One of the best things about living in Joburg is the delightfully vibrant mix of culture, and this couldn’t be more evident than in the massive range of restaurants we have. Yes, we are utterly spoilt for choice, which often makes picking a spot to eat incredibly difficult.
We’re making your life easy by bringing you this list of the 13 best restaurants in Johannesburg. Whether you’re looking for one to tick a specific category (from romantic to kid friendly) or just wanting to try something new, we suggest starting at number one and working your way through them all. Enjoy!
1. The gourmet food and wine one
Piccolo Mondo at the Michelangelo Hotel, Sandton
If you’re a fan of good wine (be honest — who isn’t?) and delicious food, this one’s for you. Each month, Piccolo Mondo at the Michelangelo Hotel pairs up with a different wine estate to bring you a gourmet food and wine pairing event, and it is magnificent. For R545pp, you’ll get a five-course meal perfectly paired with wine a plenty.
2. The one for the perfect first date
Parea Taverna, Illovo
This unassuming little spot easily is our pick for one of the best restaurants in Johannesburg for a first date. Parea ticks all the boxes for the smooth running of a date, but its vibey setting and relaxed atmosphere mean that there’s none of that dreaded pressure. Your night may even end off with a Greek and belly dancing show, and their delicious Greek menu is perfect for sharing if you want to make the date a little bit more intimate.
For bookings, call 011 788 8777 or 011 788 8785 or visit parea.co.za and feast your eyes on the menu.
3. The kid friendly one
Panettone Café, Parkview
Not only does Panettone Cafe have a great play area for the kiddies to enjoy, but they’ve also got a bunch of childminders to watch over them… Yes, that means you can actually sit and enjoy your whole meal for once, and get to your coffee before it goes cold. The added bonus? Their food is actually really good with a wide range of options to choose from, so it really is a pleasant experience for the whole family.
For bookings, call 011 026 3506 or visit their website for more info and to peruse Panettone Cafe’s menu.
Read more: Not in the mood for going out? We’ve got a huge range of recipes for you to try for dinner.
4. The one for a ladies night
Beefcakes Burger Bar, Illovo and Bedfordview
Dinner and a show… sounds innocent enough, right? Well, maybe not! Beefcakes is all kinds of cheeky and provides the perfect backdrop for a night out with the girls, and is easily one of the best restaurants in Johannesburg for a ladies night. Just remember, what happens at girls night, stays at girls night!
For bookings, call 011 4475266 (Illovo) or 011 615 2336 (Bedfordview), or visit beefcakes.co.za for the mouthwatering menu.
5. The budget friendly one
J’s Diner, Blairgowrie
This family-run restaurant offers scrummy authentic Mozambican Portuguese dishes. Not only is the food seriously reasonably priced, but you can take your own drinks — and there’s no corkage fee (yes, seriously!). So make your booking at J’s Diner, pack your coolerbox, and get yourself there!
6. The hidden treasure
The Wits Club, Parktown/Braamfontein
This little hidden gem is a fabulous all-rounder, and the spot can be rented out for special occasions. Situated on the Wits campus and run by restaurateurs Olives and Plates, head there for breakfast or lunch on a sunny day as their outside area is simply stunning. We highly recommend their salads, and their burgers are delish (and budget friendly) too.
7. The uber trendy one
The Countess, Melville
It’s difficult to beat Melville when it comes to trendiness these days, and even more so the popular 27 Boxes centre. The Countess gets its spot on the list of the best restaurants in Johannesburg thanks to its interesting menu (think delicious twists on traditional US dishes), funky atmosphere and warehouse, steam punk look that couldn’t be more on trend.
8. The hipster hangout
The Potato Shed, Newtown
Set in the original 1911 railway sidings that were once the site for a fresh produce market, The Potato Shed serves traditional, hearty southern American smokehouse food that you’re bound to love. It also houses a brewery and is located in the super popular Newtown. Great food, beer and an awesome location; what’s not to love?
For bookings, call 0105906133, or tantalise your tastebuds with The Potato Shed menu.
9. The authentically Italian one
Franco’s Pizzeria & Trattoria, Parkview
If you’re looking for old school Italian dining at its best, this has to be one of the best restaurants in Johannesburg you’ll find. They keep things simple, traditional and uncomplicated, with the effort going into the taste of the food, and it’s paid off because every dish is beyond bellissimo. The added bonus? There’s no corkage fee for the first bottle of wine you bring.
10. The perfect breakfast spot
Pablo Eggs-Go-Bar, Melville
Breakfast any time of the day? Yes please! This delightfully decorated concept spot with an even more delightful name has a menu filled with eggs in all shapes and sizes — and it’s all delicious! Whatever you do, make sure you order the incredible fried flat breads to go with your perfectly cooked egg, then wash it all down with the ultimate Urban Grind coffee. They are also open for lunch and dinner, which is just as delicious.
For bookings, call 063 335 9348, or visit the Pablo Eggs Go Bar Facebook page.
11. The pet friendly one
Voodoo Lily Café, Birdhaven
Voodoo Lily Cafe is located across the road from a park, making it the ideal stop after a walk with your furry friends. The vibe is incredibly relaxed and they offer fresh, wholesome food that the whole family can enjoy. They’ve also got a fab deli where they stock everything from wine and cheese to sugar-free sweets and Banting items.
For bookings, call 011 442 6965 or browse the tasty treats on offer at Voodoo Lily Cafe by looking at their menu here.
12. The taste of Africa
Little Addis Café, Maboneng
As the name suggests, Little Addis Café serves mouthwatering Ethiopian cuisine and offers a one-of-a-kind food experience. For a change, you’re encouraged to eat with your hands (when in Rome, right?), while you enjoy the fragrant sharing food, followed by one of the must-have traditional teas or coffees. Definitely give this one a try; after all, you can’t go wrong with a little taste of Africa in South Africa’s ultra-chic Maboneng Precinct.
For bookings, call 0826838675, then get a taste of what to expect by having a look at Little Addis Cafe’s menu here.
13. The award winning fancy spot
DW Eleven-13, Dunkeld West
No list would be complete without one of the ultimate best restaurants in Johannesburg. Here, you are in for a culinary experience of note and a night you will probably never forget. You can choose one of the scrumptious options from the a la carte menu, or dare to be different and try one of their tasting menus to really experience something new and amazing.
For bookings, call 011 341 0663. The menus change based on the seasons, and you can see the latest menu from DW Eleven-13 here.