Corner Langerman Drive and Queen Street, Kensington
Tel: 072 918 8824
Abyssinia has become ever more popular since moving from the inner city to the suburbs, and small wonder considering the consistently glorious food. The menu is a tad confusing, with scant explanation, so a good chat with the owners or servers is the best way forward here. A good bet is to go for the mahbrawi, the ‘bit-of-everything’ option: this comprises an enormous beautiful injera (flat-bread made from teff grain) studded with tiny heaps of wats (stews) and other goods. Flavours in each item are delicate and distinct.
707 White City, Soweto
Tel: 072 388 1985
Situated opposite that once-famous spot, The Rock, this place is the quintessential shisa nyama (braai spot). At the butchery you can select meat and hand it to one of the braai assistants, who will gladly do the hard work while you turn your attention to the more important game of socialising with a drink in hand. For R60 you can get a substantial serving of chicken, wors, steak and pap to feed four. The other benefit is that you save on drinks if you stock up your cooler box with cheap alcohol bought elsewhere. There is plenty of eye-candy to keep you entertained while you wait for your meat.
618 Makhalemele Street, Dube Township, Soweto
Tel: 011 982 2796
A cosy restaurant in the middle of this huge “township”, popular with both locals and tourists alike. The restaurant has played host to luminaries as Richard Branson, Evander Holyfield, Jesse Jackson and the All Blacks. For those who seek a touch of the exotic, the establishment serves indigenous cuisine such as dumplings, mogodu, ting (soft porridge), pap and umqushu (samp), as well as mutton, lamb, beef and chicken. Vegetarians are spoilt for choice, with six different salads on the menu, including coleslaw, French salad, beetroot, potato salad, tuna fish salad and chakalaka.
Shop 123, Medical Arts Building, Corner of Jeppe and Troye Streets, Joburg
Tel: 011 333 1074
Netsi’s Ethiopian, in a cosy nook on the third floor of the Little Addis building at 220 Jeppe Street, serving up some of the most delicious lunches in the city. Huge, velvety soft injera breads flopped across enamel platters like bedspreads, are studded with ambrosial little nuggets of deliciousness: chicken and meat wats (stews), glorious lentil somethings, stuffed chile peppers, and more. The ayeb cheese topping – a fresh curd cheese similar to ricotta – is heavenly soaked in stew juices and rolled into the sour injera.
NY 115, Shop 3, Guguletu, Cape Town
Tel: 021 638 1355
Even Jamie Oliver rates the meat at this no-frills butchery/restaurant hybrid. Take your pick from the plethora of protein at the butchery, hand your tray to the braai masters out back, grab a table and tell your arteries to brace themselves. Order a dollop of pap, grab a vetkoek from the spaza next door or bring along rolls and salad if you want something on the side. Um, no vegetarian option available. And… Yes, you definitely want to order some of Mzoli’s secret sauce with your meat. It’s BYO all the way at Mzoli’s, where no alcohol is sold, but there are shebeens nearby if you feel the need.
45 Harlem St, Langa
Tel: 021 694 1656
Mzansi Restaurant was birthed through the vision of Nomonde’s Siyaka mother, who is late. Langa Township is the oldest township in Cape Town and is the most visited by the tourist. It holds a strong historical account of movements against the apartheid government and thus the interest by the tourist. Mzansi Restaurant aims to introduce to the tourist African traditional foods served in the African traditional environment. Music, played by a live band adds to the atmosphere aiding in a complete township restaurant experience.
41 Church St, CBD
Tel: 021 424 5722
Like the original restaurant, Addis in Cape was founded by Senait Mekonnen. It is her vision and her desire to bring a bit of her country and herself to the rest of the world that brought the Addis in Dar concept to the beautiful city of Cape Town. In her own words, Senait states that it was because of the diversity of the people and the energy that the region’s communities generate that she chose to open Addis in Cape in South Africa.
108 Shortmarket street, Heritage Square, Cape Town
Tel: 021 422 0221
Bring your friends – communal feasting is the theme here. Colourful ceramic bowls are all brought to the table at once brimming with hot, traditional African dishes such as beef stews, mango chicken and Xhosa pot bread. Beautiful girls in traditional dress wash your hands with warm rose-scented water before you eat. The service is jolly and organised, and it’s got ubuntu. This multilevel restaurant is a warren of African-themed rooms. There’s a Zulu room, with paper chicken lamps, a Moroccan room with a ceiling lit up with camel cut-outs and an Ndebele room decorated with authentic plastic art.