Over the past decade, bustling Rosebankhas been in an almost constant state of change as ever more new skyscrapers steadily fill the skyline. For infrequent visitors, the pace of change has often led to exclamations of, "Help! Where am I?" followed by appreciation for the diverse range of options for where to eat and drink in this pedestrianised Joburg district. Excitingly, amidst all these changes, has come a burgeoning dining scene with more and better places to go out than ever before.
If you are heading to Rosebank in search of places to eat and be merry, you are spoilt for choice. Here's our guide to where to go (based on places we have tried and tested). We have split this into Keyes Art Mile, Oxford Parks, Rosebank Mall, The Firs at Rosebank, and The Zone at Rosebank. You're welcome.
The Keyes Art Mile complex on Keyes Avenue in lower Rosebank incorporates the two landmark art galleries, Everard Read and Circa Gallery, and the flashy Trumpet building, which is home to a variety of restaurants and bars as well as Banele Khoza's BKhz Gallery.
Star chef David Higgs’s rooftop grill restaurant, with its impressive artwork and turquoise ceramic tiled wall with light wooden floors, gives the impression of being suspended in a cabin in the sky with its uninterrupted views over Joburg's western suburbs stretching for miles. An extensive and prominently displayed wine cellar, along with a pricey list of top-notch cocktails made with premium spirits makes this an excellent venue for a drink, an upmarket dinner, or both. The bar is a highlight. The heart of the restaurant is Higgs's live fire grill, with the spectacular flames cooking up everything from meat and seafood to freshly baked bread. Outdoor seating: Rooftop balcony.
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 of Joburg’s tree-filled suburbs from the large terrace, or continue your experience of art admiration by taking a look around the striking collection on display inside (and, yes those Pierneef paintings are the real thing). The DJ sets are slick and the bespoke furniture and interiors ooze contemporary luxury. On Wednesday nights book a table for a jazz and dinner experience. Outdoor seating: Balcony.
Follow an unmarked stairway up past Mesh Club, inside the atrium of the landmark Trumpet building 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 hidden dining 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. Outdoor seating: Rooftop balcony.
For Joburgers it doesn't get much better than this – a 24-hour convenience store in a petrol station forecourt that serves pizza, delectable pastries, fresh coffee, great ice-cream and one of the best breads you can find in this town: the Marble foccacia. People come here at all hours of the day and night to sit and enjoy the company of friends, a romantic date or just hang out solo. A winner!
Inspired by the New York chain that started life as a Central Park food truck, BGR is fast becoming the go-to Joburger, burger. They’re classic American-style burgers made using 100% pure beef patties, no basting, and a selection of impeccably curated, locally sourced toppings. It’s a casual, order-at-the-counter scenario that’s quick, easy and never disappoints. For the ultimate refreshment, order their famed ‘Arnold Palmer’ (a mixture of iced tea and lemonade) and make sure you get the frozen custard for dessert. Outside seating: Small terrace.
This chic, contemporary restaurant in Rosebank’s new Oxford Parks development offers Greek-influenced Mediterranean cuisine with a menu co-created in partnership with top chef Luke Dale Roberts. The interiors are a soothing mix of cream and white shades, natural blonde wood, marble and ceramics, all beautifully lit and spilling out onto a wide, pedestrianised walkway. For appetisers there are oysters, and when it comes to the extensive wine list, the sky's the limit with an enviable range of exclusive varieties and vintages alongside more entry-range wines by the glass. Outside seating: Large terrace on pedestrianised walkway.
The opening of any Luke Dale Roberts restaurant is an occasion, and the announcement in the winter of 2021 that Cape Town’s most awarded chef was moving his The Shortmarket Club to Joburg created a stir. Luke Dale Roberts’s first permanent restaurant in Joburg, The Shortmarket Club is comparatively less formal than the Cape Town original but no less indulgent. Fine-dining small plates and an Asian-influenced menu, with some decadent seafood platters and fantastic cocktails, are a hallmark. When it comes to the décor, the impressive garden wall features earn The Shortmarket Club plenty of style points. Outdoor seating: Terrace.
Open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, The Pot Luck Club celebrates sharing plates steeped in indulgence, from the richness of dishes to the sampling of varied tastes. You'll enjoy the old favourites that mesmerised Capetownian palates like smoked fillet and café au lait, along with a selection of new and vibrant additions from Executive Chef Jason Kosmos. The open kitchen gives you insights into the high demands of producing these small plates of wondrous flavours.
This gilded lounge, located in Oxford Parks, is a dedicated wine bar showcasing Cape Town-based Quoin Rock’s fine wines. On offer is a small wine selection including Quoin Rock’s highly-rated Black Series MCC. The menu features thoughtfully prepared small plates, like fried chicken goujons and wet-aged beef tataki to accompany but not overshadow the wine. Next door is uber-luxe Qsushi for an indulgent meal of excellent sushi. We recommend the Quoin Rock MCC for a pairing. Outdoor seating: Terrace.
Opened in August 2021, the Radisson RED Rosebank Hotel is the second Radisson RED property to launch in Africa (the first being at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront). The brand is known for its cool and creative aesthetic designed to appeal to young and outgoing travellers with a rooftop bar remaining a significant feature. This rooftop bar is the kind of spot you will find hard to leave. Saturday afternoons are all about good tunes and cocktails as you nestle into comfy seating at the poolside and watch the sun sink over the suburbs. You can see the great tree expanse of Joburg, your view uninterrupted and stretching all the way to Northcliff Ridge. It's quite exceptional. Outdoor seating: Rooftop.
Directly in front of Rosebank Gautrain, The Zone is one of Rosebank's three interconnected malls. Running through the centre of The Zone is an open-air pedestrianised section of Tyrwhitt Avenue where you'll find all the main restaurants and cafés, most of which have plentiful outdoor seating. In addition to the following venues, you'll also find the fast food favourites such as Nando's, RocoMamas, KFC, McDonald's, Anat, Kauai and a News Café as well as a variety of coffee shops including Father Coffee and Starbucks.
Modern Tailors gives the street food of India a vibrant, fine-dining twist. The setting is enchanting, a real feast for the senses, and the food is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the stomach. The menu is a carnival of small plates, curries, tandoori, biryani, even salads and a few fanciful street food items such as the ‘Bollywood Barrito’: a roti stuffed with chicken tikka, deli slaw, put-put chutney and kachumbar. Needless to say, there’s something for everyone and a great gin bar to boot. Outside seating: Small terrace on pedestrianised street.
Created by two Taiwanese brothers keen to introduce the taste of Taiwanese street food to Joburg, the Momo brand began in Greenside and each new addition comes with its own signature dishes that include Chinese, Korean and Japanese influences. Momo XO at The Zone @Rosebank is one of the moreish iterations of its swiftly growing brand, and for its sushi dishes, it's a winner. Outside seating: Small terrace on pedestrianised street.
Natasha Sideris started this chain of boutique cafés loved and frequented by socialites and anyone who enjoys fresh and tasty food served in immensely generous portions. She also continues to ensure that each branch lives up to the brand's hallmark – flavourful bistro food presented with flair. The baked goods are delicious, the juices freshly squeezed and, like the flagship Sandton branch, this is a pedigree people-watching spot. Outdoor seating: Terrace on pedestrianised street.
This expansive bar and bistro (part of the voco Hotel The Bank) has one of the sexiest bar counters in the neighbourhood and an impressive wine and cocktail menu to match. Describing itself as "a modern eatery" the food menu boasts an extensive breakfast and lunch selection, a 'seafood raw bar' (think oysters, ceviche and sashimi), picanha steaks, salads and a variety of small and 'café plates'. The terrace is prime people-watching territory and spills onto the street, making it an ideal place in fine weather (so, most days in Joburg). Outdoor seating: Outdoor terrace.
A beautifully designed indoor jungle-style eatery with floor-to-ceiling foliage and an impressive upper-level bar. The menu incorporates a Japanese foundation with Peruvian flavours, like their Nikkei sushi with unusual touches like chipotle mayo or smoked asparagus. The kitchen utilises a Josper and Parilla to achieve a smokey depth of flavour in all their food – including pineapples used for charred pineapple salsa, sticky rib marinade, and more. The bar has an extensive cocktail menu, also with Latin American flair, and offers an astonishing range of 26 tequilas to knock back or sip. Outside seating: Small terrace on the upper level.
People were queuing around the block to cut their sweet teeth on one of the ‘World’s Best Croissants’ when they opened their doors in April 2023. Coco Safar, the luxury café and bakery brand that took Cape Town by storm now calls Rosebank’s The Zone its new home. Expect superb coffees (all served on bespoke wooden boards with a shot of sparkling water and a miniature pastry), and a sinful selection of Viennoiserie (Vienna-style breakfast pastries), their signature being the white chocolate and pistachio croissant. Outside seating: Small terrace on pedestrianised street.
Great ambience meets a tongue-in-cheek, a New York Italian-style diner menu that oozes voluptuous portions of spaghetti meatballs and sourdough pizza, alongside a sassy selection of negronis and spritz. Do try the fried olives and the spinach and ricotta dumplings in red sauce. The tiramisu is an absolute must. Outside seating: Adjoining outdoor terrace.
Few can resist the smell of powdered sugar wafting through their doors. Krispy Kreme is the home of the classic, American glazed donut (or, as we know it, doughnut). But have you tried their milk tart iteration? Or even the strawberry Nesquik? They’re very, very good, and if you can stick to having just one, they’re also not so bad.
Casa de Natas launched a second location at Rosebank Mall in September 2022, following the success of its first outlet in the food court of Sandton City Mall. The pastéis de nata, a famous Portuguese pastry, served at Casa de Natas, are off the charts kind of good. The kiosk took over what was originally an information booth close to the mall's main ground-floor entrance. These moreish tartlets are handmade and baked fresh daily using creamy egg custard cups that have been caramelised. We agree that 'life is short; eat a nata'.
The guys who taught Joburg coffee aficionados about the cold brew tonic, the V60 pour-over and the Gibraltar, but also do an unpretentious flat white and a scrumptious hot chocolate. Father Coffee Rosebank welcomed a newly renovated space at the close of 2022 with the same great coffee, their signature Swedish buns, burnt basque cheesecake and all-day toasts, just in a larger, sleeker, open-plan space. Can't go wrong.
On a trip to Rosebank, you might have missed Iris Garden Patisserie unless you closely follow social media. This is because it is discretely tucked away, positioned across from the entrance to the Rosebank Art & Craft Market outside Rosebank Mall, alongside the popular pedestrian promenade. We recommend the layered crêpe cakes, fun latte art and milky bubble tea here. Outdoor seating: Top deck seating.
Many a great time begins with a glass of bubbles at the Champagne bar and rooftop terrace of Level Four at 54 on Bath. Whether it be for a celebration or just because it’s Tuesday, if the sun is shining, it’s one of the loveliest spots in Rosebank to sit back, relax and watch the city go by. The fine-dining a la carte menu is available for lunch and dinner and their Afternoon High Tea is one of the best in the city. Outside seating: Rooftop garden.
Positioning itself as Rosebank's most upmarket mall, The Firs has at its centre a newly renovated piazza lined with restaurants. You'll notice the exciting renovation has resulted in an upgraded outdoor space and an elevated dining experience. Look out for live music and DJ sets on Sundays.
Sexy Spanish tapas bar, La Parada has joined The Firs courtyard. Serving small plates, a wide selection of drinks and delicious cocktails and offering live entertainment on the weekends, this Spanish-inspired cantina is the ideal venue for a night out. Book a table on their website to avoid missing out. Outdoor seating: Piazza.
Chunky Chau is a pan-Asian fusion restaurant and bar leaning on Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese influences. This is an easy-going rather than high-end cuisine option. Cheerful looking and with plenty of little tricks to make your dining experience fun, here you can choose from Japanese yakitori chicken skewers, pickled Vietnamese crystal prawn rolls, Peking duck with pancakes, classic pad Thai and Singapore noodles, Korean BBQ pulled beef burgers, as well as a selection of ornately-presented sushi that looks almost too Instagramable to eat. Dine at the eclectic, sumptuously designed restaurant while sipping on a speciality tea-infused cocktail. Outdoor seating: Piazza.
Part of the Italian bistro chain, this is our favourite Doppio Zero branch for its always buzzing atmosphere and its super terrace on the piazza. In January 2021 the restaurant reopened after an extensive renovation which included a fresh, new interior and the addition of a chocolate bar. Upstairs, a Jazz Room offers lovers of the music genre an opportunity to connect and enjoy live performances. Outdoor seating: Piazza.
A casual yet sophisticated choice for seafood and sushi, The Fishmonger has been going for years and everything here works like clockwork. The service is friendly, the fish selection is always prime and there are even fresh oysters to start dinner. We like the prawns cooked Portuguese-style and the classic crispy battered hake and chips. We also recommend the selection of salads and sides. Outdoor seating: Piazza.
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 recommended, especially if you want to celebrate a special occasion in one of their atmospheric private dining rooms. Service is excellent and you'll be surrounded by impeccably turned-out waiters flawlessly darting around moodily-lit tables, heaving platters piled high with luscious South African beef steaks. Outdoor seating: outdoor patio (via the adjoining Katzy's jazz bar).
This year (2023) saw Clico Boutique Hotel welcome a new head chef as well as a new restaurant space. Chef Dario Angeli (chef-owner of the award-winning Cube Tasting Kitchen and Est Est Alea) announced his residency at the opening of 400 Degrees at Clico: a casual Italian pizza, pasta and antipasti offering served on the terrace area of the hotel. Head over there for bubble-crusted Neapolitan-style pizzas and gin and tonics from their Hendrick's gin bar. It's a great spot for quick work lunches, after-work drinks and laid-back dinners (the fine-dining offering from Clico is still available for lunch and dinner in the formal interior of the hotel). Outdoor seating: Garden courtyard.
Dino Vlachos's Soul Souvlaki chain of neighbourhood Greek souvlaki stops has successfully launched on street corners across the city, although this Rosebank branch still stands as one of our favourites. For one thing, it has one of the finest locations – a repurposed shipping container (with a rooftop deck) that opens onto a courtyard shaded by one of Rosebank's grand oak trees (find it at the corner of Bath and Baker Streets, opposite Brik). Lamb, bifteki (spiced minced beef patties) or chicken souvlaki served with tzatziki, fresh tomatoes, red onion and rocket and wrapped up snugly in a freshly baked pita bread is still the star of the show, although you can also mix and match to create your own meze platter. Outdoor seating: Garden courtyard and rooftop.
GET THERE WITH GAUTRAIN
This attraction is close to the Rosebank Gautrain Station. See our guide to the Gautrain here and download the Gautrain app for real-time updates on when the next Gautrain and Gautrain midi-bus is due. Visit www.gautrain.co.za for more information on the timetable and fares. #YourGautrainJourneyStartsHere