From hidden gems to excellent venues specializing in international cuisine, the best restaurants in Johannesburg are full of flavor. Just like the city itself, the dining scene in Johannesburg is constantly changing.
New spots and trends come and go, but the must-tries remain in the form of restaurants. Moreover, the South African capital has a reputation for finesse and one of the ways in which it comes out is through delectable dishes.
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Restaurants in Johannesburg are wide-ranging and each of them offers the best there is. When choosing the best restaurants in Johannesburg, consider customer service, ambience and location. These factors play an important role in driving the hospitality industry a notch higher.
What are the Best Restaurants in Johannesburg?
1. Carnivore Restaurant
For a satisfying game meat buffet, locals and visitors alike trust The Carnivore. The menu includes classic and delicious western foods including giraffe, crocodile, impala, and springbok.
The restaurant operates on a stop-go system, with servers arriving at your table with sizzling skewers of hot, fresh meat and only stopping when the stop sign is up. If red meat is not your thing, they offer vegetarian options.
2. Yeoville Dinner Club
The Yeoville Dinner Club serves up Johannesburg’s most unforgettable dining experience. Sanza Sandile, the chef and host, impacts the place with his fascinating tales about the city and delectable vegetarian pan-African delicacies like fish.
They do dining family-style, with up to 20 people seated around one large table. You won’t go hungry and you’ll feel you’re at the ultimate house party. Sanza also leads neighborhood walking tours with a culinary focus.
3. La Boqueria
La Boqueria serves up gourmet snacks and meals in a stunning double-storey setting with walls covered with plants and large murals, drawing inspiration from global street food.
The wines go with dishes like cured Norwegian salmon with ponzu dressing and poppadoms, octopus marinated in lime and coriander, and tapas like lamb empanadas and smoked hog neck croquettes are of the small-batch boutique local sort.
4. Craft, Rosebank
The gourmet burgers at the craft, one of the best restaurants in Johannesburg, are for the legends. There are also street food-style dishes such as bacon-wrapped hotdogs and beef prego. They recently introduced the pap dog, a South African version of the corn dog.
South African sausage, known as “boerewors” is covered in pap, which is made of maize meal and chakalaka (a tangy tomato and onion mix). There is no avoiding regional flavors here.
A small, former jail is the home of Parreirinha restaurant and serves some of the best seafood around! Parreirinha uses one of the jail cells as one of the dining rooms.
The Parreirinha restaurant offers some of the most incredible seafood in the area and is a favorite among Portuguese residents in Johannesburg. The meals are delicious, especially the Portuguese bread rolls! If you’re having trouble deciding, consider a dish that includes prawns. They’re yummy!
6. DW Eleven-13
After years of experience as a chef, Marthinus Ferreira eventually established DW 11-13 restaurant in 2009. Ignore the fact that this hidden gem is in a mall; the outstanding cuisine will quickly take you to far more fascinating locations.
The cuisine is contemporary South African with a global influence. Recipes such as hammed kroon duck, the oxtail wellington or the roasted hake make this one of the best restaurants in Johannesburg. There is a wonderful wine list and a six-course tasting menu that is always changing.
At the Four Seasons Hotel, Flames offers casual outdoor dining and a barbecue meal, or “braai”. Although the seasonal menu is fantastic, we cannot deny how amazing the rooftop views are. Go for a sundowner to take it all in if you can’t make it for a meal.
8. Level Four Restaurant
Level four restaurant is a popular spot and one of the best restaurants in Johannesburg. Level Four is the best for its delectable afternoon tea, which features blends from South Africa, the Bermuda Triangle, and China.
A lovely touch for the evening menu is naming the chef after his dish. Chef Lefa Mosana and Chef Alvin Nel are credited with creating the “soil master” pork belly and the “dhukka-spiced ostrich,” respectively.
You’ll keep coming back for more thanks to clever combinations of flavor and texture.
9. Qunu, The Saxon Hotel, Villas, and Spa
Qunu, which is named after the village where former president Nelson Mandela was born, provides modern takes on South African food. Enjoy the subtle African touches like traditional ebony masks, woven lampshades, and earthenware pots while live music is playing in the background.
There are special vegans, brunch, and breakfast menus available. Produced from Sarapana, the specialized kitchen garden, is used to create exotic meals like a duck with tamarind, butternut, and cherries; guava sorbet; and mushroom and hemp.
Another best restaurant in Johannesburg is Marble Restaurant. Chef David Higgs and businessman Gary Kyriacou came up with Marble, and it didn’t let anyone down at all when it opened. Flavors on the menu range from sophisticated Mediterranean inspirations to light Thai infusions and Argentinian barbeque grills.
11. Momo Baohaus
As a general rule, expect to eat well if you’re in a Momo-related establishment. There are many bao buns available with fillings such as pulled lamb with hoisin, tempura prawn with pickled ginger, and fried tofu with mayo for vegetarians.
The Firecracker Prawns, which comes with puffed vermicelli, sriracha, tagarashi spice, and wasabi mayo, is one of the other outstanding dishes. Choose the deep-fried buns with salted caramel dip for dessert.
Urbanologi describes itself as an Asian fusion restaurant. It offers delectable and exquisite meals that are well worth a trip there and every subsequent one. There are sections on the menu for raw, cured, steamed, fried, and kushiyaki, as well as vegan and vegetarian options for each.
Duck pancakes with kimchi and spider steak with passion fruit labneh are two other unusual dishes