5 restaurants outside Johannesburg worth checking out this long weekend

There is nothing better than a long weekend road trip. Take in the views, see what the locals have to offer, be a tourist in your own country and of course, discover the best restaurants.

On this Heritage Day these places are worth seeing, they are all proudly local and best of all, they are about an hour’s drive from Johannesburg.

Five restaurants outside of Johannesburg you should try

Nirox Sculpture Park

A sculpture park and artist’s residence, with workshops and open-air concert halls, located in Krugersdorp, just an hour’s drive from central Johannesburg.

The artists’ center is a magnificent Region surrounded by forests, rivers and lots of nature.

The restaurant in Nirox Park is called And then there was the fire and due to the oasis’ clean and natural backdrop, the restaurant menu is inspired by it.

Hosted by chef Bernando, the Argentinian says he was immediately inspired by the music and art presented at Nirox.

“The food that the earth provides us and the beauty that surrounds us” is the motto.

The menu is a variety of grilled vegetables and salads. Daily cuts include delicious prime rib on the bone, Asian duck breast with five spices.

The food is quite affordable considering you need a palate around the world. For foodies, ceviche, tempura, Lebanese meatballs and much more should also be viewed.

Budget R150 for food, with alcoholic drinks – ciders, etc. – from only R26.

Menlyn rockets

A restaurant not very family-friendly in the evening but nonetheless a perfect place for a younger group. About an hour’s drive from central Johannesburg, Menlyn rockets on the roof of the Time Square Casino, there is a real sunset atmosphere.

The views show the best of what Tshwane has to offer.

Rockets as a brand is large and reputable in Johannesburg and they have several locations around the country.

READ ALSO: Rockets Menlyn Opens Despite Six-Month Setback

Not just the drinks, the famous DJs on the decks every night, the food at Rockets Menlyn is also good and affordable.

The menu is extensive and separately offers sophisticated tapas-style dishes. Mini burgers with bacon and blue cheese; Mexican quesadillas; grilled meats, pizzas, slowly braised pork belly on a bed of mashed potatoes and butternut, it is clear that there is something for everyone on the menu.

If you are not satisfied with the main course, the desserts, always elegantly served, are a must-try. Revisited classics like French crème brûlée, Milo cheesecake and homemade salted caramel ice cream.

For a party of four, budget R300 and more for food. Cocktails start from R70, the wine and champagne options are endless.

Level seven

Now that’s good food.

Laid-back opulence, a getaway to the heart of Ekurhuleni, Level Seven restaurant and Sky Bar at the Radisson Blue OR Tambo Hotel are more or less a 45-minute drive away.

When we last spoke to Signature restaurateur Desmond Mabuza in Morningside in July, he knew full well that people traveled a distance to have a “stylish” experience.

RELATED: PHOTOS: Top-notch Fine Dining at Level Seven Restaurant

The highlight of our visit was the kingklip fillet stuffed with smoked salmon, served with mashed sweet potatoes with sautéed spinach and a white butter tomato sauce.

As a restaurant outside of Johannesburg offering a fine dining experience, this is a perfect romantic and budget getaway from R800.


Mediterranean restaurant is nestled in the heart of the Cradle of Humanity.

The menu consists of mezze and tapas from various Mediterranean cuisines. It is also suitable for those who want larger portions, such as homemade pasta, salads, and a variety of appetizing burgers.

Actor and presenter Thapelo Mokoena is the man behind Molitva. They have teamed up with Stella Artois and the restaurant is ideal for family getaways. Unfortunately, however, Mokoena’s Nero Wine Bosman is not currently available.

An average pasta dish starts from R95, seafood and burgers are from R120.

Casalinga organic farm

Muldersdrift is home to many hidden gems in the area and the Casalinga Organic Farm is one of them. Also less than an hour from Johannesburg, the lodge prides itself on its coffee and delicatessen.

It is very spacious, ideal for a large family, picnics and offers a local organic garden. The He cafe located in the lodge offers breakfast and dinner options, and it is possible to have your food to take away for your private picnic inside the site.

Budget around R80 for lunch options and for selection of main courses above R140.

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