While central Cape Town has several of the best hangouts, bars and eateries in the city whole within walking distance of each other, Johannesburg requires some planning and a handy Uber driver to take you to the city’s best. If you seek out the best coffee like I do, you’re lucky that three of the most popular caffeine slingers are on the same block on a Saturday.
To put it kindly, Braamfontein is one of the trendy, hipster areas on the city. I knew that going in, but Braamfontein’s gentrification is more due to nearby Damelin and Boston City college campuses. Also, the cool parts last about two blocks along De Korte and Juta Street.
On these blocks, you’ll find Father Coffee, where they proudly boast that their coffee is “Fresh To Death”. The beans are sourced from Africa, so they back that fact up. The Scandinavian minimalism and geometric patterns gives the feeling of a cabin in the woods. It’s the opposite in look and feel from the steampunk stylings of Cape Town’s Truth Coffee.
It’s worth grabbing one of the few seats so you savor a flat white, bottled cold brew, pastries and smell from the coffee roaster. A bag of beans to go make for easy transportation home.
A few doors down from Father is Doubleshot Coffee and Tea. It’s a larger, more familiar space where you can grab a seat by the window and watch the lumbersexuals wearing knit caps in 90 degree weather walk by.
Along with their selection of teas, the cafe also roasts their beans in house. If you’re craving a little late-afternoon dessert goodness, they offer cakes, pies and tarts.
As I’ve written about before, the popular Saturday-only Neighbourgoods Market is located in the center block of Braamfontein. The designated coffee purveyors in the market is Origin Coffee Roasters. It’s a limited selection in their stall, thus it’s best you go to the main cafe.
For that, you head over to the Maboneng area, especially on Sunday for Arts on Main. This area is another gentrified area of former warehouses turned into art galleries, bars, a hotel and restaurants. Like Braamfontein, the good stuff lasts about two blocks.
There you’ll find Origin’s main facility, so you can peruse the artists tables and makeshift vintage sellers on the street and sit down for a pour over. The staff was particularly nice and chatted me up while they made my brew.