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There are no foods you can’t try in Johannesburg, but there are a few food experiences its residents would be sad to leave behind. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors have picked the five best Johannesburg food experiences you must sample during your visit.
1. High tea. With its European roots, it’s no surprise that tea plays an important role in any South African’s day. Join them and use high tea as a break from your sightseeing activities. Many of Johannesburg’s luxury hotels offer tea service, and there are also a number of tea houses that specialize in making the most of the afternoon.
2. Bobotie. Available everywhere, from the most posh restaurant to the supermarket, this South African staple is a European-based dish that most often involves a hearty stew with a baked egg top. There are vegetarian options with vegetables, but stay true to the country’s roots and try a meat-based variety. It’s a must.
3. Beer. Yes, there is beer everywhere but a trip to Joburg’s oldest bar, The Guildhall, is an experience in itself. Easy to find, it’s located in the city center; it first opened in 1888 and has passed the test of time. The balcony is great for people-watching and soaking up the sun.
4. Organic markets. Take a field trip to one of the many markets that call Johannesburg home. There is an organic food market in almost every suburb of the city; just find one that fits your schedule and venture to a fresh-food haven. They are all-in-one spots for meats, cheeses, oils and pre-made goods like pizza and sweet rolls.
5. Pap. Similar to polenta or grits, it’s a corn-based porridge, popular for breakfast. Eaten by the Bantu population, the rest of the culturally diverse inhabitants of Joburg enjoy the side dish during dinner or a Sunday barbeque known as a braai.