As restaurant prices continue to soar, finding a spot that offers a good lunch or dinner minus an exorbitant price tag becomes tough - we get it. And if the inexpensive food is not only delicious but also interesting, and perhaps even outside of your previous dining experience, all the better! Here’s a little collection of some trendy, budget-friendly restaurants of every kind that we've stumbled upon in Joburg. So, happy feasting! Oh, and you’re welcome!
The Schwarma Co.
The Schwarma Co. in Norwood’s bustling Grant Avenue serves the best of Mediterranean cuisine. The starter menu includes a variety of dips and spreads accompanied by falafel (get seven balls for only R40) and other delicacies. The lamb schwarma, at only R85 and filled with all the extras you desire, is a must-have.
Where: 71 Grant Ave, Norwood, Johannesburg, 2117
Jintara Thai Sushi Dim Sum
Looking for budget-friendly restaurants without skimping on quality? We've got you! If Thai food coupled with casual elegance is your thing, then this is your place! Erawan offers top-notch Thai dishes that present flavours and textures that are sure to please your taste buds. While the sushi is a bit on the pricy side, everything else is very much pocket-friendly. What’s more, is that they aren’t yet licensed to serve alcohol, so feel free to take your own bottle of vino to sip on without being charged a corkage fee (for now).
Where: Riverside Shopping Centre, corner of Bryanston Drive & The River Road, Bryanston, Johannesburg.
This upscale restaurant is a hidden gem of note in our opinion. Every dish we've had here has been of superior quality, and the more-than-reasonable price tags have made us a regular! Everything is prepared with the freshest, finest ingredients, which shine through in the dishes. The ambiance is comfortable and laidback but at the same time trendy, which is awesome. It’s great for any meal of the day, or even just for cake and coffee. Oh, and they have speedy Wi-Fi, so it’s a fab spot to work from, too!
Where: Shop 7, Parkmore Mews Centre, Corner of 12th & Olympia Avenue, Parkmore, Johannesburg.
None of the pasta al forno dishes (lasagne, chicken lasagne, cannelloni or the parmigiana) exceeds R60, and they are all worth the 20 minutes preparation time, because this is classic Italian fare at its best. One could try the Napoletana, Arrabbiata or the beautifully simple Carbonara pasta for under R60 too. Only a few pizzas, such as the Mario with prosciutto crudo and the Mediterranean with bacon and spinach and feta exceed R60 – the rest are all around the R58 mark and are authentic and worth making the trip to Kensington
Where: 143 Queen St, Kensington, Johannesburg, 2094
Super Sconto is a family-run restaurant and supermarket where you can pick up all kinds of goodies. The upstairs deli section is where you can find what’s arguably the best sandwich in town: pick a freshly baked panini (small or large) and choose your toppings from the deli counter. Super Sconto also has daily pasta specials, so be on the lookout for those. They’re only open for breakfast and lunch, so just keep this in mind the next time you’re thinking of heading over.
Where: 169 to 171 Louis Botha Avenue, Corner Fifth Street, Orange Grove, Johannesburg.
Robby's Place is a Restaurant and Tavern in Pimville Soweto, located opposite the Soweto Country Club and en-route to the Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown, The place where the famous Freedom Charter was signed and soon to become one of Soweto's tourism hotspots. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner can be enjoyed in a relaxed and friendly environment, inside in the dining areas or outside in the courtyard. Pre-booking at least the day before is essential at Robby's.
Where: 5634 Mokoka St, Pimville Zone 5, Johannesburg, 1809
Looking for Budget-Friendly Restaurants around town? At this upmarket, open-plan eatery, you can tuck into handmade, freshly-prepared Italian dishes that will leave your tummy feeling full and your wallet at ease. The menu is extensive, offering everything from traditional pizzas and pasta to meat dishes as well as seafood. While some dishes may be a tad pricy, there are many that are super-affordable. When you consider the portion sizes, you’ll understand why we say that this place is such a fantastic value for money.
Where: 126 11th Street, Parkmore, Johannesburg.
Looking for Budget-Friendly Restaurants in Melrose Arch? Think Walnut Grove fare in a beautiful, breezy Brazilian setting - that’s Cafe Rio! This newly-opened spot serves up meals that are oh-so-satisfying. Their menu of salads, sandwiches and main meals is guaranteed to have something for everyone to enjoy (and then you get people like us, who just love everything!). They even have an awesome variety of sharing boards and plates for when you and your mealtime companions are feeling a little indecisive.
Where: 10A High Street, Melrose Arch, Melrose, Johannesburg.
Quaint and warm, with the titillating scent of fresh-baked goods to whet your appetite, this is a welcoming Turkish eatery experience in the middle of Joburg. It’s a coffee shop with a deli that has foods like börek, simit, croissants, cupcakes and pies. A lip-smackingly delicious and generously portioned meal is the Tantuni Turkish bread filled with beef, tomato, red onion, parsley and red peppers. It’s moreish yet filling for just R60. You can also opt to have the same fillings in a lavash (a flatbread) or you could order the Tantuni Turkish bread with a side of chips for an extra R10. This is real value for money.
Where: 87 juta street Braamfontein Gauteng
The Dosa Hut
The suburb of Fordsburg is the Indian capital of Johannesburg and the home of budget-friendly Dosa Hut. The restaurant has an extensive menu and it includes a few non-Indian dishes. The prices are extremely reasonable and patrons can pick up a delicious dosa (from masala to lamb) for as little as R35.
Where:Cnr Leslie &, Witkoppen Rd, Fourways, Johannesburg