Wandie's Place, Soweto

Wandie's Place is a local restaurant in Dube, Soweto, operating out of what used to be a typical Soweto four-roomed house. During the 1980s the house was used as an illegal shebeen, selling food and drink without a licence. 

Nowadays however Wandie’s is a fully licensed restaurant that is well-known in Soweto as a lively and fun hangout that has even hosted international celebrities such as Will Smith, Richard Branson and Chris Rock.    

In the 1990s owner Wandile Ndala was granted a licence to operate the Wandie's Place tavern legally and the business developed by word of mouth. Regular customers who were impressed with the venue started inviting curious non-Sowetans (mostly colleagues) to join them at the restaurant for a genuine township experience. 

Today Wandie's is a popular stop on the itinerary of many visitors to Gauteng. The restaurant’s bar area is plastered with the business cards of many other visitors, so be sure to take yours along to leave your mark.

Over the years Wandile’s old Soweto house has been extended and remodelled to become the modern eatery it is today. Communal dining is encouraged – food is served buffet-style from three long tables inside the restaurant, and tables on the street-side patio outside allow diners to chat with the locals passing by. A fish tank and well stocked wine rack add to the interior ambience.

The menu

Wandie's serves mainly traditional local cuisine such as umngqusho (a seasoned corn and bean stew), morogo (wild spinach) and chakalaka (a simple, spicy dish of onions, tomatoes and beans). No individual orders are taken as food is served buffet-style. There are always a number of meat dishes on the buffet, but vegetarians are also catered for.

Business hours: open every day from 10am until late.

Directions

Head north west on the M70 toward Hennessy Street. Keep left to stay on Hennessy Street. Turn left at Oliver Street. Slight right at Xorile Street. Turn left at Kumalo Main Road. Turn right at Klipspruit Valley Main Road. Turn left at Potchefstroom Main Road/M68. Take the third left onto Makhalemele Street. Wandie's is well signposted.

Lunch buffet at Wandie's Place.

Lunch buffet at Wandie's Place. (Image: Sea Turtle/Flickr)