Feel-Good Food in Downtown Jozi

I’ve always loved the Joburg Central Business District (CBD). But until recently most of the time I spent in the CBD was on weekends, which means I missed out on the hustle and bustle of the downtown Jozi workweek.

Lately I’ve been going into the CBD more often during business hours, and I’m discovering tons of great new hangouts. I’ve realized that working hours are the funnest time to be downtown.

My favorite lunch place so far is Anka’s Kitchen, a small restaurant serving home-style South African food at the corner of Loveday and Frederick Streets in Marshalltown.

Anka's Kitchen

Anka’s Kitchen and Anka herself.

I knew Anka’s was special the first time I drove past it, when I was headed to a meeting around the corner at the Reef Hotel. The place has an aura about it. I made a mental note to try Anka’s out.

A couple of weeks later I finally went to Anka’s for lunch with my new friend Wisaal, author of the awesome Jozi lifestyle blog Wiscellaneous.

Anka is an incredible woman, and there is a great story behind how her restaurant came to be. But I can’t tell the story any better than Wisaal already has on her blog. So please go over to Wiscellaneous and read more about Anka. I’ll keep it short and show you some pictures.

Anka's menu

I love how the menu at Anka’s shows you exactly what you’ll be eating.

Ankas counter

The Anka’s counter is packed every day at lunch time. It was actually relatively quiet at the moment that I took this pic. Check out Wisaal in the thick of things, documenting the scene. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy hanging out with other bloggers.

Interesting fun fact about Anka’s: The staff is all-female.

Anka's lunch

My lunch: Lamb curry over samp (samp is a kind of corn porridge — read about it here), with sides of spinach and pumpkin. And Tab. (That’s right, Americans. People still drink Tab in South Africa. I quite like it.)

Interesting fun fact about Anka’s food: The real specialties on the menu are lamb trotters (a polite term for lamb’s feet) and tripe (animal stomach lining). Neither Wisaal nor I were brave enough to try one of these dishes. (Wisaal has an excuse because she only eats halaal meat. I’m just chicken — pardon the pun.)

My curry was delicious and Wisaal also enjoyed her hake (a popular South African fish).

Wisaal and Anka

Anka rocked up while we were eating, looking fab. She sat down for a chat. Anka seems to know all of her customers.

Anka behind counter

Anka behind the counter.

Anka’s Kitchen is awesome and I will definitely go back: 1) Because the food is delicious; 2) Because I love Anka; and 3) Because the Jozi CBD rocks.

Maybe I’ll work up the courage to try the trotters someday. The tripe? Probably not. (Okay never.)

Anka's street

Anka’s Kitchen winds down on a Friday afternoon.

Stay tuned for more 2Summers/Wiscellaneous restaurant reviews.

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20 Comments

  • Reply hayley June 14, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Oh I just love how you love this city.

  • Reply Timmee June 14, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    You’re just chicken. I LOL’d.

    • Reply 2summers June 14, 2013 at 7:00 pm

      It would’ve been better if I actually ate chicken for lunch. Oh well.

  • Reply campbellisaac June 14, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    So, when are you making the move to the CBD?? haha (only half joking, it seems like it would be your cup of tea). Thoughts? Or is the Lucky 5 Star too good to leave?

    • Reply 2summers June 15, 2013 at 5:40 am

      I actually do love the CBD and would move there in a second if I didn’t love Melville so much. Also the Melville Cat would never agree to it 🙂

      Incidentally, Wisaal lives in the CBD with her husband and they love it!

  • Reply QuietPoet June 15, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Ok, so next time I am in Jozi- Anka’s it is! I love that part of JHB- it is so much the old JHB I grew up in!

    • Reply 2summers June 20, 2013 at 8:59 am

      Cool. It’s such a great neighborhood these days.

  • Reply mariekymberly June 15, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    The Lamb Curry over Samp looks delicious. I’ll have to try it someday!

  • Reply Lee June 16, 2013 at 8:49 am

    I grew up on a diet of tripe and onions, also sweetbreads (calf brains), walkie/talkies (chicken feet and heads), marong (wild African spinach) and of course vetkoek and koeksusters. I must say that I did enjoy everything. Tripe is really good as long as it has been cleaned properly, although usually curried, I prefer it with plenty onions. It has a similar consistency and taste to calamari. You should really give it try. You will be pleasantly surprised. Another little restaurant in the Maboneng precinct you should really try is Crisp African Foods. Its owed by Marc Crisp who coincidently happens to be a makeup artist in the film industry. Also specializes in traditional african food but with a western twist. Tell Marc I sent you.

    • Reply 2summers June 20, 2013 at 8:58 am

      I’ve been wanting to try Crisp! I’ve walked past before and it looks really cute. I will go for sure.

  • Reply Hangman June 18, 2013 at 1:16 am

    Animal entrails and sheep’s feet?

    Sounds like Tuesday.

    • Reply 2summers June 20, 2013 at 8:51 am

      Hahaha. Delicacies in SA!

  • Reply treasureredmond June 18, 2013 at 4:45 am

    I am so glad I found your blog. I will be traveling to South Africa for a 3 week stay for the first time next month.

  • Reply Rob April 20, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Anka’s Kitchen has recently opened up a new branch in Maclaren Street (between Fox and Main, between Pixley Seme and Ntemi Piliso).

    https://www.google.co.za/maps/place/11+Maclaren+St,+Johannesburg,+2107/@-26.2069,28.0350513,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x1e950ea3937b107f:0x3ce25eed687a2cfb?hl=en

    If you like traditional food you should also try the new restaurant that is opening at the corner of Kort and Commissioner.

    https://www.google.co.za/maps/place/Commissioner+St+%26+Kort+St,+Johannesburg,+2001/@-26.2060585,28.0348129,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x1e950ea3e56dad9f:0x8cce1583ee797212?hl=en

    They’re still putting up the signage so I don’t know what it is called. But you can try Inhloko (bull’s head) and Mogodu (cow’s intestines). I used to have to walk up to TJ Meats on Bree for this type of food. Now it’s right on my doorstep.

    • Reply 2summers April 20, 2016 at 4:37 pm

      Thank you so much for these helpful updates! I’m not on that side of town as often as I used to be so this is really helpful. Do you know if Anka’s has completely moved, or is the Loveday Street location still open as well?

  • Reply Rob December 2, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    The Loveday restaurant is still open. But there seems to be no external signage? There’s also the original Anka’s kitchen in Spruitview.

  • Reply Feel-Good Food in Downtown Jozi – Ankas Kitchen March 30, 2017 at 4:13 pm

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