It’s official. US business magazine, Forbes, has named Kalk Bay in Cape Town and Maboneng in Johannesburg as two of the “coolest neighbourhoods in the world”. We even outdid New York’s Manhattan and London’s Soho districts.
The good news is that Maboneng is at our doorstep. Within 30 minutes from any of our guesthouses, our guests can stroll amongst world-class urban delights including galleries, hip boutiques, funky cafés and vibey street culture.
Let’s have a look at some of Maboneng’s delightful offerings:
This quaint 10-table space is known for its healthy breakfasts. Their Israeli Breakfast is exceptionally delicious. It consists of a plain omelette served with pita, hummus, a cucumber tomato salad, pickled cabbage, cottage cheese and olives. Other mouth-watering meals include salmon latka (potato rosti) and macon and egg kitka toast, which is like French toast made with the traditional Jewish kitka. Their menu is helpfully labeled with symbols for those on special diets.
The Bioscope is Jozi’s one and only independent cinema. Thank goodness we get to see alternative movies not for the consumption of the masses! This little cinema keeps Joburg audiences on their toes, exposing us to interesting social commentary and challenging our strongly held beliefs. This year also saw the opening of the Bioscope Outdoor Cinema on the rooftop of the same building that houses The Bioscope. It is heart-warming to see so many diverse people sitting in harmony on colourful beanbags under the starry South African skies.
No Maboneng to-do list is complete without mentioning the Market on Main. Joburgers young and old flock to this buzzing market on a Sunday to sample the naturally-produced food and craft beer on offer. Food is not the only reason to visit the market. There are a myriad of remarkable stalls with vintage clothing, furniture and other locally produced goodies on sale. Overseas guests staying with us put this cooking pot of different cultures right at the top of their Joburg-experiences list.
For us, the iwasshot in Joburg undertaking is a perfect example of Joburg’s big heartedness – and its ability to creatively inspire community projects. The project initially started with providing disposable cameras to street children to capture their stories on film. This was then converted into art and sold at a gallery on Arts on Main. Now the project has branched out to include iwastrashed and iwasmade – all locally-made, handcrafted items for sale via their website and at the market. There are also many popup stores across Joburg, including at the Rosebank Mall. If you have not had a chance to visit Market on Main or one of these shops, visit their online store. You will find a perfectly unique gift.
A new development area in Maboneng, Aerial Empire, now houses the Time Anchor Distillery. Time Anchor has a tasting room for appraising small batches of local artisanal spirits. The distillery also offers tours and gin tastings on weekends.
As we mentioned at the beginning – we are right up there with the very best in the world.