They call Joburg the concrete jungle. It’s South Africa and Africa’s fast paced economic centre. But there is a lot more to Joburg. It’s a vibrant city of dreamers, where game changers are crafted, the entertainment and culture capital. It takes you on a roller coaster but also has the right medicine to fix you up – through your plate. Because of the diversity of the people in Johannesburg this has led to a change in the way chefs cater to their patrons. It has moved from just being local, offering a South African taste to being global, catering for everyone. Joburg is the undisputed foodie capital of South Africa. All types of travellers are accommodated, high profile visitors, business people, general tourists as well as the locals.
For the ultimate taste of Johannesburg, dig in on our insider tips for the best restaurants, along with where to find the best dinner, lunch, shisa’nyama and markets. Let the palate tantalizing experience begin.
For those with sophisticated taste
This is one of Johannesburg’s trendy places to unwind, as it caters for a great contingent of the Jozi community. This brand is synonymous with consistent, high-quality food – whether it’s tapas and high chairs for those looking for a great night. It is also perfect for those looking for a quiet evening of fine food and wine. Their overall desert menu, very light but filling mains are highlights.
Food for Africa
Yeoville Dinner Club
This beautiful African restaurant is the brainchild of a very interesting and we’ll travelled guy who goes by the name Sanza, who grew up in Johannesburg right in the middle of it all. His love for African cuisine has led him to open a restaurant that brings Africans and visitors alike together. The banquet-style food reflects mostly African people and cultures around him. The dishes are carefully selected for all patrons to enjoy. These are mainly vegetarian, though there are options for meat lovers too. Patrons also get a chance to taste the African beer (umqombothi) with a twist, in fact there is nothing plain about this experience. Come geared for a dinner characterised by adventure.
Check out Yeoville Dinner club on Instagram and Facebook to learn more.
For the comforting taste of South Africa
Sakhumzi is a
beloved Soweto establishment serving traditional South African
cuisine at its finest. A mix of South African specifically picked
veggies is a great starter, as is the steam bread served with just
butter. There’s quite a wide range of chicken, lamb and vegetarian
dishes, but the tripe (malamogodu) dish comes most highly
The impressive dessert menu is honest and simple, with traditional South African ingredients prepared in a modern way.
For that Kasi Flavour and good vibes
This vibrant establishment is well known for its well-presented steaks and grills. Must-try entries includes lamb, pork chops, chili/ traditional sausage and flame grilled ox livers and a bowl of chakalaka, spinach and Pap. The meat is wet-aged and full of flavour, with cuts grilled to perfection and served plain, basted or with an in-house rub. Choose from classics like Black label, Amstel, Krone and Castle for some surprising variations of the local beer and wines – they are perfection.
For the love of the great outdoors
Four-way Farmers Market
You’ll find a delightful mix of the orient and the new world at this market. Think sticky chicken wings, tacos and burgers that are perfect for sharing. Enjoy options like paella, cheese boards and salads for the health-conscious. If you’re undecided, the braai meat option is your best bet. While this market does have other appealing food stands, the Something Fresh stand and its finger food and colorful cocktails is the main event. The highlight is that vegetarians and meat lovers alike will always find something to love. If you have room, share the crispy waffles served with cream or ice cream, pancakes or doughnuts with a filling to end the day.
The Joburg food and restaurant scene is massive but if you have only a little time to indulge in the best of what’s on offer, these are the best places to start. Happy eating!