New Jozi markets calling!

New markets are mushrooming in Joburg and it is an exciting sign of the times. The country is steadily opening up and we’re returning to some sense of normality amid the ongoing pandemic. And one thing we love about “normal”? Markets, of course! Here are a few new ones to check out in Jozi.

The Playground

When the pandemic hit, it took away Johannesburg’s institutional weekend event in the Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein, which attracted locals and tourists alike. A new reincarnation of the market has returned in the form of The Playground, which launched at the end of January.

Taking place every Saturday at the same location – 73 Juta Street – it comes with original elements that made it iconic and newer ones that expand on its legend. The venue makes use of its spacious multi-storey open-air setting with outdoor decks overlooking the city for an enhanced visitor experience that is vital during these times.

The Playground hopes to spark joy and connection with a menu of gourmet street food and cocktails. There is an emphasis on promoting local fashion and design with a showcasing of the best emerging young designers. Music is also an integral part of the new Playground experience with top live music and DJ sets forming part of the weekly programme.

Co-founder of Neighbourgoods Market and the force behind The Playground Adam Levy says: “I believe that there is an opportunity to break moulds, create trends, and open the space to showcase talent and inspire creative culture. This next iteration will be transformative, and we are intent on The Playground once again becoming a weekly must-visit for its unique energy.”

Expect a mix of more than 30 stalls with vendors including The Oyster Bar, NoodleNerds & Sushi, Che Argentine Grill and Happy Coconuts.

The Playground artisan market is open from 9am to 6pm every Saturday. There’s free entry between 9am and 11am. From 11am, a R20 entrance fee is payable at the door by card only.

Born In Joburg

Born in Joburg (BIJ) is the latest addition to Jozi’s weekend food market scene, but this one focuses solely on food trucks. It happens once a month (on a Friday evening and a Saturday morning) in collaboration with the Black Brick boutique hotel and its co-living community in Sandton Central.

The market attracts some of Joburg’s most popular food trucks including Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream, Tjips Co, Killer Coffee, Napz Autentica Pizza Napoletana and The Wing Republic. This is complemented by live DJs, kiddies’ activities, a craft bar and a rooftop experience.

Tayla Foong and Thabo Mshengu are the co-founders of BIJ. Speaking on the motivations behind the food truck market, Tayla says: “I had started a food truck market with my dad, Grant Foong (who has an Asian street food truck called Foong’s in Gqeberha), called Baakens Food Truck Funday, and ever since I moved to Joburg, back in 2018, I wanted to bring the food truck vibe to Jozi. When I moved here, I saw so many markets, and none of them focused on food trucks and spotlighted them. I wanted to create this based on the Port Elizabeth concept. Food was also one of the main businesses that lasted throughout the pandemic, so I thought a street food truck court with the coolest people and the best music line-up (which Thabo curates) may just stand the test of time.”

The collaboration between BIJ and Black Brick continues. Black Brick has just launched their Bedfordview property, and they have asked BIJ to set up a pop up market on that side of town. This time, as the new space is very lush and a little less urban than the Sandton property, Tayla and Thabo will be doing a farm-style market with 10 selected stalls, and live entertainment (think DJs, fire dancers and art installations). The stalls will range from Korean Gao Baos by Meesook’s and crafted wine from Voisin to Sicilian slices from Reade’s Cheese Pizza and the famous kota from Lumamonate, to name a few.

The BIJ pop up farm-style market launches on 5 and 6 March at 24 Johnson Road, Bedfordview (the old Riverwood Office Park) with free entry for all. Entry to the BIJ food truck market in Sandton is R30 and free for kids under 12 years.

Pic by Daniel Phumudzo Magidi II

Prison Break Market

Glenferness is home to the new Prison Break Market in Midrand that offers a mix of both indoor and outdoor market experiences in a lovely and vast setting. The idea behind the name is to break you out of your daily routines. Think artisanal food vendors, a gin distillery, craft beer house, wine estates, live music shows, arts and crafts, and a kids’ play area.

Shed One of the property houses the Star Food Market with an onsite bakery, a German butchery, a French-style café that stocks jams, pickles and pancakes, as well as a farmers’ stall with fresh produce and homemade yoghurts, cheeses and milk. The Star Food Market is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 9am to 3pm.

Shed Two is home to The Yard Eatery – a wooded deck with stunning views of the Sandton skyline, hosting various food and beverage stalls from The Filthy Moustache to Che Argentine Grill. It officially opened in February. Trading hours are from Thursday to Sunday from 9am to 9pm.

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