The Best Croissant in Jozi

UPDATE: As of April 2014, I am sad to report that Amamus Café is closed. Read about my new favorite croissant in Jozi.

I’m in a food rut. I used to enjoy food-shopping and cooking, but since I’ve been on my own I can’t be bothered. I love eating out, but I’m on a budget and lately I’ve been too lazy to leave Melville. And as much as I love my suburb, I’ve become slightly weary of the Melville dining scene. Don’t get me wrong: There are several Melville hangouts where I love to eat and drink coffee. But I need to expand my horizons. Jozi is full of quirky suburbs, each with its own set of quirky dining establishments. Time to start discovering them. When my friend told me about a café in nearby Parktown North that serves the best croissants in town, I insisted we go there, pronto. We went to Amamus Café Bakery the following weekend and I’m glad we did.

Instagram of Amamus Café Bakery on 4th Avenue, Parktown North. Amamus means “We Love” in Latin.

Good croissants (meaning croissants that are decedent without being greasy and soggy) are difficult to come by outside of Paris. Amamus has them, and the atmosphere at Amamus is the closest thing you’ll find in Jozi to a street-side Paris café (minus the arrogant waiters).

Croissant and coffee at Amamus.

Amamus also offers a full menu of Mediterranean-style fare, with a North African-Cape Malay twist. Fatima, the owner and chef of Amamus, comes from Cape Town.

After my croissant and coffee on Saturday, I couldn’t stop thinking about the rest of the menu. I was back with more friends on Wednesday afternoon.

Moroccan lamb and cous cous.

A Turkish-style tramezzini called the Magic Mushroom Boat.

Almond tart.

Fatima has also designed an entire menu of gourmet burgers, which I have yet to try. I hear the pizzas are good, too. The prices are reasonable: If my memory serves, most items on the menu cost less than R70 ($8). I didn’t look carefully at all the prices but I know my mushroom boat was R45.

I don’t think there is wireless internet at Amamus. But if you like reading National Geographic (which I do), you can hang out there for hours and never get bored.

Entertainment corner at Amamus. The dog bowls are a nice touch.

Amamus is nothing fancy. It’s not trying to be something it’s not. It’s just nice. Nice food, nice ambiance, nice location, nice owner.

Fatima is the best thing about Amamus. She is an exceptionally lovely person with a fantastic sense of style.

For those who want to learn how to make the best croissants in Jozi, Fatima offers croissant-making and bread-baking classes. Call 078-011-3222 for more information.

I can’t be bothered, of course. I will just go to Amamus and pay R15 for a croissant and a free chat with Fatima.

Amamus is at No. 17, 4th Ave., Parktown North. It’s open for breakfast and lunch all week, and has extended hours for dinner on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

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19 Comments

  • Reply Jennifer Avventura October 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Count me in! I’ll have the magic mushroom boat. 😉

    • Reply 2summers October 27, 2012 at 10:11 am

      Good choice, it was awesome.

  • Reply Justcallmegertie October 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Wow! Looks delicious. Will definitely give it a try some time. (Btw Fournos bakery also does pretty damn good croissants)

    • Reply 2summers October 27, 2012 at 10:12 am

      I’ve heard many good things about Fournos and somehow I have never been there! Need to go.

      • Reply Justcallmegertie October 28, 2012 at 9:28 am

        Definitely! Their chocolate croissants are the best and they do a delicious chocolate mousse cake 🙂

  • Reply Ashley October 26, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Looks like a lovely place! I’d love to go there!

    • Reply 2summers October 27, 2012 at 10:14 am

      Thanks for the comment!

  • Reply Sine October 27, 2012 at 12:15 am

    Oooooh, thanks! I LOVE croissants. And you are right, they are not that easy to come by. I had a pretty good one yesterday, at Lanseria airport of all places, at Vida e cafe (but it was 4:30 in the morning and maybe my sense of taste wasn’t fully developed by then).

    Now I’m intrigued by the croissant making class. The one thing I’ve never mastered to make. But please stop me from signing up. I’m already busy preparing for that Cycle Challenge I really had no business getting myself into:-). By the way, have you been to Vovotelo in Parkhurst? Also excellent pastries and breads, and nice setting as well.

    • Reply 2summers October 27, 2012 at 10:16 am

      Hi Sine, are you doing. The 94.7? You are brave.

      I actually went to the Vovo Tello at 44 Stanley for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Yes, the food there is very good. I had some kind of poached egg breakfast on a baguette. Yum.

      • Reply Sine October 27, 2012 at 10:59 pm

        yep, signed up apparently at a party and have no recollection of doing so. Shouldn’t have had the third glass of wine. Went on a practice ride today and can no longer feel my bottom parts, if you know what I mean. And that was only half the 94.7.

        Vovotello also has really good breads, I usually stock up on them for the freezer whenever I go. Real German-type bread. And their cakes are really good too.

  • Reply amelie88 October 27, 2012 at 1:41 am

    Next time you’re in the States, buy some croissants from Costco. If you’re not a member, ask a friend or anyone who has a membership to take you and buy some. I know it sounds incredibly random and everybody thinks I’m crazy when I say this, but those croissants are DELICIOUS. It is possible to get decent croissants outside of France!

    Also this cafe looks awesome. The Moroccan lamb and couscous is making my mouth water.

    • Reply 2summers October 27, 2012 at 10:17 am

      Haha, thanks for the tip. I will remember that the next time I’m home!

    • Reply Sine October 27, 2012 at 11:01 pm

      You know which croissants are really good in the US? The ones you can order from William and Sonoma (I THINK it was William and Sonoma?). They come frozen in a box, and you have to take them out the night before and let them rise, and they are out of this world good. Especially the chocolate ones.

  • Reply Charles Visser (@CharlesVisser1) October 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I’m definitely heading there for a croissant.!

    • Reply 2summers October 28, 2012 at 10:56 pm

      Do it. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Reply Steph October 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Wow, this looks delicious. I just moved to Joburg (Craighall Park) this past Thursday to join my husband, who’s been here for a few weeks, so we are still feeling out the neighborhoods and discovering restaurants. I am glad I discovered your blog and can’t wait to try some of your recommendations.

    • Reply 2summers October 30, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      Thanks Steph! I’m glad you are enjoying the blog. Welcome to Jozi.

  • Reply nellsified101 March 5, 2013 at 1:11 am

    Yoh!!!! My heart just melted! You have just reminded me that its not life that I am after – its the QUALITY of life that’s important! I don’t have to be stinking wealthy or anything but a good croissant might just be all I need at the moment! This deserves an “OH YES!!!!!” xoxo

    • Reply 2summers March 6, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      Aw, thanks Nells. And thanks for reading 🙂

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