Family-friendly foodie destinations to visit this summer

Neighbourhoods, Lifestyle



Check out these foodie centred hot spots serving up some of South Africa's best local produce:

Parkhurst, Johannesburg

Parkhurst is one of Johannesburg's most densely populated residential areas known affectionately as 'The Parks'. This charming suburb brings with it a friendly, small-town vibe and it's well-loved by families and young professionals alike for it's bustling high street. A walk down 4th avenue will meet you with lively coffee shops, antique sellers and some of Joburg's favourite restaurants. Certainly not the place to visit if you're looking for the city's greatest tourist attractions but this delightful suburb will give you a taste of what it is like to live like a local.

Kolonaki Greek Kouzina

Your new Greek go-to, Kolonaki is the perfect combination of upmarket and relaxed. It has all your favourite traditional Greek dishes, boasting bold flavours and a modern twist. The warm and welcoming setting is beautifully decorated and feels as if you're seated in the heart of Greece. Meze style dining is a favourite and enables you to taste the varied menu. The service is superb and the staff are extremely friendly. They are fully licensed and have a generator for your load shedding troubles. Note that there are plenty of delicious vegetarian options too.

Address: 18, 4th Ave, Corner 9th Street, Parkhurst.

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Botanist Rotisserie and Bar

The Botanist Rotisserie is based on healthy, clean eating, serving free-range chickens from Viljoenkroon in the Free State. Along with perfectly seasoned and succulent dishes, you can order beautifully made, fresh salads and starches. This little gem is perfect for drinks and al fresco dining in the summer. The space is delightfully plant-filled and epitomizes simple casual dining. It also has wraps and handmade flatbread based dishes that can be accompanied by delicious dips and sauces. If that isn't enough chickeny-goodness for you, you can try the sumptuous triple cooked potatoes finished with drippings straight from the rotisserie.

Address: 21, 4th Avenue, Parkhurst.

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Coobs is an institution in Parkhurst and is the first restaurant that began the Diack restaurant empire. Most of the ingredients come from the Brightside Farm, the owner James Diack’s family farm, situated in the Magaliesberg. The owners are committed to seasonal and sustainable produce so of course, this means that the menu changes regularly depending on what is available but this keeps the menu fun and fresh.

The menu consists of a variety of farm style starters, some light lunches, and excellent desserts. The chefs take great care in the cooking of the vegetable dishes and there are some lovely pasta options as well. Satisfyingly unpretentious, Coobs is child and dog-friendly and has proved to be a solid family favourite over the many years they have been in operation.

Address: 38, 4th Ave, Parkhurst.

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Vredehoek, Cape Town

The Mother City is known for its world-class fine dining restaurants but it's the quiet suburbs that really showcase the food culture of the Cape. Located at the base of Table Mountain, beautiful leafy green Vredehoek is popular with young families and DINKYs (double income, no kids yet). Vredehoek, directly translated as "corner of peace", is home to the tranquil Deer Park Forest perfect for early morning and late afternoon walks. From the slopes of Devil's peak it has access to some of the most breathtaking views of the city and in the last few years has been home to some exciting and unique restaurant experiences.

The Woodlands Eatery

As you enter Woodlands you're met with a succulent plant wall covering the entire entrance of this cosy eatery. Famous for it's wood-fired pizza and it's Italian inspired menu, you can enjoy fresh salads, gnocchi, burgers and pasta made in-house. This local neighborhood eatery with its upbeat vibe is sure to impress but make sure to book to avoid disappointment. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available.

Address: 2 Deerpark Dr W, Vredehoek.

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Deer Park Cafe

This cafe sits at the top of an immaculately maintained public park and its outdoor seating opens up to jungle gyms for the kids. They serve lovely breakfasts and their lunch menu offers zingy salads, burgers, and pizzas. The daily specials change according to the availability of fresh produce and this makes for something exciting to try with every visit. This restaurant is family-centered with a dedicated children's menu that is geared to please. If you're not hungry enough for a big lunch, it's the perfect spot for coffee and a sweet treat. . You're welcome to bring along your canine companions as well.

Address: 2 Deer Park Drive, Vredehoek.

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Bao Down

On the edges of Vredehoek, lies one of the most exciting new restaurants the city bowl has seen in years. The menu is limited but purposefully so as the chef-owners Graham Oldfield and his wife Phillipa serve up brilliantly bold small plates designed for sharing. With mixed culinary influences from Japan, Korea, and China, the menu revolves around the simple steamed bun or bao. Make sure to try the daily specials. Be sure to book as you'll be fighting off some die-hard locals for a spot in this eighteen seater eatery.

Address: 3 Vredehoek Ave, Oranjezicht.

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Morningside, Durban

Bordered by the Umgeni and Berea rivers, Morningside is a well-known suburb of Durban that is near enough to the city center to enjoy all its offerings but far enough from the hustle and bustle of town to explore the quiet secluded suburbs. You can enjoy the park with the family, take a trip to the iconic Durban July racecourse, explore the Mitchell Park zoo with the kids, shout for your favorite team at the stadium or simply chill out at the beachfront along the Golden Mile. There's plenty to do in Morningside in the way of recreation but its real charm lies in its culinary offerings. Florida road and surrounds have countless food lined streets with bars, cafes, and family-friendly restaurants.


It was with the devastating Florida road closures that the famous Italian staple, Spiga had to close its doors after sixteen years in operation. Lucky for us it has reopened and is serving up its much loved Italian classics. Like any good Italian restaurant, Spiga is all about enjoying simple, delicious Italian classics in a casual family-friendly environment. Watch the rugby, enjoy time with your family and relax here as the well-loved Santoniccolo family serve you their best. Famous for its linguini de casa and it's wood-fired pizza, these menu items are a must-try and will leave you wanting more.

Address: 465 Innes Road, Windermere, Morningside.

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D'Urban Burger Co.

This restaurant concept is delightfully simple with no starters or desserts, the focus is purely on the mighty burger. Showcasing street-food style with a Moroccan twist, D'urban Burger Co. offers a selection of burgers as well as a vegan falafel option. Bun-less options are available for the carb conscious and all the burgers are topped with onion marmalade, basil pesto, chilli relish, tzatziki and hummus. If you're in the mood for a quick bite come join Chef Khutso Nhlanhla Masethe and sample their tasty Halaal certified offerings.

Address: Shop R26, Park Square , 5&9 Park Avenue, Umhlanga Ridge.

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Mali's Indian Restaurant

A visit to Durban would not be complete without sampling the spicy Indian food that the city is famous for. The food at Mali's outshines the simple decor in this cosy, family-friendly restaurant. Start your evening off with some tasty starters like samosas, gobi, and pakora.

Specializing in Southern Indian cuisine, it's recommended that you try the dosas, uttapam, and idly. There are wonderful vegetarian options as well and of course there are all the traditional Indian sides that you could want. If the multitude of menu items cause indecision then a good option is to order a few mains to share as a table so that you can make sure to enjoy all Mali's has to offer.

Address: 77 Smiso Nkwanaya Road, Morningside.

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