Friday, January 27, 2012

The Best of the Best in Joburg #27

Top things to do in the City of Gold…

I was reading the House & Leisure magazine and found this best of the best list, and like to share with my local friends here. I hope you enjoy!! BTW I noticed that the list in the magazine is a bit longer, so buy the magazine if you want the complete list. I blog this on Friday, so you can go and pick a few for the upcoming weekend :-)

Nice or not??

Best for Modernist Furniture It’s a tie between Modernist in Parkhurst, and Decade (011-482-3059) at 44 Stanley. The former opened earlier last year, adding a shot of Fifties elegance to Fourth Ave with its mahogany display wall and the simple designs and clean lines of its jaw-dropping furniture selection. The latter is similarly impressive, though with a more eclectic mix of retro pieces.

Best Designer Furniture For elegant and timeless pieces look no further than Mezzanine in Greenside. It’s all comfort-meets-style here, from their own bespoke designs to their immaculately sourced collections. They’ll customise pieces to your exact needs, and offer a full decor service. 011-888-3986,

Best Indie Movies The Bioscope at Arts on Main is a gem for cinema-philes. Covering special-interest genres and local and international independent films, this little theatre (a classic old-school bioscope!) makes for a captivating nostalgia-tinged experience. 073-284-1372,

Best for Vintage Browsing The inner city Market on Main feels like a cross between a thrift store and a boutique, with stalls brimming with wares by talented young designers standing alongside those selling vintage dresses and retro bags. It’s a browser’s delight and often the go-to place to spot (and set) new fashion trends.

Best Arty Day Out A 15-hectare sculpture park in the Cradle of Humankind, Nirox is an inspirational spot for jaded Joburgers in need of a shot of aesthetic upliftment. Every few months the Nirox Foundation hosts a new exhibition and the streams, grassy mounds and woods are transformed into an outdoor gallery – a wonderland studded with artworks.

Best Live Music All the best rock bands play at Tanz Café in Fourways. Its warehouse ambience adds an air of rock ’n roll grittiness, while you’re guaranteed to find one of SA’s hottest local artists or the occasional high-profile international starter on the stage. Great for a loud night out or good laugh during their comedy nights. 011-658-0277,

Best Gourmet Burger Dukes in Greenside serves classic burgers with a seemingly endless number of elegant spins. Try the Big Bird, an ostrich patty covered in red-wine and chocolate sauce, and topped with butternut and fresh rosemary. 011-486-0824

Best Hipster Coffee Stop You can feel the youthful, creative urban energy at Post, on the prime spot on the corner of 70 Juta Street, Braamfontein. Pop in for a fine coffee or homemade lemonade – they also serve simple but delicious breakfast and lunch dishes – and kick back while listening to a cool selection of vintage vinyl. 072-248-2078,

Best Gourmet Portions When your hunger for flavour outstrips your appetite, there’s only one place to go: Cube Taste Kitchen in Parkhurst for the bite-sized portions. This concept kitchen is all about flavour, texture, taste, aesthetic appeal and innovation. 082-422-8158

Best Traditional Shave A real institution, Roma-Paris has been going for about 45 years – originally in Braamfontein and now in Parkhurst. For a special occasion, a shave with a cutthroat razor by a real Italian barber, while sipping a drink and puffing on a cigar, will transport you to a different age. 011-880-8311,

Best Vinyl Shop Deerhunter in Greenside is like taking a journey though a time machine. It’s the go-to spot for vintage collectibles such as toys, old school magazines and a great range of vinyl records you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. 082-496-9253,

Best Second-Hand Books Bookdealers in Rosebank is the real deal. With a fantastic range of special interest sections and constantly updated stock, there’s always something new to ferret out from its bursting shelves. Look out for the special sales, where you’ll strike some amazing finds. 011-442-4089,

Best Flowers Dunkeld Fruit and Flowers has been around for 30 years, with its courtyard of freshly cut flowers the destination for beautiful blooms (not to mention the herbs and veggies in the shop behind). A tip from the top: the big delivery arrives on Tuesdays. 011-341-0343

Best Cape Cuisine in Joburg District Six Eatery is compact and oozes Kaapstad flavor and culture. The decor adds a nostalgic ingredient to the space, while the menu features traditional dishes like snoek and potatoes served with tomato gravy. 011-486-7226

Best DVD Hire The starting point for some of Jozi’s best nights in, Craighall’s Video Spot has a seemingly endless stash of DVDs. Somehow, it seems that the film you can’t find anywhere else is lurking on the shelves somewhere here. There’s an excellent selection of old and new movies, and some special interest categories too. 011-447-1401,

Best for Local Fashion Sassy Jozi fashion blogger Milisuthando Bongela (aka MissMilli) joined forces with Cape Town designer Doreen Southwood to open a branch of clothing emporium Mememe in Parkhurst earlier this year. It stocks an unbeatable selection clothes and accessories by local designers. 011-447-1497,

Best Nail Bar Both Polish Nail Spa (011-447-7952, in Parkwood and Toast & Co (011-325-5184, in Craighall get our nod of approval, offering superb manis and pedis, and allowing for a post-pampering spot of shopping to boot.

Best Paint Shop Barney’s in Emmarentia combines real expertise and excellent advice in a sophisticated shop, but with the down-home atmosphere of a local hardware store. Always friendly, efficient and ready with an answer, it’s the best DIY destination when you need to colour your home beautiful., 011-646-9012.

Best for Unusual Ingredients When your shopping list is ambitious, there’s a very good chance you’ll find that elusive item at Thrupps in Illovo. The grand dame of groceries, its shelves are home to rare and difficult-to-find ingredients so authentic there’s a notice above the game birds warning that they may contain buckshot! 011-268-0298,

Best Joburg Inspired Design has a great selection of young SA designers work, and one of our favourite designs was informed by the city’s skyline. Fanie van Zyl’s Joburg-inspired bookends add an air of urban chic wherever they find a home.

Best Steakhouse Thundergun in Northcliff has been in business for over 40 years, so its authenticity is beyond question. It’s the real deal – a proper steakhouse with memories of an era when we knew what a steakhouse should be like. Don’t mess around – just order the steak! 011-678-7224,

Best Seafood Deli This seafood supplier is one of Joburg’s best-kept secrets – or at least a firm favourite for those in the know. Count yourself among them. Servicing the city’s restaurants might be its main concern, but you can head there for the freshest fish in town, and all the extras like calamari cleaning and oyster shucking. 011-997-0500,

Best One-Stop Decor Shopping The Design Quarter has all the big flagship stores under one roof. There’s Coricraft, Boardmans, @home, Bakos Brothers, the Plascon Showroom, and much more. And there’s always somewhere to stop and grab a coffee or a bite to eat, when your hunger for decor becomes a hunger for lunch. 011-467-5152,

Best Mountain Biking Northern Farm Nature Reserve, also known as Diepsloot Farm, is a hidden haven for mountain bikers. It’s a beautiful natural setting with grasslands, woodlands and dams. No worries for beginner mountain bikers as there’s a path carved out just for you, leaving the advanced riders with two other adrenaline-inducing trails.

Best Chinese Supermarket Set up on Commissioner Street by one of the first generations of Chinese immigrants to South Africa, ‘China Town’ boasts Sui Hing Hong (011-833-7704), a gift emporium stacked with imported Chinese groceries, utensils and more, and The Swallows Inn (011-833-2946), Joburg’s oldest surviving Chinese restaurant.

Best Seafood Pasta Bistro Vine in Parkhurst is known for its café-style setting and tables that spill out onto the pavement. Less well known is that it serves the city’s most delicious seafood pasta: fresh shelled prawns, mussels and calamari simmered in a white wine, cream and thyme sauce, fresh Italian parsley and parmesan. Not convinced? Try a tasting dish for just R20. 011-327-4558

Best Gallery Shop It’s hard to come away empty handed once you’ve popped your head into the gift shop at the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) on your way out from an exhibition. Enthusiastic, knowledgeable staff and an unbeatable selection of art books. 011-720-0543,

Best for Getting in Touch with your Roots Pop into the Origins Centre to check out the rock art collection and gain some perspective and insight into the history of modern humankind. In just two hours you can go back 80 000 years. 011-717-4700,

Best Indigenous Nursery Random Harvest in Muldersdrift is the first stop for local gardening fundis in search of the best selection of water-wise indigenous plants. Expert and helpful staff make the experience all the more gratifying. 082-553-0598,

Best Elderberry Granita Life at Hyde Park Shopping is a real asset to mall life – it even allows you to forget you’re in the middle of one. It’s the best spot for before- or after-movie meals, snacks and drinks. Speaking of which, the experience wouldn’t be complete without their flagship drink – the elderberry granita. It’s a mix of lime and berries garnished with mint. Just try one. 011-325-4350/5371

Best Inner City Park With a new set of cast-iron impala, the revamped Oppenheimer Park is a bite-sized oasis in the middle of the bustling CBD. Grab a few moments of restorative solitude on one of the word-sculpture benches or work off some stress on the basketball court.

Best Hotel Restaurant Chef David Higgs, formerly of Stellenbosch’s award-winning Rust en Vrede restaurant, moved to Sandton in 2011 and has fast made the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel All Day Restaurant a culinary destination, where discerning palates go to celebrate special occasions. 011-286-1000,

Best Casual Lunch For lazy weekend afternoon stroll, or a quick lunch break during the week, Salvation Café never lets you down. Take a seat under the trees in the courtyard at 44 Stanley, and know that you’re about to enjoy some of the best dining Joburg has to offer. It’s that simple. 011-482-7795,

Best Luxury Guy’s Stuff The little boutique Croft and Co in Parkview offers the ultimate in masculine sophistication in a shop that’ll make you feel like you’ve just stepped off a street in London. For high-end men’s (and ladies’) accessories, it is final proof that masculinity can be a refined and elegant thing. Anything from the most luxurious shaving accessories to undercover umbrellas and ‘high-end guy’ overnight bags… you’ll never be short on gift ideas again. 011-646-3634

Best Tapas This little gem on the corner of Corlett Drive and Oxford in Illovo puts a spin on traditional tapas – serving the local Venetian variation, chicetti. There’s also a full menu with delicious meals from rabbit to spagetti and meatballs, which has kept it buzzing since it opened earlier this year. But what better way to enjoy a summer night than a selection of tapas? 011-025-5225

Best Men’s Shirts For shirts that fit better, look better and are made better than anywhere else, bluecollarwhitecollar on Fourth Street in Parkhurst is your destination. They’re locally designed and made, and come in an exhilarating variety of fabrics and prints. But the real joy is in the details. Dress them up or down, it doesn’t matter, each shirt is an artwork. 011-024-1380, (PS: they moved, so call them first to get their new address!)

Best Boutique Hotel A relaxing retreat and an urban hideout, The Winston Hotel is the epitome of luxury and style. It melds colonial and contemporary decor with ease and the restaurant’s local and international cuisine is perfect for both business lunches and guests. 011-268-3140/1,

Best for Coffee Beans One of the most intimate shops on the main Parkhurst drag is 4th Avenue Coffee Roasters in the Cobbles, corner 11th and 4th. They import their beans from over 10 countries and roast them themselves. 082-378-2109

Best Smart Restaurant DW 11-13 is Joburg’s favourite contemporary, smart restaurant. The food is simply outstanding – when M&G editor-in-chief Nic Dawes said (amid much controversy) that the best Joburg restaurants all look out onto parking lots, we’re almost certain he had DW 11-13 in mind. Look no further for a special occasion. 011-341-0663 or 011-325-2843,

Best Vintage Clothing An institution, Reminiscene is a wonderland of pre-70s clothing jewellery, accessories, shoes and more. Victorian, Edwardian, 1920s jewellery, dresses from the 50s and 60s. There’s a magnificent past to discover. 011-726-7905

Text: Graham Wood, Tiisetso Noxolo
This original article was featured in the January/ February 2012 issue of House and Leisure…

Well, I hope I did you locals a favor by posting this blog post.

Enjoy your weekend! I know I will with so many new inspirations and funky spots to visit :-)


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