As the rainbow nation, we have an obligation to offer you a selection of restaurants to choose from – and we don’t want to disappoint you. South African cuisine includes crocodile sirloins, fried caterpillars, sheep heads and the usual suspects such as pizza, sushi and spaghetti. But when you’re spoilt for choice, which restaurants in Johannesburg do you head to? We share our top picks for Jozi’s coolest restaurants.

Continental delights

Moyo, meaning heart in Swahili, is a restaurant that encourages celebration, so it’s advisable to book your birthday there. Moyo infuses each celebration with African style and ambience. Menu items include a mixture of African cuisine such as  Ethiopian ostrich berbere served with Zimbabwean nhopi dovi (peanut and pumpkin mash) and tantalising Moroccan tagines. Local game like air-dried kudu bresaola also feature on the menu.

Weekend hangout spot

Eighty Six Public was inspired by the year in which Johannesburg was founded, 1886. Our bustling metropolis was born as a mining village after the discovery of a gold reef on the farm of Langlaagte. Eighty Six Public is a popular pizzeria located on a busy Braamfontein corner. While you’re there, try their signature vanilla, lavender and rosemary mojito cocktails, milkshakes with a splash of alcohol and of course, the pizzas.  

Watch the sun go down

Looking for a place that offers the perfect vantage point from which to view the sunset and the city winding down as the traffic slows? Then look no further than Bolton Road Collection which can be found on the corner of Jan Smuts Avenue and Bolton Road in Rosebank. This popular and hip establishment is often packed with young professionals meeting for after-work drinks. At night, Bolton transforms into a venue for intimate dinners or long boozy chats in the saloon, which is separate from the dining area. The dim lighting beautifully complements the minimalist, modern, industrial interior.

Did someone say fine dining?

Also located in the food and art hub of Rosebank, Marble offers a quintessential dining experience. All the food is cooked on a roaring fire. The restaurant boasts an elegant interior, but patrons still feel relaxed. It’s fine dining, but not too fine. “Everyone is welcome,” says David Higgs, chef and owner of Marble.

All hands on deck

The San Deck is an outdoor venue that features spectacular views of the Sandton skyline. Expect to see fire pits, lounge seating and live music. Tsogo Sun, South Africa’s premier hospitality and entertainment group, says this: “African sunsets, trendy cocktails, great company and sophistication make the San Deck one of the most memorable and romantic destinations in Johannesburg.”   

Fill the beer stein

If you’re looking for a decent beer, then head to Stanley Beer Yard. It has a respectable selection of craft beers and local wines to slake any thirst. The décor is a mix of colonial and industrial with leather couches flanking a fire and animal skulls gracing the walls. The beer yard is known for its prego rolls, so be sure to order one.

Each restaurant has a unique ambience, which is the secret ingredient that creates a  successful establishment. So if you want yours to join the list of our cool Jozi restaurants, follow our Secret Ingredients for a Successful Restaurant guide.