Favorite high-end restaurant:
Gramadoelas, Market Theatre, at the cross streets of Bree and Miriam Mareba, Newtown.
Moyos,Locations in Melrose Arch, Zoo Lake and Spier.
8 @ The Towers, Michelangelo Towers Hotel, 8 Maude Street, Sandton Central.
We don’t really do high-end unless we have to, which is not all that often, but there are easy classy places like Gramadoelas and Moyos in Johannesburg. If you really want to take it there, 8 @ the Towers isn’t bad at all.
Best deal restaurant:
Xai-Xai Lounge , (pronounced shy-shy)
, 7th Street and 3rd Avenue, Linden.
Xai-Xai in Melville is nice, and there’s always the Portuguese fish market right across the street.
Best street food:
Akhalwayas, 100 Church Street, Mayfair.
There are Akhalwayas all over the city; it’s a halaal chain store, really cool, and most of the vendors are okay, but you probably just have to be rolling with a local on this one. You’ll find all sorts of stuff, like Mopani worms and other delicacies line the streets of the concrete jungle that is Jozi.
In the townships you’ll find something called a tshisa nyama, which is basically a road-side barbeque.
There are things called Spaza shops, mostly in the ghettos servicing the people with a lot of color and character.
Best place to work on laptop with free wi-fi:
The Loft, 7th Street between 3rd and 2nd Avenues, Melville Gardens.
Wish Cafe, 2nd Avenue and 7th Street, Melville Gardens.
Well there aren’t that many last time we checked, but The Loft and Wish are cool.
house of NsAkO, 101 High Street, Brixton.
Bar and cafe as well as concert and jam session venue.
The Bohemian, 5 Park Road, Richmond.
The Salvation Army, 20 Petunia Street, Rosettenville.
Exclusive Books, Numerous locations throughout South Africa.
The Collectors Treasury, 244 Commissioner Street.
The Collectors Treasury has stacks of rare and out-of-print books and over 250,000 records in this eight-storey building in town.
Dokter and Misses, 44 Stanley Avenue, Store 6GB, Milpark.
The African Toy Shop, 44 Stanley Avenue East, Unit G19A, Milpark.
Dokter and Misses sells accessories and furniture designed by local designers Adriaan Hugo and Katy Taplin. The African Toy Shop sells handmade toys from all over Africa. Also try the well-curated mini shopping center in Auckland Park and the flea markets in Yeoville Rosebank and Kwa Mai Mai under the bridge in the city centre.
Favorite art space/gallery/museum:
Rooke Gallery, 37 Quinn Street, Newtown.
The Rooke Gallery shows contemporary avant-garde work. But the best galleries are in people’s homes and artists’ studios.
Favorite outdoor space:
Mofolo Park, 1209 Mzilikazi Street, Mofolo Central.
Great live music amphitheatre when the music is good. Saw Femi Kuti there.
Best touristy thing to do:
The Apartheid Museum, Northern Parkway and Gold Reef Road, Ormonde.
We launched our first EP there.
Attend a soccer game, either a very big match like Pirates versus Chiefs or catch a dusty tournament in the ’hood, nothing in between. The World Cup is going to be amazing.
Best place to people watch:
Anywhere on Melville’s 7th Street during the day or any ghetto. We don’t recommend malls.
Only local does or knows about:
The public taxi/mini bus routes and rides can be a rush. Although they are installing a government-run taxable/traceable/mappable transportation system that includes new trains and buses, we’ll see how that goes and how it affects everything.
The must-see thing in your city:
The Skies, Sunsets and Sunrises.
Rooftop and loft parties are fire.
Best events in each season?
Soweto Arts Festival
(Fall) Check out the Soweto Arts Festival, a weekend of arts events taking place throughout Soweto. The main stage is at Fuller Park amphitheatre.
Given only 24-hours in your city what would you recommend?
Wake up in the township, do some local drinking at a local carwash or braai/tshisa nyama [barbeque] place, cruise the neighborhood until around 4pm, then take a taxi into the city to meet your peoples in Newtown. Do more of the same on a more “cultured” level, see a play at the Market theatre or whatever, then go for dinner followed by clubbing and seeing bands anywhere — maybe house of NsAko. It is kind of your best bet, then crash in the city/suburbs like Observatory, Melville. This is the life.