La Vie En Rose is known as the 'garden jewel' of the Killarney Country Club. Looking out over the lush lawns, this posh cafe is idyllic. You can dine al fresco on their open air patio, decorated with sweet fairy lights at night. Their menu includes scrumptious breakfasts, homestyle burgers and delightful high tea with finger sandwiches, petit fours and pastries. Bring the kiddies along for a tranquil, yet entertaining dining experience.
Details: 60 Fifth Street, Lower Houghton, Johannesburg | (011) 268 6144 | [email protected]
Random Harvest Nursery is one of the best garden centres in Gauteng. While you may have to travel a way out of the city to Krugersdorp, their tea garden is well worth it. Surrounded by plant life and birdsong, this outdoor cafe is the ideal place to unwind. The menu is simple - offering homemade classics like toasties, burgers and scones. Their milk comes directly from the small herd kept at the nursery, as does the homemade butter. Chef Linda's mother also makes the strawberry jam which is oh-so-good. With fresh greens from their own garden, the Random Harvest Tea Garden hearkens back to simpler times. Visit them as soon as you can.
Details: Random Harvest Country Cottages, Plot 57, Kontiki Road, Muldersdrift, Gauteng | 082 553 0598 | [email protected]
If it's gardens you want, then gardens you shall find at the Herb Farm in Midrand. Sprawling lavender bushes, manicured rose hedges and an abundance of fragrance is what you will find here. Plus, there is a dedicated kids play area and family-friendly restaurant! Serving breakfast buffets, high teas, picnics and ordinary family lunch, this bistro is perfect for baby showers, kitchen teas, birthdays and Sunday afternoon get-togethers. Their milkshakes are pretty good, too. So, pack up the kids and head out for peace of mind and great food.
Details: 264 Summit Rd, Blue Hills, Midrand, Gauteng | 010 447 3517 | [email protected]
Have you ever wanted to travel back in time to when ladies carried parasols and gentlemen wore top hats? Embrace the tradition of English afternoon tea at The Victorian Secret in Benoni. This little gem is quaint and welcoming, with a wonderful shady oak to keep you cool while sipping on your Earl Grey. While there is little grass here, the outdoor seating is enchanting enough. Don't skip out on the macarons while you're there. The restaurant is famed for their colourful French meringues. It's a place for sophisticated, grownup garden dining.
Details: 140 Woburn St (Cnr Russel St), Western Ext, Benoni, Gauteng | 011 420 1912 | [email protected].
Now for an Alice in Wonderland themed cakery, tucked away in the avenues of Edenvale. La Tazzina is a cake and coffee lover's paradise, serving up the most delicious confections and Italian brews. Their pressed paninis are super satisfying, too. However, it is their garden which enchants most - with its cobble stones, delicate rose bushes and pops of pastel. Often hosting intimate parties, La Tazzina is also a wonderful, quiet spot to do some light reading by oneself. This is a restaurant with a garden of which Lewis Carrol himself would be proud.
Details: Cnr of 1st Ave & Amelia St, Edenvale, Johannesburg | 011 454 4334 | [email protected]
Gia's Restaurant at Montrose Nursery in Morningside is made for outdoor summer brunches. Their patio is adorned with hanging flower baskets, and there is a great view of the garden centre from this viewpoint. Gia's seasonally inspired menu showcases the best that summer has to offer. Pop in for a hearty Nordic breakfast or a healthy salad for lunch. Their baked cheesecake is well-renowned by Joburg foodies as well, so give it a try as a treat. Despite its location in Sandton, Gia's is the ultimate antidote to busy city living.
Details: Montrose Nursery, 66B South Road, Morningside, Sandton, Johannesburg | 011 326 5074 | [email protected]
Leafy Greens Cafe is a firm favourite among Joburg vegans and health food fundis. Their food ethos is all about eating fresh and green, both for a better lifestyle and for the environment. Leafy Greens is located just outside the city in Muldersdrift, however this eclectic cafe feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle. Situated on a working farm, this is where you should be if a return to nature is what you seek. With a separate kiddies menu, Leafy Greens offers family bonding time and delicious, healthy meals within an exquisite garden setting.
Details: Rocky Ridge Rd, Muldersdrift, Gauteng | 010 595 4563 | [email protected]
The name says it all, doesn't it? The Secret Garden, situated within Norscot Manor in Fourways, provides the ultimate alternative to fast food mall restaurants and impersonal service. You will feel right at home here, relaxing on the terrace overlooking the manicured lawns and distant views. There is also a fun play park for the kids, so everyone can have a good time outdoors. Bring the whole brood along for an old fashion Roast Sunday Lunch - roast lamb, chicken and potatoes served with fluffy rice, mixed vegetables, mint sauce and moreish gravy. Reserve a booking by contacting Steven Orchard on 011 467 1191.
Details: 16B Penguin Avenue, Norscot Manor Recreation Centre, Fourways, Sandton, Johannesburg | [email protected]
Johannesburg East has a very different atmosphere to it. Germiston is especially 'old-worldy', with its railways and bygone accents in the architecture of buildings and houses. Visit Simply Majestic Nursery to experience this one-of-a-kind vibe. This spot offers a garden centre, children's play areas, a hairdresser, seamstress and Victorian-style coffee shop with a garden. Again, you won't find fine dining here, but their chilled berry cheesecake, Bar One fudge cake and scones served with cheese and jam are all you really need. When you have nothing to do on a weekend afternoon, stop in at the Majestic Garden Centre. The kids will be well entertained on the playground while you admire the garden features and yummy tea time treats.
Details: Simply Majestic Garden Centre, 90 Webber Road, Lambton, 1401 Germiston, Gauteng | 011 827 7202 | [email protected]
Rounding off this list of garden gems is the Bryanston Country Club Phoenix Restaurant. Overlooking the stunning golf course, this outdoor setting often plays host to wedding receptions, large family reunions and Christmas lunches. Their menu offers much variety, including hearty hamburgers, curries, vegetarian bowls and beer battered hake, as well as kiddies specials. Finish your meal with a Lavender Infused Creme Brulee - perfectly light set custard tinged with the herbal notes of lavender. Paired with a sundowner and the view of green lawns, lakes and the setting Joburg sun, al fresco doesn't get any better.
Details: 63 Bryanston Drive, Bryanston, Johannesburg | +27 11 706 1361 /2/3 | [email protected]
Do you know of any other restaurants with gardens in Johannesburg? Let us know about them!
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.