Due to harsh lockdown regulations, the restaurant and entertainment industry has suffered, immensely. It is up to us, the great citizens of this fair city, to jump in and support the bars and restaurants of Joburg.

Bars 

The Irish Club

The Irish Club in Linden has been serving our Irish community, especially on St. Patties, for a very long time. Recently, the Irish, as it’s known to the locals, has been serving craft beer. From IPAs to bitters and everything in between can be consumed here; at bottom-line prices to boot. It's the kind of place where you meet up with old friends over a pint or watch the Boks take on the Irish over a cold Guinness.

Details: theirishclub.co.za

Chaf Pozi

Chaf Pozi plays as a restaurant by day and turns into a club by night, hosting some of the greatest nightlife events bringing an authentic Soweto experience in food and vibe. The restaurant also offers a Premium Bar with a great selection of alcohol to choose from, anything from Zamalek in a Quart to Johnny Blue on the rocks. The venue is also a great place to host birthday parties, events and so much more. Plus you get great entertainment, vibrant music and enjoy the Soweto derby on the big screen.

Details: chafpozi.co.za

Green & Gold

Green & Gold is a local favourite, serving up traditional South African pub grub with friendliness and flair. Their menu is extensive, featuring a wide selection of local beers, as well as delicious accompaniments. HD TVs installed on the walls allow for optimal sports viewing experience, making the Green & Gold an ideal place to stop by and enjoy an afternoon game.

Details: www.greenandgoldpubs.co.za

Smoking Kills

Smoking Kills is an unusually old-fashioned place. It rejects the label of restaurant, pub or nightclub. What is it then, do I hear you ask? They describe themselves as nothing more or less than a bar, an "unapologetic watering hole". If you love rum, Smoking Kills Bar is the place to be. Though they aren't a restaurant, you can enjoy a light bite to eat with your drink, but nothing fancy. If a fun night out on the town with friends is what you're after, Smoking Kills is where you'll want to start. 

Details:  Smoking Kills Bar.

Berlin Pub

A little slice of Germany can be found just outside of Roodepoort. Situated inside Ruimsig Country Estate, Berlin Pub serves as a local drinking hole and a German pub stocked with lager, eisbein and live music. These local digs are the lifeblood of the community and are often a labour of love that need our support during these tough times.

Details: www.facebook.com

Bars And Restaurants

The Landmark Cocktail bar

A World-Class Cocktail Bar with an Italian influence and a uniquely South African flavour. We take our drinks very seriously. Wines, Craft Beers & Spirits. The Landmark is the night-time counterpart to Café Del Sol’s light, daytime ambience. Bringing an urban edge and another remarkable dimension to the Café del Sol experience. The wine list, under Ryan’s direction, was awarded diamond status at the 2018 Diners Club Winelist Awards, and the sophisticated cocktail menu has placed The Landmark among just four WORLD CLASS™ bars in Johannesburg.

Details: www.facebook.com

Restaurants

The Living Room

Reconnect with nature at The Living Room in the heart of Joburg! This rooftop venue offers urban-eco café cuisine, plant art and urban design, and also a showroom for green design and lifestyle. On Sunday afternoons they host fantastic live entertainment to end off your weekend on a chilled note, and best of all, you get the opportunity to check out the stunning views of the Maboneng Precinct as the sun goes down over the city.

Details: www.livingroomjozi.co.za

Love Me So

A couple of months before hard lockdown struck in early 2020, Love Me So had just reopened after extensive renovations to its bar area. Fortunately - more than a year later - we are able to enjoy this beautiful space. The new bar brings on the restaurant's ability to embrace its izakaya foundation, leaning in Japanese and Korean pub food served tapas-style. The char-grilled bok choy painted with chilli flakes and oil is an exciting example of what's in store for the new Love Me So menu. The flavour is so simple, pleasing and, dare we sound trite, umami.

Details: www.facebook.com

Love Me So

Satori

South African poet, singer and columnist Koos Kombuis once called Satori his favourite pizza place in the world. Though it's not our favourite, we most certainly will recommend it. Highly. Satori recently doubled up their floor space by buying into the property next to it. In classic Linden style, you can expect Italian home-style cooking in an intimate atmosphere. It's the kind of place you go to for a first date or a relaxed dinner with friends. Good pizza, great wine and lekker pasta. 'Nuff said.

Details: 011 888 7452

Visit Satori Pizza

Marshalls Craft Eatery

Part of our Restaurants To Visit In 2021 article is dedicated to Marshalls Craft Eatery. Very sociable and family/friends orientated, Marshalls Craft Eatery has a particular focus on artisanally produced offerings on both the menu and taps behind the bar. Marshall’s Craft Eatery offers a relaxed atmosphere where you can arrive in shorts and a T-shirt and be at home. In support of local craftsmen and artists, the eatery has live music every Friday night. Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday is particularly aimed at the local outdoor activity enthusiasts that swarm around Emmarentia, with traditional and healthy options available. Marshall’s Craft Eatery is a surefire entry on our new restaurants in Joburg list.

Details: www.facebook.com

Ba-Pita

In 2019, Ba-Pita returned, opening up shop at the top of Melville's 7th Street. Fast-forward to the first quarter of 2020, the restaurant had to temporarily close its doors due to South Africa going into hard lockdown. With this came the move to Grant Avenue in Norwood - Ba-Pita's new home since October 2020. The restaurant brags with a beautiful deli section, that offers freshly baked bread, pastries, pickles, and other goods.

Details: www.ba-pita.co.za

Thundergun

The original gunslinger north-west of town, Thunder Gun Steakhouse is just the place if you're looking to indulge in something hearty and meaty! The pub and grub hangout famous for its ice-cold beer and massive portions of food has been going since 1968 and managed to survive the pandemic. Best known for their menu jam-packed with mouth-watering steaks, ribs and burgers, they also offers a range of starters and desserts, chicken, fish and more, if you're in the mood for something else.

Details:  www.thundergun.co.za

Please drink responsibly.

From the latest blockbusters and hot hangout spots offering some of the best cocktails in the city to wide open spaces perfect for a leisurely Sunday stroll and fun things to do with the family, the suburb of Bryanston has something that'll tickle everyone's fancy when it comes entertainment.

What Are Your Looking For?

Movies
Parks
Recreational Activities
Bars & Nightlife

Movies

Although there are no cinemas in Bryanston, nearby neighbouring suburbs do offer various malls and venues complete with a Ster-Kinekor. To find out where you can catch one of the latest blockbusters on the big screen with family and friends, click on your desired suburb below:

movies

Parks

Bryanston Park

Situated on Westview Drive, Bryanston Park is just the spot if you're looking to stretch your legs with a leisurely afternoon stroll, want to enjoy some sunshine and fresh air, or simply just want to reconnect with nature. Although it's a small area, it's a lovely, quiet park where the kids can play while you get some peace and quiet after a long and productive day/week at the office.

Bryanston Pine Forest

Who says you can't find a forest in the middle of the city? In Bryanston, you certainly can! Lace up those hiking shoes, grab your four-legged companions and head to the Bryanston Pine Forest on Ebury Avenue. It'll make you feel as if you have stepped right out of the city and straight into a relaxing getaway away from all the noise, hustle and bustle. This is a lovely spot if you're looking to enjoy an afternoon stroll to relax and think, while walking the dogs.

Rietfontein Nature Reserve

A hidden gem in the heart of the city, the well maintained Rietfontein Nature Reserve is a must-visit if you're looking to get some fresh air and do some trekking. Here, you can spend an afternoon hiking and taking in the sites and sounds of the city as well as nature. If you're lucky, you might even get to spot impala and rabbits along your journey, along with local bird life.

Visit the Rietfontein Nature Reserve.

Recreational Activities

Bryanston Organic & Natural Market

The Bryanston Organic & Natural Market is Joburg's original outdoor market, and was established in 1976. This gem in the heart of Bryanston boasts over 90 stalls, offering visitors everything from delicious deli foods, arts and crafts to gifts, jewellery and clothing, all made from mainly natural materials. There's even eco-fashion and natural décor stalls for you to explore. The market is open on Thursdays from 09:30 to 13:00 and Saturdays from 09:00 to 15:00. This is a lovely and unique spot if you're looking to do some retail therapy or treat the family to a fun day out.

Visit the Bryanston Organic & Natural Market. 

Jozi X Adventure Centre

Craving a little bit of adventure? Then why not spend the afternoon enjoy action-packed activities at the Jozi X Adventure Centre, on the corner of Main Road and Sloane Street? This adrenaline-filled hot spot caters to guests aged between 4 to 75 years old, offering a wide range of fun activities that's sure to entertain! Here, you can expect loads of fun, including Trapeze, Krazy Ladder, Face offz, Freeklimbs, Rope Walkz, Jungle Swingz, a 100m Slip & Slide available during summer and much more. This is the ideal spot if you're looking to arrange an exciting birthday party, a memorable team building and even school outings.

Visit Jozi X Adventure Centre. 

Image from Jozi X.

RollEgoli Roller Rink

When was the last time you laced up a pair of skates and went rolling around a roller rink? Can't remember? Then why not visit RollEgoli on Main Road? Spend an afternoon (or session) skating around their all-weather 1 000 square metre roller rink, climbing all over their jungle gym or bouncing about on their trampoline. They also have a self-service cafeteria boasting wood fired pizza, homemade gelati, muffins, hot beverages and cold refreshments. You can either bring your own skates or hire a pair at the venue, just ensure that you bring and wear your own socks. Please note that they do not accept cash, only cards on premises.

Visit RollEgoli.

Battlezone Paintball Centre

There's nothing more thrilling than getting all geared up, loaded with a round of paintballs and spending an afternoon out and about partaking in a fast-paced outdoor adventure! Battlezone Paintball Centre in the heart of Bryanston offers a variety of paintball and laser tag options perfect for birthday parties, bachelor parties, corporate team building and even just a fun day out with your family and friends. Take your pick from their selection of five playing fields, as well as their variety of packages offering something for all needs and budgets.

Visit the Battlezone Paintball Centre.

Bryanston Country Club

Why not become a member of the Bryanston Country Club and enjoy the Club's relaxed yet elegant family lifestyle, welcoming members and guests into a world of personal attention and service. The Club features a full service Clubhouse complete with restaurants offering both fine and casual dining, function and event venues, their esteemed 18 hole golf course, swimming pool and Lapa area, two bowling greens, four squash courts and nine tennis courts. And let's not forget their wide selection of fun activities including their walking trail, sports, kids club, fitness fun and much more. Click here to find out how you can become a member.

Visit the Bryanston Country Club.

Bars & Nightlife

Social On Main

Wind down after a long week at the office at Social On Main, a trendy bar and restaurant in the heart of Bryanston. Here, visitors can enjoy epic cocktails, fantastic food and a great vibe. In the afternoons, this is a great and relaxing place to hold a business meeting or grab a relaxed lunch. But by night, this joint becomes a lively atmosphere, filled with people looking to wind down and end off their day on a high note with friends and a couple of drinks. If you're planning a visit, be sure to call in advance and book your table. This place is quite popular with the locals.

Visit Social On Main in Bryanston.

social on main bar area

Image from Social On Main.

Tiger's Milk Bryanston

For ‘dude food’ made good, ice-cold draughts and a chilled yet fun night out with your mates, book your table at Tiger's Milk in Bryanston. This venue has become a popular evening hangout for professionals as well as a weekend get-together spot for residents over the weekends. Not only will you enjoy great food and a lively vibe, but you'll also love the city views from their balcony area. Also, if you're looking for something fun to do on a Wednesday night, don't miss their Quiz Nights every Wednesday!

Visit Tiger's Milk In Bryanston.

The Landmark Cocktail Bar

Situated at Café del Sol Botanico at the Bryanston Shopping Centre, is The Landmark Cocktail Bar! The Landmark is the night-time counterpart to Café Del Sol’s light, daytime ambiance and offers guests an urban edge and interesting dimension to the Café del Sol experience. Stop by during the day for amazing lunches and relaxed vibes, and by night, enjoy an exciting evening scene filled with sophisticated cocktails (over 100 for you to choose from), craft beers and an energetic atmosphere.

Visit The Landmark Cocktail Bar.

Soweto possesses a vibrant culture and history, a fact that becomes especially apparent when searching for something to do in the area. If you're looking for entertainment, Soweto has attractions as far as the eye can see – quite literally – when you take the spectacular Orlando Towers into consideration!

What Are You Looking For?

Adventure Activities
Bars & Breweries
Family Activities
Parks & Gardens

Adventure Activities

Bungee Jumping

For the thrill of a lifetime, take to the skies (for a moment) and bungee jump off the top of the Orlando Cooling Towers. If that isn't challenging (or terrifying) enough for you, put on a custom-made straitjacket and bungee jump without the use of your arms!

Visit Soweto Towers.

Entertainment Places in Soweto

Image Source: Soweto Towers

SCAD Freefall

SCAD (Suspended Catch Air Device) freefalling - sound terrifying? If not, then read on! The world’s highest SCAD freefall takes place inside the Western Cooling Tower. If you are a serious adrenaline junkie in search of entertainment in Soweto, you'll find it at the Orlando Cooling Towers.

Visit Soweto Towers. 

Image Source: Soweto Towers

Base Jumping & Climbing

Interested in base jumping? Look no further! The Soweto Towers are base jump friendly, offering base jumping as an option for experienced jumpers. If you're a bit less adventurous, but still in search of a thrill, climbing the towers will offer oodles of entertainment and challenge experienced and beginner climbers alike. Try a 25m climbing wall and challenge your abilities!

Visit Soweto Towers.

Entertainment Places in Soweto

Image Source: Soweto Towers

Bars & Breweries

uBuntu Kraal Brewery

MadMead Brewery launched Soweto Gold lager and opened the uBuntu Kraal Brewery in Soweto to commemorate 20 years of freedom and democracy. Soweto Gold was named the top craft beer in South Africa, so the brewery is definitely worth visiting for a taste of this brew.

Also worth noting is the fact that the Ubuntu Kraal Brewery is situated in Orlando West, Soweto. This location is of particular historic significance, being home to sites such as:

The site of the brewery was previously a construction site in the late 1980s. Today this former ash dump has been transformed into conference facilities, a cultural village, brewery, entertainment area, bar and restaurants, and private overnight accommodation.

Visit uBuntu Kraal Brewery.

Image Source: Facebook

Family Activities

Walter Sisulu Square

Walter Sisulu Square is situated in the heart of Kliptown, Soweto. This township centre is unique, the first of its kind. Embracing both local and international trends, historical and modern, the Square epitomises the spirit of ekasi and Soweto. Ideal for family excursions, or for a shopping trip unlike any other, Walter Sisulu Square is a place unlike any other - and promises that is entertainment just as unique.

Points of interest at Walter Sisulu Square include: 

Entertainment Places in Soweto

Image Source: Facebook

Parks & Gardens

Kremetart Park

Kremetart Park opened in Soweto in 2008, and has rapidly become a firm family favourite. The park is equipped with two miniature soccer fields constructed from sand as opposed to grass, in a bid to create an environmentally-friendly play area. The park also includes water features, benches, indigenous trees, and a large space to host events and fun fairs. Kremetart Park is also unique, in that it possesses a big-screen television where World Cup events were previously screened by Ekasi TV, and free broadcasts continue to be screened today.

Visit Kremetart Park. 

Image Source: Facebook

Mofolo Park

Mofolo Park is located in Mzilikazi Street in Soweto. It is a popular park amongst Sowetans, and is best known for the vibrant concerts regularly held on its grounds, as well as the celebrations and events which take place there. Mofolo has seen both local and international musicians grace its stage. Notable events have included the first Drum Beat Soweto music concert in 2011, as well as recent Youth Day celebrations. Mofolo was previously a dump site, which makes its conversion into a colourful, beautiful place of artistic expression even more meaningful.

Visit Mofolo Park.

Image Source: TEXARC

Bedfordview is a hive of activity over weekends and even holidays as entertainment seekers flock in from surrounding suburbs. There's something thrilling and exciting to entertain all ages in the suburb of Bedfordview.

What Are You Looking For?

Family-Friendly Fun
Bars & Clubs
Athletic Clubs & Sports Venues

Family

Family-Friendly Fun

Bedford Centre

Bedfordview is first and foremost a family-orientated suburb. It's a great place for kiddies of all ages to hang out and have some fun. There are lots of activities for the whole family to get stuck into as well. Whether your brood is the movie going kind or prefer the outdoors, there should be something to keep you entertained. Bring the little ones along to Bedford Centre to spend the day bouncing at Jump Gravity, watching a movie at NuMetro cinemas or tucking into a gourmet milkshake at Chevy Lane.

Visit Bedford Centre.

Eastgate Shopping Centre

The piazza at Eastgate Shopping Centre is ideal for kid-friendly Friday night fun. The open air play area is the ideal spot for the little ones to run around while you enjoy a fabulous dinner at one of the mall's top restaurants. We love Mozambik for their Afro-Porto fusion cuisine and outdoor kiddies' play area. Eastgate Shopping Centre is also home to the only Ster-Kinekor IMAX Theatre on the East Rand. Bring the brood along for epic 3-D adventures and luxury cinema experiences.

Visit Eastgate Shopping Centre.

Bedfordview Night Market 

For a laidback Friday night with the family, visit the Bedfordview Night Market at Jeppe Quondam. This is the largest multicultural food and craft market in the city, perfect for the whole family. With live entertainment, fun activities and yummy eats, it's a definite must-visit for moms, dads and little ones. The market also hosts special events on select Sundays and public holidays. Keep an eye on their Facebook page to stay up to date with their upcoming events.

Visit Bedfordview Night Market.

entertainment

Photo created by seventyfour on www.freepik.com.

Bars & Clubs

Bailey's 

Singletons, twenty-somethings and party animals often frequent Bedfordview over weekends. This is because there is a great selection of bars, pubs and clubs here. The entertainment scene is well worth getting in on, whether you're into the rave vibe or a more laid back atmosphere. Bailey's stands out as a hub for good food, affordable drinks and great live entertainment. Join them for their awesome live music events and karaoke sessions.

Visit Bailey's. 

Ivy Champagne Bar

If you're looking for a contemporary, chic party experience, get yourself in the door at the Ivy Champagne Bar. This rooftop cocktail bar is one of Bedfordview's most popular spots for sundowners and late night events. Overlooking the suburb below, you'll think you're right in the heart of the city.

Visit the Ivy Champagne Garden.

Photo created by wavebreakmedia-micro on www.freepik.com.

Athletic Clubs & Sports Venues

Jeppe Quondam Sports & Social Club

Bedfordview is a sporting town through and through. This shows in its many athletic clubs, sports bars, gyms and training fields. Jeppe Quondam is where soccer fans meet rugby fanatics, tennis champs match up against squash masters and swim meets take on a whole other level of competitiveness. If you're a total sports maniac, check it out.

Visit Jeppe Quondam Sports & Social Club.

Bedfordview Country Club

Bedfordview Country Club offers a range of sporting activities for all ages. Come and make lifelong friends (or natural sporting enemies) here. You may also find your latest hobby or sporting challenge. All in all, this is the place to be for sports fans and athletes.

Visit the Bedfordview Country Club.

entertainment

#SaveYourSpot!

One thing we all miss during this lockdown is that one place we love to visit on the regular. Take a moment to think about your favourite restaurant or bar – your spot. Is it just a place you go to or is it more than that? For many South Africans, our local spot is our home away from home. Where we get to eat, drink and be merry, surrounded by the people we love. It’s where our community comes together, where memories are made and life can be truly savoured and celebrated.

people from all walks of life sitting around a table at a restaurant toasting with stella artois beer

The bad news: Your favourite local spot (and all those who work there) is under threat. With most restaurants and bars having already been brought to their knees by social distancing regulations that began even before the national lockdown, the ongoing livelihood of hundreds of thousands who rely on these businesses to survive hangs in the balance.

That’s why Stella Artois is rallying to #SaveYourSpot.

How You Can Help

Stella Artois, one of SA’s best loved premium beers in the SAB, has launched an online platform on which you can buy a voucher to your favourite restaurant or bar. Not only will this money go to your spot, but Stella Artois will add an additional 50% of the value of each voucher.

It’s a win-win – for you AND your spot! Not only can you redeem your voucher at your favourite local spot after the lockdown and enjoy 150% of the value you paid for it, but the spot itself will benefit from some much-needed financial relief to pay wages and rent when they need it most – right now.

three ladies sitting at a bar enjoying stella artois beer and laughing

Why Participate?

Vijay Govindsamy, Commercial Director High End Company at SAB, reminds us what’s at stake: “Most restaurants and bars have about 16 days worth of cashflow reserves to keep their business afloat. That’s a global average. For many South African outlets, that figure will be significantly less. If we hope to see our favourite spots survive this lockdown, we need to rally together and do what we can to support them now – when they need our help the most.

This initiative is born out of a genuine love for our restaurants and bars. It’s a love we share with most South Africans who are famously sociable and gregarious the world over. By buying a voucher to #SaveYoutSpot, you’re investing in the good times that still lie ahead – you’re investing in hope,” Vijay continues.

stella artois beer in glasses on a wooden table with two men in the background out of focus

So, how much is Stella Artois investing? R1.5 million. Which (together with the amounts patrons pay toward their vouchers) effectively translates to a much-needed R4.5 million cash injection into the food and beverage industry.

After the 50% incentive bonus runs dry, Stella Artois has committed to still oversee and run the online platform, in the hopes that a movement toward rallying for our restaurants and bars will continue. They will thus continue to facilitate the purchasing of vouchers and their value being transferred directly to the outlets they relate to.

restaurant table with stella artois in a glass surrounded by plates of food burgers, people

How To #SaveYourSpot

  1. Visit rallyforyourbarandrestaurant.com.
  2. Buy a digital voucher to your favourite spot to the value of R100, R250 or R500.
  3. Stella Artois will add an extra 50% to the total voucher amount you've selected.
  4. Redeem your voucher after lockdown and enjoy 150% of the value you paid for it.

Can’t find your favourite local spot? Nominate it via the online platform and Stella Artois will get hold of them directly to get them listed ASAP.

A movement that at once celebrates the good times ahead, while helping our most beloved places survive the bad times, is a movement we can most certainly all get behind. Cheers to that!

#SaveYourSpot campaign logo with three people drinking stella artois beer

For More Information

For more information about this wonderful initiative, visit rallyforyourbarandrestaurant.com.

Also, don't forget to like and follow Stella Artois on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with the latest news, information and updates.

What Is It?

Travel through a tasteful journey of good food at the JoburgPlaces Migrant Cuisine Storytelling Dinner. The evening promises to be filled with delicious eats and delights.

Typical schedule:
6:30pm: Guests arrive and mingle at the bar in the Zwipi Underground
7:00pm: Guests gather in the Scatterlings Arcade for the introductory story: the six phases of Johannesburg (each of which brought a new wave of migrants).
7:40pm: Two Asian-inspired starters served in the Zwipi Underground
8:20pm: Storytelling: Johannesburg’s Asian communities during the Gold Rush and later (Cape Malay, Indian and Chinese) and the story of Pan-African migration and an introduction to the main courses.
8:50pm: Two Pan-African mains
9:25pm: Guests gather in the Main Vault Room for storytelling. The story of the United Safety Deposit vault, Somerset House and the Thunder Walker project, including the Thunder Walker Poem
10:05pm: Two Desserts are served

When Is It?

Friday, 03 April 2020 at 19:00.

Where Is It?

Thunder Walker, Gandhi Square,  110 Fox Street, Johannesburg, Gauteng.

How Much Is It?

Entrance is R680 per person, book Here!

For More Information

For more information, visit their Facebook page.

Restaurants

The Marabi Club

The Marabi Club is one of the latest live music spots to hit the scene in Johannesburg.

Hidden away behind a secret door, the mysterious club is the home of jazz in New Doornfontein. Spend an evening enjoying the smooth sounds of jazz while dining on expertly crafted food and drinks.

Inspired by the significant jazz culture of New York, The Marabi Club brings the ambience that music lovers are always searching for.

For more, check out our article on top jazz joints in Joburg.

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Your live music destination ❗ Live music : *jazz *blues Wednesday - Saturday Door Open : 18:30 Live performances : 20:00-11:45 #themarabiclub #marabi #livemusic #jazz #blues #hallmark #maboneng #mabonengprecinct #johannesburg #jhb #whiskey #wine #cigars #drinks #cocktails #ginbar #december

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Ristorante La Trinita

Ristorante La Trinita is an Italian restaurant in Kyalami, offering true Italian flair.

Ristorante La Trinita has some mouthwatering signature dishes that will keep you coming back for more. If sumptuous Italian food wasn't enough, they also have powerful opera music to complete your experience.

With their generous menu, it's no surprise that they are one of the best Google Maps rated restaurants in the city.

Italian food

Ana-Paula’s Coffee Shop

Ana Paula's Coffee Shop, located in Krugersdorp, offers a warm and cosy environment accompanied by perfectly brewed coffee and exquisite cake.

Tucked away in a luscious garden, this spot is a must-visit for a long brunch or a light lunch.

Bars

Sin+Tax

Sin + Tax can be found in Rosebank and offers a wide array of top-notch cocktails.

Sin + Tax has built quite the reputation with their yummy concoctions and perfect garnishes.If you thrive off of electric vibes and authenticity, this place has to be on your bucket list.

For more, check out our article on hidden gems in Joburg.

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Join us tonight for something a little different. Laid-back and chilled out. We’ll serving Buffalo Trace based cocktails and listening to the bluesy sounds of Black Harbour. See you later! - - #sintax #sintaxbar #cocktailbar #cocktailhour #bartenders #mixologists #drinkslingers #buffalotrace #bourbonwhisky #instabourbon #bourbondiaries #buffalotracebourbon #joburgbar #joburgbars #rosebank #boltonroad #parkcorner #explorejoburg #discoverjohannesburg #bluesandbourbon #bourbonandblues #bourboncocktails @buffalotracedistillery @buffalotrace

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The Blind Tiger

The Blind Tiger in Parkview has a range of drool-worthy eats.

So, take some time out and indulge in their California-inspired cuisine. And if you're feeling a little thirsty, they serve up some tasty drinks, from cocktails to perfectly matured wine.

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Wednesday night at the Tiger #bar #cafe #tiger #bardesign

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Trumps Grillhouse And Butcher

Trumps Grillhouse And Butcher is one of the most sought-after butcheries in Sandton.

Here, you will dine like royalty. With a generous selection of meat and exquisite preparation methods, this is your go-to for a delicious meal.

Enjoy the finest quality meals and a spectacular wine list.

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WIN! Love is in the air! 💕 Celebrate Valentine’s Day with us at Trumps! Tag the love of your life below and make sure you’re both following @trumpsgrillhouse, and you could WIN a dinner for two on 14 February valued at R700 ❤️ ⠀ ⠀ A winner will be selected Monday, 10 February 2020. Ts & Cs apply.

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Tourist Attractions

Hashtag Escape

Hashtag Escape is a world of fun and exciting adventure. Located in Norwood, this escape room offers you the ultimate thrill. Here, you will be locked in a mystery room and have to work as a team to unlock the clues in order to escape.

For more, check out our article on Hashtag Escape.

Tell us what location you vouch for in the comments section below!

Randlords

If you're looking for an exclusive rooftop bar to enjoy your afternoon or evening, then Randlords should be at the top of your list. Located in the Braamfontein area of Johannesburg, you get to enjoy the city's buzz while watching a spectacular sunset, and seeing the city lights come alive on the Nelson Mandela bridge is a bonus you won't want to miss. This, coupled with a great drink and great company, sounds like a pretty sweet deal to us.

Details: Randlords | 011 403 1833 | 22nd Floor, South Point Towers, 41 De Korte Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

Elevate: The Reef Hotel

Take a trip down to Marshalltown for a brilliant evening at The Reef Hotel. This spot should definitely be high up on your list given their fabulous Elevate Rooftop Venue. This space can also be hired out for events and guests can enjoy a 360-degree view of the city. So, if you're planning on hosting a fabulous rooftop bar event, why look anywhere else? Alternatively, you can go to simply enjoy the view, some drinks and good food. Either way, it sounds like a win to us.

Details: Elevate Rooftop Venue | 011 689 1000 | [email protected] | 16th Floor, The Reef Hotel, 58 Anderson Street, Marshalltown, Johannesburg.

The Living Room

If you're all about trendy, then pop on over to the popular Maboneng Precinct and enjoy the sunset and hipster buzz with a cocktail in hand at The Living Room. This nature-inspired rooftop bar is vibrant and perfect to enjoy sundowners with friends, take photographs and share some good laughs. Also serving tasty food, your experience here will be unforgettable.

Details: The Living Room | 082 370 9284 | [email protected] | 5th Floor, Main Change Building, 20 Kruger Street, Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg.

Copper Bar

The Copper Bar offers a trendy hangout, but it's also a great place if you want to catch some of the most beautiful sunsets and views from Main Street and grab a few cocktails. Just keep in mind that this spot is usually closed to the public except on select Thursdays, when they host their Copper Thursdays.

Details: Copper Bar | 071 516 4846 | [email protected] | Corner Main Office Park, 02 Payne Road, Bryanston, Sandton, Johannesburg.

The Westcliff, Four Seasons Hotel

If you're craving something a bit more suburban and modern, then The Westcliff might just be the perfect venue for you. Imagine being served succulent tapas and delicious drinks while you enjoy a stunning sunset overlooking leafy Joburg. Sounds fabulous, doesn't it?

Details: Four Seasons Hotel | 011 481 6000 | 67 Jan Smuts Avenue, Westcliff, Johannesburg.

The San Deck at Sandton Sun

Loved by many Sandton residents, The San Deck is the perfect rooftop bar whether in summer or winter. Summer is best to enjoy the sun with some gorgeous cocktails under the umbrellas or on the couches. Winter is also great with the outdoor heaters and glorious fire pits to keep you warm after the sun goes down.

Details: The San Deck | 011 780 5000 | [email protected] | Sandton Sun Hotel, 5th Street, Sandton, Johannesburg.

The Island Bar

Need an after-work hangout spot or just looking to miss the traffic? Either way, the Island Bar at the Southern Sun Hyde Park pool deck is a lovely place to unwind, sip on icy drinks and catch some of the most unforgettable Highveld sunsets the city has to offer. Their cocktail menu is quite impressive, so there's no doubt there'll be something for every taste.

Details: Island Bar | 011 341 8080 | Southern Sun Hyde Park, Corner Jan Smuts and William Nicol Drive, Hyde Park, Sandton, Johannesburg.

Sir James van Der Merwe at Katy's Palace Bar

Sir James van der Merwe at Katy's Palace Bar in Kramerville is just the place to be on a Wednesday night. The venue is trendy, hip, eclectic and lively – and so are the cocktails. Then there's their perfect view of Sandton... just stunning! They tend to host lots of cool and exciting events, so make sure you keep an eye out on Facebook to see what they have coming up.

Details: Sir James Van Der Merwe | 072 607 4235 | [email protected] | 06 Desmond Street, Kramerville, Sandton, Johannesburg.

Know of other great rooftop bars not mentioned above? Let us know below!

Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.

Presley's

Presley's is a nightclub and bar in Boksburg, offering the best in local and Afrikaans music. They often have shows with the likes of Fokof Polisiekar, Jack Parrow, Locnville, Spoegwolf, Die Heuwels Fantasties, Theuns Jordaan, Francois Van Coke and Dirk Van Der Westhuizen, among others. The venue features bars, a DJ lab, dance floor, stage, VIP lounge and restaurant.

Contact details: 011 826 1989 | Cnr Gibb Rd & North Rand Rd, Boksburg | [email protected] | https://www.presleys.co.za

Hi-Flyerz

This aviation museum bar in Barlett features aviation memorabilia, beverages, craft beer and dining. They host a live band every Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and have top performances by DJs from 22:00. Central to the venue is an original Boeing 747 “classic” ZS-SAL flight deck with real air traffic control transmissions being played in the background.

Contact details: 011 897 0106 | Birchwood Hotel & Conference Centre
Viewpoint road, Bartlett, Boksburg | [email protected]http://www.hiflyerz.com/

Coolz

Not to be confused with Cool Runnings, Coolz is technically in Benoni. But it's less than a kilometre out of Boksburg. This Jamaican inspired bar, restaurant and day time cafe offers over 100 beers, delicious cocktails and tantalising pizzas. They host regular quiz and karaoke nights and often have great drinks and food specials.

Contact details: 081 379 7905 | Lakedene Shopping Centre, Lakefield, Benoni | [email protected]http://www.coolzcraftycorner.co.za

beer

Top Shots

This bar refer to themselves as the "best western saloon in the east". That pretty much tells you everything you need to know. The saloon has DJs on Wednesday nights, karaoke on Thursday nights and live music and dancing on Fridays and Saturdays. The venue has a bar area, pool tables, a jukebok, a dance floor and outside seating away from the noise. The outside area also has a kids play area to keep the kids busy.

Contact details: 083 324 5432 | 686, Flamingo Centre, Trichardts Rd, Boksburg | https://www.facebook.com/topshotssaloon

Trotters

Established in 2000, Trotters Pub and Grill offers the best in night life with live bands, DJs, quiz nights, events and karaoke. This pub has a bar, inside seating, stage, outdoor seating and kids play area. They have competitive prices, good food, great service and fresh draught.

Contact details: 011 918 1409 | 22 Dakota Rd, Impala Park, Boksburg | [email protected]https://www.trottersboksburg.co.za/index.html

The Brazen Head

In the spirit of an authentic Irish pub, The Brazen Head offers a fantastic wine list, yummy pub grub and ice cold suds. The menu features an array of starters, burgers, seafood, casseroles, pies, grills, snack platters and traditional Irish Boxty. They also have a large beer menu with many local and international beer, as well as flavoured and non-alcoholic beers.

Contact details: 010 010 0743 | Parkrand Piazza Shopping Center, 44 Van Wyk Louw Drive, Parkrand, Boksburg | [email protected]http://brazenhead.co.za/the-brazen-head-boksburg/

glass of beer

This venue, as the name suggests, is based on a carnival theme. The building is shaped like a huge tent with lights hanging around it, which makes the scene shine bright like a star. This is quite fitting, as it is Brakpan's star. If you are around the Brakpan and Boksburg border, it can be seen all around like a giant lighthouse imploring you to draw near. The carnival theme is completed with giant clown murals, fantastical carnival scenes painted along the walls, carousal styled bars and, you guessed it, an actual carnival.

Outside, the miniature carnival features all the classic games of skill and chance that would win you a giant teddy bear. There are also several rides for children, like the enormous lollipop merry-go-round, among others. This outside area also features a play-ground with slides and swings for less adventurous children. But the main attraction is the go-karting. That's right, Carnival City has go-karting — something the other casinos definitely don't have. The only drawback is that it's only for the kids, not adults.

Go Karting

Adults do have their own entertainment options here too. It is a casino, after all, and was made for gambling. And with the 57 table games, which includes the classic American roulette, poker and black jack, gambling you shall do. This does not even mention all the slot machines they have. Also, as mentioned above, they have a bar that looks like a carousal — the perfect place to get something to treat those shot nerves or to celebrate any winnings if it's been your lucky night. And your kids will be taken care of, even if the carnival is not their thing. The younger kids can hang out at the Kidzone Créche while the older kids can head on over to the arcade.

Casino

The arcade here is certainly the best I have ever seen. Most of these gaming facilities in Joburg are small-scaled with barely enough room to move. To top that, many of the machines aren't even functioning. And you always spend all your tokens while waiting for that one family to stop hogging the only air hockey table. Not at Carnival City's Arcade. Here, there is plenty or room and plenty of games from the classic whack-a-crocodile to the latest zombie killing technology. They even have more than one air hockey table so everyone can get a chance at swiping those pucks. And because all of this isn't enough, they decided to throw in a Laser Tag Zone. Just in case killing zombies, crocodiles and dueling your friends in an epic air hockey game wasn't enough.

Arcade

Fighting zombies, racing go-karts and winning black jack is bound to burn a hole in your stomach. You'll be able to fill those hungry bellies at any one of the 13 restaurants or the food court. Not sure what to get? No worries! Among others, they have American, Asian, Italian, and Portuguese choices on hand, as well as a store dedicated to satisfying that sweet tooth for dessert. And if you feel like a little family fun time after all of this, head on over to the cinema and catch a movie or have a relaxed ten pin bowling match.

Find more information about Carnival City here.

Great Dane

Great Dane in Braam is a fab place to squeeze in a little dance session. It’s a casual spot that has differently themed parties on different nights of the week, so just check out what’s going down before you head over there – either way, you’re in for a party! Hint: they serve great gourmet hot dogs, so don't leave until you've tried one.

Where: 5 De Beer Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

For more information, click here.

Kitcheners

Kitcheners is right next door to Great Dane and is one of the oldest bars in the city. It’s super-casual but still manages to keep its trendy edge. Like Great Dane, different parties happen here on different nights, so it’s a mixed bag of jams. They also host live bands occasionally, so be sure to check ahead to see what’s happening… or just arrive and be pleasantly surprised.

Where: 6 De Beer Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

For more information, click here.

Hell's Kitchen

Melville’s Hell’s Kitchen is an alternative haven for those who are into the rockabilly vibe. Firstly, the décor here is out of this world and, secondly, the music is always amazing – they usually play rock but nothing too heavy! While they don’t have a designated dance floor, people do tend to move the tables out the way and create a makeshift one. Hint: look out for the secret room behind the bookshelf and don’t leave without a shot or two of Hellfire Cinnamon Whisky.

Where: Shop 4, 7th Street, Melville, Johannesburg.

For more information, click here.

Truth

Truth used to be a snake park back in the day but has since been transformed into a super-club that pumps electronic music every Friday and Saturday night. Parties here can go on into the wee hours of the morning and you’re more than likely to leave only once the sun has risen. There are various dance floors in Truth where different types of EDM are played. They also often host international DJs and producers!

Where: Old Pretoria Road, Midrand, Johanneburg.

For more information, click here.

Carfax

Carfax is another super-club in Joburg that hosts all kinds of parties: live bands, DJs, drum ’n bass events and more. Check out their lineup before you go and just remember that it's not really a "walk in" kind of place... they’re only open when they’re hosting an event (most Friday and Saturday nights). It’s a grungy-in-a-good-way kind of spot and know that their street parties can get out of hand (in the best way, of course).

Where: 39a Gwi Gwi Mrwebi Street, Newtown, Johannesburg.

For more information, click here.

And

And is an underground EDM club that hosts regular party nights. Thursdays are for Addictshun, which is their drum ’n bass night and Fridays are for Toy Toy, their weekly techno residency. Both parties pump like you have no idea. They do host other kinds of parties on occasion, so check out their lineup to stay in the loop. We should probably tell you that this is another one of those places that can suck you in and spit you out only after the sun has risen... it’s great!

Where: 39a Gwi Gwi Mrwebi Street, Newtown, Johannesburg.

For more information, click here.

Rumours Lounge

Rumours Lounge used to be in Weltevreden Park but has since moved into the old Standard Bank Building across the road from Cresta. It's a haven for live music lovers and bar-goers alike. All kinds of gigs go down here – on any given night you’re bound to catch a rad local band taking to the stage or an international one blowing it up. Have a look at their lineup if there’s a specific act you’d like to see, or just rock up and go with the flow.

Where: Valley Ln, Blackheath, Randburg, 2118

For more information, click here.

Jo'Anna Melt Bar

Jo’Anna Melt Bar is a Melville-based place that has a jukebox, which means that if you want to hear your chosen tracks, you’d better get there early! It’s a great place to dance, drink and just have an awesome time. They also serve up melted cheese in every shape and form imaginable – should you get a late night craving for something cheesy.

Where: 7 7th Street, Melville, Johannesburg.

For more information, click here.

Artivist 

This is the vibe you're looking for where art meets food, meets bar, meets an overall fun time. This is also one of the chillest, mature and upmarket venues with good food and cocktails on the menu, that appeals to the neighbourhood's post-student and of course the young professional crowd. If you haven't been yet make sure you pay them a visit. We might bump into you. This is one of our favourite places.

Where: 7 Reserve Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

For more information, click here. 

Mootee Bar 

Welcome to Africa everybody! This is an authentic, unconventional interpretation of modern Africa. They embrace every African concept and promise to give you a different and unique experience. They normally have amazing events lined up for you and if you find yourself around Melville this is just where you want to find yourself.

Where: 78A 4th Avenue, Melville, Johannesburg.

For more information, click here. 

By Shawn Greyling

Know of other rad student clubs or bars not mentioned above? Let us know in the comments section below. Also, sharing is caring, so pop this article on social media for us.

Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.

Randlords

If you're looking for an exclusive rooftop bar to enjoy your afternoon or evening, then Randlords should be at the top of your list. Located in the Braamfontein area of Johannesburg, you get to enjoy the city's buzz while watching a spectacular sunset, and seeing the city lights come alive on the Nelson Mandela bridge is a bonus you won't want to miss. This, coupled with a great drink and great company sounds like a pretty sweet deal to us.

Details: Randlords | 011 403 1833 | 22nd Floor, South Point Towers, 41 De Korte Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

Elevate Rooftop: The Reef Hotel

Take a trip down to Marshalltown for a brilliant evening at The Reef Hotel.This spot should definitely be high up on your list given their fabulous Elevate Rooftop Venue. This space can also be hired out for events and guests can enjoy a 360-degree view of the city. So, if you're planning on hosting a fabulous rooftop bar event, why look anywhere else? Alternatively, you can go to simply enjoy the view, some drinks and good food. Either way, that sounds like a win to us.

Details: Elevate Rooftop Venue | 011 689 1000 | [email protected] | 16th Floor, The Reef Hotel, 58 Anderson Street, Marshalltown, Johannesburg.

The Living Room

If you're about doing what's trendy then pop on over to the Maboneng Precinct and enjoy the sunset and hipster buzz with a cocktail in hand at The Living Room. This nature-inspired rooftop bar is vibrant and perfect to enjoy sundowners with friends, take photographs and share some good laughs. Also serving tasty food, your experience here will be unforgettable.

Details: The Living Room | 082 370 9284 | [email protected] | 5th Floor, Main Change Building, 20 Kruger Street, Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg.

Copper Bar

The Copper Bar offers a trendy hangout, but it's also a great place if you want to catch some of the most beautiful sunsets and views from Main Street and grab a few cocktails. Just keep in mind that this spot is usually closed to the public except on select Thursdays when they host their Copper Thursdays (get your tickets at Nutickets, no under 25s are allowed).

Details: Copper Bar | 071 516 4846 | [email protected] | Corner Main Office Park, 02 Payne Road, Bryanston, Sandton, Johannesburg.

The Westcliff, Four Seasons Hotel

If you're craving something a bit more suburban and modern, then The Westcliff might just be the perfect venue for you. Imagine being served succulent tapas and delicious drinks while you enjoy a stunning sunset overlooking leafy Joburg. Sounds fabulous, doesn't it?

Details: Four Seasons Hotel | 011 481 6000 | 67 Jan Smuts Avenue, Westcliff, Johannesburg.

The San Deck at Sandton Sun

Loved by many Sandton residents, The San Deck is the perfect rooftop bar whether in summer or winter. Summer is best to enjoy the sun with some gorgeous cocktails under the umbrellas or on the couches. Winter is also great with the outdoor heaters and glorious fire pits to keep you warm after the sun goes down.

Details: The San Deck | 011 780 5000 | [email protected] | Sandton Sun Hotel, 5th Street, Sandton, Johannesburg.

The Island Bar

Need an after-work hangout spot or just looking to miss the traffic? Either way, the Island Bar at the Southern Sun Hyde Park pool deck is a lovely place to unwind, sip on icy drinks and catch some of the most unforgettable Highveld sunsets the city has to offer. Their cocktail menu is quite impressive, so there's no doubt there'll be something for every taste.

Details: Island Bar | 011 341 8080 | Southern Sun Hyde Park, Corner Jan Smuts and William Nicol Drive, Hyde Park, Sandton, Johannesburg.

Sir James van Der Merwe at Katy's Palace Bar

Sir James van der Merwe at Katy's Palace Bar in Kramerville is just the place to be on a Wednesday night. The venue itself is trendy, hip, eclectic and lively and so are the cocktails. Then there's their perfect view of Sandton... just stunning! They tend to host lots of cool and exciting events, so make sure you keep an eye out on Facebook to see what they have coming up.

Details: Sir James Van Der Merwe | 072 607 4235 | [email protected] | 06 Desmond Street, Kramerville, Sandton, Johannesburg.

Know other great rooftop bars not mentioned above? Let us know below!

Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.

First up, this is an amazing concept that takes place at various bars and restaurants around the world. Simply put, a local artistic fundi will take you step by step through a beautiful canvas painting while you relax, paint, get in touch with your inner creative spirit, and drink lots of wine!

I have to admit being quite intimidated by my blank canvas and a slightly daunting painting that I was expected to emulate. However, Andrea Shine (our instructor) soon put an end to that by encouraging us to leave our inner perfectionist at the door and just have fun! Before long, we were trying our best to follow each step, without getting too hung up with the outcome, while also singing along to the music and chatting up a storm. I was BEYOND smug when I saw what I had created (and my daughter’s resulting astonishment when she saw it.) I can’t wait to do it again!

paintnite

It was also fascinating to see the variety of people that arrived at this sold-out event – Book Clubs, couples, groups of friends, mothers and daughters – there was such a wide variety of people with one common goal: to have fun and make a memory!

If you’re keen to give it a try (this is where you nod and say “yes!”), then click here to check out all upcoming events. Personally, I would choose the painting you’d like to do, as opposed to the location and BOOK SOON as they do sell out fast. This is also a spectacular gift idea – I’m going to request it again next year!

TIP: Follow them on Facebook and check out their Facebook page BEFORE booking as they often have massive discount codes available. Trust me, it’s worth doing!

By Shelli NT

paintnite

What drew you to the design industry initially? Is it something you always wanted to be involved in?

Design has innately always been something I've wanted to do and my passion for it just keeps on growing with every project. I have always had a passion for experiential spaces, and being involved in hospitality design allows me to play with that concept on a daily basis.

Who/what do you take inspiration from?

I am inspired by travel, locally and internationally. There are so many people out there doing great things, there is constant inspiration, from dining out in Paris to popping into your local Nando's.

Winning an SA Style Award, that’s prestigious stuff! What did it mean to you?

As a designer it’s amazing to be recognised for the work you put out there, so it’s been great to get this affirmation and, more than anything, the award is something I’m inspired to live up to.

And what does style mean to you in general?

Style in our time is so open to interpretation that we have much more freedom to express ourselves than before. Style has evolved past just echoing trends and has become an individualistic expression of one's aspirations and culture.

What would you say your signature style is?

In design, I aim to create spaces that are inspiring, detailed and tailor-made for the purposes of the space. Perhaps sometimes bordering on a maximalist design approach, my intention is to create immersive hospitality experiences. In terms of fashion, I don't take it too seriously. I look for quality, something unique and most importantly if it's black!

What space are you most proud of and why?

MESH Club is definitely a firm favourite of mine. We were able to work with amazing artists, craftsmen and clients who were all completely on board with pushing the boundaries of design.

Career highlight so far?

Being a finalist in the International Restaurant & Bar Design Awards two years in a row and winning best bar design in London last year. [Tristan won the Best Restaurant & Bar Design Award for the Middle East and Africa category in 2016 for his design of News Café Rosebank].

And career lowlight?

An accident on site that left me out of action for two months in 2016.

 

We can delve into the old origins of Braamfontein, or we could skip a couple of decades forward and tell you about how Braamies became the cool inner-city suburb we know today.

Before an influx of hipsters, bright-eyed millennials and foodies took over Braamfontein, this part of town played home to the white collar workers of yesteryear. Around 1950, Braamfontein shifted from being a city suburb filled with low-rent apartments, a handful of canteens and offices to a more prominent part of town. This came when the City Council moved offices to Braamies, the SABC relocated to Auckland Park and South African Breweries set up shop in Braamfontein (before moving to Newtown years later). Because of this, the area saw an influx of hipper Joburgers who enjoyed staying up late, hanging out in the streets and having a good time with friends. Eventually, Braamies grew into a place where inner-city workers could hang out on weekends and relax.

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The suburb has since evolved into a haven of young revolutionaries, varsity students and hipsters. From its humble beginnings to being known as the "tekkie capital" of South Africa, Braamfontein has become one of the coolest spots in town to hang out. The culinary scene is booming too. It's the go-to place for a quick coffee, a chilled brunch or a big dinner. Over weekends, there is an influx of out-of-towners who hang out at the Neighbourgoods Market, have drinks at Kitchener's and party at the Great Dane once the African sun has gone to sleep.

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#Skateboarding in #braamfontein #photography #photographer #johannesburg #photooftheday #streetphotography #art #fineart #editing #life #love #capture

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Needless to say, Braamfontein has become a playground for both municipal government and private developers. Urban renewal in the area breathes new life into a familiar space. From the addition of the Gautrain at Park Station in 2010 to student accommodation popping up all over the place, Braamies has shaped the city more than we've come to realise. It acts as the gateway (before you cross the Nelson Mandela Bridge) into the City Of Gold. From Constitution Hill to the Orbit jazz club, there is something for everyone.

According to a handful of old school party-goers, Braamfontein saw a revival of its nightlife around 2009 when the Milner Park Hotel (now known as Kitchener's and the second oldest bar in Johannesburg) was hired by prominent DJ and music guru, Andrew Clements, to host a handful of his music session nights. This eventually snowballed into what we now know as Braamfontein today.

For a more in-depth look at good old Braamfontein, check out our Explore Braamfontein piece.

Ratz

If you're looking for a vibrant bar with great food and music dating back to the 70s, then Ratz is definitely the place to go. Known for being famously gay-friendly, you can expect superb table service, takeaways, parties and everything awesome. And there are different specials and events lined up on different nights of the week. On Tuesdays, it's buy-one-get-one-free on select shots, Wednesdays are karaoke nights, Thursdays is buy-one-get-one-free on select beers and on Fridays and Saturdays, they host Decades of Hits parties.

Details: Ratz Bar | 011 482 2414 | [email protected] | 9 7th Street, Melville, Johannesburg.

Beefcakes Johannesburg

If Beefcakes isn't one of the first names that comes to mind when you think of gay bars, then you are certainly not going out enough! Rectify that as soon as possible by checking out this dazzling bar located in Illovo. You can also look forward to fun drag shows and camp cabaret – definitely something worth sussing out. And not only that, they have some of the best burgers in the city!

Details: Beefcakes | 011 447 5266 | [email protected] | 198 Oxford Road, Illovo, Johannesburg.

Babylon – The Bar

For a small cover charge, you'll be experiencing a colourful explosion of culture and fascinating people. Gay, lesbian, straight or trans – everyone is welcome at Babylon for a night of dancing, trance music, hot barmen and delicious drinks! If you're looking for a more exclusive affair, you can even book out the VIP section for a private event.

Details: Babylon - The Joburg Bar | 083 993 8205 | [email protected] | Illovo Muse Centre, 198 Oxford Road, Sandton, Johannesburg.

Priscilla's

Priscilla's is the relative new kid on the block at Illovo Muse, where both Beefcakes and Babylon are located. Inspired by the film Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert, this cocktail bar and restaurant offers weekly themed evenings. Come through for Choice Tuesday, Winning Wednesday, Tequila Thursday, FriGay, Cocktail Saturday and Drunch Sundays! This is definitely worth a visit on your next trip to the pink neighbourhood.

Details: Priscilla's | 081 562 6419 | [email protected] | Illovo Muse Centre, 198 Oxford Rd, Illovo, Johannesburg.

gay bars

Trouble Bar

Are you in the mood for some trouble? Not the bad kind, but just the fun? Then Trouble Bar is most certainly the place you need to go. Known as the 'back to basics' gay bar, Trouble is located in Randburg. Here, you can look forward to awesome music, handsome men and great drinks! What more could you possibly ask for?

Details: Trouble Bar | 082 875 9230 | [email protected] | Corner Rabie Road and Republic, Randburg, Johannesburg.

Xai Xai Lounge

If you feel like some Portuguese or Mozambican cuisine while mingling in a gay-friendly setting, then Xai Xai Lounge in Melville on 7th Avenue is a definite must-visit. Also known as a Mozambican Shebeen, the lounge is very cosy, comfortable and welcoming. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, pop in any time of the day!

Details: Xai Xai | 011 482 6990 | [email protected] | 7th Street, Melville, Johannesburg.

gay bars

The Gay Club SA

Finding a safe and welcoming space to enjoy yourself on a Saturday evening can be tricky when you live in the East of Johannesburg. Thankfully, there is a haven on Northrand Road in Boksburg, which is strictly hate-free and welcomes one and all to have a good time. The Gay Club SA hums on Friday and Saturday nights, as the LGBT+ community streams in to let go of their worries and dance the night away. You'll want to dress to impress to fit in here, so get out those cha cha heels and false eyelashes!

Details: The Gay Club SA | 081 543 5588 | [email protected] | Corner Gibb & North Rand Road, Boksburg, Gauteng.

People Like Us

Our final feature on this list of the best gay bars in Jozi is the People Like Us Pub. Also located in the East Rand, this LGBT+ friendly venue offers Thursday karaoke nights, as well as drag entertainment. Open seven days a week, this is a definite must-visit for midweek drinks with friends or Friday night shooters.

Details: People Like Us Pub | 082 571 6266 | 343 Kingfisher Ave, Sunward park, Sunward Palms Shopping Centre, Boksburg, Gauteng.

Do you know of any other fabulous gay bars not mentioned above? Let us know about them below! And, while you're at it, check out our article on LGBT+ friendly restaurants in Joburg

Southern Sun Hyde Park

What a view! Head here for sundowners and stay until the sun comes up… well, I'm sure the staff wouldn't like that but either way, get there before sunset, order a cocktail and kick it like its 1999 at the Southern Sun Hyde Park's Whisky & Cigar Bar.

The Banister Hotel

Braamfontein is known for its nightlife and the bar at the Bannister Hotel has a big part to play in the neighbourhood's party persona. Keep it old school with some sick beats, a couple of beers and a lot of dancing. The festivities usually start picking up at around 21:00. This is one of those hotel bars you can't afford to miss out on.

Circle Bar

The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosebank has a lovely little trick up its sleeve. Circle Bar is a wonderful place to get your party on over a weekend and even better so when you're staying at the hotel. Membership cards are available which include awesome perks such as free Wi-Fi. See, we told you we'd bring you a list of the hottest hotel bars in town.

Maxim Lounge

One of Sandton's most celebrated little gems is the Maxim Lounge with its sophisticated stash of whiskies and cigars. The old cocktail spot has been upgraded and given a gentleman's shave, decked out with new leather seats, and there's a special locker system for your bottles of booze and a great menu. Yeah, sure this doesn't fall under hotel bars, per se, but it's part of a hotel, and it's a bar, right? Right?

Ascot Boutique Hotel

Just around the corner from the Houghton Golf Club is the Ascot Boutique Hotel, waiting for you in anticipation. Cocktails galore, good music and bar food you can't help but post on Instagram. Bring your A-game and let your hair down at the Ascot's bar. It's a place deserving of your leisure time.

The Colony Arms

Every Saturday is karaoke night at The Colony Arms in Craighall Park from 20:00. With a range of songs to choose from, your evening is set to be memorable. Add to that some delicious platters and tasty cocktails — can you picture a better Saturday night? And if you're looking for a little bit of fun during the week, don't miss Monday Madness (half-price on burgers, pregos and pub sandwiches between 18:00 and 20: 00), Quiz Night Tuesdays, Wine Wednesdays, and beer pong and Ladies' Night every Thursday.

Details:  011 447 6646 | [email protected] | 345 Jan Smuts Ave, Colony Centre, Craighall Park, Johannesburg.

Ratz Bar

Need a midweek pick-me-up? Karaoke Night is on every Wednesday at Ratz Bar in Melville! Happy Hour is from 16:00 - 20:00 and the karaoke fun starts at 20:00. Oh, and let's not forget about Sunday Sundowner Karaoke, every Sunday from 18:00. It's the perfect way to round off your weekend. And to make it even better, there are half-price cocktails from 16:00 – 20:00. The first 10 people to sing get a FREE cocktail!

Details: 011 482 9965 | [email protected] | 9 7th Street, Melville, Johannesburg.

Karaoke

Keg & Beagle

Nothing to do on Friday night? Then pop by the Keg & Beagle in Edenvale to sing out loud while indulging in some hearty meals and refreshing drinks. This pub is so warm and welcoming you might not want to leave because you'll be having such a great time. The vibe is always upbeat and there's live music for your entertainment while you tuck into something delicious from their menu (you definitely get your money's worth here).

Details: 011 882 9553 | Shop 25, 110 Linksfield Road, Dowerglen, Edenvale, Johannesburg.

Paddy's Café & Pool Bar

We haven't been to Paddy's Café  & Pool Bar for quite some time, but as far as we know, Thursdays are Karaoke Nights from 20:00. And if not, not a problem, at least you can play a few rounds of pool with your mates, grab some drinks at the bar and tuck into some good grub. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Details: www.paddyscafe.co.za | 011 781 3826 | [email protected] | Canterbury Crossing, corner Bram Fischer Avenue and Hunter Street, Ferndale, Johannesburg.

Off The Grid Bar & Kitchen

If you're looking for an exciting evening out then get to Karaoke Roulette at OTG Bar & Kitchen in Paulshof, every Thursday at 19:30. How it works is the KJ will have two bags: one to draw the names of those who dare enter the Karaoke Roulette and the other containing songs from a certain theme. The karaoke theme changes weekly and could be anything from 80s ballads and the rocking 90s, to band- or artist-dedicated evenings or genre-specific nights. At any time during the evening, the KJ will pull a name from the bag. That's your cue to head to the stage and grab the mic! You will then draw a song from the second bag. If you complete the song, your name will be placed in 'the pot' for the raffle draw to be held at the end of the night. Make sure you book your spot!

Details: www.facebook.com | 010 493 8482 | [email protected] | Corner of Stonehaven and Witkoppen roads, Paulshof, Johannesburg.

Karaoke

Tonino's 

By day, Tonino's Portuguese restaurant is a popular lunchtime spot and by night, they have a great vibe with entertainment. Catch bands every Friday and Saturday with hits from the 60s and the latest tunes on the radio to rock ‘n roll and the blues. And if you're brave enough to grab the mic and belt out a few notes, then Karaoke Night on Wednesdays is for you. Love sushi? Their master sushi chef will be at the restaurant from 18:00 – 21:00 every night. Also, you can watch the latest sports fixtures or play a round or two of pool.

Details: www.toninos.co.za | 011 485 1748 | 3 Dunnottar Street, Sydenham, Orange Grove, Johannesburg.

Rumours Rock City

Wednesday Night is Karaoke Night at Rumours Rock City, and everyone's invited, whether you're a rock star or an amateur and whether you're competing or not. As always, there will be amazing drink specials available on the night for courage and stamina and most importantly, the karaoke fun is FREE! Click here for more details on the competitor karaoke challenge.

Details: www.rumoursrockcity.co.za | 079 825 7995 | [email protected] | Corner Weltevreden Road and Valley Lane, Blackheath, Johannesburg

Saigon Suzy

Saigon Suzy is an Asian-inspired, rock 'n roll bar and restaurant located in Rosebank. Their menu celebrates south-east Asian cooking that draws influence from Southern China, Vietnam and Thailand. Plus, you can sing your heart out in their 'No Tell Motel' secret karaoke pods. Just make sure that you book your private karaoke pod for your next night out. Quick tip: rather catch an Uber to this popular joint as parking is pretty tight. 

Details: www.facebook.com | 011 327 6596 | [email protected] | 144 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg.

Karaoke

Know other awesome karaoke bars we must visit but haven't been mentioned above? Let us know below!

Remember that our "Top Picks" are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.

Soweto Front End...

Chaf Pozi

For an authentic Soweto experience, Chaf-Pozi is the perfect spot for you. Mostly a restaurant by day and a club by night, this venue offers amazing entertainment, vibrant music and mouthwatering local meals, including a tasty Tshisa Nyama and a premium cold beer to quench your thirst. Here, you get to socialise with the who’s who in town and in celebville. Round up your crew as there is something for everyone.

Where is it: 
Orlando Towers, Chris Hani Road & Nicholas Street, Soweto. Find more information here.

701 Panyaza Pub And Braai

Kick off your weekend at 707 Panyaza which hosts a variety of events ranging from hip-hop, house, dancehall, jazz and RnB to get you into the groove of things. You can also experience live entertainment while mingling with socialites. If it’s for a good Tshisa Nyama, drinks or just coming together with people, networking and having fun, 707 Panyaza is the place to be.

Where is it: Panyaza Braai and Pub Tumahole Street, White City, Jabavu, Soweto. Find more information here.

Sedibeng Pub And Restaurant

Sedibeng Pub And Restaurant is one of the finest pubs in the township and has a variety of events happening weekly. Whether you want to party indoors or have a swim by their fancy outdoor area, this sophisticated bar is a perfect spot for a girls night out, a meeting, a social gathering and so much more.

Where is it: 3166 Shinkhova Street, Soweto. Find more information here.

Kwa

E'Socialink Shisa Nyama

This is a fresh, new, trendy, sophisticated spot in Soweto. E'Socialink Shisa Nyama is a pub, bar, Tshisa Nyama and car wash all in one that offers you time to unwind, celebrate, catch the derby, enjoy live entertainment and so much more.

Where is it: Mdeni Link Road and Impala Road 1874, Soweto. Find more information here.

KwaLichaba

If you’re looking forward to an amazing Saturday, this ChesaNyama and Car Wash, located on the famous and trendy Vilakazi Street in Orlando, is a must visit. KwaLichaba has a great, authentic offering that will spice up your weekend. So whether you’re looking for laid back spot to chill or a pumping party spot at night, this is the place to be. Plus, it makes for a great venue to catch the Soweto Derby.

Where is it: 8033 Corner Xorile & Khumalo Street, Orlando West, Soweto. Find more information here.

Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.

Have you been to any of these spots before? Tell us what you think? Do you have any other cool places in Soweto to suggest?

By Neo Sesinye

This chesa nyama and car wash on is located on the famous and trendy Vilakazi Street in Orlando.

Here, you get everything from a lovely chesa nyama that boasts a braai master that serves well-spiced meat, pap and chakalaka that hits the right spots, a bar serving refreshments to quench your thirst.

KwaLichaba offers a vibrant vibe, live music, great entertainment and a car wash service that is usually filled up with classy German sedans.

This spot makes a chill spot on laid back Saturday, that eventually reveals a pumping party as the night progresses.

Have you been here? Rate and review your experience below!