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Aug 15, 2012 10:45 AM

Johannesburg restaurants

6 of us will begin our 2 week South African visit with 2 nights at the Westclilff Hotel. Any suggestions for eating in the area ( will will not have a car). It is our first visit to South Africa and we love good food and wine. We are flexible on the price and cuisine.

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  1. Joburg without a car is difficult. I like Melville which isn't too far from you - it has a good vibe at night. I like eating at Lucky Bean. I also enjoy Sophiatown and Melon - and once you are in Melville it is easy to walk up and down 7th St. I haven't eaten at Cube yet, but it is the top of my list.

    3 Replies
    1. re: debbieann

      The concierge at the hotel recommended Pigalle. He said they would take us in a hotel car. What do you think?

      1. re: bigcmd

        I haven't eaten there, but I have eaten at other places in the same giant shopping centre, and to be honest, I'm sort of tired of the shopping-ness of Rosebank and Sandton. For my money, Melville restaurants have more personality and more life. Maybe if you have more than one dinner you could try both and compare.

        1. re: debbieann

          Thank you for your reply. I will discuss other options with the concierge when we arrive. We have 2 nights but the first night will be shortly after a 16 hour flight from Atlanta and I am not sure what condition we will be in. we have been somewhat paranoid about Johannesburg and want to be prudent.

    2. Ehem, if you're willing to venture downtown to the closest minibus station to Hillbrow Tower (already lost you?), there is an area to get Ethiopian's not a long walk from said minibus terminus, so ask around for the Ethiopian area (the place I ate at was a couple of floors up in a textile mall. Plenty o' Horn of Africa expats abound. Mind you, it's by no means an "upper crust" experience, so I dug it a lot.

      6 Replies
      1. re: BuildingMyBento

        hmm I don't think "want to be prudent" and minibus/Hillbrow Tower is a good match. I'd say Hillbrow Tower is advanced Joburg.

        If you have a lunch time available maybe Melville during the day would be nice.It took me awhile to understand what to be paranoid about. The hotel car will be expensive, but it is probably the best choice.

        I like 44 Stanley too - best coffee at Bean There and good bakery Vovo Telo and cute shops and an art gallery. and a Spar across the street, if you enjoy grocery stores.

        try samp and beans somewhere if you get a chance.

        1. re: debbieann

          Thanks so much for all the help. The hotel has offered a complimentary car and I will discuss your other suggestions. We leave in 2 days and can't wait to see Joburg

          1. re: debbieann

            Is going to Johannesburg at all then "being prudent?" Should Sandton even be considered part of Johannesburg?

            A shame that the eats downtown are classified as advanced, though I wouldn't have it any other way. Of course, if OP also wants to go to the "Top of Africa" observation deck, along with the complimentary car an Ethiopian meal could be worked in...if only.

            1. re: BuildingMyBento

              What do you think about DW Eleven-13?

                1. re: debbieann

                  I could not get a reservation so I guess i won't get to try it this trip.

        2. How was your time in Jo'burg? Did you like the Westcliff? we had drinks there today for the first time, and it was very very nice. great view.

          2 Replies
          1. re: debbieann

            We enjoyed our visit very much. The Westcliff was a wonderful hotel. Because we were so tired the first night we ate at the hotel and it was enjoyable. We did eat at Pigalle the next night. It was fine just nothing special. It was amazing to see such a large gated shopping mall however. There is nothing like it here. I think that people who just pass through Joburg are missing something.

            1. re: bigcmd

              The Westcliff is SO beautiful. I'm going to go there for high tea to enjoy the view. Joburg is pretty great in its own way. I do not love those huge shopping malls, but I'm finding more and more that I do enjoy in the city.

          2. ok, I have now been to the best restaurant for fine dining in Joburg - 500 at Saxon Hotel.

            Photos are here:

            review in newspaper is here: