The bohemian village of Parkhurst is one of the best places to live in Joburg, particularly if you’re single. I lived in this quaint suburb for 10 happy years – check out my superb little home.
I now rent my house out to a lovely young couple who recently returned from London after being away from home for 8 years. I too would return; despite the wonderful culture, art and Broadway, those drab, grey winters would depress the crap out of me; give me Joburg’s pale blue cloudless sky in winter any day.
I digress, Parkhurst has the best sidewalk cafe culture in Joburg; bistro’s, antique shops and lifestyle boutiques line 4th Avenue. Eating out is an adventure on this busy strip. Bottega, a small, noisy enclave has great food. What it lacks in pretentiousness, it makes up for in taste. My best dish is the Fillet Porcini. Owner and chef, Saverio is very hands on, which shows, as the quality never wanes.
Georges on 4th – Ahh, I have a yen for their chicken schnitzel with basil mash potato and bok choy, but I also love the bacon and vodka pasta. There’s now an open air space above the restaurant which offers great views of the street – the waiters are a little scatty but nice.
A definite favourite of mine is Espresso - especially when I’m hungry – their Beef Prego’s and shoe-lace fries – always hit the spot. Espresso offers consistently good comfort food, excellent service and has a wonderful vibe, although (this could be my age talking), the crowd seems to be getting younger and more raucous by the minute. But, at least they’re pretty to look at!
For the best Cappuccino there is no better place than 4th Avenue Coffee Roasters. This tiny, stand up place offers the perfect caffeine fix. Besides creating delicious food, The Attic chef, Tom Hughes, (who also owns The Office in Greenside) supplements his menu with naturally raised poultry, grass fed beef and SASSI approved fish. The dishes are fusion-flavoured and unusual, but the service is poor, which kind of spoils the experience. The adjoining bar is one of two’ of Parkhurst’s late night hangouts; the other is The Jolly Roger.
The Jolly Roger is a Joburg staple – it’s been around forever. Juke box music, smokey, cheap and heaving with atmosphere; it’s patron’s are a combination of down-and-out regulars and young, not-so-innocent students. Enjoy half price pizza on Wednesdays & Sundays. This place beats the pants off the androgynous franchised bars littering Joburg’s suburbs.
Further down the road is Bistro Vine. It get’s rave reviews however, the only time I ate there, I wasn’t overly impressed.
Nice Chefs Photo: House & Leisure
And then there’s Nice! Owner Carla is onto a winning formula – the restaurant and the book shop come restaurant are both fab. The food is better than nice, in fact it’s superb and the quirky, offbeat atmosphere is very welcoming. Try the chicken pie!
Parkhurst offers a diverse range of lifestyle stores and stylish designer fashion boutiques….. More tomorrow.