I’m a little tired of people running down Jozi’s food scene. For some reason we have this inferiority complex when put up against Cape Town. Yes, Cape Town has unbelievable restaurants… but so do we! And in my humble opinion I believe Jozi’s food scene has lately surpassed that of Cape Towns. This post is not here to hate, rather remind ourselves to stop looking elsewhere for the best when the best is literally in your neighbourhood. Whether it is the fancy shmancy restaurant you are looking for or the down-to-earth corner cafe, this list is here to open your eyes to the deliciousness that is spilling out of every corner in jozi. Having already written about a few of the best in Jozi this list is here to introduce you to a handful of restaurants that Big Bad Wolf has just recently explored.
Take a Look
The restaurant to see and be seen in has officially opened their doors to the public and it is mind-blowingly beautiful. Run by the ever-so-talented David Higgs, Marble offers Joburgers a taste of the finest meats made by one of South Africa’s finest chef’s. Expect impeccable service, stylish dishes and and the best wine from all over the country. It may cost a pretty penny but you are promised a world-class dining experience. Book now!
Also Try Wombles Steakhouse / Flames Restaurant
Last night was my introduction to this gem of a restaurant. A Tapas based food menu, each dish will have you salivating for the next. 3 dishes per person seems to be enough but make sure you order their beef fillet- cooked to perfection! The scene is low-key, cozy and has a certain vibe that makes you want to stay around long after your meal is finished. The menu is constantly changing so besides for their crafted G&T’s you must just explore all that is on offer.
Also Try Lima Tapas Bar / Vicky Christina’s
This is the most stylish little burger joint you will find the world over. Designed by the talented Tristan Du plessis of Studio A Signature Projects, Brooklyn Brothers is the best burger in town bar none! Whether you want to sit in and enjoy or perhaps eating the burger in bed is what you have in mind, this is the burger joint that rivals all burger joints ( In my opinion).
Also Try BGR / The Wolfpack
The National Eatery
Found in one of my favourite Jozi neighbourhoods, The National eatery offers intricate dishes with a stylish twist. Their menu is on constant change to keep their clientele happy and keep the creative juices flowing in the restaurant. Come early, have a drink at their bar and enjoy this road-side cafe that has become a favourite amongst Joburgers.
Also Try Coobs / The Big Mouth
A firm favourite amongst the Big Bad Wolf family, this family run, neighbourhood restaurant has become a sort of Italian institution in Johannesburg. A cozy little restaurant set amongst take-away joints and grocery shops, Polpetta is just about providing the best in Italian cuisine with a down-to-earth attitude. You best make a reservation because they are always packed!
Also Try Luca’s / Nonna’s Food Bar
Whenever I have asked my greek friends where the best greek restaurant in Jozi is I am always surprised by their answer- the tiny little shop on the corner in Maboneng called Soul Souvlaki. It may be small but their following is huge. If Maboneng is too much of a mission for you, you can usually find a Soul Souvlaki pop-up store at any of the numerous markets that take place around jozi monthly. Each dish is over-flowing with flavour and you are bound to come back for more.
Also Try Parea Taverna / Mezepoli
This is a huge mission for anyone living in the north but I promise you it is well worth it! Possibly one of my favourite restaurants on this list, La Parreirinha offers the best in Portuguese styled seafood. I have literally not come across a better prawn dish anywhere else- even by the coast! Family run, this restaurant has been a firm favourite for over 38 years! Give a visit and you will understand why.
Also Try The Fishmonger / Calisto’s Portuguese Restaurant
For all you Jalapeno-loving, burrito-eating, salsa-dancing freaks ( sorry, I just cant stand Mexican food) Perron is one of the better Mexican Restaurants I have tried. Set amongst a vibey corner in Illovo, Perron is always packed to the brim with happy customers sipping away on their beautifully coloured cocktails. Book now.
Also Try Mama Mexicana / La Santa Muerte
A personal favourite, Thomas Maxwells is the perfect mix of intimate and glamorous. It is not often one is unable to order off the menu as everything sounds so delicious ( which I promise you it is). This is perfect for any occasion whether it is your anniversary, first-date or just a random Thursday, make sure you go hungry and try their famous mussel pots!
Also Try The Green Peppercorn / Licorish Bistro
La Cucina di Ciro
There is nothing better than experiencing a restaurant where the chef is as passionate about making the food as you are about eating it! La Cucina di Ciro, run by Chef Ciro Molinaro, is the perfect date-night restaurant. Romantic, cozy and perfect for any of your Mediterranean- cravings, this has become a absolute favourite!
Also Try Il Giardino D’egli Ulivi / Franco’s Pizzeria & Trattoria
The newest gem on the jozi food scene is an absolute must-see. Set amongst Mad Giant’s brewery machines there is no restaurant quite like it in South Africa. The food is described as ‘Urban Gaurde’ a term coined by head chef Angelo Scirocco, an experimentation that meets typical street techniques such as Yakitori, Teriyaki and Kushiyaki with a South African edge. Expect unique dishes in an even more unique setting. Book now! ( Not for the unadventurous eater).
Also Try The Cube Tasting Kitchen / DW 11-13
I hate eating inside a shopping centre, I would much rather be sipping on my cocktail whilst watching the traffic pass me by ( Nope we don’t have mountains or the sea to stare at… get over it!) but the food at So Yum is just that…So YUM! As a self-elected Asian cuisine connoisseur So Yum maybe one of the greatest asian cuisine restaurants in Jozi. make sure to sit inside the restaurant so you don’t feel like you are sitting in the middle of a mall. The decor is dark and moody and sets the tone perfectly. Book now!
Also Try Thai Cafe / Momo Baohaus
Completely unassuming but completely brilliant, Tortellino D’oro offers the very best authentic Italian in Jozi. Offering either sit-down meals or take outs from their impeccable deli, yet another family run, culinary success found right in your backyard!
Also Try Trabella / Pronto
It may be the last on the list but it certainly is not the least. Gemelli has become my favourite restaurant in South Africa. Beyond its gorgeous interiors is a restaurant that is pumping with passion and energy. Run by the now famous Alessandro Khojane, Gemelli’s food is not the only reason you will keep going back again and again! Make sure to book ASAP!
Also Try Cafe Del Sol Classico / Cafe Del Sol Botanico