Like all major cities, Johannesburg has a wide variety of places to eat and you'll be sure to find something to suit your taste buds, be it local delicacies or international cuisines. In addition to standard South African shopping mall restaurants Johannesburg is one of the few cities with various 'restaurant streets' scattered around the suburbs offering a more European dining experience.
7th Street, Melville - Traditionally Melville has been where most people head to for an evening meal - however, it now caters to students more than the moneyed middle classes. Melville offers a small pocket of culture, with street vendors often selling their own artworks, and charity shops abound.
Gleneagles Road, Greenside makes a good destination (north of Melville - head to where the M71 crosses the M20, Green Way) and there is a good collection of cafes and restaurants which won't be full of tourists.
Grant Avenue, Norwood is becoming more popular since Melville started catering more to students. A collection of uncomplicated restaurants, including numerous sushi places and simple pizza / pasta Italians. Pick of the crop is probably Sharwarma, with serves South African flavored Lebanese food, and also serves good steak and fish.
Tyrone Avenue, Parkview has a collection of coffee shops and restaurants
4th Avenue, Parkhurst is an up-and-coming place, with some good Italian eateries
Queen's Street, Kensington to the east of the CBD has a handful of restaurants near the crossing with Northumberland.
Derrick Avenue, Cyrildene near Eastgate is a local Chinatown, and has numerous excellent Asian restaurants.
Don't ignore the CBD either, there are a handful of nice restaurants near the Market Theatre, and they are cheaper than their northern suburb cousins. Of course the northern suburb shopping malls are brimming with South African chain restaurants, of which the more expensive ones are also quite good, if a little soulless. South African cuisine features many varieties of sauces, and your food may be drowned in said sauce if you don't ask for it on the side.
Melrose ArchCurious high-security compound housing many hotels, offices, upmarket restaurants and nightclubs, including Moyo (an African-themed restaurant) and several other casual eating establishments. RodizioUsed to be located in Victory Park and has great Brazilian dishes and a lively party atmosphere. Live music and dancing, it has now moved.
Melville is neighborhood where you can find many bars and mediocre restaurants. It is close to the national broadcaster (SABC) headquarters, all the universities and many artists, academics and students live in this community.
Ants Cafe7th Street, MelvilleA quirky and very vibey pizza spot. Friendly service, good South African wine and delicious pizza. Special pizza price on Mondays.
The Lucky Bean Restaurant16 7th StPhone: +27 (0)11 482-5572Hours: Tu-Su 11AM-latePrice: R125ppFusion cooking in a relaxed atmosphere. Live DJ music on weekends.
Fordsburg has many Indian restaurants with authentic Indian cuisine as well as conventional franchise stores (Wimpy, Nandos, Fishmonger, Nescafe,etc.). Fordsburg is close to the Oriental Plaza and can be combined with your shopping expedition. Fordsburg is one of the few (if any) areas of Johannesburg that has a thriving outdoor street market and pedestrian traffic at night - in a relative sense. It's a small area and pedestrian traffic is light, but at least present. The area is more busy on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
Akhalwayas Fast FoodsCentral RdPhone: +27 (0)11 834-2040Hours: until 5PMA favorite take-away among the locals, situated on Central Road. It specializes in fish and chips and various tasty sandwiches. However they are better known for the quality of their food then the speed of service and its not unheard of to wait for 45 min (or more!) for your meal at peak lunch times.
DawaatMint RdPrice: R100Dawaat restaurant is considered to be one of the best restaurants and the priciest by Fordsburg standards.
Mexican FreshRiverview Centre, corner Conrad Drive and Hillcrest, CraighallPhone: 011 326 2276Hours: 11:30AM-8:30PMServes burritos, nachos, fajitas, tacos and quesadillas. Available as vegetarian, beef, chicken or prawn, all made on-site, every day. All dishes can be accompanied with guacamole, pico de gallo, Mexican rice and fresh salsa. Ask for chilli if you like it spicy.
MoyoZoo Lake parkTypical touristy location. Lots of fun! Moyo serves stereotypical "African" food, and though it is quite a pricy experience, the restaurant is beautiful, and situated in one of the most charming areas of Johannesburg. Moyo is also located very near the Johannesburg zoo, and the two experiences together make for a great day out!