Comfort Food Spots in Jozi

Comfort food is all about those dishes that are nostalgic, taking us back to our childhood, or those meals that we just love to indulge in come winter because they’re warm, hearty and, well, delicious. Satisfy your soul and cravings by visiting one of these Joburg restaurants serving up some good comfort food.


This brand-new eatery (it only opened on 1 May) is already getting rave reviews for its soulful township cuisine and insane portions. We’re talking massive Slyza toasties (beef patties smothered in cheese with jalapeno and caramelised onions), kotas (a quarter loaf of bread hollowed out and filled will ingredients such as atchar, polony, slap chips, cheese, egg and Russian sausage) with all the trimmings and good old Russian and chips.

Details: 69 Auret Street Maboneng Precinct / 073 510 3037 /


The Italian restaurant with its cosy atmosphere is basically a landmark in the area – expect it to be full and lively on any given day. Located in the busy Colony Centre on Jan Smuts Avenue, Pronto is open for breakfast, lunch and supper, which means you can have your pick of comfort dishes. For breakfast, treat yourself to dark chocolate griddle cakes made with Belgian chocolate buttons, drizzled with Belgian chocolate sauce and topped with chocolate swirled mascarpone. For mains, try one of their classic pastas – we adore the slow-cooked Bolognese and fettuccine with a very generous sprinkling of Parmesan.

Details: The Colony Shopping Centre, 345 Jan Smuts Avenue, Craighall / 011 447 4346

Lucky Bean

This one is a favourite with the locals – and for good reason. Their food is incredible, service fantastic and ambience vibey yet laid-back. The food is contemporary and they offer an excellent wine and cocktail selection. We’re big fans of the lamb shank, slow cooked with white wine, with mint Gremolata, lemon rind and garlic with baby vegetables. Although we have it on good authority that the oxtail soup with dumplings and the Lucky Bean “Portuguese” steak – rump with a rich red wine and onion gravy and served with fat chips and a soft poached egg – also hit the spot.

Details: 16 on 7th Street, Melville / 011 482 5572 /

The Steamworks

The unique gastropub features dynamic, modern pub food – all complemented by their extensive selection of local craft and imported beers on taps, the usual favourite bottled beers and imported beers. Besides their delicious pizzas (comfort food of note), try out the homemade nachos with cheddar, guacamole, tomato salsa, sour cream and jalapenos, or the popcorn chicken sandwich with candied bacon and cider aioli – they’re sure to sate any hunger.

Details: Corner Sunset Avenue and Forest Drive, Lonehill /

Warm & Glad

The hipster hangout in Craighall – just down the road from Pronto – is characterised by its super-chilled interiors and delicious Asian-inspired food. For us, nothing beats biting into a juicy burger dripping with warm gooey cheese, which is why we’re in love (yes, completely in love) with their cheese burger with cheddar, a house-made brioche, special sauce and a side order of Parmesan fries. And for dessert it has to be a toss-up between the banana sundae with peanut butter caramel, banana cream, crème fraiche and vanilla ice cream, or the totally decadent chocolate mousse with Maldon salt and whipped cream. Yummy.

Details: Albans Square, 357 Jan Smuts Avenue, Craighall Park / 011 781 0455 /

Black Horse

The family-friendly restaurant on the brewery estate in Magaliesburg prides itself on its urban alehouse menu using only the freshest local ingredients prepared in an unpretentious manner. The home-style comfort food pairs perfectly with their selection of microbrewery craft beers and season cocktails. Start off the show with creamy peri-peri chicken livers – which can be made spicy or not – served with naan bread. Try the Black Horse smoked ribs basted with a tangy barbecue basting or the eisbein, deep fried until crispy, and served with a rosemary, onion and black pepper stock, sauerkraut and a side of your choice for mains. For dessert, you can’t beat traditional milk tart or malva pudding served with homemade custard or ice cream.

Details: 32 Seekoeihoek /Bekker Schools Road, Magaliesburg / 082 453 5295 /

Urban Angel

The owner-cum-chef of Urban Angel, the popular bakery and eatery in Boskruin, is passionate about good food – which is why the concept for the menu was inspired by what his grandparents ate. All the dishes are prepared from scratch and sourced from fresh, locally sourced products and goods. For brekkie, nothing goes down better than the French favourite of a croque monsieur, a sandwich of sourdough bread, Gruyère cheese and béchamel sauce and a choice of roast pork belly or wild mushroom. For the main attraction, try the butter chicken curry served with rice and flat bread, or feast on the battered fish and chips.

Details: Corner President Fouche and Hawken Road, Boskruin / 011 010 2777 /


The contemporary bistro, situated in Parkhurst’s bustling Fourth Avenue, serves up comfort food at its best. The seasonal menu and specials change regularly, depending on what fresh produce was sourced that day. We can’t get enough of the umami chicken – crispy, fried baby chicken legs and panko-crusted chicken breast served with an Asian mushroom ragout and a choice of a side – the Coobs smoky organic chicken alfredo and the confit Brightside pork belly and slow-braised pork shoulder served with truffle potato bake, honey-glazed veg, roasted carrot purée and crispy crackling. The syrup waffle featuring dulce ice cream, caramel dots, coconut shards and a smoky macaroon is the perfect ending.

Details: 38 4th Ave, Parkhurst / 011 447 0710 /

Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.

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