There’s more to Sandton than just business and mall shopping. Take your pick from succulent steaks, casual café fare, Asian delights and delicious sushi and seafood. Here we’ve picked out a few of our favourite food destinations within a two-kilometre radius of the Sandton Gautrain station.
NELSON MANDELA SQUARETourists flock to the square for a selfie with the extremely tall sculpture that pays homage to South Africa’s greatest leader and statesman, and there’s good reason to linger.
The Big Mouth This slick joint with its marble counters and brass fittings has raised the tone of what used to be a tired tourist trap serving sad pizzas. The innovative Asian-inspired menu offers plenty of variety. Signature sushi dishes include the fish and chips roll with crispy hake or choose from the salad bowls, sushi bowls, ceviche, grills or pan dishes.
Pappas on the Square This family-run Greek restaurant has been serving up comforting Greek Cypriot cuisine for decades. The super succulent and juicy lamb kleftiko is the standout dish or try the grilled fish of the day. Keep it simple with the ‘Pappas dessert’, thick Greek yoghurt with nuts and honey.
Tashas Nelson Mandela Square ‘African glamour’ inspired this branch of the chic local restaurant and café chain Tashas. The decor is dramatically elegant adding atmosphere to what was previously an unremarkable corner of the mall. Order from the extensive Mediterranean- inspired menu or from Tashas “signature” dishes.
SANDTON CITYWall to wall with a covetable selection of local and international brands that will warm any committed shopper’s heart, the ‘city’ also has some worthwhile food stops.
Deli One A great lunch stop hidden deep inside the mall. You’ll find a wide choice of fresh salads, Mediterranean-inspired mains, decent coffee (in large cups) and fresh-baked goods. A popular spot, you might need to wait to get a table, but it will be worth it. Located on Lower Level 1 near Woolworths.
Krunch A great value and healthy takeout spot in Sandton City’s food court. Build your own salad by selecting a base from the checklist, add a house item, garnish, something crunchy, a superfood and any one of 13 dressings. Also in the Alice Lane Precinct.
Walnut Grove Suspended neatly between the shopping hubbub is this elegant café (first opened in 1975). There is an attractive dessert display and an enticing breakfast selection (served until 11:00). Come hungry as whatever the time of day, Walnut Grove serves American-size portions.
ALICE LANE PRECINCTThis impressive new outdoor precinct, opposite the back entrance of Sandton City, is setting a new standard for pedestrianised spaces in Sandton.
The Grillhouse Sandton This new branch of the pricey New York-style grillhouse and bar serves excellent spice-crusted fillet and saucy ribs amid a constant buzz accompanied by a selection of single malts and fabulous local wines. Reservations are recommended. The expansive bar and terrace with panoramic views is a popular place for after-work drinks.
Wishbone Cafe and Bistro Bar Catering largely to Sandton’s corporate army, this stylish bistro with a menu of sushi, burgers, salads, pizza and pasta offers an ‘express lunch’ sushi, soup and salad combo, very convenient for those pressed for time on a lunch break. The terrace, with its contemporary sculptures by local artists, is also a pleasant spot to wait out the Sandton traffic over a glass of wine or two.
ALSO IN THE AREABanchan An unassuming family-run Korean restaurant that serves modern, traditional and ‘royal’ Korean dishes. The tofu, kimchi, sauces and marinades are all homemade, and the wine list consists only of traditional drinks like rice wines, soju and gamju. Bring a group and tuck into a traditional Korean barbecue or drop by for a lunch of thick noodle soup or spicy bibimbap (mixed rice bowl). Cnr 10th St and Elizabeth St, Parkmore.
The Bull Run This elegant old building attached to Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton was once a countryside tea room. Today it retains the atmosphere of a relaxed oasis in the heart of Sandton’s financial district. The Bull Run is serious about its meat and the restaurant has an in-house butchery. There’s also a fine selection of vintage brandies, whiskies, cognacs and port. Protea Hotel Balalaika, 20 Maude St, Sandton Central.
Curry And All Famous for its bunny chow (a hollowed-out bread loaf filled with curry) this takeaway spot with limited indoor seating specialises in traditional Durban Indian curries sold in roti, bunny chows and biryanis. The food is flavoursome, prices are low and portions are huge. There’s also a food truck, usually parked outside Sandhurst Centre at 60 Rivonia Road. Behind Shell Garage, Cnr Rivonia Rd and South Rd, Sandton Central.
Stelle Relocated from Parkview, this Northern-Italian-inspired restaurant is now housed in Acorn Lane, a rambling and secluded estate shaded by acorn trees, and surprisingly within easy walking distance of busy Sandton central. The restaurant is spacious and flows out into a large and picturesque courtyard and garden The menu offers plenty of delicious options with seasonal specials. Finish your meal with their lighter-than-light choux pastry selection. 61 Rivonia Rd, Sandhurst.