber gin and tonic. For something heartier, try the lamb burger, with tzatziki, tomato, baby spinach, pickled red onions and feta cheese, a sensational flavour combo. For dessert, the chocolate mousse with salted caramel and sesame brittle is rich, creamy and delicious.

Van der Linde Restaurant

This small menu still offers something for everyone. Start with mouth-watering roasted marrow bones in red wine jus, with sourdough and herb salad, or the burrata and grapes. The deboned quail main with apricot stuffing, mashed potato, roasted figs, pancetta and apple cider bread sauce is equally delicious. Also appealing is the hand-made gnocchi cooked to perfection, topped with lamb shoulder ragù and gremolata. For dessert, choose between crème brûlée with luscious vanilla custard, topped with hard caramel and shortbread, or fynbos-poached peaches served with fresh basil and olive oil mousse and topped with green strawberries and cream. And do peruse the deli and bakery, and take a loaf of freshly baked bread or a sweet treat home.

The Whippet

he Whippet put Linden on the Joburg culinary map, and it’s still chic. The food is top-notch, beautifully plated with a good balance of naughty and nice. For breakfast the go-to’s are the Linden breakfast or the slightly cheekier potato rösti breakfast with perfectly poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. For something a little more eclectic, opt for the delicious pork belly bao Benedict. For lunch, the home-made flatbread topped with chicken, buttered zucchini, romesco sauce and parmesan shavings is fantastic, as is the chicken-and- zucchini pepper rösti. The cake selection is completely scrumptious: lemon drizzle cake, dark chocolate caramel cake and milk tarts to die for.

This list of great restaurants in Joburg is by no means exhaustive (we know there are loads more gems), but it contains all the eateries that were rated highly enough to make it into the Eat Out 500, a power list of the country’s best restaurants reviewed for the 2020 edition of Eat Out magazine. Any additions are based on ratings by critics during the year and by the editorial team. 

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