You’ve had a workday from hell, your brain’s buzzing and all you need is a place to unwind and enjoy a few drinks with friends – and perhaps a bite to eat.
If you’re keen for a taste of old-style Johannesburg authenticity, the Radium Beerhall is the place to be. Find it at 282 Louis Botha Ave, Orange Grove, or call +27 (0)11 728 3866 for more details.
The oldest operational bar and grill in the city, this cosy venue first opened to patrons in 1929. The interior has wooden floors and the walls are decorated with newspaper posters and sports photos of a bygone era.
Drinks include the usual hard tack, a selection of beer on tap, and wine. If you’re planning to eat, there are half-price pizzas on Tuesdays and a 500g queen prawn special on Thursdays. If the weather is cold, try a bowl of their hearty potato, chorizo and kale soup.
For a venue with a little more sophistication, there’s the Griffin at Illovo Junction, Illovo. The Griffin offers a sizeable selection of locally and internationally produced premier craft beer and wine.
Its menu features simply prepared, fresh, seasonal fare in a trendy setting. For small bites, go for the duck spring rolls with plum sauce, spring onion and chilli-ginger dipping sauce, or share a meze or Mexican platter with a colleague. A more substantial alternative would be the slow-roast pork belly on potato and onion bake with fresh peas, asparagus and jus. For more information, call +27 (0)11 447 9842.
Escape South African culture for a few hours by indulging your senses at Cubaña, at Shop 2, Menlyn Piazza, corner of Lois Avenue and Glen Manor Avenue in Pretoria.
This Latino social café and eatery, one of a countrywide franchise, comprises a cocktail bar and cigar lounge complemented by innovative and tasty cuisine. Feel the Latino beat as you step inside and order your first thirst-quenching cocktail from a selection created by professional mixologists.
Follow up with a traditional chicken burrito or, for a meatier dish, the flame-grilled BBQ lamb chops are a winner. If you’re in a big group, a seafood basket to share – prawn skewer mussels, calamari rings and creamy garlic sauce – is a good choice. For more information, call +27 (0)12 348 4527.
Situated in the trendy, repurposed Maboneng Precinct in Johannesburg’s inner city, Living Room at Main Change Building, 20 Kruger Street (tel: +27 (0)11 029 0556), bills itself as an “eco urban venue”.
When the precinct was earmarked for urban renewal, the owners spied the Main Change Building with its sprawling city views as the perfect spot for a rooftop terrace. Sundowners come in a choice of tipple, while a piquant tapas menu satisfies most. The butternut and sweet potato fries with a dip are a perennial favourite.
So why fight the rush-hour traffic? Take it easy, kick back and relax for a couple of hours in good company.