Joburg restaurants – Best Linden restaurants

25 Jan 2017

What was once a peach farm became a heartland of Afrikaner conformity and crocheted doilies during the apartheid years. Today, Linden is being reinvented as a trendy suburb that pays ironic homage to its past. Its distinctive main street, 4th Avenue, is a mix of proudly local, independent stores and cafés, both new and old. Look out for quirky contemporary local designers such as Rialheim and long-running family businesses like Rembrandt’s butchery and the iconic Arthur Bales haberdashery, whose Linden store opened in the 1960s.

Here’s our pick of some of the neighbourhood’s best cafés and restaurants. If you think there are any more places we should add, please let us know in the comments below!

Meaning ‘come and eat’, this light and airy French bistro is a good reminder of what everyday French dining is about: unfussy, rustic homemade classics served in laid-back style. The menu changes every two months to make space for seasonal ingredients, and there is a different plat du jour lunch offer every day.
32 7th St, tel. +27 11 888 8004.

The music is good, old-fashioned 1960s folk, and the slightly dated interiors with old posters of Buenos Aires effortlessly transport you back to those simpler times when every corner had a family-run café.
Cnr 7th St and 4th Ave, tel. +27 11 888 9759.

Rum doesn’t feature on the brief ‘eatery’ menu, which is all about West Indian favourites like jerk chicken, fish cakes, crab curry and ribs, but it certainly does on the equally slim cocktail list. Be transported to a Caribbean island in this quirky and kitsch beach bar-themed joint while sipping on Cuba libres, daiquiris or a piña colada served inside an actual pineapple.
56 4th Ave, tel. +27 76 320 9739.

One of the few places in Joburg that can actually lay claim to the title of stocking ‘artisanal products’, including more than 140 cheese varieties, preserves and cured meats produced by local farmers. The deli owners Jo and Brian Dick are champions of slow food and service is highly knowledgeable. The café menu has plenty of tasty options, many of them cheese-based, including frittata, paninis and quiches.
77 7th St, tel. +27 11 888 5384.

Heaven for craft beer aficionados. This tiny bar stocks by far the biggest and most varied selection of craft beers in the city including unusual obscure brews from both South Africa and the rest of the world. Little larger than a hole-in- the-wall with small tables spilling out onto the street, space is at a premium.
Cnr 3rd Ave and 6th St, tel. +27 71 177 9531.

Real effort has gone into creating a superb range of break-fast choices that include the Babalaas breakfast, which comes with a shot glass of cream soda designed to cure even the weirdest of hangovers. The lunch and evening menu is filled out with salads, prego rolls and crispy thin-crust pizza from a wood-fired oven, burgers and a meaty tapas menu.
1 7th St (cnr 3rd Ave), tel. +27 82 469 5757.

This tiny – Oregano has just one table inside – neighbourhood patisserie run by a mother and daughter team specialises in catering but that shouldn’t stop you from visiting to taste unforgettable chocolate brownie milkshakes, fresh baked breads and cakes, light and moist almond berry friands, and hot out of the oven pies. The fare changes daily and depends on the season.
71 7th Street, tel. +27 83 260 6582.

The seasonal menu, displayed on a chalkboard above the open kitchen, has a range of dishes to suit most tastes and the chef and owner favours sweet and spicy flavours, combining these to make for interesting taste sensations. Good, wholesome and honest food, made with fresh ingredients and lots of integrity.
32 7th St, tel. +27 79 573 3989​.

Located in a former lawnmower shop Rosto’s Italian owners are determined to reflect their heritage. Carefully considered menu details range from the shredded spinach (a lawn-mowing reminder) to the Milanese yeast used daily to make superb flavoured focaccia breads. Italian street food is the inspiration behind the main dish, flavoursome rotisserie chicken pulsed with 1100 degrees of smoky heat and served in three variations – sundried tomato, Mediterranean herbs and lemon or green mountain herbs.
69 7th St, tel. +27 11 888 0369.

No deep-fried dishes, no rice and definitely no sweet-and-sour sauces. Owner and chef Emma Chen’s northern Chinese comfort food centres on subtly flavoured bowls of thick, flat handmade noodles given a magnificent lift with an abundance of spring onion, coriander, garlic, chilli and Chinese peppercorns. The decor is fun, tongue-in-cheek Chinese kitsch and the atmosphere down-to-earth.
69 7th St, tel. +27 11 782 1736.

Those in the know credit this buzzing coffee shop with its hipster aesthetic for putting the suburb of Linden on the cool map when it opened a few years ago. The food is freshly-made café-style and the coffee and tea selection is top rate, championing local produce. Every morning the doors open super early for breakfast.
34 7th St (cnr 4th Ave), tel. +27 11 782 7310.

Associated Venues


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Over a year ago
51, 4th avenue linden
Hi, for some reason Gravity cafe was not featured here. Regards Robert Owner Gravity Cafe
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