Eight restaurants you should visit in 2023

It’s a new year and for many of us, including foodies, there is a list of promotions to look into, including trying out new restaurants near you or across South Africa.

Trying out new restaurants can be an intimidating activity, especially when you’re worried about a new kitchen and want to step out of your comfort zone.

This list will help you find restaurants to visit all year round.

New restaurants for 2023

Urchin Cape Town

Nestled within the Hyatt Regency in Cape Town on Buitengracht Street is a new restaurant by award-winning chef Gerard van Staden.

Van Staden has been awarded Chef of the Year three times and for Urchin the celebrated chef drew inspiration from coastal regions around the world such as Africa, Asia and Europe.

New restaurants in Cape Town, Urchin Restaurant in Cape Town.  Image: Included
Urchin Restaurant in Cape Town. Image: Included

The menu has been described as multi-course with “delicious dishes,” including a sushi counter, a la carte (separate items), and tasting menus, paired with curated wine pairings.

Reservations for Urchin can be made through Dineplan or by calling 021 214 1234.

ramen head

A creation of the acclaimed FYN restaurant, also in the Mother City, has the latest venture called Ramenhead.

Another Japanese-inspired restaurant, Ramenhead, opened on December 13, 2022.

Prepare to slurp up handcrafted noodles and flavorful bowls full of the most authentic Japanese-inspired broth.

Ramenhead restaurant in Cape Town.  Image: Included
Ramenhead restaurant. Image: Included

FYN Restaurant is ranked as the 37th best restaurant in the world and its new restaurant stays true to its Japanese style as Ramenhead was designed by renowned interior designer Tristan du Plessis.

ALSO READ: Cape Town’s FYN Restaurant is ranked among the top 50 in the world

In addition to several different ramen offerings, including classic pork broth, pork-free chicken broth, and veggie broth, Ramenhead offers both traditional and gluten-free noodles. The menu also features Japanese snacks like fried chicken karaage (Japanese fried chicken) and gyoza dumplings, along with a curated selection of wines, beers, and cocktails.

Reflection Pizza Bar & Venue

Opening in September 2022 at Johannesburg’s Broadacres shopping mall, Reflection Pizza Bar has a huge outdoor area with separate decks and is described as rustic with lots of greenery.

Reflection Pizza Bar’s menu consists largely of wood-fired pizzas, with gluten-free options and everyone’s favorite tapas, including a “let us share” selection of biltong, chicken wings and other snack options.


If you’re looking for the best Italian food, look no further than Scala Pasta. Dubbed the newest darling of Cape Town’s food scene, it opens its doors in Heritage Square on Church Street.

It is created in collaboration with Italy’s youngest Michelin star chef, Luciano Monosilio, also known as The King Of Carbonara.

Guests rave about the signature carbonara or charcoal-roasted rigatoni amatriciana, tagliolino saltimbocca, and more that are sure to be “not your mother’s pasta.”

The Bailey

A hidden gem, The Bailey on Bree Street is a sophisticated luxury surrounded by historic architecture and a three-story culinary destination.

It is a collaboration between acclaimed restauranteur/chef team Liam Tomlin and his wife Jan of Chefs Warehouse, along with Tintswalo Lodges owners Lisa and Warwick Goosen, and Gaye and Ernest Corbett. The Bailey includes a café, patisserie, champagne bar, brasserie and whiskey bar.


This Latin American restaurant is heating up the dining scene in Rosebank, Johannesburg.

Opening in the outdoor area of ​​Rosebank Mall near the new EGG Fashion District, Mamasamba Kitchen offers bold flavors with distinctive flavors of Latin America.

@duvane_m New restaurant alert. ????Location at the end. #jhb #joburgfoodie #safoodie #foodiesofsa #jozi #johannesburg #joburg #foodtok #jhbrestaurants #joburgestaurants #johannesburgrestaurants ♬ Nowhere to Hide – Aluna & Prettyboy DO & Kooldrink

It’s also tapas style food with a surprising selection of good sushi.

Social media users have praised Mamasamba for its cocktail selection.

READ NOW: These are the 10 best restaurants in Gauteng


Ethos has been operational since 2021, but it’s a restaurant that still gets a lot of Joburgers mouthing. The Mediterranean-inspired menu and luxurious interiors are set against the backdrop of Oxford Parks.

Ethos has a new season summer menu from its new chef Mpilo Mokoena.

The menu is a mix of Italian cuisine with a French background.

Ethos summer menu, restaurants in Johannesburg.  Image: Included
Josper Grilled Octopus with Caramelized Onions. Image: Included

New signature dishes include the Josper Grilled Octopus with caramelized onions and mashed dill, fava dip and mashed potatoes, and the 8-hour Greek-style braised lamb shank with traditional grain pasta, mushrooms, onions, lemon and Graviera cheese.

For dessert, expect toasted almond panna cotta with citrus caramel and caramelized fruit.


This cute French and wine restaurant in the heart of Craighall, in the suburbs of Johannesburg, literally brings freedom.

Liberte translates to freedom, it “celebrates life, femininity and connection”.

“Elegant, contemporary French food in a beautifully curated space showcasing unique local and French wines,” the restaurant describes itself.

There’s a breakfast and lunch menu with dishes ranging from French toast, crepes, canapés, salads, and entrees range from rich French onion soup and chicken meatballs to filet mignon with cognac and braised short ribs.

We’re drooling at the thought. French pastries such as baguettes and croissants are also available.

*Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele

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