The best way to start any weekend stay-over in a Joburg suburb – or any new destination for that matter – is with a decent plate of food. Head to the harvest table at Love Food on Ameshoff Street, a stone's throw away from Clive van den Berg's eland statue. Take your time here and enjoy the hearty and healthy scenery. Love Food is the type of place where you feel invited to sit back, relax and enjoy a good meal with a fresh juice or decent double-shot cappuccino.
We're staying at Once in Joburg while in Braams, so why not check in before you head out for the night? Braamfontein is the sneaker capital of South Africa, so slip into something comfy and let's get the evening started on the right note, shall we? Once you've got your kicks kitted out, head to The Immigrant Bar, which is located in the hotel, for a little bit of alcohol to get the gears greased for a fun evening. This vibey joint is great for a cocktail, some people watching and to get the engines ready for a fun night ahead. They do serve food but let's keep that appetite building for the big, fat dinner we're having later.
Skip the dirty bar scene and the noisy night club and head to Great Dane on De Beer Street. Here you can relax, have a few drinks, a delicious meal and dance the night way. Their hot dogs come highly recommended and what's better than a yummy dog to start the night? You can wash this down with a refreshing beer and then hit the dance floor. If you're more in the mood for a chilled vibe or if you have had a few too many, you can enjoy the Braam scene outside while still enjoying the luxuries Great Dane has on offer.
Rise and shine. We're just in time for brunch at Post on Juta Street. It's super-hipster but it's cool, we don't mind listening to old-school rock on vinyl records while chowing down a pastrami on rye sandwich. They serve really good coffee and cold drinks too. Their sandwiches are a hit for sure. Be warned though, Post is quite small and you might have someone's elbow in your bifteki breakfast but it's all good – at least the food is worth it.
You find yourself in the middle of Braamfontein on a Saturday afternoon. Where to go? Well, you're in luck. No matter which direction you move, there will be something to do. Take your time and work your way through the Neighbourgoods Market. Here you can expect to find artisan food, boutique wines and live music. It's the kind of place where you rock up, get tipsy and buy random pieces of jewellery for the fun of it. You can also grab something small to eat at the market, like a bowl of paella or a handmade meatball sub.
Round about this time head to Kitchener's Carvery Bar across the road and get ready to dance to live music. Local DJ Andrew Clements rented out Kitchener's for his music sets and this eventually spiralled into the neighbourhood we know today. Grab a drink here, soak up the energy and realise that the city is not such a scary place after all. (With that said, don't wander drunk around the back end of Fordsburg.)
We're staying at Once In Joburg again tonight, and lucky for us they have a pumping night-life at the bar. The bar usually shuts down for the night when the last person standing leaves.. Once In Joburg is an exciting place to meet tourists from all over the world. As a side note, Once In Joburg is one of our favourite places to stay after a night of partying up a storm in town, so book yourself a bed and check out Braamfontein after dark.
Rise and shine. Last night was pretty rowdy, wasn't it? Good. Hey, this is Braamfontein after all, where people work hard and play even harder... when in Rome, and so forth. Let's get you some coffee and something light to eat. Grab something to go at Double Shot (by far the best coffee in the city... don't even bother with the other hipster shops in the area) a block up from Neighbourgoods on Juta Street. If you're not into coffee, then try one of their craft teas.
Let's grab a quick lunch and squeeze in a little more fun before bouncing out of this joint. 86 Public is an artisan pizza place. Here you can have blue cheese and butternut oven-baked pizza on whichever type of dough you prefer (sourdough and banting included). It's a great place to enjoy a Sunday lunch with a bit of craft beer and chilled vibes. After this we recommend a bit of people watching. Take a walk around and soak up the atmosphere.
At the tip-top of Braamfontein is where you will find the Old Fort now known as Constitution Hill. This site played a huge role in shaping of the city. From being the last stand against the British during the Boer War to being used as a women's prison and eventually a prison to hold political refugees, it is a great spot to bring the entire trip to a close. Take your time here and go through the rich yet mundane pictures of the past. We've come a long way. Onwards and upwards.