“I don’t need a drink,” said not me last night. We’ve all been there, perhaps more often than we’d like to admit: Lockdown hangover land, with splitting headaches and blurry eyes. If you turned to wine, gin and homemade cocktails as you held a Zoom party or catchup with friends and now need to nurse yourself from too much drinking, look no further than the best hangover food in Joburg. We won’t judge if you can’t remember getting home from the living room!
Blind Tiger Café
Our quest for the best burger in Joburg is eternal, but one place we’re really digging at the moment is Blind Tiger Café. At this small, popular neighbourhood eatery, the burgers come dressed with a range of toppings, making it difficult to settle on one. However, the bacon and cheese burger is king: A 100% grass-feed beef patty compressed on the flat top to a caramelised, charry smokiness gets on handsomely with streaky bacon and cheddar or blue cheese. It’s a divine and layered experience as you chomp down on the fluffy bun loaded with meat and other decadent toppings and its juices trickle down the hand. The chicken burger accessorised with mozzarella cheese, sundried tomato, fresh basil and homemade mayo sauce is a safe bet, while those looking for something different can hit up the Beyond the Tiger – a vegan burger so meaty it could make you freeze in horror thinking you’ve accidentally ordered the non-veggie option. We also recommend the Korean-style spicy chicken wings – a crispy, golden treat that has the perfect amount of heat without losing any of the chicken flavour, served with a honey-lime sriracha drizzle. It’s lip-smacking perfection!
62 Tyrone Avenue, Parkview
076 030 4200
CHIAPAS Eat Mexican
With casual taco and burrito joints now firmly established favourites in Joburg, Mexican food is definitely having a moment. At CHIAPAS Eat Mexican, the South of the Border fare runs so much deeper than tacos. The no-frills restaurant has gained a steady and committed following with their build-your-own healthy menu and decidedly down-to-earth foodthat spices up the junk food staples. Dishes like the pulled beef burrito with beef that’s braised for hours and then shredded, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, cheddar cheese and coriander lime rice may leave your mouth tingling for a good five minutes if you opt to have the hot red chilli salsa with it. The veggie burrito bowl, on the other hand, is a beautiful, delicious mess filled with mixed peppers and onions. Besides the burritos, we also recommend the crispy and soft-shell tacos – particularly those filled with chicken that’s marinated in a special sauce and grilled to savoury perfection – as well as the decadent nachos that come with a blend of sour cream, guacamole, grated yellow cheddar cheese and your choice of protein. They emit the most incredible smell when unwrapped!
Shop FF24 (Level 1), The Zone @ Rosebank, 177 Oxford Road, Rosebank
011 268 6644
Lotus Chinese Restaurant
Lotus Chinese Restaurant’s menu is a diverse beast. Whether you’re looking to sample snazzed-up teahouse staples, fragrant Sichuan dishes or a classic dim sum brunch (and way, way more), they’ve got you covered. At a glance the menu looks longer than the complete musings of Confucius, but it’s a refreshing change from Cyrildene’s mostly Cantonese restaurants. Best bets are the super-light, crispy and tender vegetable spring rolls, the hearty and satisfying wonton soup with dumplings filled with a juicy pork filling, the pork ribs that are first marinated with garlic and then deep fried until browned and crisp, as well as the succulent fried prawns and cashew nuts – a version of the popular chicken cashew nut stir fry. However, we also crave the salad of thinly sliced jellyfish mixed with colourful ingredients, the perfectly seasoned deep-fried salt and pepper calamari and the sinus-clearing whole crispy skin chicken that has a lovely crispness. In the Singapore-style fried rice noodles, red is the predominant colour and chilli fire the overriding taste sensation: Curried rice noodles with tongue-tingling pork and vegetables. Just remember to have plenty of soothing coconut milk drink on tap!
160 Jan Smuts Avenue, Rosebank
072 484 6138
Espresso Caffe & Bistro
You don’t need to travel nearly 10,000 kilometres to experience scrumptious Spanish small plates, savoury Mediterranean cuisine or sophisticated French dining. At European inspired Parkhurst staple, Espresso Caffe & Bistro you can expect homemade dishes like all the ingredients were just harvested straight from their garden. Begin your meal with the highlight light meal: The Heads & Tails calamari heads and tubes smothered with a devilishly spicy peri-peri cream sauce. The deep-fried Chicken Sticks marinated in buttermilk, breaded with panko and sesame seeds and served with a honey mustard sauce is another great option. For main course, explore the fillet steak prego – a juicy fillet steak slathered in a fresh, flavourful peri-peri on a soft Portuguese roll (heaven!) – or the Cypriot pizza; a pizza that hits all the right notes with bubbly cheese, strips of grilled halloumi, sweet cherry tomatoes and fresh slices of avocado. For dessert, it’s always a good idea to indulge in the hazelnut meringue that melts in your mouth, with whipped cream or ice cream sandwiched between two meringues, drizzled with Frangelico and hazelnut syrup and sprinkled with nuts and strawberries.
23 4th Avenue, Parkhurst
011 447 8700
Café Picobella Trattoria
Whether it’s a robust selection of antipasti, a simple bowl of pasta or a huge, comforting pizza, you’ll never go hangry at Café Picobella Trattoria. With a focus on Italian country-style cuisine, the menu is all quality and no gimmicks – and the dishes are expertly made and curated as well as beautifully plated. We recommend starting with the roasted butternut and gorgonzola pot that pairs sweet butternut squash with salty gorgonzola and dried sage and marries these ingredients in a pastry pot; the mozzarella sticks that are lightly crumbed and deep fried to golden with oozy, warm melted cheese as its key feature; or the crispy, crunchy bite-size bruschetta with pan-fried prawns infused with garlic, white wine and a touch of chilli. Of all the pastas, perhaps the most outstanding is the no-frills, simple basil pesto pasta. The lush dish is made with fresh pasta tossed in a delicious, nutty sauce made with fresh basil leaves blended with extra–virgin olive oil, roasted pine nuts and just a dash of garlic. Or, try the classic pepperoni pizza baked in an Italian-made stone oven that’s loaded with ingredients and super-fluffy. Every bite is perfumed with a fantastic floury aroma!
66 4th Avenue, Melville
011 482 4309