When it comes to eating out, Gauteng offers a vibrant food and drink scene which caters for all tastes and makes eating out a delight. It is overflowing with an incredible diversity of outlets offering a wide range of fine and informal dining.
Service is courteous and the waiting staff in most places is genuinely interested in your satisfaction. Whether you are looking for seafood, great stakes, traditional dishes, local and international cuisines or just a place to hang out for a drink, you will not be stuck for lack of choice. You will find a place to suit your budget and mood, no matter where you are from.
From the high-end swanky restaurants in upmarket northern Johannesburg and Pretoria to the shisanyama (braai) spots in the townships, each spot has an emphasis on fun and good value. All malls in Gauteng house several food courts and bars that also cater to international tastes. However, some of the finest restaurants are in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs and Pretoria East. Portuguese, French and Italian cuisines are big in these suburbs.
Johannesburg has a fair share of these hang out spots with witty and sophisticated crowds frequenting eating and drinking places in Melville, Melrose Arch, Greenside, Fourways, Park Town, Park Hurst, Rosebank and Sandton. The most frequented and popular dinging and drinking places in Pretoria are found in Arcadia and Hatfield.
The traditional hotspots for students and younger office workers in Johannesburg are Melville’s 7th Avenue, Cedar Square in Fourways, Rosebank and Melrose Arch. Seventh Avenue in Melville is a bustling street with a head-spinning line-up of bars and restaurants. These vary from laid back old-school types to the loud beat of the popular house music dens. Some spots have become informal meeting venues for people who prefer discussing business over a drink and good music in the background. In addition to the relaxed and friendly environment of eating and beverage outlets in Melville’s 7th Avenue, you can round up your weekend afternoons by going hiking or bird watching at the nearby Melville Koppies Nature Reserve.
Those looking to have cold beers and learn about the history and processes of beer brewing must visit the SAB World of Beer in Newtown close to central Johannesburg. The SAB World of Beer offers visitors a tour of its mini-brewery as well as ancient and traditional methods of brewing, after which they can quench their thirst with freshly brewed beer in the restaurant over a meal.
A must visit is South Africa’s biggest and historic township of Soweto. In the township’s Orlando West lies Vilakazi Street, which is world-famous for being the only street in the world to produce two Nobel Peace Prize laureates, namely former president Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. The Mandela Family Museum in the street is now one of the most visited museums in the country. A stone’s throw away in the same township is the Hector Pieterson Memorial.
Vilakazi Street has been turned into a place of bars and restaurants offering authentic traditional South African delicacies for local and international visitors. Popular eating and drinking places here are Wandie’s Place, Nambitha and Sakhumzi restaurants. Guests at these establishments get to enjoy their meals and drinks sitting around communal tables. Soweto is where the buy-and-braai concept of shisanyama started and is home to most shisanyama spots in Gauteng.
Pretoria’s favourite destination for diners is Hatfield where you find some of the finest Indian, Portuguese and Cuban restaurants. Hatfield comes alive in the evenings and on weekends, especially when there is rugby match at the nearby Loftus Versfeld Stadium. Rugby fans pack restaurants and bars to watch the rugby over a beer or meal. Pretoria is a rugby-mad city and home to the Blue Bulls Rugby Club. Similar dining and drinking places can be found in Brooklyn, Arcadia, Irene and Lynnridge. Places of interest which you can visit in Pretoria are the Pretoria Zoo, Freedom Park, Voortrekker Monument and the Union Buildings.
Featured Eat & Drink attraction
South Africa is perhaps better known for its wines, but beer brewing also boasts a long and glorious history in the country. The first local brewery was established as early as 1658, whereas wine production can be traced back to 1659. Today, South Africa boasts one of the world’s largest brewers, SABMiller, which operates locally as South African Breweries Ltd.