Johannesburg has been upping its game in recent months and competing with the Mother City with some of the coolest hangouts around. From wine bars to great tapas, it’s all here and waiting for the summer months and holidays ahead.
1. The Landmark Cocktail Bar, Bryanston
With its opulent interiors and warm, cosy atmosphere, Landmark is the ideal spot for a great night out. With a wide selection of wines, whiskeys, and other premium spirits, Landmark gives a good reason to get dressed up and enjoy a night out in Jozi. Adjacent to Café Botanica Del Sol, it’s also a great pre or post-dinner aperitif spot.
The Landmark has based its interior on well-known Jozi landmarks including the Rissik Street Post Office and Vilakazi Street in Soweto to reflect the city it’s owner’s hold dear. Here, the cocktails are crafted seriously, with some classics and signature drinks in the mix.
Address: Bryanston Shopping Centre. Cnr William Nicol & Ballyclare
Phone: 011 463 5081
2. Bliss Juicery, Craighall Park
Getting healthy from the inside out is what it’s all about these days and there’s no better way than to start with a fresh dose of vitamins and minerals served straight into your immune system from this tiny spot. Bliss Juicery is based in Craighall Park and offers a wide range of tasty veggie, nut milk, and fruit juices.
Make sure to try the Detox Shot after a night out, made with charcoal, ginger and coconut water!
Address: Colony Centre, 345 Jan Smuts Avenue, Craighall, Johannesburg
Phone: 073 131 4006
3. The Pudding Shop, Parktown North
Tucked away behind the well-known La Cucina di Ciro in Parktown North, The Pudding Shop serves up breakfasts, lunch and tea time treats with its atrium-like ambience. The eatery is also dotted with various bits and pieces for purchase. This is a great spot for a late brunch or a breakfast with the girls. Be sure to try some of the vegan dishes.
Address: 43 7th Ave Parktown North, Johannesburg, South Africa
Phone: 061 444 3493
4. The Orbit, Braamfontein
Longing for some soulful jazz and an eclectic venue that serves up generous meals? Situated in hip Braamfontein, The Orbit is home to both local and international Jazz acts as well as some pretty massive burgers. Book a night out with a group of friends here, and you may get the chance to spot the next major local jazz star in the making.
The Orbit is born from a small jazz social club that was established in Troyeville on the east side of the city in the early 2000s and has grown into a revered and popular venue.
Address: 81 de Korte Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa
Phone: 011 339 66 45 or 078 398 62 50
5. The National Eatery and Speakeasy, Parktown North
Chef James Diack’s new baby in Parktown North serves up his familiar style of wholesome literal farm-to-table food. Between the varied tapas menu and the smoky flavour of the BBQ plate, there is more than one visit required to The National to get a full grip on this menu. The artisanal wine menu complements the bistro style of this eatery well, and just about anything will go with those buttermilk chicken wings.
This is the place for you if you love Coobs in Parkhurst, but want something a little more laid back for your meal! Bookings are necessary if you want to avoid being disappointed.
Address: 19 4th Avenue, Parktown North, Johannesburg
Phone: 011 327 3030
6. Hell’s Kitchen, Melville
Not related in any way to Gordon Ramsay, Hell’s Kitchen is central to the neighbourhood revival currently going on in Melville. Great for drinks or its Southern-style dishes, or both, Hell’s has become popular as a great night out most days of the week. The music rolls through the ages of rock and this is certainly not your typical Joburg club. Come as you are, enjoy a side of cornbread with your smoked pork belly and dance until the early hours to some dirty rock ‘n roll.
Wash everything down with a Hellfire and ‘Be naked when I get home’.
Address: Shop 4. 7th Street Melville, Johannesburg
Phone: 079 980 9591
7. Grain Food & Wood, City and Suburban
On the outskirts of the Maboneng precinct, Grain Food & Wood shares it’s outside courtyard during the week with an inner-city school. This is the place to visit if you’re looking for a delicious, healthy meal with a twist. The menu is small but caters well for the gluten intolerant among us. The shop sells deli items too and stocks some beautifully-crafted wooden items from The Woodlady.
Address: Corner of Van Beek and Beacon Road, Johannesburg
Phone: 072 440 6719 / 083 407 2377 / 079 889 8826
8. 27Boxes, Melville
Though its construction raised a few eyebrows with its structure being formed from shipping containers, 27Boxes in Melville has proven that its design is the perfect retail space needed in Jozi. Small retailers, eateries and designers finally have a space to call home, while the interesting layout of this centre makes it fun to explore. Perfect for a family excursion to grab an artisan coffee, snap up a scoop of Paul’s Homemade Ice-cream or view some new jewelry designs.
Address: 4th Avenue, Melville, Johannesburg, South Africa
Phone: 082 448 1835
9. Ace + Pearl, Craighall Park
This teensy wine bar in Craighall Park delights guests with a select list of lesser-known varietals and farm options. A booking is absolutely necessary and an adventurous palate for vino doesn’t hurt. The atmosphere is relaxed, making it an ideal first stop on a night out in Jozi.
Ace + Pearl is a project by the Warm & Glad team, who in my opinion are the top ‘curators of cool’ in Jozi city right now.
Address: Shop 8, Albans Square, 357 Jan Smuts Avenue, Craighall Park, Gauteng
10. The Fat Zebra, Linden
With its contemporary black and white design, The Fat Zebra looks completely different to anything in its surrounds in sleepy Linden. The breakfast menu reminds me of a trip to America, all bacon and syrup and pancakes.
The Fat Zebra is a great spot to work from or meet up for a mid-week lunch escape from busy Joburg. They don’t take bookings with so few seats so it’s better to arrive early!
Address: Corner of 3rd Avenue and 7th Street, Linden, Gauteng
Phone: 082 469 5757
11. Milk Bar, Kramerville
Milk Bar is a venue that welcomes the flux of the day. Start off the day with great coffee and a breakfast served from 6.30am or join later in the evening for drinks at the bar. Guests can lounge about in the comfy African-inspired interiors that hint at adventures across the continent or use this as a launch pad into a wild night out at Katy’s Palace Bar next door.
Address: 6 Desmond Street, Kramerville, Johannesburg
Phone: 072 641 8977
12. The Living Room, Maboneng
Overlooking the iconic Joburg skyline, there’s no better way to end off a weekend than with sundowners at The Living Room in Maboneng. The botanical influence on the décor here creates a fairytale environment to sip on cocktails and cold beers. Stare out over the city while soaking in the vertical gardens around you. This venue never gets boring with its changing gardens always being replanted and growing around the open structure of this unique rooftop bar.
Address: 20 Kruger Street, Johannesburg
Phone: 082 370 9284
13. The Grazing Room
Walking through the formal dining area of DW Eleven-13, guests don’t really expect to find the informal space through a door that forms The Grazing Room. This little spot serves up interpretations of tapas that show a South African influence. The idea here is to ‘graze’ through a variety of small plates all the while enjoying some very fine wines. Bookings are essential and make sure to go in group, it’s more fun sharing that way!
Address: Dunkeld West Shopping Centre, Cnr Jan Smuts and Bompas Dunkeld, Gauteng
Phone: 011 341 0663
14. The March Hare, Maboneng
Between the art of coffee cupping and an eccentric list of cocktails, The March Hare’s identity can seem a little confusing, as well as its location. Once you’ve made your way into the basement of the Museum of African Design and found a seat on the mismatched chairs under a lampshade, you’re sure to discover one of Joburg’s best spots to spend a weekend night out though.
The March Hare offers both coffee and bar courses and hosts events on occasion that are injected with their different sort of flair for the unfamiliar. It’s all very curious (and curiouser).
Since publication, the March Hare has recently announced it’s closing its doors.
Address: 281 Commissioner Street, Johannesburg
Phone: 072 6137514 or 082 0674248
15. Eatery JHB, Parkmore
The last and the best, in my opinion, is Eatery JHB. The new-age bistro with its open industrial kitchen, friendly staff and well thought out wine list has been a top spot in Jozi for a while, but after recent renovations this restaurant is even better than ever, serving up its seasonal menu with a quiet flair and undeniable charm.
All the ingredients here are sourced from local producers, making sure that everything is as fresh and delicious as it can possibly be. Bookings recommended.
Address: 11th Street, Sandton
Phone: 011 783 1570
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Which of these uber hip Johannesburg eateries have you tried? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured image credit: @grainfoodandwood via Facebook