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Johannesburg restaurants

bigcmd Aug 15, 2012 10:45 AM

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.

  1. debbieann Sep 2, 2012 09:55 AM

    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
      bigcmd Sep 2, 2012 10:40 AM

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

      1. re: bigcmd
        debbieann Sep 3, 2012 02:34 AM

        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
          bigcmd Sep 3, 2012 07:06 AM

          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. b
      BuildingMyBento Sep 3, 2012 11:48 AM

      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 food...it'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
        debbieann Sep 4, 2012 12:03 PM

        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
          bigcmd Sep 4, 2012 12:08 PM

          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
            BuildingMyBento Sep 5, 2012 06:58 PM

            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
              bigcmd Sep 6, 2012 07:29 AM

              What do you think about DW Eleven-13?

              1. re: bigcmd
                debbieann Sep 6, 2012 08:37 AM

                I haven't tried it, have you?

                1. re: debbieann
                  bigcmd Sep 6, 2012 09:33 AM

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

        2. debbieann Sep 29, 2012 08:53 AM

          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
            bigcmd Sep 30, 2012 07:43 AM

            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
              debbieann Nov 2, 2012 06:45 AM

              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. debbieann Jan 24, 2013 02:10 AM

            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:

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