A few years ago, Greenside’s culinary scene was counted amongst the most exciting in South Africa. It went through a bit of a lull as some of the more serious chefs moved away, but things are definitely hotting up again. Here are the best places to catch the buzz.
Oh, Momo Bauhaus, how we love you. It may look like a cramped cubbyhole, but this little eatery can be credited with having revived Greenside’s scene almost single-handedly. Why is it so popular? Take a bite from one of the feather-light, bursting-with-flavour baos, and you’ll understand.
Burger lovers, unite. If you can’t find something satisfying here, you must be terribly, terribly choosy: the range is astounding, so whether you favour lamb, ostrich, chicken, veg or good ol’ beef patties, you’re able to choose from an array of toppings. The pie of the day is worth checking out, too.
The name alone lets you know that you’re in for a tour of the food of the moment. There’s a range of platters and tapas to choose from, borrowing from a variety of cuisines, but what The Artisan is most famous for is its nachos, which you can customise with the topping of your choice. Look out for events like whisky tastings, board games or gin foraging evenings.
Bubbly Bar Champagne Lounge
This is the place to go when you feel like living life luxe. But, while you’re making your selection from the range of local MCCs and big name international champagnes, don’t overlook the menu. It may be small, but it’s certainly interesting, with starters like prawn panna cotta followed by a blueberry-infused duck breast.
Sundowners, anyone? A number of locals seem to be making this relative newcomer their regular, lured by the inventive and irresistible cocktails – how about an espresso and popcorn martini, or a hibiscus G&T? The menu is similarly well crafted, with options like orange and thyme flatbread, or Moroccan quinoa salad. There’s an impressive array of burgers and pizzas, too.
The Green Room
The venue hasn’t quite shaken off its mien as a former bowling club, but the décor is quirky (and cool) enough to pull it off, and the service will blow you away. Do try the burger or pot pies; both are excellent. And the restaurant gets extra points for its kids’ playground.
One of two vegan restaurants making Greenside the Joburg plant-eater’s destination of choice, you can expect to fill up on wholesome buddha bowls, scrumptious salads, wraps and burgers here.
It’s real bistro-style dining, this. We like the corn cakes accompanied by bacon, spicy salsa and crème Fraiche, as well as the chilli con carne flatbread.
The Greenside Café
Even dedicated carnivores would find something to tempt them at this vegan spot: how about a jalapeno and coriander burger, or a hearty mushroom stew, fragrant with rosemary.