Johannesburg

Rosebank's best restaurants and bars

23 May 2019
created 05 Apr 2018
Lying directly between Joburg’s historic city centre and the newer Sandton business district and with one of Joburg's most popular shopping precinct's centred around the three interlined shopping malls The Firs, The Zone@Rosebank and Rosebank Mall, Rosebank is one of the most popular places to be in Joburg whether you are in town for business or leisure. Meanwhile sparkling new office buildings and luxurious high rise apartment blocks are steadily filling the skyline joined by chic new nightlife and dining destinations such as Keyes Art Mile and Park Corner that attract a young, fashionable and diverse crowd.

If you are heading to Rosebank in search of good places to eat out, you are spoiled for choice. Here's our guide to some of the best.

KEYES ART MILE


MIX COCKTAIL BAR
Join the sophisticated set at this sexy cocktail lounge, housed in what is by day part of the private mem­bers’ club Mesh. Savour your drink with a fabulous view over Joburg’s tree-filled suburbs from the large terrace or continue your experience of art admiration by taking a look around the striking art collection on the walls inside (and, yes those Pierneef paintings are the real thing). The DJ sets are slick and the bespoke furniture and interiors ooze contemporary luxury. 

BGR
Two Americans missed the taste of home so much that they decided to open a burger joint. BGR serves burgers three ways: the cheeseburger, hamburger or the lettuce-wrapped “Cardio” version. For the very hungry, order the double patty or try the frozen custard for dessert. Ground beef patties with no basting, super fresh buns and basic toppings is the simple formula which make BGR’s burgers such a hit. Service is fast and friendly and for under R100 you can add crispy french fries and a drink.

AFRIKOA CAFE
A celebration of African luxury and Fair Trade principles run by South Africa's only ‘bean-to-bar’ chocolate company Afrikoa. Drop in for great coffee, delicious patisserie, luxurious chocolates and champagne by the bottle.
 
Marble


MARBLE
The bar at star chef David Higgs’s rooftop grill restaurant, with its impressive artworks, a turquoise ceramic tiled wall and light wooden floors, gives the impression of being suspended in a cabin in the sky and uninterrupted views over Joburg's western suburbs stretch west for miles. There’s an extensive and prominently displayed wine cellar and a pricey list of top-notch cocktails made with premium spirits making this an excellent venue for drinks as well as an upmarket dinner. The heart of the restaurant is Higgs' live fire grill, with the spectacular flames cooking up everything from meats and seafood to freshly baked bread. 

MOMO KURO
Follow an unmarked stairway up past Mesh Club inside the atrium of the landmark Trumpet building on Keyes Art Mile and eventually, you'll pop out at this casual, modern eatery with the most enticing rooftop terrace that is without a doubt one of Rosebank's most rewarding hidden hotspots. The menu specialises in bite-sized Asian street food like baos and dim sum and while unlicensed you are welcome to bring your own drinks.

CLICO RESTAURANT
Tucked into Clico Hotel (located one block up Jellicoe Avenue from Keyes Art Mile.) is Clico restaurant, a fine dining destination headed by chef Marnus Scholly. The restaurant’s setting is a chic and intimate triple-volume glass structure that looks out onto a lush garden, making it an intimate dinner venue with low lighting, or a gloriously lit breakfast spot. You’ll find flavoursome dishes using seasonal, locally sourced and organic ingredients. The six-course dinner menu has a well-considered wine list to match and changes with the seasons, and service is sophisticated and charming. 

PARK CORNER

 
Social Parkwood

SOCIAL PARKWOOD
The newly opened (April 2019) Social Parkwood is already an after-work nightlife hotspot of note in the middle of the lively Park Corner development at the corner of Jan Smuts Avenue and Bolton Road, an area which in recent years has become one of the most popular bar-hopping destinations in the northern suburbs. A colourful bar sits at the heart of the space offering an incredible selection of local craft gins and craft beers plus a good wine selection and there are plenty of classic meaty mains and sharing plates presented with flare to keep you go long into the evening.

COALITION
Expect to be touching elbows and ears with neighbouring diners at this tiny pizza bar which only seats around 25 people with a handful of tables inside and out on the pavement and a small counter overlooking the street. Coalition’s accomplished wood-fired pizzas, topped with fresh buffalo mozzarella, are made according to authentic Neapolitan methods and there are nine variations on the menu. 

SIN & TAX
Having to supply a password to enter through a secret door which seems to change its location every other week may seem a little pretentious, but then it wouldn't be a speakeasy if you didn't have to jump through some hoops to get in. Sin & Tax serves some of the most exclusive drinks in town. The themed menus, with names like Amber and Gardenia, change with the seasons and while the drinks take time to prepare, it's fun to watch the supremely talented mixologists work.
 
Publik


PUBLIK
Occupying a discrete slice of Rosebank’s trendy Park Corner, this enticing little wine bar bears a striking resemblance to its Cape Town sister (albeit minus the Table Mountain views of course). A no-fuss straight-up wine bar with a calming, almost Scandinavian sense of minimalist style, Publik specialises in boutique wines that you are highly unlikely to find in the local shop, plus the option of cheese and charcuterie to make it go down even more nicely. Just make sure to arrive early if you are dropping by on weekend evenings, the bar is tiny and quickly gets busy. 

SAIGON SUZY
The luxurious karaoke rooms alone are reason to visit Saigon Suzy, a hip Asian-inspired joint that attracts an
energetic trendy crowd (even David Beckham was spotted here on a recent visit to Joburg). The food is Asian fusion with plenty of choices ranging from small plates to baos, build your own 'Wok n' Roll' plates, ramen bowls, salads and curries. The dishes sometimes get mixed reviews (we certainly would favour some extra spice in the noodle bowls), but the lively atmosphere and Instagram-worthy decor can't be faulted.

A STREETBAR NAMED DESIRE
What makes this chic tapas bar stand out from the crowd on Rosebank's buzzing Park Corner (where there are seven different bars and restaurants to choose from) is its huge west-facing first floor terrace and the excellent Middle Eastern inspired tapas menu. Pair dishes like za'atar fried chicken and green tahini or Turkish lamb gözleme with a drink from their extensive cocktail menu. Cocktail favourites include the vodka-based Them Apples with cardamom syrup and cloudy apple juice.
 

HOTEL RESTAURANTS

 
Afternoon tea at 54 on Bath

LEVEL FOUR RESTAURANT AND BAR
An intimate and plush little venue inside the exclusive 54 on Bath Hotel, ideal for a glass of the best with someone special. As there are only a handful of tables service is polished yet personalised. An extra special bonus is access to the hotel's rooftop garden from where you can escape from the hustle of the city and relax with your glass (or bottle) of bubbly. This is also one of Joburg's best destinations for enjoying a leisurely afternoon tea (book at least one day in advance).

ONENINEONE
With its open kitchen, cool face brick interiors, and splashes of colour recalling Joburg spring jacaranda blooms Onenineone offers contemporary cuisine with stylish flourish. The a la carte menu is seasonal, and dishes are elegantly plated and infused with local flavour, such as buttered biltong polenta served with the braised beef short rib, and a starter of smoked blesbok loin. For drinks retreat to the hotel's massive courtyard oasis from where the noise of the city is completely muffled and instead birds tweet overhead and water trickles into tranquil infinity pools which nestle under romantically-lit palm trees.

CLICO RESTAURANT
Tucked into Clico Hotel (located one block up Jellicoe Avenue from Keyes Art Mile.) is Clico restaurant, a fine dining destination headed by chef Marnus Scholly. The restaurant’s setting is a chic and intimate triple-volume glass structure that looks out onto a lush garden, making it an intimate dinner venue with low lighting, or a gloriously lit breakfast spot. You’ll find flavoursome dishes using seasonal, locally sourced and organic ingredients. The six-course dinner menu has a well-considered wine list to match and changes with the seasons, and service is sophisticated and charming. 

THE ZONE @ ROSEBANK AND THE FIRS

 
Piza e Vino at The Zone@Rosebank

PIZA E VINO
Piza e vino believes in 'making pizzas not war'. The service is pro and the pizzas come in two sizes with some interesting and perhaps weird combinations and even more intriguing names like the Italian Stallion and the Pavement Special. There is a menu for bambinos and a varied selection of pastas and salads, plus a small adjoining bar for those just wanting to pop in for a swift craft beer.

TASHAS
Natasha Sideris invented this chain of boutique cafes loved and frequented by socialites and anyone else who enjoys fresh and tasty food served in immensely generous portions. She also continues to ensure that each branch lives up to the brand - flavourful food presented with flair. The baked goods are delicious, the juices freshly squeezed, and each branch has managed to replicate the original's (at Atholl Square, Sandton) pedigree as a people-watching spot. For breakfast try the Monaco - poached eggs on wilted spinach with feta, red onion and black mushrooms and for a healthy yet filling lunch you won't find a better selection of salads in the city.​​​​​​

FOOD LOVERS EATERY   
This busy foodhall adjoining the impressive new Rosebank Link building has a dizzying array of takeaway options that include made-to-order poké bowls, sushi, burritos, pizza by the slice, salads, smoothies, sandwiches, burgers, flame grilled chicken and more. The choices are quite simply overwhelming. The salad bar is particularly inviting while the daily specials such as 2-for-1 on pizza slices on Fridays and the Monday chicken and chips special are perfect for budget-conscious office workers looking for an easy lunch in a hurry. 
 
THE GRILLHOUSE 
This New York-style grill house is an institution. Serving excellent spice-crusted fillet and saucy ribs amid a constant buzz accompanied by a selection of single malts and fabulous local wines, reservations for this celebrated spot are essential. Service is excellent here and you'll be surrounded by impeccably turned-out waiters darting around moodily-lit tables heaving platters piled high with luscious South African beef steaks.

PAUL'S HOMEMADE ICE CREAM
Paul Ballen began his ice cream chain by hosting Sunday tastings at his parents’ home in 2014 after receiving an ice cream machine for his 21st birthday. Enjoy ice cream made with integrity (no chemicals or synthetic additives) in an enticing range of flavours - favourites include the famous birthday cake ice-cream and the roasted pistachio and honey ice cream with gold edible glitter. They even make carb-free ice-creams (if you really must) and vegan ice-cream  made with coconut cream, leaving no excuse not to visit
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Where to eat and drink in Rosebank

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