Jozi’s bustling Maboneng Precinct is home to some of the city’s most eclectic restaurants, shops and galleries. With its beginnings in art, Maboneng, which means “place of light” in Sotho, is now regarded as one of Jozi’s most successful inner city rejuvenation projects, drawing people from far-flung suburbia to downtown Joburg.
The city’s dining obsessives want to know what’s hot, and where-to-eat at the vibrant precinct. So here it is, our guide to five fantastic restaurants to try at Maboneng.
Eat Your Heart Out
Eat Your Heart Out is a great hang out spot for the cool kids and socialites. The vibrant eatery serves the most delicious and healthy Jewish-inspired food including shakshuka, bagels and hot pastrami on rye. Their menu offers gluten free, fat-free and vegan friendly items, with sweet treats appearing on the counter every now and then.
Located at Fox St & Kruger St, City and Suburban, Johannesburg
This reliable Maboneng institution was initially a small stall run by two partners. Mama Mexicana makes the the most delectable corn bread and mango magaritas. What’s more, with the wide selection of vegetarian options and all chicken dishes being Halaal, everybody can enjoy the spicy taste of Central America.
264 Fox St & Berea Road, City and Suburban, Johannesburg
Little Addis Cafe
Little Addis adds a touch of Ethiopian flavour to the streets of Jozi. The lovely eatery, which is conveniently located in Maboneng, serves the most authentic Ethiopian cuisine. The food is flavoursome and delicious from the iab, fresh cheese similar to cottage cheese, to the doro wat (chicken stew with whole hard-boiled eggs) and lentil alitcha. They are open from Tuesday to Sunday at 11am.
Che Argentine Grill
Che Argentine Grill was born when two Argentines, Oscar and Bernardo, felt the need to share their love of authentic Argentinian cuisine and the happy-go-lucky spirit that comes with enjoying a hearty meal.
Oscar, a native to Uruguay, came to South Africa as a young boy. He quickly fell in love with the vibrancy and eclectic mix of South African culture, particularly its love for great meat. As time wore on though, he began to feel a little homesick, not least for his mom’s homemade recipes and wondrous cooking persona. Oscar decided to take it upon himself to start recreating recipes from home, making mouth-watering empanadas and assados to match. Having perfected these homemade recipes, Oscar was introduced to Bernardo, a flamboyant national who came to South Africa from Argentina not so long ago. The pair quickly became the best of friends and decided to start a business selling empanadas at the now famous Arts on Main in Maboneng.
Both inviting and homely, Che Argentine Grill has fast established itself as a local favourite. You have got to check it out.
Inspired by the 1960s township jazz scene, Pata Pata is decorated with an eclectic selection of second-hand bric-a-brac and big vintage sofas that are perfect for sinking into with your Ethiopian coffee and a light lunch. At night, an abundance of candles and live jazz-funk music creates a simultaneously upbeat and romantic atmosphere, ideal for cocktails with friends or a bottle of wine with someone special. Pata Pata serves the most unresistable traditional meals… in pure Mzansi style.
286 Fox Street, Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg
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