I am often asked what the best halaal restaurants in Johannesburg are. I have my opinions but I conducted some polls on social media as well and there were a few that came up, time and again. Of course, everyone may not agree as restaurant reviews are usually based on personal preferences and experiences. As such, they are very subjective. The list below consists of those that I have personally experienced and enjoyed. I will be updating the list as I find new restaurants to recommend. Be sure to subscribe to the free newsletter for updates.
Adega is one of Johannesburg's most loved restaurants. It offers traditional Portuguese cuisine at its best. Everyone in my family has their favourite dish at Adega. Mine are the prawns which are absolutely delicious. The LM Chicken and the creative mocktails are also must- haves. There are several sharing options too. The Fordsburg branch closed down during lockdown unfortunately but Lenasia still has a halaal branch. Find them here.
Yes, Pizza Del Forno has great pizza but it has much more than that. They have innovative gourmet burgers, pastas, meat dishes as well as decadent desserts, mocktails, and deluxe shakes too! They also introduce new items regularly, in keeping with the seasonal changes. They are situated in Killarney Mall. Find them here.
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Col'Cacchio is also known for its innovative pizzas but they make much more than pizzas too. We've tried the steak, the chicken, desserts and drinks. There are so many tempting flavours of pizzas that it can be difficult to choose a flavor. Fortunately, there are half and half options available. The food is excellent, the spicing just right, and the textures perfect. The service is great too.
Halaal branches can be found in Eastgate, Mall of the South and Rand Steam Shopping Centre. (Parktown)
Restaurants in Fordsburg have a high turnover rate but Kashifs is one of those that has stood the test of time. What I like about the menu is that it consists of a variety of fusion dishes and unusual dishes that you won’t find everywhere else. My personal favourite dishes are the Peshawary Ghost with naan and the deli ice cream or tira misu for dessert. Find them here.
Halaal buffets are scarce in Johannesburg but Lal Qila offers an expansive buffet consisting of mainly North Indian dishes, interspersed with some Western and other Asian cuisine. As part of the Palm Continental Hotel offering, it has been quite popular since it opened in 2016. The setting makes it a good choice for halaal business lunches and dinners too. You can expect tandooris, beryanis, kormas etc. The kitchen area is open and you can watch the chefs at work. When it’s time for dessert, be sure to ask for some kulfi which is kept in the freezer. Be sure to go hungry. Find them here.
This restaurant is owned by Masterchef SA Contestant Ozzy Osman, who has trained at some of the best hotels in the country (like The Saxon, Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, and the One&Only Cape Town so you can expect exceptional halaal fine dining. This is one of the only halaal restaurants in South Africa to serve Wagyu beef , which is the most expensive beef in the world. The casual fine-dining menu is only available on Friday and Saturday evenings, and Sundays for lunch. There is a light menu available the rest of the time. Do make a reservation before you go. Find them here.
Calistos now has several halaal branches in Johannesburg, although the original halaal branch in Fordsburg has closed down. They specialise in Portuguese cuisine, but the menu is quite diverse and offers delectable seafood, pizzas, pastas, flame-grilled chicken, fillet steak and more. Find them here.
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This is one of very few restaurants in Johannesburg that offers strictly halaal fine dining. The outdoor rooftop venue is beautiful, the service is good. the plating is inspired and the food is good. It's the ideal halaal venue for a special occasion or even a business meal. Make sure you try the chocolate fondant if it is available.
I love Thai food and Simply Asia does have the best halaal Thai food in Johannesburg. My favourite , and those of most people I speak to is the 514 – Ba-Mee Prik-Phao (Roasted Chilli Paste and Cashew Nut Noodles). However I have tried other dishes on the menu like the 622 - Linguine Phad Tom Yum and have not been disappointed. Find them here.
Stands out among the many Indo/Paki/Bangladeshi restaurants in Fordsburg because the food rarely disappoints. The restaurant has been around for a long while and is usually busy, which is a testament to its popularity. Do order the chicken jalfrezi and the butter chicken. Find them here.
Dosa Hut specialises in South Indian dishes and indeed it is one of few halaal restaurants in Johannesburg that does. South Indian dishes may not be everyones cup of tea but I personally enjoy it. As the name suggests, their specialty is the dosa which it a large ultra-thin crepe with a choice of filling/stuffing. Be sure to try the traditional masala dosa which has a spicy potato filling, and the idlis as well as the mint lemonade and the almond milkshake. They have recently introduced a breakfast buffet too. Find them here.
Thali is another South Indian restaurant in Fordsburg. Their food is delicious and offers great value for money. Do try their namesake, the Thali. It feeds two.
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Brooklyn Brothers Bedfordview
Great gourmet burgers, shakes and mocktails. The garlic parmesan fries are amazing.
RocoMamas (Melrose Arch and Nelson Mandela Square)
For their smash burgers, cheesy fries and cheese bombs
For their naan burger that feeds 4, their onion rings and their clay oven pizzas.
Papparotis (Fourways Mall)
Go there for their Haji Ali/Mumbai sandwiches and their world-famous signature buns imported from Malaysia. The sandwiches are spicy potato and chutney filled delicacies. The buns...are something else. Don't be fooled by their unassuming exterior. The fragrant coffee coated bun is crispy on the outside and light and fluffy and full of buttery goodness inside. Wash it all down with a mug of hot karak chai.
Kauai (Sandton City and Cresta)
For their delicious healthy wraps and superfood smoothies.
The following shopping centres have a lot of halaal options:
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What are your favourite halaal restaurants in Johannesburg?
Which restaurants do you think should be added to this list? Let me know in the comments below.
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