A Foodie’s Guide to Johannesburg: 10 Must-Try Restaurants and Local Cuisine

Johannesburg, the vibrant and multicultural city in South Africa, is a food lover’s paradise. With its diverse population and rich culinary heritage, the city offers an array of flavors and dishes that will satisfy even the most discerning palates. From traditional African cuisine to international fusion dishes, Johannesburg has it all. In this guide, we will explore ten must-try restaurants and local cuisine that showcase the best of what the city has to offer.

1. Maboneng Precinct – The Blackanese Sushi & Wine Bar

Located in the trendy Maboneng Precinct, The Blackanese Sushi & Wine Bar combines the best of African and Japanese cuisines. The restaurant’s unique concept of “Blackanese” fusion brings together flavors from both cultures to create an unforgettable dining experience. Try their signature sushi rolls, such as the “Afro Samurai,” which features delicious combinations of fresh seafood and African spices. Pair your meal with a glass of South African wine, and you’ll be in food heaven. Visit their website for more information: theblackanese.co.za.

2. Melville – Ant Café

Located in the lively suburb of Melville, Ant Café is a hidden gem loved by locals. This charming café offers a cozy and relaxed atmosphere, making it the perfect spot for brunch or a casual lunch. Their menu features a range of delicious dishes, from hearty breakfasts to freshly made sandwiches and salads. Don’t miss their famous Ant Burger, a mouthwatering creation packed with flavor. Pair your meal with one of their freshly brewed coffees or teas for the perfect culinary experience. Visit their website for more information: antcafe.co.za.

3. Sandton – Piccolo Mondo

For a sophisticated and upscale dining experience, head to Piccolo Mondo in the exclusive suburb of Sandton. This renowned Italian restaurant has been a favorite among locals for years. Their menu features traditional Italian dishes with a modern twist, using only the finest ingredients. Indulge in their homemade pasta dishes, such as the classic spaghetti carbonara or the delicate tortellini filled with ricotta and spinach. Finish off your meal with one of their delectable desserts, like the tiramisu or panna cotta. The elegant ambiance and impeccable service make Piccolo Mondo a must-visit spot in Johannesburg. Visit their website for more information: piccolomondo.co.za.

4. Soweto – Sakhumzi Restaurant

When in Johannesburg, a visit to the vibrant township of Soweto is a must. And while you’re there, make sure to stop by Sakhumzi Restaurant, a true culinary gem. This lively and bustling eatery offers an authentic taste of South African cuisine. Feast on traditional dishes such as boerewors (a type of sausage), pap (maize porridge), and chakalaka (a spicy vegetable relish). The restaurant’s warm and welcoming atmosphere, coupled with live music and friendly staff, creates an unforgettable dining experience. Visit their website for more information: sakhumzi.co.za.

5. Parktown North – Five Hundred

For a fine dining experience like no other, indulge in the culinary creations at Five Hundred in Parktown North. Located within the luxurious Saxon Hotel, this restaurant has been awarded several prestigious accolades and is a culinary destination for food enthusiasts. The restaurant offers a tasting menu that takes diners on a gastronomic journey, with each dish prepared to perfection and beautifully presented. Experience the art of fine dining and savor every bite of their meticulously crafted dishes. Visit their website for more information: saxon.co.za/dine/five-hundred.

6. Norwood – Turn ‘n Tender

If you’re a meat lover, Turn ‘n Tender in Norwood is a restaurant you shouldn’t miss. Known for their exceptional cuts of beef and expertly grilled steaks, this establishment has become a favorite among locals for its hearty portions and superb quality. Choose from a variety of cuts, such as fillet, sirloin, or rib-eye, and enjoy it cooked to your liking with a selection of mouthwatering sauces. The restaurant also offers a variety of chicken, lamb, and seafood options, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Visit their website for more information: turnntender.co.za.

7. Rosebank – Momo Baohaus

For a trendy and modern take on Asian street food, head to Momo Baohaus in Rosebank. This vibrant eatery specializes in Taiwanese-style bao buns, which are steamed buns filled with various delectable fillings. From pulled pork to crispy tofu, Momo Baohaus offers a range of flavorful options to satisfy your cravings. Don’t miss their loaded fries, topped with a variety of toppings like kimchi, bulgogi beef, or crispy duck. The lively atmosphere and unique flavors make Momo Baohaus a must-visit spot. Visit their website for more information: momobaohaus.com.

8. Braamfontein – The Smokehouse and Grill

Located in the trendy Braamfontein neighborhood, The Smokehouse and Grill is a carnivore’s paradise. This barbecue and grill restaurant is known for its mouthwatering smoked meats and flavorful sauces. From tender ribs and juicy burgers to succulent chicken wings, their menu caters to all meat enthusiasts. The restaurant also offers a selection of craft beers and cocktails to complement your meal perfectly. The casual and vibrant atmosphere, coupled with the delicious food, makes The Smokehouse and Grill a must-visit in Johannesburg. Visit their website for more information: smokehouseandgrill.co.za.

9. Newtown –

For an authentic taste of Korean cuisine, head to +86 Korea in the vibrant cultural precinct of Newtown. This modern and stylish eatery offers a range of classic Korean dishes with a contemporary twist. From bibimbap and Korean fried chicken to their famous Korean BBQ, +86 Korea delivers bold flavors and culinary excellence. Don’t forget to try their deliciously refreshing bingsu, a shaved ice dessert topped with an array of sweet toppings. Visit their website for more information: 86kgb.co.za.

10. Parkhurst – Marble

Located in the trendy suburb of Parkhurst, Marble offers a unique immersive dining experience. This modern and stylish restaurant specializes in “live-fire” cooking, where the chefs prepare dishes in an open-fire kitchen. The menu features a combination of South African and international flavors, using the freshest local ingredients. Try their signature dishes, such as the flame-grilled beef ribeye or the slow-cooked lamb shoulder. The stunning rooftop bar offers panoramic views of Johannesburg and is the perfect spot to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail. Visit their website for more information: marble.restaurant.

In conclusion, Johannesburg is a culinary delight, offering a diverse range of flavors and cuisines. From traditional African dishes to international fusion creations, the city has something to please every palate. Whether you’re exploring the trendy neighborhoods or venturing into the townships, these ten must-try restaurants will introduce you to the best of Johannesburg’s local cuisine. So, come hungry and get ready to embark on a foodie adventure in the heart of South Africa.

– The Blackanese Sushi & Wine Bar: theblackanese.co.za
– Ant Café: antcafe.co.za
– Piccolo Mondo: piccolomondo.co.za
– Sakhumzi Restaurant: sakhumzi.co.za
– Five Hundred: saxon.co.za/dine/five-hundred
– Turn ‘n Tender: turnntender.co.za
– Momo Baohaus: momobaohaus.com
– The Smokehouse and Grill: smokehouseandgrill.co.za
– +86 Korea: 86kgb.co.za
– Marble: marble.restaurant