(Image by Ferguson’s Fifth Floor)
It seems that Illovo’s food appeal just keeps growing, with one hot new restaurant after another opening its doors. Whether you’re in the mood for international cuisine or the burger to end all burger cravings, you’ll find what you’re looking for right here.
Arbour Café and Courtyard
The atmosphere here is something very special: time seems to slow down in the sun-drenched courtyard, inviting you to linger longer. The food is special too: the crepes are a must, with the caramelised apple and Brie galette getting two thumbs up.
Joburg’s diners are notoriously fickle, so when a restaurant is this popular for this long, you know it must be doing something right. Order an indecently large number of mezze plates to share (our favourites are the brinjal topped with grilled feta, saganaki mussels with tomato and feta, and garlicky grilled peppers), shout “Opa!” with the dancers, and get home feeling as though you’ve been on a Mediterranean holiday.
Another favourite that’s stood the test of time, Bellini’s has cemented its huge and loyal fan base by dishing up consistently good café fare. The sandwiches are legendary or try the rosti if you’re in the mood for something more substantial.
One of the reasons this remains everyone’s favourite tapas bar is because of the way it has so imaginatively interpreted the plate-sharing trend. For instance, where else will you find an Eisbein spring roll? Or a duck and Camembert money bag, for that matter? There’s such a mouthwatering mix of different cuisines here, that you’ll almost run out of room for dessert – but, with choices like chocolate fondant and pistachio frozen yoghurt on the menu, that would be a grave mistake.
It may be an exaggeration to say that Perron started the wave of Mexican appreciation in Joburg (see what we did there?) – but it wouldn’t be too far from the truth. We love that you can either go the traditional beans and burritos route or go tapas-style with small, tasty bites (don’t miss out on the mushroom quesadillas) – and finish off, of course, with churros.
Ferguson’s Fifth Floor
Craving French toast? Head here, stat: options include traditional cinnamon and sugar, Elvis-style bacon and banana, and spicy tomato and bacon – and that’s just to name a few of the scrumptious breakfast choices. The lunchtime harvest table also deserves a mention. And as for that view…
Another Joburg institution, Yamato is a must for all sushi lovers. But the menu doesn’t end at sashimi; there are so many other traditional Japanese delicacies to try, from gyoza to authentic hot pots.
The very latest addition to the Illovo scene, the emphasis here is on fresh, fresh, fresh. Inspired by global trends, Ono is all about dishing up meals (very quickly) that are super healthy – think overnight black rice pudding for breakfast, and a variety of poke bowls for lunch.
The ultimate spot for ladies who lunch, everything at this French-inspired café is just so pretty. The muesli is outstanding, as is the banana bread, served toasted with cream cheese and berries. And who can say no to such cakes?