Then you had kids...
While Papacino's has a great playground and you can't go wrong with Spur, you wouldn’t mind still feeling that Joburg vibe once in a while.
So here's some help. Thanks to our definitive guide to kiddie- and adult-friendly places and spaces, you'll keep your little ones happy, and your Jozi cool street cred.
FoodThere are so many restaurant-goers with kids, but just too few child-friendly spots that serve up more than grown-up-sized frozen pizza, croissants that aren’t bread rolls, or something more exciting than a chicken mayo wrap. Restaurateurs: please consider this untapped market of hungry parents who just want something satisfying to eat. Despite this, we managed to find several wonderful exceptions:
The Fish & Chip Shop at Victoria YardsPossibly the best fish and chips in Johannesburg is inside Victoria Yards. Fresh, flaky fish; slap chips with vinegar and crispy calamari. Kids love exploring the beautiful veggie gardens of Victoria Yards, swinging in the hanging chairs and getting a scoop from Sobae. You can also buy gorgeous local clothes, homeware and art.
Public spacesNothing like having some offspring to truly value the community spaces in our city. Despite Johannesburg’s declining infrastructure there are some real treats to discover.
The libraries in Joburg remain some of the cities coolest spaces. With an array of books and free membership (you can register online here) it's always a great outing with kids. We love the Parkview Library on Tyrone Avenue for its excellent book selection and Paterson Park Library, just opposite the Norwood Police Station, for its beautiful public art.
Listen40 Days Postpartum + newsletter, a series of daily reflections on her life as a mother of three.
In no time these Johannesburg gems will have you feeling like your (not too) old cool self and school your sweet little offspring on how to be Jozi cool. Essential for living in this city.