A Fresh Look At Joburg’s Cultural Scene
Compared to South Africa’s tourist hot spots, Johannesburg is admittedly all business at the top, but get to know the city of gold a little better and you’ll discover it’s all party at the back. Indeed, Jozi is still the place where deals are made – where talking the talk and walking the walk is all important – but with that comes an appetite for the finer things, and if there’s one thing this city doesn’t get enough credit for, it’s its vibrant arts and culture scene, which is earning Joburg a reputation for nurturing South Africa’s most authentic voice. Joburg’s Parktown neighbourhood – flanked by Rosebank, Houghton and Greenside – is one of the city’s most exciting. Spend a day here, and you might be surprised. Spend a week, and you’ll discover a world-class African city second to none.
FASHIONABLE FUSION | MOMO KURO
Only two years ago, the first of four Momos opened in the nearby Greenside neighbourhood, kicking off a Pacific Rim fusion trend that has taken the city of gold by storm.
SUNDOWNERS | THE BAR AT MARBLE
Chef David Higgs’ Marble – South Africa’s first five-star restaurant – needs no introduction, but if you’re looking for a place to unwind as you watch the sun setting over Jozi, the bar at Marble is hard to beat. No reservation needed.
DISCOVER AN EMERGING ARTIST | STUDIO NXUMALO
Musa Nxumalo worked as a curator for commercial galleries for four years before deciding to create a space that would put more independent, emerging artists on the map. “By establishing a gallery space, we aim to create opportunities for a wider base of independent and emerging artists to access group and solo exhibitions, sell work, and bring greater visibility to their portfolios,” says Musa, “The space also seeks to open up new possibilities for projects, collaborations, and exhibitions by artists working outside of Johannesburg and even South Africa!”
FOOD SHOPPING | THE PANTRY
This artisanal deli-style is a foodie’s dream. Not only is it stocked with some of the most luxurious ingredients you’re likely to find this side of the equator, they also have chefs and restaurateurs on hand to help you with any questions you might have, whether planning an amazing dinner party or simply wanting to take your cooking skills up a notch.
COFFEE ON THE GO | CROFT & CO
Detach yourself for a moment from the hustle and bustle of the city and grab a coffee at Croft & Co. In a city awash with franchised coffee outlets, this coffee shop is all about building community, and a great way to get the authentic Parkview neighbourhood experience.
VISIT 44 STANLEY | 44 Stanley Avenue, Braamfontein Werf
After a good couple of decades since its rehabilitation, this garden courtyard complex has lost nothing of its charm, remaining a bastion for the city’s independent artisans. Here you will find an interesting array of boutiques and services, not to mention some of Joburg’s nicest eateries, and it’s also home to the studio of acclaimed Zimbabwean-born artist Kudzanai Chiurai, whose work has become something of a sensation on the Joburg art scene.
LUNCHING IN THE COURTYARD | SALVATION CAFÉ
Describing itself as “a down-to-earth café that preaches the soul of good food,” Salvation often pops up on most Joburgers’ lists as one of their faves, with its range of hearty, fresh and honest food. It’s also one of 44 Stanley’s best places for people watching.
LET’S TALK ITALIAN | LA PERGOLA
One of 44 Stanley’s newest culinary additions, La Pergola specialises in Northern Italian cuisine. In other words, delicious, crowd-pleasing fare. It’s the kind of place you suggest when someone asks the age-old question, “Where shall we go?”
AND FOR DESSERT | FOREST GELATO
Taking us right back to that delicious story in Journal 8, Forest Gelato specialises in fresh and seasonal gelato, sorbets, granitas and other frozen treats; the perfect stop-over for an after-dinner walk-it-off treat.
IN VINO VERITAS | VOISIN BREAD & WINE
Specialising in artisanal sourdough and uncommon wine, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve stumbled upon a wine shop in Cape Town, but that makes Voisin (French for neighbour) so much more impressive. In fact, the team started by making bread for their neighbours – if for no other reason than to be neighbourly. Their wine selection is made up of only rare and fine South African wines, with an emphasis on natural and organic.
OLD AND RARE BOOKS | L’ELEPHANT TERRIBLE
In a quiet corner of 44 Stanley next to Bean There Coffee Shop and Roastery is a tiny (though double-storeyed) bookshop filled from floor to ceiling with books dating back from the 19th century to the present. A true gem.
STAY AT THE HOUGHTON HOTEL | Lloys Ellis Avenue, Houghton Estate
Located at the epicentre of this incredible part of Johannesburg, the Houghton Hotel is just a 10-15-minute drive from Keyes Art Mile, 44 Stanley and Greenside. The Houghton Hotel was founded out of a love for hospitality, distinguished service, and design and architecture. But over and above our world-class service and facilities, the Houghton experience is powered by our passion for people. Here, casual comfort and unsurpassed luxury become one.