WATERFALL CORNEROne of the most popular centres in the northern suburbs, Waterfall Corner is busy both day and night and the restaurants and cafes have ample outdoor seating making. The centre is located at the corner of Woodmead Drive and Waterfall Drive. If coming via the M1 highway, get off at the Woodmead exit.
Daruma by OskidoLaunched by South African DJ and record producer Oskido, don’t be surprised to spot a few famous faces at the nearby tables. Oskido’s music industry peers, the likes of AKA, Nasty C and Unathi, are all fans of his easy-going Japanese restaurant. In addition to a vast sushi menu there’s also the showmanship of classic Japanese teppanyaki (where your food is chopped up and grilled with much fanfare on a red hot grill plate) to enjoy.
Vovo TeloThe trademark light and airy interiors at this friendly bakery and cafe are always warmed by the ever-present bakers pounding out delicious artisanal breads and baked goods which are a staple throughout the excellent cafe menu. The sandwiches are ideal if you are looking for takeout in a hurry while the pissaladiere (a kind of French-style pizza) has long been a Vovo Telo menu staple. This is also a family-friendly environment with plenty of space for new parents to park prams.
Life Grand CafeA firm favourite in Waterfall this breezy and stylish Mediterranean spot is the place to see and be seen while enjoying a bistro lunch or evening drinks. In the evening the cocktail menu is a big draw card. Try the cucumber and apple mojito. Note that Life Grand Cafe has two locations in Waterfall - one at Waterfall Corner and another at Mall of Africa.
The Hussar GrillThe Hussar Grill is a good old-fashioned grill room that draws from the best traditions. One of South Africa's oldest grill rooms, the first Hussar Grill opened in leafy Rondebosch in Cape Town in 1964 and the brand now has spread across South Africa, including four restaurants in Joburg (in Morningside, Waterfall Corner, Silverstar Casino and Montecasino). A classic grillhouse experience, all meats are up to 28-days aged, and are Class A grain-fed South African beef from the in-house butchery, while the accompanying sauces are as many and as rich as your imagination can conjure.
La ParadaA super sociable destination for dinner and drinks. The tapas menu is wide-ranging and not all strictly Spanish, although classics like croquetas, patatas bravas and calamari are present and accounted for. If sharing small plates isn’t really your style they also have a wide choice of mains, salads and even pizza. If the colourful Spanish tiles and lively atmosphere don’t put you in holiday mood, then a jug of the house sangria should definitely do the trick. Mall of Africa’s most popular dining options are centred around the outdoor Town Square piazza with its signature fountains that are a favourite with kids. Beyond the square, the space opens out onto the Waterfall Park, a lovely space to take a breather and relax on the lawns with some snacks from the mall.
KreamDinner at Kream on Town Square is an opulent affair, from the grand decor to the decadent dishes. While there’s plenty of salads and sushi on the menu for those more partial to a light grazing lunch, the big hitters are the rich mains – think lamb shank, oxtail, duck leg confit, venison, smoked pork belly or braised lamb leg. To wash it down, the wine list is extensive.
Casa BellaA classic Italian menu that hits all the usual pizza and pasta favourites, this is a reliable and spacious spot on the Town Square for a family dinner with a great menu for kids. Pizza is wood-fired here and you have the option of choosing all your own toppings. Burrata is a pricey pizza extra, but worth it if you are a purist.
Lucky Bread CompanyThe perfect pit stop on any shopping trip, this cafe and bakery is located in the middle of the Mall of Africa and serves excellent coffee and fresh juices and a range of daily prepared fresh artisanal breads and patisserie.
tashasYou simply can’t go wrong with tashas, South Africa’s favourite upmarket cafe-bistro. The breakfasts are always excellent and their chicken caesar salad remains unbeatable. In addition to the regular tashas menu, each branch of this now worldwide chain (you can also find tashas in Dubai and Abu Dhabi) has its own special themed signature menu. Mall of Africa’s is ‘inspired by The Hamptons’.
WHERE TO STAYIf you are in town and need to be based in the Midrand area, Waterfall now has four hotels from which to choose. The most luxurious is the 16-room Riboville Boutique Hotel which looks out onto the polo fields of the Waterfall Equestrian Estate.
Close to the corporate heart of Waterfall in walking distance of the Gautrain bus stop and the Mall of Africa, City Lodge Hotel Waterfall City is an affordable three-star hotel that is popular with business travellers, while further away in the Woodmead North Office Park the Holiday Inn Express Sandton-Woodmead is another budget-friendly choice preferred by business visitors.
A more upmarket option in the Nexus Waterfall business park opposite Mall of Africa is Courtyard Hotel Waterfall, a brand new 10-storey hotel due to open in early 2021. The Courtyard’s signature selling point is its rooftop sky bar from where it is said you can see all the way out to the Magaliesberg mountain range.
Subscribe to our free weekly Johannesburg In Your Pocket newsletter for all the latest news and reviews about what's new in Joburg!