Restaurants in Johannesburg

There is a wide choice of restaurants in Johannesburg to choose from. By law, VAT, which currently stands at 14%, is already included in restaurant bills. Most restaurants do not charge a service fee and 'waitrons' (local term which incorporates waiters and waitresses) expect to be tipped 10 to 15%; however, tables of over six or eight are often charged an automatic 15% service charge..

The restaurants have been divided into three different pricing categories:
Expensive (over R200)
Moderate (R100 to R200)
Cheap (up to R100)
These prices are for a three-course meal and for a bottle of house wine or equivalent, including VAT but excluding service charge.


Price: Expensive

Vilamoura has long been considered one of the city's best Portuguese/seafood restaurants. Smart and quite formal, it has a renowned seafood platter that will delight any fish fanatic and is the ideal place to impress important guests (with price tag to match). In addition to seafood, Vilamoura's piri-piri chicken, Portuguese steak and chouriço (Portuguese traditional sausage) are consistently delicious. A Latin American band plays most nights.

Address: Intercontinental Sandton Towers, corner of Fifth and Alice Streets, Sandhurst, South Africa
Telephone: (011) 884 0360

The Butcher Shop and Grill

Price: Expensive

For some of the best steaks (pork, ostrich, lamb, beef and game) in town, this is definitely the spot. For starters, the snails, done in garlic, lemon and other ingredients unique to The Butcher Shop, are great, and to end up, there is a straightforward but delicious ice cream in rich chocolate sauce. The menu also offers poultry, schnitzels, and sausage or seafood platter.

Address: Shop 30, Nelson Mandela Square, Sandown, South Africa
Telephone: 011 784 8676

Bistro 277 on Main

Price: Expensive

Marc Guebert's Bistro 277 on Main is by far your best bet for French cuisine in Johannesburg. Its sought-after specialities include Toulouse cassoulet (duck, lamb, sausage and bean casserole), tripe in Calvados, snails, baked camembert and cider and duck and cherry pie. It is expensive but for true Francophiles, it is money well spent. Remember to round off with the signature dessert: a Grand Marnier soufflé.

Address: Cramerview Centre, 277 Main Road, Bryanston, South Africa
Telephone: (011) 706 2837

Browns of Rivonia

Price: Expensive

Occupying a charming old farmhouse in the relatively rural suburb of Rivonia, Browns offers elegant dining, a large patio, a cosy fireplace, a 40,000-bottle cellar and a fromagerie (cheese room) where diners can go to choose their own platter. Recommended are the fresh oysters, the calamari, the roast glazed duck, Eric's prawns, and the ever popular lamb shanks.

Address: 21 Wessels Road, Rivonia, Sandton, South Africa
Telephone: (011) 803 7533


Price: Expensive

With a dozen types of meat, from chicken legs and lamb with mint sauce to crocodile, eland and zebra, Carnivore, the local version of its Nairobi namesake, aims to sate the appetite of the most ravenous of customers. Waitrons carve meat off converted Masai spears, while patrons sit round a huge, open central fire and scoff to their hearts' content.

Address: 69 Drift Boulevard, Muldersdrift, Johannesburg, South Africa
Telephone: (011) 957 2099

La Belle Terrasse and Loggia

Price: Expensive

This elegant and unabashedly colonial terrace has one of the city's most beautiful and surprisingly pastoral views. The Sunday brunch offers a cold buffet that includes French oysters, Caspian Sea caviar, queen prawns, charcuterie and a host of terrines and salads. The hot buffet includes eggs Benedict, as well as other lunch specialities, such as roasted spring lamb in a rosemary-scented jus.

Address: The Westcliff Hotel, 67 Jan Smuts Avenue, Westcliff, South Africa
Telephone: (011) 481 6000

Le Canard

Price: Expensive

This elegant, romantic rendezvous is set in a stately suburbian Georgian homestead with sweeping drapes, antique furniture and Persian rugs. Dishes are typically timeless with duck, veal and seafood dishes that are Le Canard's signature. Try the queen prawn and fruit salad on gingerbread for starters, followed by the drunken chicken, which is flamed at the table in coconut milk seasoned with ginger, juniper and brandy. Top it all with baked cheesecake.

Address: 163 Rivonia Road, Morningside, Sandton, South Africa
Telephone: (011) 884 4597

Linger Longer

Price: Expensive

Set in a fine converted mansion, Linger Longer's classic décor and romantic feel suits smart to formal dress. Service is skilful and the haute cuisine is top class. As a starter, lobster bisque or foie gras, followed for the main event with either crusted rack of lamb, Atlantic salmon or the duck (an all-time favourite) or one of the tempting specials are recommended, followed by homemade assorted sorbet.

Address: 58 Wierda Road, Wierda Valley, Sandton, South Africa
Telephone: (011) 884 0465

Moyo Melrose Arch

Price: Expensive

Mimicking the impressive subterranean scale of Jo'burg's famous goldmines, Moyo's eclectic décor of beaten copper ceilings, Ali Baba lanterns, brightly painted columns and mosaic patterned tables set with wicker mats and oil lamps extends down five levels. Expect wondrous dishes such as samaki kavu from Kenya, chicken yassa from Nigeria, venison babootie from South Africa, Mozambican grilled barracuda topped with tomato and basil, and from Morocco, varieties of fragrant tagines.

Address: 5 Melrose Square, Melrose Arch, Melrose (off Atholl Oaklands Drive or Corlett Drive), South Africa
Telephone: (086) 100 6696

The Radium Beer Hall

Price: Moderate

The Radium Beer Hall is the oldest surviving bar and grill in Johannesburg, with a genuinely historic ambience that is just as enticing as food on the menu (including delicious prego rolls and ribs) and as authentic as the foot-tapping live jazz that makes the embossed tin ceiling vibrate. The walls are covered in memorabilia, from photos of pre-war soccer teams and jazzmen to vintage posters and press clippings.

Address: 282 Louis Botha Avenue, Orange Grove, Johannesburg, South Africa
Telephone: (011) 728 3866


Price: Moderate

Classic cartoons are much in evidence in the decor of Giles. This is a homely, convivial and unpretentious place, offering cosmopolitan English cuisine. For starters, the Giles' trout salad is recommended, followed by fish and chips served in a newspaper cone, ended off with 'Madam and Eve' chocolate brownies with cream or ice cream. There is also a cosy wooden-panelled traditional British pub for pre-dinner drinks.

Address: 9 Grafton Avenue, Craighall Park, Johannesburg, South Africa
Telephone: (011) 442 4056

Fourno's Bakery

Price: Cheap

This chain offers best spots for breakfast with a newspaper at a table in the sun. Bakers work throughout the night to provide a bewildering range of delicious breads, pastries, quiches, cakes, samosas, pies and sausage rolls. The farmhouse breakfasts are superb and will keep you going all day, or try toasted rye bread topped with goats' cheese, spinach and poached eggs.

Address: Dunkeld West Centre, Jan Smuts Avenue, Dunkeld, South Africa
Telephone: (011) 325 2110

Chon Hing

Price: Cheap

Any restaurant that can boast that it has been presenting authentic and delicious Chinese fare for over 40 years must be doing something right. Here hostess Yvonne will sit you down at a gaudy plastic table on rickety schoolroom chairs and serve you the best prawn chow mein (one of over 100 dishes) this side of Beijing. Charming and timeless.

Address: 26 Alexander Street (off Commissioner), Ferreirastown, Johannesburg, South Africa
Telephone: (011) 834 3206
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