The restaurant scene in J’oburg is thriving. Authentic Italian-style trattorias are packed full every night. Urbanites throng to the local bars to get their fill of drinks. And a new wave of younger generation J’oburgs are seeking out fresh, exciting cuisines.
There are many excellent ethnic eateries, from casual Portuguese establishments to Chinese spots. Johannesburg is also the place to find two of Africa’s Top 10 restaurants, as well as the best steakhouse on the continent. Here’s a quick round-up of the top options in various categories to be found in the most populated city in South Africa.
Little Addis Café in Maboneng
Serving up fast, fresh foods, Little Addis is situated in a nicely energetic location in Maboneng. One dish of particular note is the traditional Ethiopian platter that offers a range of stews with light injera pancakes.
District Six Eatery in Emmarentia
Okay, so the tablecloths are plastic, albeit vibrant plastic, and the surroundings relatively basic, but the food at District Six Eatery is more than worthy of your presence. Try the traditional Cape Malay menu – smoorsnoek, lamb denningvleis, and the wonderful milktart.
Orient at Melrose Arch
The slick, urban Orient at Melrose Arch provides fragrantly spiced foods. The highlights include green seafood curry in the Thai style, aromatically spicy prawn soup, bang bang duck, crystal spring rolls, and, if you can endure the heat, try the Caesar salad with Japanese wasabi.
Sai Thai at Cyrildene
Unpretentious and unlicensed little place, so be sure to BYOB. The fans are drawn in night after night on account of dishes such as tom yum soup, ‘heavenly’ shrimp, ginger chicken, and curries specially developed by the Sai Thai chef. Do be aware that the lack of parking can pose something of an obstacle.
DW Eleven-13 at Dunkeld West
Chef Marthinus Ferreira’s cuisines are precise and hearty, from the sirloin dry-aged steak to the dulce de leche ice cream. DW Eleven-13 is among the Top Ten rated restaurant on the continent, so be sure to book early.
Clico Boutique Hotel at Rosebank
Old-fashioned African cuisine but with a modern interpretation. Clico Boutique Hotel offers something different to its patrons but still manages to charm in a very personal way.
Assaggi at Illovo
Generous portions and well-crafted, that’s what can be said about Assaggi’s cuisines. If it’s on chef’s special, try the egg taglionlini ai porcini. During the summer months, dining outside is the ideal way to enjoy the atmosphere all the more.
Dino’s Trattoria at Sandton
Since the 90s, Dino’s Trattoria has been serving up beautiful Italian dishes. And, of course, an Italian restaurant always indulges in great pizza – Dino’s wood-fired pizza is amazing! The sense of an airy Mediterranean café is achieved through large windows and sidewalk tables, in addition to the wonderful aromas.
Mezepoli at Melrose Arch
The small platters like sheftalia and grilled sardines and feta-stuffed calamari are terrific. And you’ll know that Mezepoli is a great place on your arrival as it’s bound to be packed full.
Dosa Hut at Fordsburg
Among the 14 different dosa varieties, you can choose from the highlights which include gobi 65 – cauliflower, which has been marinated in 65 different spices. Needless to say, Dosa Hut also provides a wide selection of breads, curries, daals, paneers – you name it and you’ll more than likely find it.