Here are a few suggestions of places to go and get festive this festive season without worrying too much about the old purse strings…
169 to171 Louis Botha Avenue, Corner Fifth Street, Orange Grove
A little Italian Deli come Restaurant on Louis Botha Avenue that serves up a Prosciutto and Melon starter for R27, Ciabatta and Panini with deli-licious fillings for between R20 and R50 and pastas for around R45. (Beers range between R11 and R14 and if you’d like wine, feel free to bring your own – or there’s a bottle store downstairs encase you forget.)
Maboneng Precinct, 280 Fox Street, Johannesburg
A great Ethiopian restaurant where the speciality dish for two (Mahberwari) will only put you back R60 – that’s R30 per person for a gorgeous plate of injera flat bread slathered in 8 different delicacies including Kasa’s famous spicy chicken, pumpkin, spinach, delicious stewed beef and more. No licence, so take your own booze and enjoy some serious value for money.
4 Ameshoff Street, Braamfontein
A great lunchtime spot where you are presented with a delicious array of salads, proteins and a dish of the day, all served with a smile and all for about R50 – think wild brown rice with fresh peas and sunflower seeds, Asian cabbage noodles and roasted aubergine, carrot and radish salads… And add succulent chicken pieces, glorious gammon or crispy fish cakes if you like. (The menu changes daily and a BYOB policy applies.)
Zoo Lake Bowling Club
Prince of Wales Drive, Parkwood
Most go here for the great outdoors, great views and seriously cheap drinks: draughts are between R22-R25 and wines like La Motte Sauv Blanc for around R80 a bottle. Pizzas, burgers and pregos that will fill the gap, but are still pretty tasty…the point is everything is very, very well priced. (This should be a daytime spot for everyone over 25 though, because if you venture there at night you’ll be surrounded by thousands of drunken students who’ve been there since noon.)
90 Oxford Street, Ferndale, Randburg
Go for great service, great attention to detail and seriously great, authentic Italian food. Pastas are between R55 and R65, Osso Buco for only R77, veal dishes are all around R80…it’s serious value for money.
9 6th Street, La Rochelle, Johannesburg
If you haven’t been, you need to rectify that. The best Portuguese-style prawns and chicken in town and mama’s secret recipe ‘prawn cakes’ that will knock your socks off at only R8 each. And, a superb wine list that’s also very nicely priced.
54 Tyrone Avenue, Parkview
Famous for their salad dressing, but also for their great pizzas, pastas and inviting family atmosphere. You can be assured a great night out that’s easy on the wallet: pizzas are R55-R74 and no corkage charged for the 1st bottle of wine you bring.
Cyrildene: Joburg’s own China Town is choc-a-block full of great little restaurants without liquor licences - meaning you can take your own at no extra charge. (FYI: The décor generally consists of plastic on plastic, but the food makes up for it.)
Two such gems are:
The Fisherman’s Plate
18 Derrick Avenue, Cyrildene
They’re famous for their chilli crab, curried crab, deep fried prawns and the whole steamed fish.
Cyrildene Centre, Corner of Marcia Street, Cyrildene
Go for their amazing prawns, curries and noodle dishes; the prawn and lemon grass salad, tamarind prawns, any of the curries, delicious Pad Thai and delectably spicy soups.
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- Kate Liquorish