The best restaurants in Johannesburg represent the city’s diversity. In Johannesburg, eateries serve up high-end French, American barbecue and authentic South African fare with equal savvy. Angela Saurine discovers the top 10 restaurants in town – just don’t leave without sampling the springbok!
An extensive menu of handcrafted artisan meals, some made from handwritten recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, make this eatery a must. Standout dishes include the pulled pork and cheese grilled sandwich, lamb mouzaka and the ostrich burger. Craft’s décor includes antique mirrors, leather Chesterfield sofas, stainless steel and retro tiles giving it a funky feel.
33 4th Avenue, Parkhurst
Also known as Busy Corner, because it’s located on a bustling intersection, the convivial eatery Imbizo Shisanyama is the place to go for braai, or barbecued meat, in Johannesburg. Think short ribs, beef kebabs, chicken wings and drumsticks served with African steamed bread, chakalaka (spiced vegetable relish) and pap (maize porridge).
29 September Street, Midrand
Walls adorned with the works of top South African artists and photographers, spectacular city views and an open kitchen – a visit to Marble is as much about the experience as the food. The folks at Marble claim to be “meat and flame enthusiasts”, with the meat, fish, poultry, vegetables and bread all cooked in a wood-fired grill imported from the US. Signature dishes here include blackened octopus, braised flank and rib-eye.
19 Keyes Avenue, Rosebank
Moyo’s Melrose Arch
Moyo’s is a modern 350-seat restaurant showcasing dishes from all over Africa, such as springbok carpaccio, Moroccan slow-braised lamb, oxtail linguine, ostrich salad and Nigerian kebabs. The more adventurous diners in your party can even try crocodile tail pie and fried mopane worms – a popular Zimbabwean snack.
Shop 5, The High Street, Melrose Arch
Winehouse at Ten Bompas
Choose a bottle of wine from the glass-fronted cellar, which houses several thousand South African vintages, to accompany your meal at this French restaurant inside the Ten Bompas Hotel. Decorated with contemporary African art, the restaurant serves comfort food prepared using fresh seasonal produce sourced from the hotel’s organic gardens, including brown onion soup, roast lamb and apple and ginger pudding.
10 Bompas Road, Dunkeld
SEE ALSO: 5 Great Places to Stay in Johannesburg
Punchinello’s is a pleasant Venetian-inspired fine-dining restaurant in Southern Sun Montecasino hotel with a warm atmosphere. Try the Punchinello’s Mediterranean Table, which is piled with smoked meats, fish, pâté, dips and Mediterranean grilled vegetables.
Montecasino Boulevard Fourways, Sandton
Protea Hotel Fire & Ice Restaurant
The stylish restaurant inside the modern Protea Fire & Ice Hotel is a place to see and be seen. On the menu is a pleasing variety of gourmet burgers and sliders, meat, fish, vegetarian and African dishes such as oxtail simmered for hours in a butterbean and marrow sauce, slow-stewed lamb and tripe cooked in Indian spices. It’s also known for its assortment of milkshakes, with flavours including Oreo cookies, rocky road and butterscotch.
22 Whiteley Road, Melrose Arch
This rustic restaurant in the hip Maboneng precinct is famous for South African cuisine and live jazz music. Pata Pata’s menu offers everything from burgers and wraps to oxtail stew and lamb shanks. The stuffed chicken breast is a must.
Main Street Life Building, 286 Fox Street, Maboneng, Jeppestown
The Potato Shed
Housed in a century-old building, The Potato Shed has on open kitchen where meals are prepared in wood-fired ovens, pit-smokers and fire-pits and served alongside craft beer, barrel-brewed cocktails and award-winning wines. It attracts a cool crowd of creative types.
Corner of Carr and Miriam Makeba streets, Newtown
SEE ALSO: 10 Great Things to do in Johannesburg