Joburg is a wonder world of culinary experiences. If you are anything at all like us, you have been missing out on restaurant hopping across town. As soon as we are able to get out and explore again, these will be our top two Joburg dining picks:
Modena Italian Eatery
If there was ever any doubt that 4th Avenue in Parkhurst is one of Joburg's culinary centres, Modena Italian Eatery has proven critics wrong. This Italian-inspired eatery opened in February 2020, just before chaos erupted. Their menu features a delightful selection of traditional Italian dishes, as well as a few with a modern twist. We will most certainly be stopping by once life returns to relative normality to sample their Napolitana di Modena – a traditional tomato ragu served with bocconcini mozzarella over homemade pasta with a nice tall glass of wine.
Just before the national lockdown began, we were fortunate enough to attend the grand opening of L'atelier Bakery at the Trumpet Building on Keyes Avenue. This French-Belgian inspired patisserie wowed us with their array of pastries and savoury delights. We will surely be back once the lockdown has ended to sample some more of their tasty treats.
Speaking of wine, have you run out of your favourite tipple? With liquor sales banned for the last two months, we have become a city of teetotalers. But, for those of you who will be headed straight to the nearest drinking hole once we have bid COVID-19 farewell, here are two of Jozi's best cocktail spots to welcome you back to the scene:
Seeing the back side of COVID-19 is going to call for a massive celebration. So, why not go all out with a night of delicious dim sum, cocktails and karaoke? With two venues in Joburg, Saigon Suzy is likely to see her loyal patrons return in their hordes (at a distance, of course) for an epic night out on the town. Don't miss out on all the fun!
The creator of Saigon Suzy is also the brainchild behind Social Parkwood. If it's fancy cocktails you want, it's fancy cocktails you'll get here. They also cater to other drink preferences, so no matter your poison, you should be pleased. Social's restaurant element isn't to be snubbed either, as they elegantly combine the bar and restaurant to give their patrons a great overall experience. What more could you need to get back into the Joburg party vibe?
How about an evening of uninhibited dancing? While there have been a number of awesome live streaming events to keep you jiving throughout lockdown, there is nothing quite like a night out on the town in your dancing shoes. Here's where you can strap them on and get moving again!
If you've ever visited the Maboneng Precinct, you'll know that Canteen is the place to be. Not only is their menu generous in variety and flavour, but their rooftop salsa events are unrivaled. Whether you are a seasoned professional or complete amateur, this vibrant rooftop party is sure to get your toes tapping. Combined with the fantastic view of the inner city below, Canteen's Sunday salsa event is a definite must-attend once lockdown is over and we can safely leave our homes.
Carfax & And
From the rooftops to the underground, the Joburg party scene is as diverse as the people who bring it to life. If you're after something grungier than usual, visit Carfax & And, Newtown's most exciting secret dance club venues. And specialises in techno and drum and bass parties, so expect a raving party. Carfax boasts a similar vibe, but hosts more exclusive events including art exhibitions and private artist parties, so you'll have to keep your ear to the ground to get yourself a ticket in the door. Nevertheless, these venues are unlike any other in the city and are well worth a visit on your first night out on the town after lockdown.
Being cooped up at home for months can cause serious cabin fever. If you can no longer stand the sight of your own couch, bed or kitchen cupboards, take a few days to recuperate at one of these two awesome Jozi hotels. One is a budget-friendly bakcpacker's haven, the other a world-class, architectural marvel. Whichever you choose, we are sure you will have a ball being away from home for awhile.
Once In Joburg
Once In Joburg is unofficially known as Joburg's only 'poshtel' - a perfect mish-mash of classy hotel and hostel situated right in the heart of Braamfontein. During the national lockdown period, Once In Joburg will be functioning as a safe harbour for health care workers as part of the Ubuntu Beds campaign. However, once things return to normal, we are sure that they will be ready to welcome in adventurous travellers. If you have always wanted to explore your city by night, this is the place to stay over. So, go on and tick those adventures off your bucket list. If lockdown has taught us anything, it's that life is meant to be lived to the fullest.
The Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch
The Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch and Marriott Executive Apartments Johannesburg Melrose Arch opened on Sunday, 1 March 2020. Boasting an impressive 306 rooms and modern facilities, this hotel is where consummate professionals and tourists alike can relax, rejuvenate and negotiate all at once. As global travel may be off the cards for a few months to come, book yourself into this luxury hotel for a weekend getaway, right in the heart of the city.
Joburg is undoubtedly an urban jungle. Get out into the fresh air once lockdown is over by visiting Joburg's top parks and nature reserves. Our top picks include a protected nature reserve hidden right in the heart of Houghton and the best art and sculpture park in Gauteng. So, get on those hiking books and go on an adventure!
The Wilds has undergone massive reconstruction and revitalisation in recent years. Home to some of Joburg's most unique indigenous plant species, this is the perfect destination to reintroduce yourself to the wild outdoors. Set against the Melville koppies, the park offers adventurers an array of winding paths and hills to explore. This is also a great spot to take a few wildlife snaps and post-lockdown selfies set against the Joburg skyline.
NIROX Sculpture Park
Art imitates life, doesn't it? The NIROX Sculpture Park reflects the dichotomy between man-made art and the natural world with perfect balance. Stroll their expansive sculpture gardens, artist studios and the park's natural wonders on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The on-site restaurant is famed for its generous Sunday afternoon lunches, so bring the whole family along for a post-lockdown celebration feast.
A Little Bit Of Culture
Have you been enjoying tons of online theatre, music and visual art content while in lockdown? Unfortunately, there is nothing quite like the real thing. Treat yourself to a night out at the theatre or the cinema and help get the arts community back on its feet after lockdown.
The Market Theatre
The Market Theatre has stood as an icon of South African theatre since 1976. If you've never visited this historic theatre venue before, hop on over the M1 to Newtown as soon as lockdown ends. With its air of urban jazz culture and casual 'coolness', the Market Theatre bar is the ideal place to hang out before the show begins. Here you'll most likely bump into a few famous faces and possibly some new friends. So, put on your peddler's hat and earn yourself a good dose of theatre culture.
The Bioscope Independent Cinema
Our final top Jozi destination to visit post-lockdown is The Bioscope Independent Cinema. Shortly before lockdown was implemented, The Bioscope made their big move out of the Maboneng Precinct. Their new home at 44 Stanley should be completed once we are all set free, so you can get back to enjoying independent cinema right away. Grab the popcorn and slushies because we are totally ready to go on a big screen adventure!
Ready to get planning your post-lockdown adventures across the city? Check out these awesome experience packages you can buy now and enjoy later!