To truly appreciate the gritty beauty of the Johannesburg CBD, it is best to head skywards to one of these sensational rooftop cocktail bars. From an urban beach to an eco-jungle, Jozi is home to some of the most exciting rooftop venues in the country. So leave the ‘burbs and visit the city for some weekend excitement that will make you forget all about your dream vacation to New York City.
What’s better than chilling at the beach? Yes, that’s right, chilling at The Beach overlooking the city of Joburg on a Saturday afternoon. Braamfontein is alive with activity on Saturdays, with all the cool kids competing for the title of ‘best dressed’ while tucking into the delicious delights of the Neighbourgoods Market. But if a bit of sand between your feet is more of your thing, look upwards and find The Beach on Juta Street. Complete with a DJ, deck chairs and umbrellas. The Beach is a fun escape in the city. For R50 per person you can enjoy the rooftop bar overlooking the iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge from midday until 7pm. The Facebook page often posts specials, so check it out to stay in the know and remember to pack your sunscreen.
Where? 68 Juta Street, Braamfontein
If you like being in the thick of things then this is the rooftop venue for you. Every Saturday, from 9am until 3pm, join what feels like the entire population of Johannesburg and claim your place in the sun with a cocktail or a beer in hand. Choose your poison from the selection of vendors selling everything from freshly baked treats, yummy cocktails to fresh coconuts spiked with rum. There’s also a selection of craft beers and wine if that’s more your fancy. Just remember to head to the rooftop of the market and marvel at the streets below. Or better yet, enjoy some prime people-watching with the hot young things of Jozi doing their best to enjoy their moment in the sun at the hottest rooftop venue in the city. Wear your weekend best because you’re sure to run into someone that you know at this Saturday institution. This is also a great weekend spot since you can browse the streets below once you’ve had your fill of the market treats.
Where? 73 Juta St, Braamfontein
There’s more to Johannesburg’s revival than the trendy markets of Braamfontein and Maboneng. The narrow streets of Marshalltown, filled with banks and big business, is now home to Elevate, the Reef Hotel’s 16th floor cocktail bar and club. Featuring a beautiful 360-degree view of the city of gold, Elevate is also home to the Scorpion, a dizzying cocktail so potent that it carries a warning. From the owners of Taboo, Elevate is the perfect venue for those who want the glitz of Sandton in an urban environment, so remember to dress to impress! Open every Friday for sundowners and special events, Elevate promises to be the sexiest rooftop in the city.
Where? 58 Anderson Street, Marshalltown
The Living Room
‘Maboneng’ is a Sotho word for ‘place of light’ and The Living Room on Kruger Street is the perfect eco-friendly perch to appreciate the light of an exciting transformation. Maboneng is the creation of entrepreneur Jonathan Liebmann, featuring unique stores, restaurants, a hotel and Joburg’s favourite Sunday market, Arts on Main. A tropical oasis floating above the streets of Maboneng, The Living Room is open from midday until 9pm from Thursday until Sunday. However, it is best on a Sunday afternoon when the market is in full swing and there’s a DJ or live music. With unique cocktails like Hello, Aloe and the delicious Pineapple Express, you’re sure to cure any signs of the dreaded Sunday Blues. Described as an ‘eco rooftop jungle’, The Living Room is sure to grow on you with its beautiful blooms and botanical delights from designers and plant artists, Tiakaya. The rooftop venue is not only great for cocktails, it also serves healthy breakfasts, lunch and coffee for those who prefer to enjoy the view without beer goggles. Remember to check out the Facebook page for updates as the venue is often closed for private functions.
Where? 20 Kruger Street, Maboneng
The beauty of the city is best appreciated from above, and relaxing in a lounge pod with a cocktail in hand certainly helps to enjoy the finer points of the Joburg skyline. Found on Biccard Street in the heart of Braamfontein, Skyline Gardens is a rooftop sanctuary offering moreish cocktails, alfresco dining and ‘intimate lounge pods’. In other words, this is the best place to snap a selfie and celebrate the city. With views of Hillbrow’s Ponte and the Nelson Mandela Bridge, Skyline Gardens might just be the Jozi’s best-kept secret. Where? Biccard Street Corner Wolmarans Street, Braamfontein Special Events Rooftop Venues: Private Practice and Randlords Medical buildings are not usually associated with a good time, but then again, this Jozi venue is anything but typical. Found on the 19th floor of the Lister Medical Building in Jeppe Street, Private Practice is a special events venue that boasts one of the most startling views of the city. For those unacquainted with the CBD, finding this experimental venue might prove a bit tricky, but once you arrive, it’s guaranteed to be just what the doctor ordered! The venue is not always open but recent events have included an “Afro-Brazilian celebration of pure life” and a Skate Expo. To stay in the loop, visit their website (www.intermission.co.za) for more details and get ready for a night partying with the cool kids of Jozi.
Where? 195 Jeepe Street, Braamfontein
Other Hot Spots
Described as ‘the most exclusive venue in Johannesburg’, Randlords, found on the 22nd floor of the South Point Towers, is a must for locals and tourists alike. With views that make your heart sigh and a bar that makes you feel like you’re a capital of industry, this Braamfontein institution is great for special occasions. In the 70s and 80s Randlords was a revolving restaurant; fast-forward to today, the venue offers panoramic views of the city and delicious cocktails. Open to the public for special events, visit their website (www.randlords.co.za) to join their mailing list and remember to bring your camera to capture the breath-taking view. Where? 41 De Korte Street, Braamfontein For the best cocktails in Jozi you need only look up…