One of Johannesburg’s first urban renewal projects, 44 Stanley took a series of 1930s industrial buildings and transformed them into a hub of food and fashion. It’s popular with media types who work in the surrounding studios and who like to lunch in the shaded courtyards. In the evenings, the Beer Yard comes alive with hipsters drawn to the craft and local beers. On the weekends, young couples and families linger over long brunches.
Many of the attractions deserve, and have, their own write-ups, but the complex itself is worth a separate mention because it’s one of the city’s most enjoyable (and safest) urban spaces. Wonder why the croissants are so good at 3 Marys? The dough is flown in from France. Bean There has a large cafe with Wifi and a dizzying selection of coffees and preparation styles.
Despite the boom in fancy burgers, Salvation Cafe still has one of the finest in town — along with healthy and vegetarian-friendly options.
Shops are unique, often small boutiques from South African label Lunar to Atelier’s collection of children and adult books, with an antique printing press still in action.
Most shops close Mondays. Also beware of public holidays. They’re observed religiously.
44 Stanley Avenue, Milpark
A word of warning: There’s more than one Stanley Avenue in Joburg. Make sure you tell your GPS or your Uber driver that you’re going to Milpark.