Not necessarily a lady (or lad) that lunches, but looking for a lip-lekker lunchtime spot? Here’s a list of a few of Joburg’s most fabulous mid-day bites that’s fat with possibilities. Buon appetito lovely people.
Munching in Melville
Lucky Bean Restaurant
Lucky Bean? I reckon you’re just lucky if you’ve been there. (I know). But seriously, what’s not to love about one of the Southern Suburbs’ most-loved, and very Jozi-esque lunch spots?
Let’s just start with the wine pairings shall we? If you do have to head back to the office, then ‘by the glass’ might not be quite up your alley here, but don’t worry, they’ve managed to include some of South Africa’s favourite tipple in almost every dish.
Sauvignon Blanc Slow cooked pork belly and star anise sauce: topped with calamari stuffed with chilli, lime and coconut milk jam.
OR go Karoo-fusion with the Ostrich bobotie spring rolls.
OR Springbok with port jus, mash and roast vegetables.
They say, and I love - “When I was a small kid my Mom used to go into Jozi to pay accounts and shop. Our treat was to go to a restaurant at Johannesburg Station and have a pie, gravy and chips. It was fantastic and this is the bigger, better version. Pure nostalgia and deep comfort”.
Dessert? Pear and pecan nut tart. No question.
What else? DJ’s on Friday afternoons and weekends; the breathtaking Lucky Bean Tree Mural (gotta see it); funky lounge/bar where you can have private parties.
16th Seventh Street
Open Tuesdays to Sundays for lunch and dinner.
Posh it up in Parkhurst
No lunch-time list would be complete without at least one of renowned 4th Avenue’s eateries. If we didn’t love the vibe so much, we’d almost think they were a little smug about their status as some of Joburg’s epicurean elite.
For lunch, and the excuse to sun yourself at one of the sidewalk cafes and be very oh-so-very on trend at the same time, it would have to be the new kid on the block for me, in the form of ‘The Leopard’. And while I said ‘posh’ this is funk-less-the-fuss and I think you’ll dig it. A lot.
The unfussy, light, happy space is just the place to unwind before heading back to the hubbub of the afternoon at work. And then there’s the option of breakfast for lunch - anyone? Owner Andrea Burgener has poured her culinary heart and soul into this place, and you can taste the creativity in every bite. Oh, and they like to feed you meat from happy cows and such, always a major bonus.
With the underlying Asian influence, I’m in my happy place before I’ve even sat down. Tuck into a ‘Vigour bowl’ that comes in bento-box fashion with layering of sticky rice, veg and either crispy duck or shiitake mushrooms to top it all off. To end? DIY hot choc, thankyouverymuch. Positively lip smacking.
4th Avenue, corner 12th Street, Parkhurst
Monday to Friday 11am-close, Saturday 9am-4pm, Saturday evening open for private functions
Grab a quick curry in Greenside
Not necessarily the zootiest décor and ambience (so in other words, quirky and more than a little kitsch), but hey, it’ll more than do for the lunch time rush, and the food is what you’re here for anyway. Well at least you should be, because it’s damn fine, mostly southern-Indian and packed full of flavour.
For me? Crab soup for starters, word on the street is that it more than delivers on the finger-licking scale.
If I were going to squeeze in a starter? The ‘Chicken ’65!!’ This is traditional Chennai street-side food in the form of succulent chicken marinated and fried with 65 spices. And because lamb steals my heart (and plate) almost every time, Madras Mutton Kuruma for mains. A boneless mutton and potato curry cooked in medium coconut gravy
And believe me, we haven’t even touched the sides of the Tandoor yet.
141 Greenway Road, corner of Gleneagles
011 486 2255
Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.
What’s a lunch-time (or any meal time) list without a little French twist, hey? And in this case it comes in the form of one of Jozi’s favourite patisserie spots, Moemas. Here, sophisticated meets laid back in perfect harmony, and the result will leave you swooning.
And if I was really hungry?
The brioche pizza comes laden with delicious delights in the form of caramelised onions, spinach, tomatoes, mozzarella & bacon; or chicken meatballs with papaya salsa.
Or perhaps just a simple but elegant butternut, spinach and gorgonzola tart would hit Le Spot.
Open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch
Junipa’s Café and Bistro
I habitually haunt one of the terrace tables at Junipas Café and Bistro in Bryanston. Like I’ve said before, it’s family-run and you can feel it. And that’s just the start. Beautiful coffee and officially Joburg’s best croissants. A little edgy, a lot classy, and oozing great flavours, I always feel right at home when I’m feasting on one of their lunchtime classics like
Potato Gnocchi with wild mushrooms, truffled white wine cream sauce, grated parmesan.
Salmon Fishcakes with ginger, garlic, chilli & coriander. Served with avo salad and lemongrass & chilli syrup.
A couple of provisos for this article…
Firstly, let’s make sure we call these some of the top lunch spots around town, not THE top, because I’m proud to say that the list of spots Jozi has to offer is pretty close to endless.
And obviously there are also the lovely Tasha’s dotted around town, and Life Café at Hyde Park Corner is another of my fave foodie spots, but for the purposes of this list I kept to the streets, and I’m pretty sure you’ll thank me later.
Where do you like to lunch it up in Joburg?
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