A guide to eating in Joburg’s vibrant Braamfontein
(Image: left by ’86 Public and right by Velo)
There’s a youthful buzz about Braamfontein; I don’t know if it’s the city of students that live in its belly, the New York vibe that seldom sleeps or the fragrance of innovation that’s in constant circulation. It’s a great place to be, to dance and to eat. There’s always so much happening, so much to do and discover – the natural process of cooking up a serious appetite and depleting your energy levels, leaving you with no choice but to eat something.
When you do get hungry then you need to eat right, right? You are in Braam after all and there’s a really spectacular handful of restaurants to try out. Here’s what the youthful little area has to offer…
Besides the well put together menu, I always find my stay at Velo to be warm and hearty. I have never gotten lost in conversation over a delicious meal. It’s a fusion between a chic café and a gallery with a live DJ spilling jazzy sounds into the space over the weekend. They cater to the tummy from breakfast right through to dinner with a stunning selection of dishes. Another beautiful thing about Velo is that it celebrates local artists and you’ll see it on the walls which are filled with treasures.
It was named after the ‘86 gold rush and, in my opinion is one of the best pizza joints in town. It has completely revolutionised the game with the assortment of dough that is so much better than your average pizza joint. At ’86 Public they curate round works of art topped with the small morsels that’ll give you life. Whether you sit on the inside or take refuge outside you can pocket a view of Braam’s street life unfold before you, making comparisons of how far our lovely city has come, and nibble on the sounds from the DJ playing over at Velo.
Here you have an American-style BBQ restaurant in the heart of Braam that effortlessly and consistently delivers on its promise to satisfy you. The company you’ll find there is as diversified as the food they serve. Starters range from slow smoked jalapeño bacon poppers to homemade mac and cheese. They have mammoth ribs as well as burgers that are just as gigantic. You’ve got to go early on a Saturday because the masses flock there religiously, and for good reason.
If I didn’t know any better I’d say that all their ingredients are soaked in woza woza (a muti that that compels you to keep coming back), it’s either that or everyone who works in the kitchen worships at the altar of mouth-watering meals. Please… try out one of their pastas as they’re heavenly. The creamy pesto and chicken liver pastas are both winners. Ah, everything on the menu is generally a win. I haven’t had anything that I didn’t love – including a plain cheese sandwich.
Who doesn’t appreciate a place that does a mean all-day breakfast? Wake up at 13:00 after a crazy night or just because adulating can be so overwhelming that you need a few extra hours of shut-eye and make your way to Post. Whatever you decide to order, your palate will be singing their praises. All their ingredients are locally sourced which makes me appreciate the place so much more.
Pichi Pichi Sushi
I rate that Pichi Pichi came in to curb the Braamies sushi cravings. They make innovative designer sushi. If you aren’t paying attention then you could walk right past the doorway at 70 Juta. It’s intimate and small, seating around 16 people, with eclectic decor. You can score yourself anything from beef dim sum, fashion sandwiches and smoked salmon to salmon maki, fried prawn and even Calafornia rolls, all of which are presented beautifully. And for the students it’s half price on Tuesdays!