Dinner at the Darkie Café

Last night I had dinner at the Darkie Café. I’m writing about it because:

1) The Darkie Café is smack in the middle of downtown Jozi, in the mining district — one of just a few restaurants in that area that are open at night.

2) The Darkie Café has decent food, and it’s fun.

3) The Darkie Café is called the Darkie Café. Only in Joburg will you find a restaurant with such a name. I like it.

Darkie Cafe 2

Thursday evening happy hour at the Darkie Café.

Darkie Cafe 1

Not grungy but not too fancy either. I like the vibe — it’s friendly.

burger

My order: Burger with salsa and chopped coriander. R55 (about $6). It was good. Not sensational, but good. I liked the salad, too.

pita sandwich

Michelle’s order: Cheese and avocado pita sandwich with chips. Michelle pronounced it good, although she wished  it had haloumi cheese instead of mozzarella. 

margatini

Michelle (who is also American) and I had a laugh at this “margarita” that she ordered. This is not a margarita, people. Margaritas are served in big glasses, with ice. This here is a margarita-flavored martini. (A margatini?) Anyway, Michelle said it tasted good all the same.

Most Joburgers don’t venture into the city at night at all, and if they do it’s usually to Braamfontein or the Maboneng Precinct. I’m happy to know that there are fun places to go in between those two neighborhoods. The Darkie Café is a great lunch destination, too. It’s open on weeknights until 9:00 p.m. and on weekends until late.

The Darkie Café is next door to the Ashanti Hotel, at the corner of Anderson and Ferreria Streets in Marshalltown. IMPORTANT NOTE: Most online listings for the Darkie Café show the address as “10 Anderson Street”. This address is not correct. If you enter it into your GPS you will wind up in Mayfair, not Marshalltown. (I speak from experience on this.) Use the street corner, not the address listing.

After dinner at the Darkie Café I spent an interesting evening at the Rand Club, another nighttime hangout in the Joburg CBD. I’ll write more on that in a future post, but here is a little teaser in the meantime:

Rand Club giraffe

Let’s just say that the Rand Club is nothing like the Darkie Café.

Until next week.

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25 Comments

  • Reply Sanjay Dhani April 19, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Great post!

    Will add to my list of places to check out.

  • Reply W Jones April 19, 2013 at 11:08 am

    the food looks so good! i will defo pop in next time i am in jhb!

    • Reply 2summers April 19, 2013 at 11:14 am

      Cool! Thanks for the comment.

      • Reply W Jones April 19, 2013 at 4:25 pm

        of course! really enjoying your take on JHB and SA

  • Reply eremophila April 19, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    I love the pic of the martini! 🙂

  • Reply internationalesawyer April 19, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    I like the vibe from just looking at it. Do they have vegan friendly dishes?

    • Reply 2summers April 22, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      There are definitely veg options (my friend who I went with is a vegetarian) but I’m not totally sure about vegan. I didn’t study the menu carefully enough, I’m afraid! Sorry.

      • Reply internationalesawyer July 30, 2013 at 3:22 pm

        Vegetarian works as well. I hope to have some meals here on my trip to SA!

  • Reply uapindika April 19, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    whao! thats a nice diner and why its open only on night time?

    • Reply 2summers April 22, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      It’s open during the day, too!

  • Reply uapindika April 19, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Ma’m when will you invite at south A?

  • Reply arianazuber April 19, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    this looks Amazing!!! im a new blogger!!

    • Reply 2summers April 22, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      Thank you. Good luck with your blog 🙂

  • Reply Sine April 19, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Love the name! You’re right, only in Joburg. And yes, South Africans can do many cool things, but making a proper margarita is not among them. Can’t wait for your post on the rand club – beware of some spirited comments from the “well-bred members who take it upon themselves to keep up the good name of the rand club” if you so much as criticize it in any way:-) (I speak from experience on that one)

    • Reply 2summers April 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      Haha. I will write carefully 🙂

  • Reply Eugenia A Parrish April 19, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    I haven’t heard that word since “Gone With the Wind” so I had to check it out. It looks like a wonderful place. I’m sorry I can’t just stop by! Bit of a commute from L.A.

  • Reply Owls April 21, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Correction. A true Margarita is not served on ice. It is in fact served neat, in a small glass. What you get on ice in the States, kind of a lime slurpee, is not authentic, nor does it have the flavor or pack the punch of a real Margarita. 🙂

    • Reply 2summers April 22, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      Haha, thanks for the correction Drury. I still miss the American slurpee style though!

  • Reply amelie88 April 21, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    The Darkie Cafe looks like a great hang out spot! Looks like a classy joint.

    As for the giraffe head mounted on the wall, I can already tell this Rand Club has a different vibe. Definitely changes from the typical American deer head on the wall.

    • Reply 2summers April 22, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      Yep. Just wait for the full post. Haha.

  • Reply Nqobizita Mhlaba February 10, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    I work a street away from Darkie Cafe, we quite often have lunch there and early drinks after work. It’s a classy joint with a very nice vibe, food is good and they have traditional African dishes on offer too, worth a try by the adventurous tourist 🙂

    • Reply 2summers February 10, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks for the comment! I agree, of course. The city — especially the outside of Maboneng and Braamfontein — needs more places like this.

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