Cool District: Linden

Linden has recently reached a whole new level of cool, with the addition of some ultra-trendy bars, restaurants and shops, as Jo Buitendach recently found out

Photography Channay Harvey

Enjoying a coffee at one of the area’s fashionable street cafes, it’s hard to imagine that in the 1930s this charming, tree-lined suburb was home to a number of successful fruit farms, known for their fertile soil. Fast forward to 2017, and there might not be a farm in sight, but there’s a lot to do, taste and explore.

Shop

Whether you like cheddar, brie, gouda or gruyere, there is no way you won’t find something delicious at Cheese Gourmet. Consisting of both a café and a cheese store, this is the perfect spot to grab a cheesy snack, or a few tasty treats to enjoy later. The highlight of Cheese Gourmet is definitely the huge array of cheeses, preserves and accompaniments there are for you to peruse and taste. But be warned, you won’t leave without an overflowing basket of cheesy indulgences.

If mid-century modern is your thing, then a browse at Re-Trend is essential. The antique furniture on display will make you feel like you’ve stepped into an episode of Mad Men. Think wood, beautiful lines, striking colours and quirky design. And, if you feel your purchase needs a modern update, it offers a reupholstering service, too.

Retrend Linden

In its over 100-year history, Arthur Bales has been a firm favourite with generations of crafty Joburg residents. Known countrywide for its beautiful material, wool, patterns and quilting fabric, a visit will have you itching to pick up some needlepoint skills.

Farm Table specialises in organic produce fresh from the farm, straight to your table. But it doesn’t just stop there; you’ll also find gourmet Greek yoghurt, hormone free meat, free range eggs, gluten free bread and toxic free home cleaners.

Farm Table Linden

Formally known as Ceramic Factory, Rialheim specialises in South African made ceramics, inspired by local surroundings, heritage and international trends. I love the animal skull wall hangings (made from clay, of course), robot figurines and the uber stylish Gatsby face container.

Coffee

The Whippet is passionate about Linden, coffee, food, people and design, and is always popular with Lindenites looking for caffiene and grub. Whether you’re meeting friends for a chat or are looking to talk business with work colleagues, The Whippet is the ideal place.

New kid on the Linden Coffee block, Yield Coffee Bar prides itself on simplicity, good coffee, a yummy sandwich and friendly service. Try the Cortado or the Yield signature, ‘Swart Skaap’.

A global culinary exploration

El Jalapeno is a festive little eatery serving up some scrumptious Mexican food and cocktails. Start with a Vampiro, a Bloody Mary style drink made with tequila, tomato and grapefruit juice, followed by the pulled beef tamales in all their spicy steamed glory.

Hashi is a Japanese Fusion Restaurant, with Venezuelan owners passionate about healthy and delicious food. You could pick a classic spring roll or salmon nigiri, but why not be adventurous and order the sushi pizza? It’s a crispy rice base with thin slices of salmon and avo.

From the owner of the celebrated Red Chamber in Hyde Park, Pron (or the People’s Republic of Noodles) serves up some fresh, fun and unpretentious food. Choose from the noodle dishes or Asian inspired tapas, order a whole bunch and share with your nearest and dearest.

Pron Linden restaurant

Looking for some French flair in the City of Gold? A La Bouffe might just be the answer. Under French chef Romuald Denesle, this family-run restaurant delivers again and again. Regulars swear by its very tasty dishes, which include freshly baked bread, brown onion soup, snails and sirloin steak. And don’t forget to leave space for dessert.

Linden libations

Brian Lara isn’t just a Trinidadian cricket player; but a casual dining joint in Linden, too (full name: Brian Lara Rum Eatery). We’re pretty much obsessed with the décor, which is filled to the brim with bright green plants and quirky furniture; you’ll think you’re on a Caribbean island. And to keep the beach vibe going, try the tasty Salt and Pepper Squid, accompanied by a Mojito, or two or three.

Brian Lara Linden

Brian Lara Linden

The Craft Beer Library is perfect for any avid Joburg beer lover. The focus of this watering hole is craft beer and good food with a large selection of lagers, blonde, red and brown ales, and even a stout or two added for good measure. This is a spot you’ll keep on returning to. Work your way through all the beers, both on tap and in a bottle.

Craft Beer Library Linden

Old faves

There may be a few new kids on the Linden block, but that doesn’t mean the old favourites aren’t worth a visit. Satori Pizzeria is the epitome of comfort food and the perfect option for a family dinner. Looking for something a little spicier? Bikaner serves up some seriously tasty North Indian cuisine. And for the vegetarians in the group, there are loads of veggie curries. The Paneer Palak creamy spinach gravy is delicious. The Argentinean is known for a great breakfast or tea time treat. Try a chocolate croissant accompanied by a cappuccino.

The-Argentenian-Bakery-

 

Cheese Gourmet 011 888 5384

Arthur Bales www.arthurbales.co.za

Farm Table 087 802 1283

Rialheim www.rialheim.co.za

The Whippet www.thewhippetcoffee.com

Yield Coffee Bar www.yieldcoffee.co.za

A La Bouffe www.alabouffe.co.za

Pron 011 782 1736

El Jalapeno www.eljalapeno.co.za

Hashi www.hashi.co.za

Brian Lara Rum Eatery 076 320 9739

Craft Beer Library www.craftbeerlibrary.co.za

Satori Pizzeria 082 672 0317

Bikaner 011 912 7770

The Argentinean 011 888 9759

Brian Lara Linden