10 Top Cheap Eats in Johannesburg

Don't let your budget keep you from enjoying delicious food | © Dan Gold / Unsplash
Don't let your budget keep you from enjoying delicious food | © Dan Gold / Unsplash
Photo of Carina Claassens
2 July 2018

Johannesburg is fast becoming one of the top foodie destinations in South Africa, but that doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank when eating out. We’ve rounded up the top cheap eats in the city so you can stretch your cash and satisfy your cravings.

Cafe Picobella Trattoria

Pizzeria, Restaurant, Italian
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Nothing beats a classic Margherita pizza
Nothing beats a classic Margherita pizza | © Petrovhey / Pixabay

There’s no need to splurge to get your fill of traditional Italian cuisine. Cafe Picobella Trattoria, in the heart of trendy Melville, serves up dishes originating from pretty much all over Italy. They’re known for their tasty pizzas (all under R100 or £6.15), but they also serve a mean melanzane and the best osso buco this side of Milan.

Dosa Hut

Restaurant, Indian, Street Food
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Traditional dosa
Traditional dosa | © Nurabooo / Pixabay

The suburb of Fordsburg is the Indian capital of Johannesburg and the home of budget-friendly Dosa Hut. The restaurant has an extensive menu and it includes a few non-Indian dishes. The prices are extremely reasonable and patrons can pick up a delicious dosa (from masala to lamb) for as little as R35 or £2.15.

Hello Tomato

Pizzeria, Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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This trendy takeaway joint serves Italian cuisine to go made using only the freshest ingredients. They try to keep meals authentic while keeping prices as reasonable as possible. So if you’re spending an evening binge-watching your favourite series, look no further than Hello Tomato for the ultimate comfort food to keep you company.

Humble Harry’s

Cafe, Restaurant, Contemporary, Healthy, South African, $$$
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Homemade pie
Homemade pie | Courtesy of Humble Harry's
Humble Harry’s is, exactly as its name suggests, a quaint eatery serving unpretentious food and is a favourite meeting spot for locals. The breakfast menu is large and the reasonable prices are no reflection of the large portions. If you stop by for lunch or dinner, you can fill up on anything from salads to pies, pastas or the massive burgers, which are all under R100 or £6.15.

J’s Diner

Restaurant, Portuguese, Fast Food, South African, Street Food, $$$
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Mozambican Portuguese chicken is a firm South African favourite, and J’s Diner has become synonymous with the dish. Opt for a full chicken if you’re hungry and choose between lemon and herb or peri-peri flavouring. Other Portuguese options on the menu include trinchado, prawns and chicken pregos, all for under R100 or £6.15.

Park Café

Cafe, Restaurant, Healthy, Coffee, Fast Food, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
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Park Café is one of the most popular breakfast spots in Parkwood, and the attractive prices help to explain why. The large menu includes many banting-friendly options, and offers breakfasts as well as fresh salads and sandwiches. The homemade chicken pie, served with salad, is a steal at only R70 or £4.30; and don’t forget to try the freshly baked cakes, which are a bargain at only R45 (£2.70) a slice.

Satori Restaurant

Restaurant, Pizzeria, Italian
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Another Italian favourite, Satori, is situated in the vibey neighbourhood of Linden. From mouthwatering starters to pastas and a large selection of pizzas, the menu boasts low prices and hefty portions, perfect for family gatherings.

The Schwarma Co

Restaurant, Mediterranean, Greek, Street Food, $$$
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Falafel | © congerdesign / Pixabay
The Schwarma Co in Norwood’s bustling Grant Avenue serves the best of Mediterranean cuisine. The starter menu includes a variety of dips and spreads accompanied by falafel (get seven balls for only R40 or £2.50) and other delicacies. The lamb schwarma, at only R85 (£5.20) and filled with all the extras you desire, is a must-have.

Urban Angel

Restaurant, Contemporary, Healthy, $$$
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Using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, Urban Angel serves healthy meals that are free of any additives and preservatives. The restaurant has an impressive breakfast menu and a range of healthy smoothies on offer. Their peppadew peppers, stuffed with feta and mozzarella and coated with grain-free crumbs before being deep-fried and served with a creamy brinjal relish, are out of this world. There are many options on the menu for R100/£6.15 or less, so you’re bound to find a wallet-friendly dish.

Delta Café

Cafe, Restaurant, Healthy, Tea , South African, $$$
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Delta Café is a popular breakfast and brunch spot, and easily one of the most affordable restaurants in the city. Trees provide shade and tower over the relaxing outdoor area, the food is mostly organic and free range and Bean There coffee satisfies caffeine cravings. Nothing on the menu is priced over R100/£6.15, from burgers to sandwiches to salads and pastas; whatever you’re after, you’ll find it here.

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