Melville is best known for its vibrant entertainment, nightlife and parties. As you can expect, the streets are full of trendy bars, restaurants and nightclubs. If more outdoorsy entertainment is what you're after, try a stroll through the rolling hills of the Melville Koppies Nature Reserve, or enjoy the weekend markets.

What Are You Looking For?



The Anti Social Social Club

The Anti-Social Social Club is a modern, Asian-style bar and restaurant in Melville. If your idea of a night of entertainment means good food, company and delicious drinks, this is the place for you. The menu at the Anti Social Social Club is light and pairs perfectly with their equally-delicious cocktail menu.

Visit The Anti Social Social Club.

Jo'Anna Melt Bar

Located on always-trendy 7th Street, Jo'Anna Melt Bar is an ultra-stylish and sophisticated bar located in Melville. You'd be forgiven for asking what a melt bar is - it's a new idea, after all! Simply put, everything coming out of the kitchen has cheese on it. To complement these delicious cheesy dishes, patrons can enjoy a range of craft beers. Jo'Anna Melt Bar is essentially a place for sophisticated guests to hang out, relax and enjoy delicious food and great company.

Visit Jo'Anna Melt Bar.

Ratz Bar + Diner

A real Melville institution, Ratz Bar + Diner has been entertaining Melville residents for 24 years! Ratz is Melville’s premier LGBTQI+ friendly restaurant and cocktail bar. Ratz has a reputation for delicious food, tasty cocktails, and hits from the 70s til the present day to dance the night away to. If you’re in the mood for a night of music, drinks, and dancing, Ratz Bar + Diner is definitely the place for you!

Visit Ratz Bar + Diner.

Smoking Kills Bar

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. 

Visit Smoking Kills Bar.

Hell's Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen is an American-style, rock-themed bar and restaurant in Melville. Known for its iconic “Be Naked When I Get Home” neon sign, 1920s New York speakeasy glamour, and secret poker room hidden away behind the bookcase, Hell’s Kitchen is an iconic and fun place to go for a night out. Enjoy live entertainment, delicious bar food, and good company while savouring some Jameson’s whiskey. Bliss!

Visit Hell's Kitchen.

bars entertainment in Melville

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27 Boxes Night Market

If barhopping isn't quite your thing, the 27 Boxes Night Market could provide the night-time entertainment you've been searching for. Located at 27 Boxes, Melville, the Night Market takes place on Wednesday evenings from 17:00 to 21:00. The event is pet-friendly, and features a variety of local vendors, arts and crafts, live music and more!

Visit 27 Boxes Night Market.

The Green Market Melville

For all enthusiasts of the “organic cannabis lifestyle”, The Green Market Melville is essentially paradise. You can find The Green Market on the rooftop of 27 Boxes on Saturdays, and from there, the choices are endless. Cannabis-themed food, therapeutic products, oils, ointments and even dog treats can be purchased here. Enjoy live music and drinks at the bars nearby, it's an experience not to be missed.

Visit The Green Market Melville.

Melville Koppies Nature Reserve

The Melville Koppies Nature Reserve is a nature reserve and Johannesburg Heritage Site located in Melville. The Koppies are a perfect spot for a day trip if you're even slightly interested in the history and geography of Johannesburg prior to the discovery of gold in 1886. Its geology dates back 3 billion years, and there is evidence of both Stone Age and Iron Age man. The ridges themselves are also remarkable, as their vegetation is entirely indigenous - a rare thing so close to the City of Johannesburg.

Visit The Melville Koppies Nature Reserve.

Melville Food and Farmers Market

Do you love organic fruit and veggies, fresh milk and bread, baked goods and more? If so, a trip to the farmer's market is in order! The Melville Food and Farmers Market has been supplying the Melville and local community with fresh produce for a long time, and has appeared in various iterations throughout the years. Support your local farmers and have a great time in the fresh air!

Visit The Melville Food and Farmers Market.

outdoor entertainment in Melville

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Melville is the place to be where delicious food is concerned. If you're a foodie of any description, the restaurants in Melville will be your idea of heaven! You can sample a variety of delicious foods from so many different cuisines, pretty much all on one street! Let's get ready to tuck into some divine treats as we take you on a journey down Melville's culinary streets and avenues.

What Are You Looking For?

American and Fast Food
Coffee Shops and Cafes


Lucky Bean Restaurant

The Lucky Bean Restaurant in Melville serves a delicious fusion menu of African-inspired food, as well as some of Johannesburg's best vegan and vegetarian cuisine. Known for its relaxed, laid-back atmosphere, Lucky Bean is a local favourite. Also a bar and lounge, The Lucky Bean Restaurant is a perfect spot to stop by for a drink and a tasty meal after a long day.

Visit Lucky Bean.

african restaurants in Melville

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American & Fast Food

Have Wings

A unique restaurant experience to be sure, this trendy little restaurant chain started in Melville and has expanded across South Africa from there! They specialise in chicken wings, and offer five mouthwatering flavour options: Hot & Smokey, Extra Hot & Smokey, Sweet & Sticky, Oriental and Lemon & Coriander. All wings come with freshly-prepared, delicious dips, also available in a variety of flavours, as well as fresh, tasty side dishes.

Visit Have Wings.

Hell's Kitchen

Hell's Kitchen is an American-style, rock-themed bar and restaurant in Melville. Known for its iconic "Be Naked When I Get Home" neon sign, 1920s New York speakeasy glamour, and secret poker room hidden away behind the bookcase, Hell's Kitchen is an iconic and fun restaurant for a night out. Enjoy a burger, pizza, steak or chicken wings while savouring some Jameson's whiskey. Bliss!

Visit Hell's Kitchen.

Ratz Bar + Diner

A real Melville institution, Ratz Bar + Diner has been in operation for over 24 years! Ratz has earned a reputation as Melville's premier LGBTQI+ friendly restaurant and cocktail bar. Ratz is known for delicious food, tasty cocktails, and hits from the 70s til the present day to dance the night away to. If you're in the mood for dinner, drinks, and dancing, Ratz Bar + Diner is definitely the place for you!

Visit Ratz Bar + Diner.

American Fast Food restaurants in Melville

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The Anti Social Social Club

The Anti-Social Social Club is a modern, Asian-inspired bar and restaurant in Melville. The menu at the Anti Social Social Club is light and pairs perfectly with their equally-delicious cocktail menu. If you’re in the mood to socialise with friends and enjoy good company, food and drinks in an unusual setting, this little bar and restaurant is perfect for you.

Visit The Anti Social Social Club.


Bambanani is all about family and food. Located in Melville, Bambanani serves up a fresh and delicious Asian-inspired menu, combining a boutique restaurant experience with a kid's play area. Bambanani provides full-time child minders and a safe environment, allowing parents to relax and enjoy their meals.

Visit Bambanani.

Love Me So

Ramen! Who doesn't get excited about it? While Love Me So in Melville have made a name for themselves serving heavenly Asian fusion cuisine, they are best known for their ramen. Also definitely worth sampling is their sticky, crispy Korean BBQ,  and Japanese Izakaya (shared plates). If you feel like something a bit lighter, a poke bowl could be just what you need. Make sure to try a cocktail while you're there!

Visit Love Me So.

Asian restaurants in Melville

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Ba-Pita brings the taste of the Mediterranean to the heart of Melville. This petite restaurant located in 7th Street specialises in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods. So, it doesn't matter if you're craving shawarma, falafel, or kebab, Ba-Pita packs a punch where flavours are concerned. Close your eyes and you'd be forgiven for forgetting where you are!

Visit Ba-Pita.

La Petite Maison

Often described as one of Johannesburg's hidden gems, La Petite Maison is a restaurant you truly need to experience to understand. Located at the top of Melville's 7th Street, La Petite Maison is an intimate space, and seats only 20 people. The menu is limited, and dishes are accompanied by a fine selection of boutique wines.

Visit La Petite Maison.

Piza Ē Vino Melville

Piza Ē Vino is a firm South African favourite. At Piza Ē Vino,  they prepare every dish using basic, yet flavourful ingredients. Because of this, every dish is bursting with Italian flavour and deliciousness! Their wide menu features antipasto, pizza, pasta and desserts.

Visit Piza Ē Vino Melville.

mediterranean restaurants in Melville

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Coffee Shops & Cafes

Cafe De La Creme

A real Melville favourite, Cafe De La Creme patisserie has been baking up a storm in Melville for many years. No visit to Melville would be complete without stopping at Cafe De La Creme for a sweet treat or a wholesome meal. If your sweet tooth has been tickling you, this is definitely the place to be!

Visit Cafe De La Creme.

IT Corner

IT Corner Cafe is a fantastic, unique little cafe located in the heart of 7th Street, Melville. Offering an unusual, yet effective combination of tech support and breakfast delights, IT Corner Cafe is the place to go if your laptop, computer, phone or tablet is acting up. Bonus points for their fantastic cappuccinos and light, hearty menu items!

Visit IT Corner.

Service Station

Service Station Café Melville is another classic Melville cafe. Located in the Bamboo Centre, Service Station is both a restaurant and a food store. Head to Service Station for a sit-down meal, freshly made treats, all based on local fresh produce. Service Station also stocks a selection of  local and international products.

Visit Service Station Café.

cafes and coffee shops in Melville

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What Is It?

First Sundays Melville is an event that happens, you guessed it, on the first Sunday of every month. This time around, Melville will be welcoming the month of July in with a bang. Take a walk through Melville and experience the hustle and bustle of all that’s on offer which includes live music, bar hopping as well as food, drink and lifestyle specials at a variety of Melville’s most loved restaurants, bars and shops.

Various restaurants and bars will offer food and drink specials, including Love Me So who invite you to enjoy three of their new menu features and receive a complimentary Jack Black Beer Draft. Aj Cullinan will also be on the decks to keep the party pumping. SIX Cocktail Bar will be hosting Salsa Dancing from 15:30 - 20:30, while The Lonely Hearts Club and Hell's Kitchen offer awesome drinks specials for the day.

To see other participating restaurants and bars, click here.

First Sundays Melville is a great event for those Sundays when you're in the mood for a day out, but don't know what to do, so don't miss out!

When Is It?

Sunday, 7 July 2019 at 12:00 - 22:00.

Where Is It?

Melville, Johannesburg.

How Much Is It?

Entrance is free, food and drink prices depend on the restaurants. Click here for more information.

For More Information

For more information visit the First Sundays Melville Facebook page.

As a person who is absolutely and completely in love with good food, visiting a new restaurant is definitely a hobby. I never deprive myself of a tasty variety and exploring the goodness the foodie world has to offer.

Trust me, the best people to feed are explorers. I'm not saying feed me Madagascan cockroaches, but I'm more than willing to try something that won't look like it wants to eat me and not the other way around. So, because I love sharing my experiences, I just had to share these awesome restaurants (my rule is, when you really love people - you feed the hell out of them), so here goes nothing.

Unique Restaurants

Hell's Kitchen

I had to start with this ball of unique and quirky because I am extra as extra can be, but would you blame me if I told you that the first thing I saw when I landed on their website is "Be Naked When I Get Home". If you don't believe me, by all means, please check out Hell's Kitchen.

This stand-out restaurant situated in Melville has to be the best when it comes to good food and music, what a combo, right? They have a little bit of a bite to them (pun intended). This spot was inspired by what has be one of my favourite places in the world, New York, and they sure this to the vision of the space with smokey vibe vintage and warm touches.

Their signature touch - they have two cool chefs who make bread at the restaurant. This bread is to die for, so pay them a visit.


Their name just oozes with modern creativity! Urbanologi is situated at the trendy 1Fox The Sheds (so if beer is also your thing, two birds, one stone) which has to be one of the artistic and creative markets in Joburg. As we mentioned, beer and one stone, Mad Giant is nearby.

Anyway, back to Urbanologi! This is one restaurant you won't help but notice. The unique touches are so minimalist with plenty of unique stand out pieces. Their menu is just as unique, so if the plan is to visit a vibey environment and allow your palate to discover a burst of flavour and journey through something new - this is the spot, mate.

Can I just say, whether you are seated inside or outside, you will have something to look at without a doubt. This amazing place boasts with so much potential and creativity, it's a breath of fresh air.

Churchills Bar

Apart from the fact that my British accent is on point, the Brits vibe is exactly what the Churchill Bar is inspired by. This upmarket joint is situated in one of the most upmarket areas in Joburg, Melrose Arch.

If you want to soak up good vibes with some friends or even spoil a client, this is definitely the place. The food is just mouthwatering and they have scintillating platters to tickle your taste buds. May I add, if you smile at the thought of pairing whiskey and cigars, you are in for a treat. Churchills has an array of amazing cigars and quality whiskeys, champagnes, etc. See more here!

With all that said, that's it from me....Enjoy!

Where To Eat

Cosmopolitan is such a terrible word but it'd be the best one to use when explaining the Melville cuisine scene. At the top of 7th Street there's Xai Xai serving Mozambican food and then on 4th Avenue there's Perron - the self-proclaimed Mexican appreciation society. In between there's a French-style patisserie, a restaurant that specialises in eggs (yeah) and tons more. Pretty much whatever you're in the mood for you'll find in Melville. Also, it's worth mentioning that Ant Cafe serves the best pizza in the area - we can't stop eating their stuff.

explore melville

What To Do


Melville takes on a whole new appearance at night. Because it is central to two major universities there is a vibrant student life. The bar and lounge scene is huge here. If you're going bar hopping then start at Hell's Kitchen with its Fire Water whisky and work your way down the strip. There is also an LGBT vibe going on at Ratz. Be sure to check out the best cocktails in Melville as well. Note that you will most likely bump into a celebrity when hitting Melville so don't act too starstruck, you hear. Just go out and explore Melville.


As one of the original cultural hubs of Jozi, Melville boasts a bunch of art galleries, historic second-hand bookstores and cool places for writers, artists and TV people to hang out at. Be sure to stop by The Art House on Corner 4th Avenue and 5th Street.

27 boxes

Points Of Interest

Melville is home to the world renowned 27 Boxes - a shopping centre constructed out of shipping containers. Melville Koppies is an awesome place to go for a walk - it's dog-friendly too. A lot of the old mining houses in the area were built during the gold rush and some have been turned into guesthouses. Melville also is full of second hand and charity shops which are all filled with amazing treasures. Remember the best way to experience a neighbourhood is to run headfirst into it... so, you know, go explore Melville.

Words and photos by Shawn Greyling

Have you been to Melville? Tell us all about it in the comments section below. Why not share this article with a buddy or three and plan a trip to the old streets? Remember to #ExploreJoburg with us.

Something Chilled

We know that sometimes you are just seeking for something that is not too out there, not too boring but somewhere in between. And we thought, why not give you just what you want. We looked, far and beyond around the city for the perfect ladies night out spots for you. .. The chilled spots of course.

Hell's Kitchen

“Be naked when I get home”... If you are indeed looking for an awesome place to go to and if it’s chilled vibes you’re after, then this is the place ladies! Hell’s Kitchen has that New York feel, you’ll be feeling like a true New Yorker in no time. Plus, it will be you and the ladies I’m pretty sure you’ll feel like you are the Sex and The City squad, because New York vibes babes! You can also look forward to excellent food and drinks. They also have live music on weekends, a saloon-style menu, an impressive selection of wines, whiskeys, drinks and cocktails and a secret poker room behind the bookcase.

Hell's Kitchen

Marabi Club

Okay ladies now let’s get in formation, prove to us you’ve got some coordination. Yasss queens! Yes we did just burst into a Beyonce song because your girl Bey has been to the Marabi Club and we just want to be where Bey has been. So, we thought you would too. It seems like we are giving you some New York vibes because even the Marabi Club gives you that Harlem Renaissance, with the best in jazz music and the whole experience which is out of this world.

The Bannister Hotel

Trying to keep your promise and make it to the ladies night out with your girlfriends, but still need to squeeze in a quick deadline for work? This is the perfect spot to chill, eat, stay, work and play. Which mood are you in today? Whatever you want they got it!

Where Else Can You Go?

You know we at have your back always right. So, we have compiled a few ideas of The Ultimate Girls/Boys Nights Out, something for the girls and of course the boys as well. Make sure your visit this article to also find a few ideas of where to go to around the city. We’re here for the hook up.

Hell's Kitchen

Something Wild

"Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed, maybe they need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with.” - Carrie

Craving for a rather wild night out with the girls? Been a mom for the longest time, and finally you have time to yourself? Then, we think you’ll appreciate a wild night out with the girls. The nanny is here, she’ll watch the kid’s let’s go Nancy! We’re gonna have mad fun! Living young, wild, and free, okay let’s not get ahead of ourselves maybe not too wild, just enough!

Great Dane Braam

First up on our list is none other than Great Dane, need we say more? We think not, you already know being around Great Dane you’ll leave with amazing wild memories. And the ladies will be down for this one as we are. Let’s waste no time let’s go! Just don’t dance on table tops Felicia, or we will bid you goodbye!

Great Dane Braam

The Kitchener's

Just next door to Great Dane is one of the coolest vibey bar in town, the one and only Kitchener’s. It is an old fashioned  local pub by day and dance club by night. They serve amazing European foods, offering burgers, slap chips, sandwiches and light meals. So, for that extra fun time with the girls make sure you check this place out. Plus you can pub crawl from bar to bar on the same street. Cause it’s hip and happening around this street.

Where Else Can You Go?

To also check out where you can go wild around the city, be sure to check out the Best Spots For A Girls’ Night Out list we compiled for you. You will love and so will your girls. There’s plenty to do around the city, the nights are always young and so are you. Because baby you’re magic and you deserve a drink for being able to muscle being a girlfriend, a friend, a mom, a daughter, a wife, and a care-giver over all. And this one’s for you! You will have fun, we swear on Chanel.

If You Decide To Stay In

Okay okay, sometimes some of us want to be homebodies and the thought of going out is pretty tasking so we choose to be indoors, because comfort! And chilling with the ladies in our pjs for all the homebodies sounds more ideal, and saves some of that coin too. Sometimes, you want to leave the guys at home, get your girl gang together and just have a night out on the town… are you nodding along? Great, but where to go? Check out our top picks!

Binge Watching The Bachelor

This is something my friends and I enjoy doing because we get to see girls in beautiful dresses walk in welcomed by of course a handsome bachelor, and we already pick our favourites and hoping that they make it to at least meeting the parents and even get married. To make it even more fun, we like betting on who is going to win the bachelor’s heart, so quick money you see.

Some Pizza and Wine Would Do Please.. Or Even Tequila!

Okay now that the kids are at their grandparents place we think it is well deserved for us to head to Susan's house because we all know she has plenty of wine and we could just order some pizza because YOLO! OMG we are such rebels.  

Some Pizza and Wine Would Do Please.. Or Even Tequila!

Try Out New Recipes

I don’t know about you ladies, but I am always motivated to stand up and cook when my friends come over at my place, and it’s always amazing when we try out new recipes together. This is also said to be one of the biggest contributors to a stronger bond.

Nothing Beats A Spa Night In

So, we’ve all had a long day and what we really want to do is get home, link up with the girls and just be lazy together. Do our nails, toes, and even a massage or two. Slice up some cucumbers, get that avo masks and face scrubs ready. Turn on the volume to that calming music, I prefer Jhene Aiko’s music. It’s time to reboot and restart ourselves.

You Have 30 Seconds!

Some board games would do, especially if you are the competitive bunch. It’s always good having a child-like kind of fun and just having a good laugh with the girls. Plus, we know we all need a laugh or two because adulting is pretty hectic so having innocent fun can make one’s day.

Have any ideas for a Ladies' Night Out kind of vibe? Comment down below!

Hard Rock Café

This café, in Sandton, offers American-style fare in the form of chicken wings, nachos, diner-style milkshakes and smoky burgers. But the reason they are on this list is because of the music. Hard Rock Café is inspired by the theme of rock. They have a giant guitar above their door and their bar is lined with 7000 drum sticks that scream ROCK! in that guttural growl we love. The walls flaunt the legends of rock and other musical gizmos in shiny display cabinets. They also have a shop where you can purchase memorabilia of your favourite 80s hero or the hot bassist performing on stage.

Rumours Rock City

Rumours Lounge, renamed Rumours Rock City, says it all in the name. This is unquestionably a city of rock, metal and all the wild and heavy genres this world has to offer. This spot has two bars that divide the space into different sections: the more refined lounge area with cushioned arm chairs and a comfortable carpet and the vivacious and exuberant stage area with head banging and mosh pits. The stage area has a dance floor for the more vigorous among us, as well as a seated area for the more restful. The walls are collaged with posters like a teenage metal head's room, the drinks flow and the live music goes all the way to your bones. They host events on an almost weekly basis and often have live performances from bands like Prime Circle, Springbok Nude Girls and Van Coke Kartel. To see their upcoming events, check out their Facebook page.




Sundowners in Alberton is a bar and restaurant that boasts an inside and outside area, several pool tables, a bar and a swimming pool. The outside area has a large field with ample seating, a field large enough for any lively gig and a dance or moshing floor. The honest musical enjoyment promotes a sense of camaraderie. One feels so welcome there, you could fall asleep in the field — but that is a story for another time. Sundowners hosts bands like Deity's Muse and Man as Machine. In fact, they even have their own house rock band — Alchemy.

Hell's Kitchen

Hell's Kitchen is a rock themed restaurant in Melville. They have a short but sweet menu featuring a few burgers, some steak, a handful of pizza options and a lot of whiskey choices, with over 20 different whiskeys on offer. Their decor has a classy feel with taupe oaten walls, simplistic lighting and checker board floors. The leather chairs and library gives the place a classic, old-fashioned gentleman's study vibe. And they have an enjoyable soundtrack of pure rock that evokes the alternative lifestyle.




There is a great rock spot worth mentioning in Pretoria, Aandklas is a pub in Hatfield. This pub has a bar area where you can catch up on life's happenings with your mates and another dance floor area which ignites the feeling of being at a club, but with good old-fashioned rock. If you're taking the drive out to our northern neighbour, pop by for an old school night our with good old-fashioned music.



Mad Giant - Bottomless Beer

Ferreirasdorp's very own brewery, Mad Giant, has gone mad. To celebrate National Beer Day, Urbanologi and Mad Giant will host a bottomless beer event at R220 per person. This one is perfect for all beer lovers, especially as it is good beer.

Details: Click here.

Capital Craft - Bottomless Beer 

For a mere R250, you can get a tag which gives you access to bottomless beer at Capital Craft in Menlo Park. For those not keen on this, the restaurant and bar will be running as usual.

Details: Click here. 

Clarens Craft Beer Festival 10

For 10 amazing years, Clarens has celebrated the flavours, craftsmanship and passion for craft beer. At the Clarens Craft Beer Festival, you can get to taste their offerings, meet cool people and walk out armed with fun facts about the best beer!

Details: Click here.

#SANBeerDay Movement At Chaf Pozi

What better place is there to celebrate beer day than Chaf Pozi? This amazing spot is the first outlet in Soweto to join the 2020 #SANBeerDay movement, make sure you do not miss out on their amazing specials on two of their most popular beers.

Buy a bucket of six beers at these reduced prices:

Details: Click here.

Brewing The Republic: A South African Craft Beer Documentary

There is more than one way to celebrate National Beer Day. Join the festivities and watch this documentary on craft brewing in South Africa. Brewing the Republic is a documentary on the growth of craft beer in South Africa, the full length feature film provides a visual scope of where South Africa is as a beer loving nation, showcasing a handful of beers and breweries from around the country.

Details: Click here.

Impi Brewing Co

Join in at Impi Brewing Co for amazing specials in honour of #SANBeerDay on 01 February. You can buy two Warrior Pilsners and get one for free. Plus, five cases of Dark Warrior (Series 2 of 4) in collaboration with Lakeside Brewing Co will be available as a limited run.

Details: Click here.

We’ve all seen the legendary “Be Naked When I Get Home” images flooding Instagram, right? Well, that lovely little neon sign hangs on a pillar at Hell's Kitchen in Melville. Above and beyond its quirky signage, this 1920s New York speakeasy-style restaurant and bar doubles as the suburb's rock 'n roll hangout. Black and white photos of pop culture legends, such as musician Iggy Pop and writer William S. Burroughs decorate the interior.

What can be said about this "edgy" eatery and bar is that it hides a handful of surprises. From the decor to its tattoo-clad barmen and waitresses, it's the unique atmosphere that lends to its success. The buck does not stop there – not by a long shot. This "cool kid bunking class" persona spills over into Hell's Kitchen's menu. Sure, there's the usual pizza or cheeseburger that shows face on their list of things to eat but every Sunday patrons can expect items like wagyu beef sliders, lamb rumps, tomahawk steaks, surf n turfs and smokestacks.

You can wash all of that down with their very own HK Lager drafts. The friendly waitrons always have a joke to tell you and keep you fat and happy throughout your visit. Make sure to explore the secret room behind the bookcase, a perfect place to host a poker game or bachelor/ette. A great night out that will definitely turn into a story starts at Hell’s Kitchen. Over weekends – especially Sunday afternoons – visitors can expect live music. Grunge, indie hip-hop and everything in between can be enjoyed at Hell's Kitchen.

Find more information 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 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 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 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 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.


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.

Island Bar At Southern Sun Hyde Park

For delicious cocktails, a fun vibe, and great music with a classic and elegant feel, pay a visit to Island Bar at Southern Sun Hyde Park ... it's the perfect spot for after work socialising with colleagues and friends. Grab a cocktail and dig into a light meal while watching the Highveld sunset from their rooftop pool deck. Sundowners with a stunning view of the city? It can't get any better than that!

Details: Island Bar | 011 341 8080 | Southern Sun Hyde Park Sandton, 1st Road, Hyde Park, Sandton, Johannesburg.

Jolly Cool Bar & Restaurant

This one has been around for many years and to this day, it's still one of the coolest hangouts in Parkhurst. Head through to Jolly Cool to play a few rounds of pool, grab a bite to eat, hang out with your mates, have a few drinks to unwind, and have a jolly good time. This popular hangout is the place to be after 17:00, so make sure you arrive early (finding parking can be a nightmare). With reasonably priced food and drinks, this is the best way to chill out. Don't leave without grabbing one of their pizzas!

Details: Jolly Cool | 011 442 3954 | 4th Avenue, Parkhurst, Johannesburg | [email protected]

Jolly Roger Restaurant & Pub

Directly across from Jolly Cool is the Jolly Roger Restaurant & Pub. From the moment you walk into this one, you instantly get the feeling of a traditional British pub. It's crowded, rather loud and can be smokey but the vibe is homey and friendly. Along with the warm atmosphere, there's also beer on tap, delicious pub food and friendly service. Don't forget to check out their all-year-round specials.

Details: Jolly Roger | 011 442 3954 | 10 4th Avenue, Parkhurst, Johannesburg

After Work Drinks

SIX Cocktail Bar

This stylish and upbeat little spot is a gem in the Melville precinct. It gives you great music, a social environment, drinks, a choice of 60 different cocktails and meals (in case you get a little hungry with all that drinking) all rolled up into one trendy, exciting and interesting venue. Happy Hour lasts for seven hours, from 12:00 until 19:00 daily (yes, EVERY DAY!), and during this extended hour you can enjoy their special of two-for-the-price-of-one cocktails. Go easy on the Long Island Ice Tea though, two of those and you'll be under the table if you're a lightweight.

Details: SIX | 011 482 8306 | 8 7th Street, Melville, Johannesburg | [email protected]

Billy the B.U.M.S

This one is an oldie but a goodie! Billy’s is a bar/cocktail lounge that caters for a more mature scene. With a variety of over 60 different cocktails and mixed drinks, American-style beef burgers (with over 15 different toppings to choose from), and good tunes, this is the ideal spot to wind down the week. Sit and chill in the seated areas and socialise with friends or, if you feel like busting a move, there is a DJ playing the latest music - feel free to make requests if you want to dance to your favourite tunes (there's always a great 80s track in the line-up).

Details: Billy The Bums | 011 465 2621 | Shop 15 and 16, Pineslopes Centre, corner Witkoppen Road, Fourways, Johannesburg | [email protected]

The Artisan - Cocktail & Tapas Bar

Enjoy some moreish tapas, fantastic cocktails and great music at The Artisan in Greenside after a long day at the office. This is just the spot if you're looking to meet up with a few of your mates, chill out, unwind with a few drinks (responsibly) and just enjoy the great vibe. The menu also offers a variety of craft beers, beer on tap and wine if you're looking to wet your beak. Also be sure to try their delicious nachos and burgers while you are there.

Details: The Artisan | 011 027 3707 | [email protected] | 12 Gleneagles Road, Greenside, Johannesburg

After Work Drinks

The Baron

Everybody knows The Baron! And luckily, this one can be found all over the city. There's one in Bedfordview, Kyalami, Fourways, Bryanston, Sandown and Woodmead, so take your pick, call up your mates and head down to the bar for a cold one (you can find us at the Sandown and Fourways venues more often than not). You can expect a good atmosphere, outstanding service, vintage wines, interesting cocktails and good food. What's nice about this place is the fact that you can visit as a family for a good meal or for a night out on the town. It's versatile, relaxed and easy-going. Also, it's a FREE WiFi spot!

Details: The Baron | Bedfordview, Bryanston, Fourways, Kyalami, Sandown, Woodmead

011 Dainfern & 011 Morningside

Brought to you by The Baron, 011 Dainfern and 011 Morningside are upmarket hotspots offering a lovely setting to relax after your hectic day of meetings, deadlines, presentations, fussy clients and millions of emails. Order a martini just the way you like it, tuck into something delicious from their menu (we love the sound of the lamb curry, especially if it's a little chilly outside) and be a little daring by trying out one or two of their refreshing and interesting cocktails.

Details:  Dainfern - 010 493 3660/1 | Morningside - 060 583 1802 |


Hogshead is a great hangout if you're in the mood for grabbing a few drinks and meeting up with your mates. It's one of the more popular restaurant/pubs in the city and offers everything from beer and burgers to a bar and even a kid-friendly section if you're visiting with the family. To help you relax, you can catch various sporting events on their TVs or make use use of their Wi-Fi to update your Facebook check-in or Instagram or even finish some last minute work (if you have to).

Details: Hogshead  | Douglasdale, Rock Cottage, Illovo, Hazelview, Centurion

After Work Drinks

The Radium Beerhall

Enjoy a night on the town in one of Joburg’s oldest bars. Expect live performances by local musicians and song writers, check out the new talent on the music scene, have a drink at famous Barman Larry’s Savannah Dry bar; and enjoy a great meal. With walls covered in old memorabilia, posters from ‘back in the day’ and newspaper clippings that have recorded the Radium Beerhall’s history, this bar definitely does give off the vintage vibe.

Details: Radium Beerhall | 011 728 3866 | Corner Louis Botha Avenue and 9th Street, Orange Grove, Johannesburg | [email protected]

Hell's Kitchen

Hell's Kitchen is a rockabilly-themed bar in the heart of Melville. It's got amazing décor that's sure to catch your eye from the minute you set foot inside! Their food is very tasty and is best washed down with their signature Hellfire Whisky! Perch yourself on one of the comfy leather couches and wind down while you listen to their awesome lineup of rock music. Let the mayhem begin!

Details: Hell's Kitchen | 079 980 9591 | [email protected] | Shop 4. 7th Street, Melville, Johannesburg

Rumours Rock City

This is just the place if you're more into the rock side of life. From Rock n' Roll and the Blues to metal and contemporary music, Rumours Rock City is a unique place when compared with your usual after-work hangouts. Not only do they offer great food and drinks at the best prices, a cosy log fire to keep you warm during the colder months and sports on the big screen, but they also promote great South African music and musicians. Keep an eye on their Facebook events calendar, there's always something happening.

Details: Rumours Rock City | 079 825 7995 | [email protected]Corner Weltevreden Road and Valley Avenue, Cresta, Randburg, Johannesburg

After Work Drinks

Lonely Hearts Club

Another addition to the Melville strip is the Lonely Hearts Club. This is a tapas bar and restaurant, yes, but it makes for an awesome hangout spot after work. Not only does it have a great selection of cocktails and wines and tasty tapas (there are great vegetarian options on the menu too), but also good food, good vibes, good company and great cocktails.

Details: Lonely Hearts Club | 082 267 1293 | [email protected] | 12, 10 7th Street, Melville, Johannesburg

Social On Main

If it's cocktails you want, it's cocktails you'll at Social On Main. Their cocktail menu is amazing and comprehensive, it has something for all tastes and palates, and the food.... so delicious! This one is a must if you find yourself in Bryanston.

Details: Social On Main | 011 706 7115 | [email protected] | Shop 1, Posthouse Centre,
corner Posthouse Street & Main Road, Bryanston, Johannesburg.

Roxanne's Rum Eatery

Neon lights, amazing cocktails, cool decor and awesome food, Roxanne's Rum Eatery is an up-and-coming hotspot in Fourways and for good reason! The drinks menu is massive! There's everything from 'spikedshakes' (AKA adult milkshakes) and spiked iced tea to wine, G&Ts and tantalising cocktails. If you enjoy sweet cocktails, then make sure you try the Dita Von Teese - Mhoba White Rum, lychee syrup, Socks Guava, lime and cranberry juice - it's delicious! And for the hungry, there is a food menu filled with loads of finger foods, glam burgers, busting bagels, fresh salads and dangerously delicious cheesecakes.

Details: Roxanne's Rum Eatery | 011 465 9917 | [email protected] | Shop G/H, Pineslopes Boulevard, Corner Witkoppen Road and The Straight, Fourways, Johannesburg

After Work Drinks

Colony Arms

From karaoke and Ribs & Chips specials to live music and beer on tap, Colony Arms has it all to turn your frown upside down when you have the weekday blues. And why not make your visit even better by inviting a few of you colleagues or friends along for a fun evening out? Colony Arms is all about having a good time surrounded by awesome company. There's something fun happening every day of the week - Monday Madness food specials, Tuesday Quiz Night, Wednesday Student Night, Thursday Ladies Night, Sporty Fridays and Saturdays, as well as Karaoke Saturday Night!

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

Grand Slam Sports Diner

And if you're out in Edenvale, we haven't forgotten about you! The Grand Slam Sports Diner has everything you need to chill out after work... sports (think everything including Formula 1, soccer, boxing and rugby), beer on tap, good food and of course, an awesome vibe. They also host a few cocktail, trivia and live music events every now and then, so make sure you keep an eye on their Facebook page to keep up to date with the latest happenings.

Details: | 011 454 3700 | [email protected] | corner Elm Street and Sycamore Drive, Dowerglen, Edenvale, Johannesburg

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.

Any hot spots that we missed? Share them below!