Johannesburg, Jozi, or Joburg. No matter what you call it, it truly is the food capital of South Africa. From American delights to Zulu treats, there’s something for every single palate under the sun. For more than a decade Joburg.co.za has written about restaurants and food trends and now we want to take it one step further and create a digital food map of the entire city! So, without further ado, let’s get cracking and introduce you to restaurants in Johannesburg.
What Are You Looking For?
If you’re craving shiza nyama, a cold beer and a vibrant atmosphere with township music to set the tone, then Chaf Pozi is definitely the place to go. Located in Soweto, you won’t have a more authentic South African experience than this. Some of the menu goodies you can look forward to including chicken livers, chakalaka, pap and gravy, and even traditional dessert!
Hombaze African Cuisine
Forget about the long trip to your home base and just visit Hombaze located in Parkmore, Sandton for traditional African cuisine that will impress even your gogo. Offering quality and healthy food paired with exceptional service you won’t want to go anywhere else. Hombaze is also rated as one of the top African cuisine restaurants in the country so give it a shot.
Located on the famous Vilakazi Street in Soweto, Nambitha is one of the most popular African eateries in Soweto. Serving soul food while offering catering services, conferencing and venue hire as well as buffet bookings; no matter what the event is, you’re guaranteed a delicious plate of satisfying African cuisine with a touch of a la carte menu options.
Best known for its boneless chicken wings, Hooters came to South Africa nearly ten years ago and has grown from strength the strength. The American brand brought along a wooden sports bar feel complete with Budweiser on tap, spicing up things when it comes to restaurants in Johannesburg. Whether you’re catching up with mates over drinks and chow or watching the Lions take the Super Rugby Cup, Hooters is a fun place to hang out. We highly recommend you visit the Fourways branch.
Texan Wing Bar
The Texan Wing Bar at Montecasino is the brainchild of the marketing team behind the American brewery, Budweiser. Serving up Tex-Mex style cooking complete with spicy wings, big steaks, and cold beer, the Texan Wing Bar is like taking a trip to Dallas without stepping foot outside of Johannesburg.
Situated in Melville’s 27 Boxes, The Countess has been around for quite some time. Are you craving a burger so action-packed that it should have a guest appearance on Game of Thrones? Look no further than the 200g beef burger braai’d in oxtail fat and served on a brioche bun with mature brie, explosive chilli, doubled-edged aioli, elusive greens, fiery tomatoes, and seductive pickles… we need to sit down after that. Wow. Steampunk meets gourmet food. Get yourself to The Countess as soon as possible.
Love Me So
From Melville with love! Love Me So does not have set dishes of ramen; instead, you build your own. You start by choosing a broth (chicken and sake, mushrooms and miso, or chicken and pork), a protein (pork belly, crispy shredded pork, butter roasted chicken breast, or aged beef sirloin), and then finish it off with four toppings, such as ramen egg, kimchi, spring onions, beans, slow-roasted tomato, and so on and so forth.
Tapas, noodles, and drinks. That’s what the People’s Republic of Noodles (PRON, for short) is all about. Just kidding! PRON is an Asian owned restaurant that’s stood the test of time in the culinary rat-race of Linden. The restaurant is owned by the very same family who owned Red Chamber in Hyde Park. PRON specialises in cuisine native to Northern China – noodles.
The Great Eastern Food Bar
Every now and then a restaurant comes along that everyone rants and raves about. The Great Eastern Food Bar located on the outskirts of Melville, is one of these places. It’s an eatery with a diverse menu, kitted out to tantalise the taste buds of even the weirdest food critics around town. Spoilt for choice, their food items boast an eclectic mix of Asian-inspired dishes from dim sum, smoked trout steamed buns to bowls of ramen.
Father Coffee has gathered some of the best beans from the best bean producers around the world. Not only have they gathered the best beans from African countries, but they have sourced beans from as far as Brazil, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. This coffee shop is by far one of our favourite restaurants in Johannesburg, thanks to its delicious baked delights. These treats are always a great combination to have with Father Coffee’s fresh brew.
Known for its quality coffee and being associated with luxury brands such as McLaren and Rolls Royce, Naked Coffee is taking the coffee game to a whole new level. Our favourite Naked shops can be found inside the luxury car dealership Daytona at Melrose Arch.
The Whippet is formed around the ethos of a lifestyle approach to business; where they celebrate the butchers, the barristers, the bakers, the growers, the businessmen and women, and the artists who make neighbourhoods tick. Pop into The Whippet for that first cup of premium roasted coffee and some breakfast in the morning, or feast on scrumptious cakes or a relaxed lunch.
Ghazal North Indian Restaurant
Situated in Melrose Arch, Ghazal offers authentic North Indian cuisine that features sensational spice balance and a wide variety of curries. A highlight is the prawn masala, which has a delicate, mild blend of spices that complements the sweet prawns perfectly. And don’t miss out on their comprehensive wine list and the best puffed garlic naan in Jozi.
Lugz Indian Cuisine is an Indian restaurant that specialises in food that is full of flavour and character. They offer signature Indian cuisine favourites like bunny chow and curry, among others. Their delicious meals burst with flavour. A favourite for many is the bunny chow, this spicy treat is a definite must-try!
The menu is massive at Sarvana Bhavan with an extensive list of different veggie curries, a Chinese wok (yup), and lovely treats made in their clay oven. In fact, this restaurant is so South Indian that their entire kitchen comes from that region. Another interestingly South Indian thing is that all the plates, cups, spoons, forks, knives, etc. are similar to those you can find when eating at a restaurant in India.
Cafe Del Sol Botanico
Looking for some of the best Italian in town? Then visit Café del Sol Botanico at Bryanston Shopping Centre. Click here to read about our initial visit to this lovely Italian restaurant. Their selection of pasta dishes have become culinary landmarks – hearty, homemade pastas ranging from Nonna’s ragu, gnocchi, seafood risotto and stuffed calamari – and are absolute musts when you visit for a lazy lunch, vibey dinner or an indulgent treat. They’ve also launched a new luxury delivery line, Deli Via, that’ll deliver their famous Italian dishes right to your door.
For great, wholesome, and authentic Italian cuisine perfect for the entire family, Gemelli at Posthouse Link Centre is an absolute gem that you need to visit when in the area. Their contemporary Italian food menu explores innovative and contemporary ways of paying homage to timeless Italian flavours and combinations, with a memorable touch of Gemelli flair. Each plate is full of flavour, colour, and detail, as well as fresh, seasonal and ethically sourced ingredients. There’s sure to be something for everyone, as their menu includes a classic pasta selection, a hearty selection of meat dishes, delicious starters, and decadent desserts.
Lanser’s On Main
It is evident that words such as decorum and chivalry are disappearing from the lexicon shared between Joburg restaurants. The culture of dining out has turned into something resembling an assembly line to convey guests into the one end and out the other. Enter Chef Lanser Fourie. His soft-spoken voice, big smile, and demeanor are set to change all that. It’s his bistro in Bryanston that’s slipped the lever on this conveyor-belt style of eating out and brought back the fundamentals of hospitality.
The Mediterranean Basin is known for turning mealtime into a social experience. Ethos is perfectly designed for this. Big, comfortable booths line the centre of the main dining hall, flanked by intimate tables, perfect for housing smaller dinner parties. Right in the centre, one will find an olive tree – the lifeblood of the Mediterranean. And just like the Mediterranean has a beautiful view of the Aegean Sea, Ethos has a beautiful view to the north, thanks to floor to ceiling windows, perfect for enjoying sundowners with friends and compatriots.
Mezepoli is as Mediterranean as they come (if the Med was known for great sushi as well). Worth trying is the assortment of mushrooms grilled with rock salt and dressed with olive oil, lemon and fresh parsley. And it goes without saying, the crispy spanakopita filled with spinach and feta is on par with the street food you will find in Athens. What would a visit to a Greek and Turkish inspired restaurant be without diving face-first into the salad section? The rocket and spinach salad is a leafy greens fanatic’s dream with its sundried tomato, chèvre, pine nuts, and mustard balsamic vinaigrette.
Are you looking for authentic Greek restaurants in Johanneburg? We’ve got you sorted. Plaka has been delivering authentic Greek cuisine to Joburg foodies for over 26 years. Their menu is generous, offering a variety of traditional meze, fish dishes and vegetarian dips. Made from the freshest ingredients, their food is simple yet delicious. Having eaten our way through the menu, we recommend the meze platter for two, a hearty feast of pita bread, assorted dips, falafel, handcut chips, tomato salad and grilled halloumi. Paired with a chilled glass of white wine, this is more than satisfying. Sit and talk for hours over this meal with loved ones for a true Greek dining experience.
Back from the grave, Ba-Pita has returned! A hipster hangout during the 80s and 90s in Yeoville, Ba-Pita has set up shop in boho Norwood. Shawarmas, laffas, koftas… it’s safe to say that the more things change the more they stay the same. Fortunately for us, Ba-Pita has kept many of its celebrated dishes on the menu, introduce old school flavours to a whole new generation of diners.
The Schwarma Co
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.
With dishes called ‘Land of Milk and Honey’ and ‘Breakfast in the Middle East’, it’s safe to say that Teta Mari has got a thick Jewish theme going on – and we love it! Find food that could easily have come out of any Jewish grandmother’s kitchen here. This place is definitely worth a visit.
Looking for Portuguese restaurants in Johannesburg? For quite some time now J’s Diner has been the talk of Blairgowrie with its tender peri-peri chicken and authentic décor and design. We all love good Portuguese food, right? Be sure to grab a table and a drink and get lost in J’s awesome menu. You will not be disappointed – not by a long shot. From gourmet burgers to classic dishes from Lisbon it’s all here. What are you waiting for? Go get your prawn on!
Portuguese cuisine has always been popular in Joburg, and Restaurante Parreirinha rates right up there with the best. This authentic Portuguese restaurant located in La Rochelle, the South of Joburg, opened its doors in 1975. ishes such as the Steak a Parreirinha (beautiful rump dressed in ham and asparagus and basted in a secret mustard sauce) and the grilled pork slices (sliced pork fillet topped with a fried egg, and garlic sauce) are the reason why it’s always packed to the brim. Of course, as an authentic Portuguese eatery, there are prawns aplenty and tender grilled chicken to die for.
The Pigalle brand is one that Joburgers have come to love, cherish and trust over the years. It was started by passionate individuals who have instilled that same drive in their staff. From kitchen to the front desk, visitors are treated with respect golden-rimmed by excellent service. Any past and present patron of this classy establishment can tell you that Pigalle has set the bar quite high when it comes to upmarket dining.
Looking for South American restaurants in Johannesburg? We’ve got you! Recently relocated to Rosebank, Che Argentine Grill is your South American friend in Jozi. The menu is inspired by Bernado’s grandmother who taught him how to cook and Oscar’s love for South American food. Tapas items such as albondigas en sal (pork and beef meatballs bathed in a sofrito) and the octopus completed with potato and pimenton oil are firm examples of what Argentinian comfort food is. The starters (or entradas in Spanish) are simple and familiar. The empanadas are made in-house and stuffed with only the best quality ingredients.
Chef Nikita Zoulis – of J.Rabbit Tequilaria and The Whippet fame – heads back to the traditional way of cooking at Linden‘s Gaucho. Just like they do in the pampas lowlands, an open flame is the name of the game. Though South America is known for its consumption of beef, Gaucho embraces the continent’s lesser-known love affair with seafood. This is shown in the restaurant’s take on grilled Chilean sea bass (or more accurately, Patagonian toothfish) which is served with toasted almonds.
boasts Brazilian-inspired dishes that will make your taste buds believe you’ve been transported straight to South America. With that said, Roast Café fans will be delighted to learn that certain favourites on the menu will still be available at Rodizio, such as Roast Café’s delectable cakes, its oft-talked-about breakfasts and several other popular items.
Restaurants Within Particular Suburbs
Visiting a particular suburb in the city and wonder where to eat? Click on your suburb of interest below to view what dining options await:
Johannesburg West & West Rand
Johannesburg East & Ekurhuleni