Sandton City 

Imagine a place where the best international brands and everyday leisure and entertainment meet. A place rich in Afro-cosmopolitan glamour, with a distinct South African flair. This is Sandton City. With over 300 local and international retailers, this retail destination is a must-visit for fashionistas and foodies.

While it may be difficult to believe, just over half a century ago the Sandton CBD was nothing more than farmland and estates. With the development of Sandton City in the early 1970s, the suburb began its transformation into the richest retail mile in Africa. The original mall covered only 50 000m² (that's a quarter of the space it now occupies).

In 2011, the mall underwent massive reconstruction, bringing Sandton shoppers more glitz, glamour and gourmet food. Three years later, the Diamond Walk premiered. This exclusive retail space sits between Sandton City's upper level and the Sandton Sun and InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers hotels. Showcasing all things glittered and gold, this stylish walkway features some of the world's most coveted brands.

sandton city

Eating & Drinking

Of course, Sandton City wouldn't be worth visiting without a few great restaurants. Luckily, this premium mall boasts more than just a few impressive eateries to enjoy in between shopping sprees. Here are our top three picks:

Doppio Zero 

Doppio Zero makes real food, real good. Serving up artisan breads, pizzas and Mediterranean fare, as well as an array of vegan meal options. The restaurant recently underwent a makeover - debuting a new interior design concept and a sweet range of Belgian chocolate desserts and treats, delightfully dubbed 'Coco-Me'. If you haven't visited the upgraded restaurant yet, be sure to stop by on your next trip to Sandton City.

JB's Corner

JB's Corner is a firm Sandton City favourite. Offering patrons everything from steaks, to salads and gourmet burgers, this restaurant is always abuzz. They also pride themselves on having the best sushi in Sandton. Don't take our word for it, pay them a visit to determine your own verdict.

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Walnut Grove

Officially Sandton City's longest-running restaurant, Walnut Grove is famous for their cakery and confections. Red velvet, chocolate, rainbow or cheesecake, they have it all. Paired with one of their gourmet coffees, teas or milkshakes, this is sweet tooth heaven. Walnut Grove's main menu is quite alluring too, featuring a feast of Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Bring the kids along, as there is a special menu just for them.

Retail & Entertainment

Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton, Carrol Boyes and Apple, all under one roof. Sandton City is the premiere shopping destination for international style in Johannesburg. Visit Calvin Klein Jeans, D’ORÉ, Diesel, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Armani Jeans and Billionaire Italian Couture for your runway-inspired threads.

Get the kiddies fashion sorted at Earthchild, Koco Bino or Naartjie. These top children's fashion brands will have your little one looking super stylish, but without compromising on comfort or durability.

In terms of entertainment, Sandton City offers shoppers family-friendly excitement and experiences which you wouldn't find anywhere else. Spend a day exploring all that the mall has to share, including BT Games, Toy Kingdom, Hamleys, Heroes of Games and Comics and the only LEGO certified store in the country. Afterwards, you can wind down at Ster-Kinekor with a family fun movie and loads of popcorn.

Nelson Mandela Square

Nelson Mandela Square adjoins Sandton City, together making up the largest retail complex in Africa. While much smaller in size than the mall (only 1,000sqm), the Square still attracts over one million local and international visitors a month. Offering shoppers a taste of heritage, culture and fine dining, Nelson Mandela Square is undoubtedly one of our top tourist destinations. The open-air European style piazza is a great place to take a snap shot of yourself with the iconic Mandela statue. Or, you can shop till you drop at their 88 retail outlets. Refresh your spirits with glorious South African steaks, curries and desserts, or take a trip around the world, indulging in French wines, tapas and Italian coffee.

nelson mandela square

Fine Dining

Celebrating a milestone birthday, anniversary or achievement? The Square should be your go-to dining destination. Meat lovers are well treated here at The Butcher Shop & Grill, Trumps Grillhouse and Rocomamas. There are also a couple of family-friendly eateries, so you can bring the whole brood along for a fancy dinner out.

For fine Italian dining there is Septimo, with fresh pasta, bread and coffee to keep you going. They make everything from scratch here, including their famous sauces. This is the perfect date night restaurant. With the awesome Sandton vibe and twinkly city lights, you will fall in love (whether it be with the food, the Square or your partner) in no time.

Couture

Nelson Mandela Square takes international fashion to another level. Their list of retailers features only the best from Europe, Asia, the USA and Africa. But, don't fret too much about your pocket - there are some budget friendly options here too, including Factorie and Forever 21. This is the ideal shopping complex for a mom and daughter bonding session or girls shopping spree. It's also a wonderful window shopping destination, it never hurts to look and dream does it?

Check out our article on the best places to shop at Nelson Mandela Square before heading out with your credit cards at the ready.

Theatre on the Square

Finally, there is the pinnacle of entertainment and culture at Nelson Mandela Square - the Auto & General Theatre. Hosting numerous theatre shows, music performances and comedy skits throughout the year, this is one of Joburg's best theatre venues. The ambience of this theatre screams classic cabaret - with a wine bar, red carpet and intimate stage, it's the best alternative to popular theatre. There are also a number of children's shows to take the kids to during the holidays.

And the winner is...

We could never pick a top dog between these two prime shopping centres. They both offer world-class fashion, food and entertainment. So, be like everyone else and stroll between the two! The Gautrain station is just a few metres away, so you really have no excuse not to visit both Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square.

 

Earthchild

Earthchild

Earthchild was born out of the high demand for a fresh, elegantly fun and sophisticated kidswear brand. From classic tees and leggings to cotton dresses and shirts, you’re guaranteed top quality clothing and brands for your little ones at reasonable prices throughout the seasons.

Find more information here.

Naartjie Kids

Whether you’re shopping for your adorable newborn, toddler, girl or boy, Naartjie Kids guarantees you fun, fashionable clothing for kids. The Naartjie clothing brand is a deeply rooted South African product that has a flavour and style of its own. Naartjie launches 10 ranges per year with brand new prints, fresh colours and current trends for kids.

Find more information here.

Sowearto Kids

Afro-chic just got tastier (and funnier) at Sowearto. This clothing boutique stocks up on the latest and funkiest fashion trends and they’re all 100% local. Get stylish, funny quirky crawlers and tees, tutu dresses and jumpsuits too. The store also has some trendy kicks including baby Converses, 100% cotton voile rompers and matching reversible kimonos.

Find more information here.

Sowearto 2

Kids Emporium

Kids Emporium is your haven that not only stocks up on the greatest kiddies fashion but maternity wear for mommies, essentials for your kid’s bedroom, furniture, décor, toys, gifts and so much more. Here you can find the cutest brands ranging from Havaianas, Twinkle Toes, MooMoo Kids and Huggalugs.

Find more information here.

Keedo

Keedo brings out the fun and playful side out of your toddler with their uniqueness, quality and style. This store believes in comfortability, hence their use of soft natural fibers. Their range specializes in comfortable, high-end play and occasional wear for newborn to nine-year-olds.

Find more information here.

Earthchild

Earthchild was born out of the high demand for a fresh, elegantly fun and sophisticated kidswear brand. From classic tees and leggings to cotton dresses and shirts, you’re guaranteed top quality clothing and brands for your little ones at reasonable prices throughout the seasons.

Find more information here.

Naartjie Kids

Whether you’re shopping for your adorable newborn, toddler, girl or boy, Naartjie Kids guarantees you fun, fashionable clothing for kids. The Naartjie clothing brand is a deeply rooted South African product that has a flavour and style of its own. Naartjie launches 10 ranges per year with brand new prints, fresh colours and current trends for kids.

Find more information here.

Kids Emporium

Kids Emporium is a haven that not only stocks up on great kiddies fashion, but maternity wear for mommies, essentials for your kid’s bedroom, furniture, décor, toys, gifts and so much more. Here, you can find the cutest brands ranging from Havaianas, Twinkle Toes, MooMoo Kids and Huggalugs.

For more information, check out their Facebook page.

Kids Boutiques

Koco Bino

Koco Bino offers a stunning range of clothes for babies, little boys and girls and even mommies-to-be! Their stylish and high-quality garments will have you and baby on-trend no matter what season. They also stock other brands such as Cinnamon and Sue, Lou Harvey, Polo South Africa, ShooShoos and more and they also sell baby accessories, prams, car seats, carriers and furniture.

For more information, check them out on Facebook.

Full of Beans Baby & Kids Boutique

From high-end nursery products that capture the joy of babyhood to luxury products available for a customer with refined taste, Full of Beans Baby & Kids Boutique is just the place to visit. They stock furniture, décor, linen, baby garments and accessories that are not only practical, but beautiful and produced by a number of top local and international suppliers and brands.

For more information, visit their Facebook page.

Sowearto Kids

Afro-chic just got tastier (and funnier) at Sowearto. This clothing boutique stocks up on the latest and funkiest fashion trends and they’re all 100% local. Get stylish, funny and quirky crawlers and tees, tutu dresses and jumpsuits too. The store also has some trendy kicks including baby Converses, 100% cotton voile rompers and matching reversible kimonos.

Find more information here.

Sowearto 2

Keedo

Keedo brings out the fun and playful side out of your toddler with their uniqueness, quality and style. This store believes in comfortability, hence their use of soft natural fabrics. Their range specializes in comfortable, high-end play and occasional wear for newborn to nine-year-olds.

Find more information here.

 

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