Foodie hangouts are once again breathing new life into one of Johannesburg’s most Bohemian suburbs. Use our guide to eat and drink your way through Melville.
love me so
After a rocky entry into the restaurant market as a resultof a controversial name, this rebranded space is bound to become a regular for those who like to build their own ramen bowl. On warmer days, indulge in a super-fresh poke dish, and catch half-price cocktails at 5-7pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays and 1-3pm on Sundays.
Visit 63a 4th Ave, 060-717-6728; facebook.com/lovemesojozi.
melville grill lounge
Feel like a traditional Sunday lunch? Melville Grill Lounge’s African cuisine section features mogudu (tripe), maqina (beef trotters) and umleqwa (‘hard-body’ chicken) served with pap, dumplings or samp. Or try the grill platters, packed with wors, chops, wings and brisket.
Visit 76 4th Ave, 011-022-1793.
Finally, there’s a real cocktail bar on the block! Opened by four semi-scientist friends, it’s no surprise that Mootee Bar includes a Breaking Bad-like lab alongside the bar. Aficionados will be pleased by the attention to detail in the crafting of drinks – each of which is made with no fewer than 13 ingredients.
Visit 78a 4th Ave, 010-900-1399; mootee.co.za.
bread & roses
You’ll be tempted to switch the all-day breakfast for a midday meal at this casual, comfy corner spot. Go for a spicy frittata with chorizo and pancetta or opt for unfussy bistro fare, such as a fresh steak or serrano ham open sandwich on home-baked bread.
Visit Cnr 4th Ave and 7th St, 079-429-7956; facebook.com/BreadandRosesCafeandBistro.
the lonely hearts club
In place of the old La Luna restaurant is an eatery that offers delicious Spanish-inspired tapas by head chef Rayno Adlam. The Lonely Hearts Club specialises in vegetarian options and meaty grills – for a treat, sample the tender lamb rump with baba ghanoush, roasted garlic and tomato salad with a red-pepper dressing.
Visit 9 7th St; facebook.com/LonelyHeartsClubMelville.
What started out as an Asian street-food chicken shop has evolved into a much-needed venue for niche music events. In Glory’s courtyard, old-school garden furniture, a pot-plant jungle and pops of primary colours will charm you from the get-go, making it a perfect location in which to sip on one of the best mojitos in town.
Visit Cnr 7th St and 3rd Ave, 082-499-7808; facebook.com/glorystreetfoodandbar.
Whether you’re a fan of the brand of classic rock played at this 1920s New York-style ‘speakeasy’ or not, do sample the fiery cinnamon whiskey Hellfire, brewed in house. Add a helping of fiercely spiced chicken wings for some extra heat.
Visit Shop 4, 7th St, 079-980-9591; hellskitchen.co.za.
la santa muerte
Mexican-food lovers, this one’s for you: La Santa Muerte boasts an impressive menu, serving dishes such as chipotle BBQ pork-belly taco
with red cabbage, coriander and pickled onion, drizzled with a lime and yoghurt-sour cream dressing. The grilled wild-mushroom taco, refried beans and jalapeño relish is a top contender, too.
Visit Shop 2, 7th St, 076-609-0383; lasantamuerte.co.za.
For the ultimate eggy breakfast or brunch, look no further than Pablo Eggs-Go-Bar’s shakshuka, served in two ways: the red version in a Middle Eastern-style tomato-based sauce, and the green, with leeks and baby spinach. A special mention also goes to the crispy, deep-fried eggs with sliced apple, basil and apple-cider vinaigrette. Just be sure to book ahead.
Visit 2 7th St, 063-335-9348. Pablo Eggs-Go-Bar Melville.