Cocktails, cappuccinos and bistro fare on 4th Ave Parkhurst

Restaurants return to “normal” 

Now that SA has FINALLY been removed from the UK’s dreaded Red List and flights from Europe are increasing, we will at last see the gradual return of international visitors to Johannesburg.  The rhythm of the guesthouse business changes with non-South African guests who need a lot more guidance and local knowledge. This means relooking at Liz at Lancaster’s famous information guide in each room – an extensive book which doubles up as free sleeping medication! 

In updating the nearby pavement café and eatery destination eateries along 4th Ave in Parkhurst, (2 km from Liz at Lancaster), I was saddened to realize how many places did not survive the terrible fall-out of Lockdown.  These include Rockets; Coobs (which has moved to Parktown North in place of its sister restaurant The National which has closed down); Salsa; Café de Sol Tre; Craft; Vovo Telo; Bistro Vine. This is a long and very sobering list. 

Spoilt for choice on 4th Ave Parkhurst 

Island vibe at Kolonaki under latte roof

But there is still lots to choose from and while I have not been to many of them, I do have a few favourites. As somebody who struggles with choice, meze offer a good option as I can have tastes of multiple shared dishes. At Kolonaki you’ll great meze and you can sit under the latte roof surrounded by a cool island vibe …. one way to get a taste of Greece.  The food is delicious – if you save space after the meze there is superb seafood, viro, souvlakia and more! 4th Ave, Cnr 9th St, tel +27 10 900 3319

Another taste of Greece of a very different kind is a small ‘hole in the wall’ joint, Yia Yia.  Lots of ocean blue and crisp white with informal eating at a counter or at one of the few tables in the courtyard. It’s excellent value and ideal for a quick bite.   

Mouthwatering meze at Yia Yia’s

Bottega is another favourite of mine.  It’s very small and offers pastas,  salads and bistro fare. Their salmon pasta with vodka is scrumptious.  It is open every night so good on Mondays when so many other places are closed.    Phone 011 447-4448.

Gotta love this logo!
They bill their vege platter as small but it is very generous and extremely delicious

Another great favourite spot with superb coffee and excellent bistro food has always been Fat Zebra in nearby Linden.  They also own 4th Ave Coffee Roasters in Parkhurst, so good news is that Fat Zebra has now also opened on 4th Ave. See their menu.  34 4th Ave, tel  +27 72 610 1837.  Plus they run nearby Fabb and Co which specializes in Italian homemade gelato and to-die-for sorbets. 

And if its fine dining you want, try Embarc. This is one I have not frequented but it has had excellent reviews. It focuses on “food that intrigues and excites with a wine offering to match!”  The part owner Lisa, stayed here while getting the premises up and running … in the middle of the 3rd wave of Covid – so tough for restaurant owners let alone those starting out.   

Even more recently opened is The BlockHouse – vegetarians be warned … do not even look at their website as it’s full of photos of raw meat cuts!! Meat lovers you can eat in or buy from their in-house butchery.  Cnr 4th Ave and 13th St, tel. +27 10 900 3130 

Espresso café and bistro is a bit of a record in Jozi as its been going for over 20 years which is a very good track record in this fickle town where restaurants open and close like revolving doors. Note: they do not accept credit cards … but they do have Zapper and an ATM in the restaurant

In addition to all these options there are several bistro type eateries: Nice; Modena; Espresso; Coppa. There’s the Spanish influence at La Parada, burgers at Hudsons, Lebanese at Liban Café, sushi at Sashimi Ya and a “little bit of London” at The Station (themed on the London Underground) with an extensive gin bar.   For more detail on these restaurants see Johannesburg In Your Pocket excellent guide to where to eat in Parkhurst 

And if its a pub vibe you want try the Jolly Roger known affectionately as ‘The Jolly’. There is also The Tap Room and Jolly Cool directly opposite. 

Best of all – shopping by candlelight to live music and festive decorations 

4th Ave Candle Light Shopping Photo courtesy Johannesburg In Your Pocket  https://www.inyourpocket.com/johannesburg/parkhurst-4th-avenue-candle-light-thursdays_21689e

And things get even better: for the next 2 Thursdays – the 11th and the 18th Nov, 4th Ave Parkhurst will hold their famous Candle Light Shopping. In addition to the many restaurants, 4th Ave offers a range of  clothing boutiques, gift and specialty stores, homeware shops.  Following Parkhurst 4th Avenue on Facebook and Instagram for the latest. 

For an amazing list of where to shop see Johannesburg In Your Pocket’s guide to the “retail spoil” of 4th Ave offerings. 

 

 

 

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