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  • Last Updated: 25th July 2013

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Johannesburg - Food and Drink

Johannesburg has a wide variety of places to eat, and plenty of opportunities to sample the simple, but extremely tasty cuisine of South Africa. They call the country’s food ‘Rainbow Cuisine’ - due to the fact that it’s soaked up so many different influences, to create a menu that encompasses seafood, meat products (including wild game), plenty of pulses and grains, fresh fruits and vegetables of every colour.

The swanky suburb of Melville is gastronomic central when it comes to fine dining, with an array of well-respected restaurants and grill-bars, delis and pubs serving wholesome - globe trotting - food. It’s worth remembering that African food is as diverse as the continent itself: from the spicy tagines of Morocco, the mezes, flat breads and delicious pastries of Egypt, the stews, rice dishes and couscous of West Africa or the stews and biltong of South Africa.

You’ll find great African restaurants spanning all four corners of the continent. In Johannesburg, Greenside makes a good alternative, with relatively inexpensive local restaurants serving delicious, simply prepared dishes.

Don’t overlook the city’s open air restaurants too. Head to the Noord Street taxi rank, and follow your nose, for the delicious curries and tagines, stews and kebabs of the street-carts and tarpaulin covered al fresco cafes. Or head to the corner of West and Hall Street for traditional Xhosa dishes - rice with chakalaka, mogodu (tripe), chicken stew, fried chicken or steak.

The inner city CBD is crammed with international chains, but amid the fast food you’ll find little gems, local restaurants serving smoked springbok carpaccio with capers, roast beef dunk, Mongolian beef and kung pao prawns, beef and chicken: seemingly every one of the city’s ethnic communities have their appetites sated here. Particularly popular are Chinese, Greek, Indian and Dutch/European restaurants. Also, the Ethiopian coffee is fabulous.

Whatever you do, don’t leave South Africa without tasting a traditional Potjiekos - a bubbling, black, cast-iron cauldron, simmering with the tastiest stew you’ll ever experience! Head to the restaurant strips of 4th Avenue, Parkhurst, Derrick Avenue, or Nelson Mandela Square to find one.