10 Johannesburg Restaurants You Must Visit In The City Of Gold

Welcome to our pick of the Johannesburg restaurants and cafés guaranteed to satisfy when hunger is getting in the way of a good time.

Travelstart asked its resident foodies to come up with a list of the 10 best places to eat out in Johannesburg. And here it is: from gourmet on 4th Avenue to genuine German fare in Randburg, as well as suggestions for where to eat on the cheap, if you want to impress, or are just looking for great service and value. Go forth and feed. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions @Travelstart.

Coobs, Parkhurst

Coobs in Parkhurst

An eclectic fashionable brasserie set in Johannesburg’s lively Parkhurst suburb, Coobs’ modern design fits perfectly with the atmosphere of its hip 4th Avenue location.

Fresh produce is sourced daily from an organic farm in Magaliesburg and the menu is adjusted accordingly based on seasonal availability. The menu is small but well thought out and the portion sizes are just right. Everything from vegetables and herbs to pork, lamb and wild boar is free-range and organic!

Bookings: 011 447 0710 | View location | coobs.co.za

CNR Café, Craighall Park

CNR Cafe in Craighall Park

If you’re looking for a regular eat out destination in Johannesburg then CNR Café on the corner of Buckingham and Rothesay Avenues should fit the bill. CNR offers mellow deli dining and simple & fresh food with a creative twist.

It’s an owner run neighbourhood store with quality of service & ingredients being the primary focus. Think fresh breads, juices and great food in the ‘burbs’.

Bookings: 011 880 2244 | View location | cnrcafe.co.za

Parreirinha, Rosettenville

Prawns at Parreirinha in Rosettenville

Whoever said quality restaurants were the reserve of Johannesburg’s northern suburbs would be wrong after an evening at Parreirinha – a Portuguese eatery in Rosettenville south of Joburg.

Offering superb seafood void of the ‘Sandton premium’ that’s endemic to much of JNB’s restaurant scene, Parreirinha is run by the Da Cunha family and has been in business for 38 years!

Prawns are their forte and a range of local and Portuguese wines provide the perfect accompaniment to an evening well spent.

Bookings: 011 435 3809 | View location

Leafy Greens Café, Muldersdrift

Leafy Greens Cafe in Muldersdrift

Leafy Greens is a partially raw food, vegan-friendly cafe that opened its doors in 2010. True to the sustainability way of life currently sweeping the consciousness of forward thinking hospitality industry players, ‘Leafy G’ is committed to producing food that has the lowest carbon footprint; in other words food that is high in minerals and vitamins in its raw form.  As such, the menu changes in accordance with what is currently growing in the attached garden.

Leafy Greens Café owner and founder, Antonia De Luca looks forward to welcoming patrons to a place of healthy, hand-crafted food. And thanks to its location away from the busyness of Johannesburg, Leafy Greens provides a peaceful escape with fresh air, and the chance to restore in the great outdoors.

Bookings: 082 882 7300 | View location | leafygreens.co.za

Schwabinger Stuben, Randburg

Schwabinger Stuben in Randburg

Save on an air ticket to Munich with an evening spent at Schwabinger Stuben in Randburg. Offering comfy, casual dining in a wood-paneled interior reminiscent of a classic Bavarian tavern, Schwabinger Stuben certainly hits the spot if you’re after down-to-earth authentic German fare that’s good value for money.

Aside from the generous portions of traditional German delicacies such as Eisbein, Schnitzel and sausages, a wide range of imported beers are also available on tap.

Charl Fourie, PPC Campaign Manager at Travelstart says:

“A little old fashioned, but I have not had better German food. The hosts are incredible, the food is fantastic and it feels like a home away from home.”

Bookings: 011 787 2550 | View location

NexDor, Soweto

NexDor in Soweto

With its laidback ‘kasi’ vibe, NexDor Food and Wine Emporium on Soweto’s iconic Vilakazi Street offer traditional South African cuisine in an energetic bar/grill setting.

The restaurant caters for a clientele who demands class, style, and high levels of service. Despite its newness, NexDor continues to evolve and re-invent itself while maintaining these elements, keeping it feeling new, modern and welcoming.

Bookings: 076 550 0614 | View location

love food, Braamfontein

love food in Braamfontein

Established in 2012, this inner city creation by passionate owner Jamie Lorge is a kitchen, deli and café rolled into one.

If Jamie’s passion for food is anything to go by then we have no doubt love food will become a time-honoured institution in Joburg’s downtown cultural arc.
Expect lovingly prepared deli-style food that is as tasty and fuss-free as it is wholesome and healthy.

Bookings: 083 602 6511 / 083 391 2909 | View location | lovefoodkitchen.com

Kong Roast, Fourways

Kong Roast in Fourways

Kong Roast in its new location at Cedar Square (previously The Buzz Shopping Centre) is an Asian fusion restaurant in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs.

By combining all the delicate flavours of Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese cuisines, Kong delivers an authentic east meets west dining experience in the heart of Fourways.

Bookings: 011 465 7516 | View location | thai-africa.co.za/kongroast

il Giardino & The Room at 44 Stanley, Milpark

il Giardino at 44 Stanley

A slice of Tuscany in downtown Joburg, il Giardino is a welcome addition to the creative hive known as 44 Stanley.

Serving homemade pastas, seasonal vegetables, gourmet pizzas and delicious meat, chicken and fish dishes, guests can choose between Tuscan ambience under the olive grove in the courtyard, or the cozy fireplace setting of ‘The Room’ – a beautifully decorated venue with long 10-seater tables.  A great selection of wines and craft beers are available.

Sunday’s lunches are excellent at il Giardino, especially if you enjoy live music while you feast.

Bookings: 011 482 4978 | View location | ilgiardino.co.za

Cube Tasting Kitchen, Parktown North

Cube - Tasting Kitchen in Parktown North

A brief caveat to this insert: Cube Tasting Kitchen is not a restaurant; it is a tasting kitchen offering an intimate and focused food experience.

With that in mind, you can expect lengthy meals where conversation is interrupted only by innovative eating. A scintillating taste experience bound to impress your partner on special occasions.

Cube is unlicensed, so bring your own wine and spirits – they do not charge corkage.

Bookings: 082 422 8158 | View location | cubekitchen.co.za

Restaurant Week is a culinary event that takes place worldwide and is all about fine dining at the best restaurants for less. That means you have the chance to dine at top restaurants for a discounted price.

In South Africa Restaurant Week takes place from 24 October – 3 November. Menus are set, and you will pay R95 for a 2-course lunch and R175 for a 3-course dinner at participating restaurants.

Visit www.restaurantweek.co.za to book and view menus of participating restaurants.

Our Readers Comments

  1. Hi There

    This is my second email to you guys requesting for your rate card.
    Please get back to me Asap.

    Kind Regards,
    Winnie jaxa

    • Hi Winnie,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Travelstart do not offer rate cards.

      Please let us know where you e-mailed us at. You welcome to e-mail urgent@travelstart.com this inbox is monitored 7 days a week up till midnight and one of our guest agents will be able to advise on any queries you might have or point you in the right direction.

  2. I have to been to quite a few on this list, and most are great… but you’re telling me Schwabinger is a place of note? Please it’s a mediocre, greasy, typical SA version of “German food”.

    How can you put that in the same class as Coobs, or CNR Cafe?

  3. Any suggestions…would love to surprise my sister in Aug for her B-day.
    She enjoys wine pairing,good food sit down menu …..she has high expectations,she eats out a lot……
    She enjoys aged steaks,sea food but prefers something different.
    About 40 people to celebrate her B-day in a unique or different atmosphere.

  4. Red Chamber & Cafe del Sol is my favorite one. love to eat here!!!

  5. For Italian, try Gema’s in Kensington- simple, delicious food at very affordable prices. For the most delish pittas, try Soulful Souvlaki, Maboneng precinct. For Portuguese, try the Troyville Hotel.

  6. Cafe del Sol serves the food looking very fancy, but the taste doesn’t match. Doesn’t compare to the best in Joburg.

  7. Went to Pudding Shop, Leafy Greens yesterday for breakfast and lunch. Loved both! Then tried Social on Main in afternoon, hated the food! Too noisy, its a shebeen in the burbs

  8. I’m looking for a nice Portuguese Restaurant in Jozi area

    • Adega do Monge Kensignton original and first Adega so for Portuguese is your answer 011 614 3041

    • Try 1920 in Randburg – Main

  9. I agree with Derrick’s comment –
    Not once on the page does it say Top 10… It is just Travelstarts and the community’s suggestion of places that they love in JHB and Thank goodness everyone has different tastes or else the world would be a very boring place. 🙂

    I say well done guys, most of you I have been to and LOVED – the rest I will be popping by to soon, so thank you travelstart for the great suggestions, its so great to see different restaurants get some recognition for a change.

  10. Casalinga deserves a mention and I agree tortellini d oro best Italian food in town

  11. Yesh good places but Yolo pizza is amazing, hands down best pizza in Johannesburg!

  12. As an ex-joburger, now living in Cape Town, planning to move back to Joburg this list (and the comments) made me cry!

    Why on earth does joburg, with all the money, have such a poor restaurant culture? Yes, there are some highlights on the list, but every tiny suburb in Cape Town has one of these. And these restaurants all have to survive the deadful winters here.

  13. Café del Sol
    Possums Parkhurst
    Paputzis Linden

  14. Wombles Parktown North

  15. eastern side of town bedford centre Allora
    Edenvale Fahrenheit

  16. This is a random list of restaurants & certainly not anywhere near the top 10 ….if it was,Cafe Del Soul would top the list….

  17. Les Delices de France, Gordon Road Florida. Real French food at real French prices.
    The Greek Sizzler at Banbury Crossing, great for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

  18. Red Chamber is excellent. They’re busy moving spaces but will be open in Hyde Park in a few weeks again.
    Salvation Cafe is the best eatery at 44 Stanley.
    La Cucina di Ciro (The Pudding Shop) in Parktown North.
    Wombles, Parktown North.
    Agree on Cube. Fantastic! A treat.
    Tortellini d’Oro, best Italian.

  19. Recently went to the great eastern in Melville , nothing like it and deserves a mention.

  20. Must agree that Cafe de Sol and Cescos Strijdom Park are a must for delicious flavourful food. Would definitely be on my list.

  21. Got no idea hoe Love food in Braamfontein made the list!

  22. This is a random last of jhb eateries. Not z top 10 not ones that are expensive just your average jhb places with good food. I’ve eaten at quite few had some good abs bad experiences at the same place. Got to agree cafe De sol food is divine … Lack of ambience no back ground music. Try Tonys Spaghetti close to Olivedale with a menu to Suit most people. DW11-13 brilliant so is Saxon but for a family or average meal out ille Def try the ones I’ve not yet been too. Oh and social in main really great too

  23. Cafe del Sol is probably the best restaurant in Joburg but isn’t mentioned.

  24. Five Hundred @ The Saxon Hotel, Sandhurst, Sandton.

    As well as DW-Eleven-13 in Dunkeld West Shopping Centre. c/o Jan Smuts & Bompas str, Dunkeld West.

    These restaurants where the only 2 Joburg eataries, that featured in the EATOUT-top ten list, in recent years. They where left out on your list though.

    • The 500 at the Saxon… DW 11 -13 … Roots at Forum Homini

  25. Cafe del sol should def be there. And schwarma Co in Norwood, come on! The poor sod that mentioned Codfather…. mmm, you need to get out more! Also Cescos in Strijdom Park – unpretentious delicious Portuguese food in a no frills “roll your sleeves up and chow” setting.

    • Cafe Del Sol is undoubtedly the best in Johannesburg. The ambience, service and food is a treat!

  26. Must visit is Food Works in Brightwater Commons!! Best Chinese Food ever!

  27. Mozambik restaurant in Linksfield and Beyers Naude. Brilliant unique food. Homely and classy all in one!

    • Sorry? Do you really mean that or is it April fools day?

  28. Osteria Rossa in Bedfordview for a great atmosphere and pizza and pasta, just don’t order a large pizza unless there are at least 4 of you to eat it.

  29. This list looks like its from the “Hello JHB” magazine, it’s who you know, not who is Best!!!

  30. I am a Restauranteur myself.

    Not once on the page does it say Top 10….. It is merely a suggestion of places that the community have picked as places to go when in Johannesburg. I don’t believe that any of the restaurants mentioned are at all mediocre. They all have different attributes that draw people towards them. But then again it is a matter of opinion. I say, congratulations to those restaurants mentioned. I have been to many of the shops listed and those that I haven’t I will most definitely try them out.

  31. Any suggestions for Edenvale/Bedfordview areas or even more eastwards?

  32. Bellagio in Illovo . Order off the specials board – world class food .best bread in Jozi . And really good value for money . Love the fresh flowers everywhere.

  33. One things is for sure….we have many great restaurants of all types!

  34. Any list that leaves out Cafe del Sol and Licorish is not complete. These two NEVER disappoint… food is consistently of the highest quality, and you have to book or face possible disappointment at both – that proves loyal patrons LOVE to go back to them both.

  35. I disagree with NexDoor being on this list. The food is not all that and the service is horrible. This list needs to be reviewed.

  36. + 1 for tortellino d’oro

  37. Leafy Green-I will never go back there again..they overcharged me even though the price was supposed to be per plate basis and not by weight.

    My picks

    1)Best Italian-La Trinita next to Kyalami racetrack voted 101 best small restaurants in the world

    2)Best Thai-Sai Thai in Cyrildene

    3)Best Chinese-Guangzhou in Rivonia

    4)Best Indonesian/Malaysian-Wok Asia takeaway

    5)Best Japanese-Japa in Rivonia

    6)Best Indian-Thava’s in Norwood

    7)Best Seafood-Fishmonger Illovo

    8)Best Egg Benedict-Fournos at Dunkeld

    9)Best Steak-Turn n Tender Illovo

    10)Best Korean-Arirang

    Enjoy guys!

    • Do you know of any good steakhouses on the eastrand?

  38. Must mention La Vie en Rose in Illovo…..best setting, best service, delish food and best kept secret…….love it there!

  39. Shocking list… what about cafe del sol, 500 at saxon, restaurant mosaic, dw 11 13, signature, level 4, grillhouse, wombles, central one, tortellino d’oro. Clearly you know nothing if you pick kong roast haha what a joke!

  40. I agree Kong is far too average for this list. How can it win over one of SA’s top ten DW1113? Nah.

  41. Kong Fourways Cedar Square, great service, amazingly delicios food, Great Ambiance… Love It

  42. Been to La Perreirinha in Rosettenville, and to iL Giardinio in Milpark, both good but would like to try some others when I come up to Jozi

  43. Lovefood in Braamfontein is big deal my friends.

  44. Leafy Greens is incredible! Deserves to be rated as Jozi’s TOP restaurant.

  45. Bistro Vine in Parkhurst!

  46. Lol Kong ? Really? I’ve had better Asian street food than their generic offerings. Cube is definitely the top of the heap-but save for special occasions. My personal favs: Wombles-Parktown North , Wang Thai- Sandton City, So Yum-Hyde Park, Franco’s-Parkview 🙂

  47. Full stop cafe! How did they miss this list!? Food, drinks, bar and amazing management.

  48. Been to the majority of these places, nothing to write home about. Are you even a foodie? Just because people go there doesn’t mean the food is good.

  49. Mozambiquecan prawns from 33 high street, Modderfontein.

    • I agree. All-round great food.

  50. What about Casalinga italian bestro in Honeydew (opposite garden world). Food is devine, waiters well trained, warm comfortable atmosphere. Check it out , you will not be disappointed.

  51. Leafy Greens is amazing! Fresh inventive vegan food, most of it straight from their organic gardens. they offer a sumptuous Buffett filled with both raw and cooked options of real healthy amazing options… And desserts are crazy good! So good infact I wish they had a restaurantbin CT

  52. Dw eleven 13 and the leopard probably the best of this lot are missing . This looks like a bit of paid for advertising

  53. I have to say, Villa Bianca, the best seafood restaurant in Johannesburg as well as having outstanding service. Babrazon Road, Croydon, Kempton Prk.

  54. Nexdoor used to be super but not anymore .

  55. My favourite: Local Grill in Parktown North

  56. Le Souffle in Pineslopes, Fourways is AMAZING and deserves a mention too! Great service and fantastic food!

  57. The Leopard in Melville. Andrea Burgener is a genius.

    Yolo in Melville for the best pizzas in Jozi.

  58. Bellagio in Illovo is outstanding there homemade bread is enough to rate service and food the best in Jozi

    • Bellagio is definitely my favorite! Best service and consistently good food! Yes and that bread is seriously good!

  59. Burnside’s Cafe in Craighall Park is one of my favourites! Amazing food and awesome setting.

  60. Great for Coobs to be #1! Certainly my favorite restaurant!!

  61. Kong Roast is no way worthy of even a mention here! Im not sure how it made it??????Great decor but thats where it ends! Food and service are both terrible! Read last weekends write up in the paper for Kong Roast got a wopping 2 star rating overall!Coobs is fantastic in all dept!

  62. What about The Smokehouse and Grill. The only place in jhb too do slow smoked ribs a proper pulled pork sandwich(a pork shoulder slow smoked for 14hrs topped with coleslaw on a bun) amongst other smoked products. Never mind the peanut butter ice cream topped with butterscotch sauce

  63. Café del Sol in Olivedale.

    Some of the restaurants on the top ten list would not make my top 100 list. Kong Roast is not as good as it was before they moved.

  64. There are really awesome, small restaurants in the CBD. On Loveday str. There’s also a really cool pub called The Guildhall.

  65. Yoh.wow amaizing Asian foods.i gues it must be on top 10 list..Located in Gauteng Rosebank,Sandton,Lynnwood PTA nd Bantry Bay Capetown.wow.inbox me if u want more info

  66. Can totally vouch for Coobs! Amazing service, concise and delicious menu and great atmosphere.

    I can also seriously recommend The Leopard in Mellville for something different. Great, simple food but I recommend making a booking beforehand as they get pretty busy.

  67. I would have to say that Cafe de Sol should be right up there! Incredible food…

    • I agree Cafe de Sol is fabulous. Food is consistently ecellent. Much better choice than some of those on the list of Top 10.
      The Grillhouse, The Green Peppercorn – also very good.

  68. These restaurants are ok nothing fantastic. What about some proper restaurants: Grill house, Codfather, Koi, Willoughby’s

    Come on, really now?

    This article should be entitled top 10 mediocre restaurants in JH

    • VAHITH I’ll have to disagree with you, unfortunately I have regular meetings in some of the restaurants you’ve just mentioned and I’ve been disappointed a few times…
      (maybe they’ve improved by now)

      I frequent seven restaurants out of this list and they get impressive every-time…

  69. Brilliant restaurants – this list could be endless! Love all of their funky, unique styles. JHB has many food personalities – am enjoying getting to know them!

  70. Cube is phenomenal. Xnuku, you don’t know what you’re talking about if you think Cube is gimmicky. It’s unpretentious and focuses only on what’s important; incredible food.

  71. Such a fan of Coobs!
    Best wine list and most interesting food combinations in Jozi. Definitely worth multiple visits.

  72. Have been to all of them Not one rates a special mention. It’s all gimmicks and nothing special about the food!

    • Thanks for your insightful comment.

    • Cannot believe the comment that Leafy Greens is gimmicky! How can organically grown produce be gimmicky? This is the real deal. Fresh and healthy. Get with it ,girl!

    • So tell us what’s great then !

  73. Coobs is amazing!

    I can’t get enough of their food and when the menu changes it’s a whole new experience, making you fall in love all over again.

  74. Very informative post for those who are visiting this beautiful city in South Africa. Great menus with low price.

  75. Hi

    Delhi Palace Indian Restaurant is a must visit for Indian food lovers. Great taste for all North and South Indian foods


    • chilling thyme café in Randburg! child friendly pizzeria with Portuguese food options its amazing try it!

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