Dining Out

Best around the world cuisine, best Greek restaurant: Orexi Greek Street Food

Garlic, lemon, origanum – it seems that Greek cuisine turns a few simple ingredients into pure magic. Orexi Greek Street Food’s unique take on this much loved food includes yiros, souvlaki, platters and mezze – perfect for sharing, so that every meal at Orexi becomes an occasion full of laughter and memory-making. www.orexigreekstreetfood.co.za

Best new restaurant: Orexi Greek Street Food: Lakefield

We know readers love the Greek fare at Orexi Greek Street Food, so no wonder the new Lakefield restaurant snapped up our Best New Restaurant award. Well deserved. A treat for a sit down meal – but also a deli (with a little bit of everything Greek) and takeaway (try a Yiro … a Greek delight in every bite!). www.orexigreekstreetfood.co.za Facebook: @orexigreekstreetfood-lakefield 

Best Asian restaurant: Simply Asia

Absolutely to Thai for! Redolent with the tastes of coriander, basil and mint, Simply Asia’s take on Thai food is fresh and delicious. Choose from well known favourites, or make your own new discoveries. There’s a great kids’ menu and sushi, too. – www.simplyasia.co.za, 021 447 4387

Best beat the budget (inexpensive) restaurant, best breakfast, best neighbourhood restaurant, best steak restaurant and best restaurant for a business lunch: Grill O Steakery and Diner

That’s a lot of awards – but they’re all well earned! Insane milkshakes, hearty breakfasts  and juicy burgers are the order of the day at Grill O, but the restaurant is really known for its meat dishes: Signature dishes include steaks with toppings in amazing flavour combinations, while specialties range from prawns to oxtail, schnitzel and good old fish and chips. Check out the full cage ribs if you’re feeling hungry! – www.grillo.co.za, Springsgate Shopping Centre, Geduld, Springs, 011 811 2369

Best bistro: @ The Bistro Rynfield

@ The Bistro Rynfield opens bright and early, at seven thirty every morning, to make sure we get a much-needed caffeine fix – and the fabulousness keeps coming until 5pm. Expect live music, weekend specials, great cocktails and even craft evenings. Look out for the steaks  – they’re superb. – https://www.facebook.com/atthebistro/, 35 Miles Sharp Street Rynfield, 011 425 0512

Best fine dining spoil yourself restaurant: Fireroom

We’re absolutely astounded by the fantastic options on Fireroom’s extensive menu. Love sushi? You’re covered: you simply have to order the sushi on fire. In the mood for meat? Go for the fillet on the bone (a signature dish) or flaming fillet. There’s a strong Asian influence on the menu, too, so you can’t go wrong with dim sum – but the seafood’s good, too. – www.fireroom.co.za

Best hotel restaurant: Level Seven and Sky Bar

The top floor of the Radisson OR Hotel is where you’ll find this vibey stop, known for its views over Joburg and sophisticated glamour. With an extensive wine cellar and private rooms for meetings or intimate dinners, it’s ideal for business lunches or dinners. The food is as pretty as it is delicious, and the restaurant regularly holds special events and talks by high profile speakers. – www.levelsevenrestaurant.co.za, 3rd and 6th Ave, Bredell, Kempton Park, 010 541 1300

Best Indian Restaurant: Masala Indian Restaurant

Masala Indian Restaurant isn’t only about bold flavours; great care has been taken to ensure that every flavoursome dish is prepared with an eye to healthy eating. That means no artificial colourants and additives, just vibrant ingredients on a plate that tempts with its wholesome aromas. There are so many choices, too: In addition to specialties like tandoori and dosas, there are some local flavour twists like bunny chow. – www.masalabenoni.com, 158 Pretoria Road, Rynfield, Benoni, 011 425 1223.  El Ridge Corner Shopping Centre, Corner Ridge & Elizabeth Road, Bartlett, Boksburg. 011 894 3546 / 084 848 1853. http://masalaindianrestaurant.co.za/

Best Italian Restaurant: Il Gusto

Il Gusto promises an atmosphere that conjures up the sunny Mediterranean – and it does just that, with hospitality that would make any Italian mama proud and a menu that takes everyone’s favorite flavours from Italy and blends them with other tastes from this special part of the world. Pasta is a speciality, and the wine list is belissimo. – www.ilgustosa.co.za, Key Largo Shopping Centre, Boksburg, 011 894 7847

Best Portuguese restaurant: Mozambik

Mozambique on a plate! We love a good success story, and Mozambik certainly fits the bill: your favorite Portuguese (actually, Afro-Porto) restaurant started out 18 years ago in KZN – which just goes to show what you can achieve by dishing up great food in a great atmosphere (think beach vibes at sunset). Our go-to is, naturally, the prawns. – www.mozambik.co.za

Best restaurant for a burger: RocoMamas

There are burgers, and then there are smashburgers – laden with toppings, juicy and oozing flavour. RocoMamas is, of course, the original home of the smashburger, and this chain can work magic with a patty and a bun. We love the wide choice, and the fact that everything on the menu is just a little different. – www.rocomamas.com

Best restaurant for lunch in the country: The Shed & Silo Country Café

Ever wondered what it’s like to live on a farm? The Shed & Silo gives you all the benefits of country life (a vista spreading over acres of land, fresh-from-the-earth food) minus the early wakeups and hard labour. This charming café is open for breakfast and lunch throughout the week, offering a varied and creative menu, and is a great venue for special occasions, too. – www.theshednsilo.co.za, 77 Thomas Road, Norton Home Estates, Benoni, 064 102 3230

Best restaurant to go for a little romance: On Sixth it’s all about taste

Two things we love about this restaurant: it’s nod to nostalgia, with its collection of newspaper clippings taking you back in time to the early days of Benoni’s establishment as a mining town. Come back to the present, and you’ll find yourself watching a kitchen of skilled chefs preparing your fresher than fresh plate, giving the moment an exciting sense of theatre. It’s all makes for a unique experience. And the food? Indulge in seafood and succulent steaks, or opt for the highly recommended sushi and pizzaladieres (thin crust pizzas). – www.onsixthrestaurant.co.za,  Cocoa Bean Centre, Northmead, Benoni, 011 425 1668

Best seafood restaurant: Ocean Basket

Ocean Basket is one of our perennial winners, and it’s easy to see why. Offering the very best quality seafood with a Mediterranean twist, this chain has become known as one of the top spots to gather with friends and family, break bread and celebrate life. With people visiting Ocean Basket restaurants in 16 different countries, it’s clear we’re not the only ones who think so. Not bad for a chain that started out as a family owned venture! – www.oceanbasket.co.za

Best sit-down pizzeria: Panarottis

The ultimate family-focused pizzeria, we love the fact that almost every one of us has a story that began at Panarottis – that’s how long the restaurant has been flipping pizza. Nothing has changed since it first opened its doors decades ago – it’s still making pizzas in the centuries’ old tradition, along with flavoursome pastas, light meals and even vegan dishes. Check out the daily promotions – and don’t forget that kids can make their own pizzas, making this a great choice when you’re looking for ways to keep them busy. – www.panarottis.com

Best sushi restaurant: John Dory’s

Even if you’re not usually a sushi fan, we bet you’ll find something on this menu to turn into a regular. The choice is fantastic; plus, apart from traditional sushi, you’ll find some interesting combinations (the hot tuna and honey avalanche is a case in point, featuring California rolls topped with spicy honey sauce). You can build your own platter, order one to share, or dig into a sushi salad, too. – www.johndorys.com

Best vegan restaurant: Kaylee’s Eatery

Kaylee’s founder, Kaylee Gottschalk, is a firm believer that a vegan diet should be exciting and innovative – and it shows in her ongoing experimentation with food and ingredients. Famous for their cakes and bakes, the restaurant now offers a high tea in addition to its all day breakfast and light meals like bowls, salads, burgers and pizzas. – www.kaylees.co.za, 147 North Reef Road, Bedfordview, 064 885 8107

Best vegetarian restaurant: Kauai

Simple, seasonal, and sourced for sustainability – that’s the Kauai philosophy, so it’s great to know that every mouthful is not only brimming with goodness, you’re contributing to environmental wellbeing, too. It feels like the vegetarian options increase each season, so that although the brand is focused on general healthy eating, there are more and more meat-free to choose from: more breakfasts, more wraps, more bowls, more snacks and more burgers. Fresh and delicious! – www.kauai.com