Holiday season has officially come to a close, awkward office hugs have been exchanged as most people settle back into reality and the heaviness of the dreaded January budgets has begun to meander over us. A week ago restaurants were packed to the brim and bookings were a must as people jumped at the opportunity to toast to everything. It’s a different time now, one of the best times to be alive for those who used their money wisely and are now have the cheese to capitalise on all the sales without any of the queues.
But, for those of you who went all out over the holidays and lived your best life with a carefree “who cares how much it costs" mentality? You don’t have to hibernate until payday, not everything has to cost you an arm and a leg, especially in Joburg. This is the City of Gold and the gold, in its many forms, is plentiful. We’ve drawn up a list of five places that you can grab a yummy bite to eat for less than R60.
The food, apart from being mouth-watering, is an aesthetic masterpiece, seasonally selected and locally sourced. They do all day breakfast and if we must be honest that’s really necessary for those days when you’re feeling rather fragile. They do it all from a simple Greek yoghurt, to French toast, bacon and eggs and even choc flapjacks – it’s a warm-homey fix in the belly of the city if you ask me. The lunch menu is mostly sandwich based and includes favourites like the Post Cheese Burger, the traditional Prego, grilled halloumi as well as a salmon and chickpea salad. That’s not even the best part! Nothing on their menu will cost you more than R60 which I think is a freaken bargain considering how delicious everything is.
Address: 70 Juta Street, Braamfontein
2. Jo'anna’s Melt Bar
Sweet, sweet Jo'anna’s and it’s larger than life sarmies! When it comes to their sarmies they aren’t merely streets ahead in terms of the deliciousness but there’s also life in those slices of bread – they’re HUGE man! Get yourself a Jimmy the Blond which has grilled cheddar cheese and salami or a Green Belt which has gouda cheese on cooked spinach with feta, caramelized onion, pepper and mushrooms. There’s also the Hot Rod with melted ementaler and mozzarella cheese with fried potatoes and onions topped with sliced chorizo and jalapenos or the Side Walk which has mozzarella cheese, grilled mushrooms fried tomato, egg and bacon. Either or, whatever you choose can you believe that you won’t have to part with more than R60 and you’ll definitely be full.
Address: 7 7th Street, Melville
3. Gema Trattoria and Pizzeria
Gema Trattoria and Pizzeria is a family-run trattoria from Northern Italy and has been in the business for more than 10 years. The inside is like an old fashioned Italian home (well my idea of one because heaven knows that I’ve never been to Italy) with a high pressed ceiling and rich wooden floors that look like they could unpack a decade’s worth of secrets. Not all the prices on this here menu have the R60 cap but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get your fill to eat. Except for when the sun is scorching hot I think a lasagne is always a win, you could also go for the parmigiana, spaghetti, amatriciana or one of their glorious pizzas which present themselves with a large variety of toppings – all of which are less than R60! Yassssssssss!
Address: 143 Queen Street, Kensington
4. Elm Street Café
I feel like sometimes we run around in the same circles on our food expeditions visiting the best known Joburg foodie hubs which I get, I also prefer a small guarantee when it comes to the quality of my food and the service if I’m going to be spending money on it. But, sometime, perhaps more this year, we (well those of us who don’t do it enough) should at least try and dabble in new waters and try out new locations and foods. This one is taking us to Edenvale… you won’t get a lot for less than R60 but you do have a few choices especially when it comes to their sandwiches, wraps and salads which I think are great lunch treats because you aren’t left feeling so stuffed that you can barely function for the rest of the day.
Address: 2 Dowerglen Plaza, Elm St, Dowerglen, Edenvale
5. Mexican Fresh
Mexican Fresh is also a family-run business that offers you a taste of Mexican food without parting with a fortune and crossing borders. Like any real ass Mexican joint they specialise in burritos, nachos (with plenty of cheese), fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, chimichangas and quesadillas preparing every dish the traditional way. For under R60 you can get yourself a Maximo chicken burrito, a Baha beef burrito, a grilled veg Americano soft taco, enchiladas or even the Oreo puffs. They’re also all about fashioning each dish to satisfy your taste buds, showing that quality service doesn’t cost a damn cent, so let them know how spicy you can handle.
Address: Riverview Shopping Centre, Corner Conrad Drive and Hillcrest Avenue, Blairgowrie
See… even you can still afford to eat out on a budget!