Like puzzle pieces, the suburbs of Johannesburg fit together to form the City Of Gold. Every area brings its own unique dynamic to the table, which is why Jozi is such a cosmopolitan city. To newcomers, this may all seem daunting, but don't fret! That's why we're here - to be your guide through the suburbs of Johannesburg. On that note, tighten those walking shoes and follow us as we introduce you to the different neighbourhoods in town.
By far one of the coolest suburbs in Johannesburg, Melville is one of its oldest neighbourhoods, dating back to the mid-1890s, and was named for land surveyor, Edward Harker Vincent Melvill. Today, this area is known for its exciting bars, trendy restaurants and thriving student social scene due to its close proximity to the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). Melville is also well known for the picturesque Melville Koppies, an exciting archaeological and geological site with rolling hills overlooking the city of Johannesburg.
Randburg is considered the central point of the northern suburbs. From here, everything is easily accessible via the main routes that traffic to and from this area. Other than it's ideal location from many neighbouring business, retail and entertainment hubs, it has its own gems you need to visit and explore for yourself. First stop, a well-deserved shopping spree, so why not pop into Cresta Shopping Centre, Randburg Square, or the brand-new Ferndale on Republic (AKA the Brightwater Commons). Tantalise your taste buds at one of the suburbs restaurants including Fusionista, Patisserie de Paris, The Fussy Vegan or Del Fornos. And for your entertainment, spend the afternoon racing around a track at Randburg Raceway Indoor Karting Track or getting lost at the Honeydew Mazes.
The crown on top of the City Of Johannesburg's head, Sandton stands proud at 143.5 km² and offers a world of entertainment, commerce, and retail opportunities. The area comprises of a string affluent neighbourhoods such as Rivonia, Bryanston, and Morningside to name a few. In the centre, you will find the Sandton business centre, a city on its own, filled with commerce, busy nightlife and a string of world-class hotels and venues.
Known as the trendy and cultural area in Joburg North, Rosebank is a vibrant, lively and diverse suburb that's jam-packed with plenty of must-visits, retail centres, sundowner spots and hip hotels. The area attracts plenty of businessmen and tourists alike with its exciting daytime excursions, divine dining hot spots and cool nightlife. Spend your Sundays exploring and shopping up a storm at the Rosebank Sunday Market on the rooftop of Rosebank Mall. For some of the best cocktails in the neighbourhood, be sure to visit Sin+Tax or Mix Cocktail Bar. And if you have a love for on-trend local and international art and design, artisan eateries, vibrant shops and spaces, and unique cafés, then the Keyes Art Mile is a definite must. Rosebank is by far one of the most versatile suburbs of Johannesburg with its suburban feel while stick to that city appeal thanks to its central business district.
The small and dense northern suburb of Parkhurst is mainly residential, but is well known for its trendy street life and sidewalk cafés, exuding quite a similar feel and atmosphere as vibey Greenside and Melville. The area is also quite popular for its two main business roads – 4th Avenue, which offers visitors, residents and tourists a lovely collection of restaurants and cafés, décor and design, antiques and service shops; and 6th Street, which is quickly converting into a design and décor, art and small business hub. Let's take a look at this exciting suburb and see what it has to offer.
Now, we move onto fabulous Fourways! Did you know that Fourways is known as the fastest developing commercial and residential hub in north? Other than attracting visitors from far and wide, for both business and leisure, the suburb also plays home to a wide selection of entertainment, restaurant and retail spots that you need to visit and explore for yourself. One of the big attractions in Fourways is the exciting entertainment hub of Montecasino. Bringing Italy to Joburg, Montecasino offers guests everything from amazing restaurants, interesting stores and incredible live shows, to cool events, family fun and even the chance to strike it lucky and win big! Other than Montecasino, there's the epic and recently renovated Fourways Mall, top-notch hotels, and let's not forget to mention the thrilling Croc City Crocodile & Reptile Park.
Bryanston is a beehive of activity and attractions, especially when it comes to some of the best restaurants in the north. Here, you can take your pick from dozens of incredible restaurants offering a wide selection of cuisines from authentic Italian to French fine dining. We highly recommend a visit to Casa Del Sol Botanico at Bryanston Shopping Centre; Gemelli at the Posthouse Link Centre; and Coachman's Inn at Coachman's Crossing. As for retail therapy, Bryanston Shopping Centre, Nicolway Bryanston and Hobart Grove Centre are sure to have everything you're looking for from on-trend fashion to your weekly groceries. And if you're looking for a little bit of fun in the area, spend a Saturday morning browsing through the Bryanston Organic & Natural Market, get the adrenaline pumping at the Jozi X Adventure Centre, or even do a little skating at RollEgoli Roller Rink.
The northern crown on top of the City Of Johannesburg's head, Midrand stands proud at 152,9 km² and offers a world of entertainment, commerce, and retail opportunities. The area comprises a string affluent neighbourhoods such as Waterfall, Kyalami, and Beaulieu to name a few. In the centre of this, you will find the commerce centre, a city on its own, filled with businesses, busy nightlife and a string of world-class hotels and venues.
Most people only know a handful of facts about the township: it is a vibrant township located at the edge of Joburg, and it was the site of a student uprising in 1976 that helped to bring international attention to the struggle against the old regime. But there’s so much more to know — Soweto has a fascinating history and is home to a diverse array of people from all walks of life.
One of the more "suburban" suburbs of Johannesburg, let's introduce you to the "Poorte". As one of Gauteng's oldest areas, Roodepoort has expanded dramatically over the years. Hosting a remarkable blend of residential and formerly-industrial areas, Roodepoort is a beautiful place to live and work. The suburbs are named to reflect their history, with suburbs such as Radiokop (for the radio mast) and Little Falls showcasing this tradition. Roodepoort is also home to our city's most famous botanical gardens - The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens. There are so many open spaces, golf courses and boundless places to find entertainment.
Germiston, named after the Glaswegian farm, was established shortly after the gold rush on the Witwatersrand. Declared a city in 1950, it is often overlooked for being an industrial hub rather than a must-visit Jozi suburb. However, there is much to be seen and done here, if one only looks close enough. Driving through the 'old' town offers a glimpse of history, as century-old buildings stand tall among new developments. With their brick facades and stained-glass panels, these national landmarks are a sight to behold amidst the vapid decay of the inner city.
Kempton Park is a city in Ekhuruleni, east of Johannesburg. Established in 1903, it is one of Gauteng's largest residential and industrial areas. At 149.05 square kilometres, Kempton Park is an expansive area of land. Let's take a closer look to find out all that the suburb has to offer. There are a number of exciting retail offerings in Kempton Park. Festival Mall is the largest shopping centre in the area, boasting a variety of stores, as well as the only ice rink on the East Rand! Though technically not one of the suburbs of Johannesburg, Kempton Park is considered part of Jozi.
Explore Kempton Park
Would you like to meet one of our favourites suburbs of Johannesburg? For an inner-city adventure like no other, visit the bustling suburb of Braamfontein! Spend an evening taking in the beautiful views of this area of town while sipping on sundowners and listening to amazing music at the rooftop urban venue, The Living Room. Or why not do a little shopping and nibbling at the Neighbourgoods Market Johannesburg every Saturday. Also, stop by 44 Stanley for a sophisticated downtown shopping, eating, working, and living experience. There's so much to explore in Braamfontein, keep reading to find out what other hidden gems this suburb has to offer.
On weekends, it filled to the brim with tourists and locals alike. The streets overflow with vendors selling everything from authentic artworks to super cool shades and everything in between. When the sun goes down, the rooftop bars fill up with cool kids who like to dance and have a good time. In between all of this excitement, you will find authentic African restaurants that cover everything from West to East Africa. Maboneng is also home to a handful of art galleries and an independent movie theatre. Recently rated among 12 coolest neighborhoods in the world by Forbes Magazine, Maboneng is a seriously cool place to be.
The Joburg CBD has evolved over the past three decades into something resembling one of the most modern cities in the world. It has become a melting pot of people from across Africa, making it as cosmopolitan as can be. From top tier Fortune 500 companies to street vendors selling fresh produce, the Joburg CBD is filled to the brim with a wide variety of commerce. But that's not all, with a little inside information you will be able to dine like nowhere else, shop to your heart's content, and dance until the cows come home. Without further ado, we present you with the ultimate guide to the inner city of Johannesburg.
Explore Joburg CBD
This vegan restaurant offers all day breakfasts, open sandwiches, Beyond Burgers, Belgian Waffles, Hot & Hearty dishes, Gourmet Shakes, Smoothies and tasty sweet treats. If you only try one thing here, let is be a waffle. Thick and fluffy golden waffles are topped with an assortment of ingredients, from grilled banana and chocolate to berry compote and toffee syrup. These are served with a luscious scoop of vegan ice cream. If that doesn't sound like the ultimate vegan indulgence, we don't know what does!
Contact details: 011 524 7603 | 147 N Reef Rd, Bedfordview | Facebook Page
Italian cuisine is a favourite classic for most of us, but is also rich in meat and cheese. Luckily, vegans can enjoy their favourite Mediterranean food at Lupa Osteria. This eatery has an entire menu dedicated to meat-free options. Start your dinner with Oven Baked Veggie Balls, served with tomato, basil and vegan mozzarella. For mains, indulge in your choice of pasta, pizza or a yummy burger. And for a sweet touch, enjoy a thick and creamy Vegan Oreo Milkshake with Hershley's Chocolate Sauce.
This popular Sandton Eatery has recently opened a new branch at Flamingo Shopping Centre in Modderfontein, bringing the east a wide variety of vegan options. Lexi's Healthy Eatery serves up cuisine for all dietary requirements, including vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters. Most of their menu offers plant-based choices. While their menu has a variety of fine dining options, we're suckers for the Beet Smashed Falafel Wrap. With beetroot falafels, carrot hummus, grated carrots, sliced tomato, red onion, cucumber, mixed greens and tahini dressing, this is a must-try.
Located at Green Thumb Nursery, The Vegan Chef is the new kid on the vegan food block. Their menu is dotted with delicious vegan options, which include Southern Fried Chickn, Vish and Beyond Burgers. The Sticky Wings served with slaw and chips has become a favourite for patrons looking for a tasty alternative to meaty dishes. We, however, are enamored with the Decadent Vegan Donuts, a fine treat for any occasion.
Doppio Zero is a favourite among vegans and health food fundis alike. Not only do they offer one of the best vegan bowls in the city, but they also offer a wide range of tasty and nutritious plant-based meals. Those new to veganism or missing the taste of meat should give the Beyond Bangers & Mash a try, made with Beyond Meat sausages, smoor, coconut crushed potatoes and pearl onions. Those who don't want imitation meat have a plethora of other meals to choose from. We recomend the Nomad Wrap, The Veg Spread and the Grain Slaw.
The Secret Garden is a hidden gem of the east. Surrounded by lush greenery and quirky decor, this eatery is the ultimate garden setting for an intimate brunch date. The menu caters to both vegans and meat eaters. Infact, almost every menu item is available in both vegan and non-vegan options. The Vegan Falafel Salad is a favourite for locals. Crispy falafel balls are served alongside roast pepper, butternut and brinjals. Finished off with a mini health loaf, this healthy salad will satisfy even the hungriest appetite.
The East Rand is home to two of the Food Lover's Market Eateries. Based in Edenvale and Sunward Park in Boksburg, these two branches are the only two of the Food Lover's Market Eateries to offer the famed Beyond Meat Burger in Joburg. Loaded with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles onion and creamy mayonnaise, this burger tastes and looks exactly like the real thing. It is the perfect meal for those struggling to satisfy any meat cravings.
Contact details: Sunward Park: 011 913 3407 ; 266 Kingfisher Ave, Sunward Park, Boksburg | Edenvale: 011 452 2835 ; Stoneridge Centre, 1 Modderfontein Rd, Edenvale | [email protected]fnv.co.za | https://foodloversmarket.co.za/
Hudsons is the go-to for anyone looking for good old 'dude food'. From pizzas and burgers to nachos and tacos, they have all the tasty grease you need. Vegan options include several burgers and pizzas, nachos, a taco, ice cream and a milkshake. While they may be a burger joint, their best vegan option, in our option, is the Panko Crumbed Wings appetiser. Wing style seitan is dipped in panko bread crumbs and fried to perfection. These are served with vacon bits, spring onion, sriracha and vegan garlic mayo. If you're still hungry, add in a side of Avo Fries for the ultimate gluttonous meal.
What is your favourite vegan restaurant in the East Rand? Let us know in the comments section below!
A couple of years ago, I lived in a little village called Usaka at the edge of Akwa Ibom in South East Nigeria. It was next to the largest palm oil plantation in West Africa. The nearest electricity was 4 hours away and most of the villagers worked at the plantation.
One night we sat drinking Gulder Lager in the ruins of a high school classroom. It was here that the villagers told me a simple folktale ...
Once, there was a brilliant hunter who provided ample food for the village. Everyone loved him. But one season, the elements were working against him and he couldn't bring any meat home. But he kept trying. While tracking antelope, he stumbled upon a lion crying under a tree. The hunter approached cautiously and saw that there was a big thorn stuck in the lion's paw. The hunter took pity upon the lion and carefully removed the thorn. A couple of days later, the hunter came across a herd of antelope but he, once again, couldn't bring down a single one. Suddenly, the lion appeared from the bushes with an enormous antelope in his jaws, which it lay at the feet of the hunter. The villagers feasted on the delicious meat and from that day, the spell was broken and the hunter could, yet again, provide ample food for the village.
What Is It?
With this story about food, feeding and renewed abundance, I'd like to introduce you to the newcomer on the African cuisine culinary scene. The much anticipated Asanka opened its doors in mid-Feb 2017. The two executive chefs have crafted a menu of interesting takes on dishes found all across the continent. The idea was to take recipes from north, east and west Africa and give them a fine-dining twist.
Well, let me mention a few of my personal Afro-fusion favorites. On the starter menu, the oxtail ravioli is by far the most interesting dish I've had in a while. The pasta is handmade and then stuffed with tenderly slow-cooked, shredded oxtail. Another winner is the aniseed poached pear which is drenched in Gorgonzola cream and caramelised yogurt.
For mains, the Moroccan spiced lamb loin is delicious. It is served with apricots, cauliflower mousse and soy marinated parsnips. My companion had the harissa brisket which is served with charred spring onion, potato chips and celeriac puree.
The coup de grâce was the dark chocolate desert.
The entire menu is well executed and offers something to satisfy virtually all preferences. And of course, no fine dining is complete without a varied wine list. Asanka has a bar with a massive patio which sports long couches and comfy chairs on which to enjoy a drink from their extensive bar, which serves some awesome cocktails.
Service was of the highest standard as I was welcomed with open arms. Each of the three waiters that I dealt with was brilliant.
So, what's the story about the lion and the hunter have to do with Asanka? Well, Asanka is the lion bringing the goodness of African food back to the people. No standing ovation for the lame analogy, I know ...
Fine more information about Asanka here.
Have you been to Asanka yet? What do you think of this awesome twist on African food? Also, share this on social media and go have lunch there with friends.