Explore Norwood


Norwood is smack bang in the middle of Joburg’s northern suburbs. Bordered by Houghton, Orange Grove and the Sandton CBD, this quirky corner of the city is the perfect place to explore on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Similar to the super trendy Melville, the suburb’s streets are lined with delis, cafes and corner shops filled with trinkets and troves. History lives here, so pay Norwood a visit as soon as you can. 

Norwood

The History of Norwood

Norwood is one of Joburg’s oldest suburbs. Most of its houses were built in the 1920s and 30s, giving the area a distinct nostalgic charm. During the 1950s, Norwood saw an influx of immigrant Italian families. The suburb thus became known as Joburg’s “Little Italy”, as many of these families opened up delis and restaurants.

Norwood is also home to a large Jewish community, as well as Middle Eastern and African expats. This unique mix of cultures has birthed an urban melting pot of cuisines along Norwood’s main street, Grant Avenue. From schwarmas to tacos and everything in between, Grant Avenue has something to offer all palettes. After tucking into a delicious traditional meal, stroll down the avenue to do a bit of shopping or sight-seeing. The locals will welcome you warmly, especially if you happen to be of Italian or Jewish decent. Eat a ton and enjoy yourself. After all, that’s what this neighbourhood is all about.

Norwood
Grant Avenue (LoveNorwood.com)

Exploring Down Grant Avenue 

Grant Avenue stretches from Upper Houghton right through to Orange Grove. During peak time traffic, it’s a nightmare! But, on weekends things calm down a little. We don’t recommend that you attempt to find a parking spot along this avenue though. Rather catch a lift or hop on your scooters. Nevertheless, Norwood’s bustling side streets are the perfect place to go exploring. Drag your friends along and get ready for a multicultural experience unlike any other in the city. Although the suburb is often compared to Melville thanks to its artists vibe and foodie culture, Norwood is a place entirely of its own. But, one thing is for certain – it isn’t called one of Joburg’s best dining neighbourhood’s for nothing.

Eating

The Schwarma Company 

The Schwarma Co. is a Mediterranean meets Middle Eastern restaurant nestled in the heart of the Norwood eatery district. Their menu is generous and homely, welcoming the hungriest of patrons. Featuring super fresh salads, schwarmas, laffa, kebabs and hamburgers, this is the place to go if you are looking to tuck into comfort food made well.

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Baha Taco

Baha Taco brings Mexican street food to Grant Avenue. Using only locally grown, organic stoneground flour their tortillas are hand rolled in the traditional method. Needless to say, their menu is Mexican food lovers dream. Binge on soft corn tacos, cheesy quesadillas or wood roasted nachos. Finish up your feast with chocolately churros or a  salted plantain ice cream with chocolate crumble!

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Next Door & Ready To Go 

Next Door and RTG are fusion restaurants at their very best. Combining a Kosher deli, Italian pizzeria and Asian diner, these adjoining restaurants pull off the extraordinary. If you are having one of those days when you just can’t decide what kind of cuisine you want treat yourself to, this place is your answer. Offering everything from monster burgers covered in monkeygland sauce, to green Thai fish curry and smoked trout bagels smothered in crème fraiche, Next Door and RTG could please the fussiest diners.

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Thava Indian Restaurant 

Thava has a reputation for being one of the best Indian cuisine restaurants in Johannesburg. Specialising in fragrant delicacies from the Kerala region, Thava offers diners a unique tapas sharing experience. Served in tasting portions as a starter, or as a main shared meal, guests can select from a combination of any items off the menu. With tons of vegetarian options, this is the ideal restaurant to take a large group of friends or family.

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Thava Indian Restaurant

Queen Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant 

Ethiopian cuisine seems to be the “it” thing of the moment. Get on board the band wagon and visit Queen Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant, situated just off Grant Avenue. Queen Sheba pays special attention to their vegetarian, vegan and health conscious diners. Their dishes are freshly prepared from quality spices imported straight from Ethiopia. Using locally sourced, naturally grown ingredients, raised and grown without pesticides or antibiotics, they produce mouth watering platters to share.

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The Factory Restaurant & Crafters Bar 

Last, but not least on the list of Norwood eating holes is the Factory Restaurant and Crafters Bar. Located with the anti-mall Factory on Grant precinct, The Factory Restaurant serves up hearty, home-style meals made from real ingredients with honest value. Stop by on a Sunday afternoon for their awesome spit braai at the outdoor courtyard. Crafters Bar is an enclosed rooftop cocktail bar serving light snacks and meals. This is where you want to be come sundown in Norwood. With an 360° panoramic view, Crafters is the go-to venue for sundowners.

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Norwood
Factory on Grant Restaurant

Shopping

Factory on Grant 

The Factory on Grant prides itself on being an “oasis for creatives”. Established in 2013 to tackle the monotony of Joburg mall culture, Factory on Grant provides shoppers with a unique, curated retail experience. Pop into Vintage and Lace – an independent store selling gift ware, home decor, antiques and up-cycled second hand furniture. Factory on Grant is an ever-adapting space, so you never quite know what you may find. But, that’s the beauty and excitement of it.

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Norwood Mall

Moving away from Grant Avenue, Norwood Mall offer the suburb’s residents over 50 retail stores to choose from. Stand out stores include, the Norwood Health Emporium, The Nut Lady, The Corsetiere and Readers Warehouse. Once you have shopped up a storm, grab a bite to eat at either the Food Lovers Kosher Cafe or the up market Woolies Cafe.

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Norwood
Norwood Mall

Culture & Entertainment 

Hashtag Escape 

Norwood may be relatively small, but there is more than enough to keep you entertained here. Challenge yourself to an escape room experience at Hashtag Escape. There are three rooms to choose from, each with their own level of difficulty. The Closure Room is the most advanced and immersive Escape Room in South Africa. Brave an abandoned house to solve the mystery and save yourself. Bring along at least three friends to help you escape your fate.

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The Satyagraha House 

Norwood was once home to Mohandas Gandhi. He lived in the residential neighbourhood of Orchards from 1908 to 1909, dedicating that time to developing his philosophy of passive resistance, Satyagraha. You can visit the Satyagraha House museum, or stay over for a night in one of the seven guest rooms.

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The Satyagraha House

Have you explored Norwood before? Let us know about it! 

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