There’s a brick oven pizza restaurant in downtown Joburg and it’s open on Saturdays. It’s called Ben’s Pizza and it’s delicious.
Really, this is all you need to know. It’s not easy to find decent restaurants in the Joburg CBD. And Ben’s is more than a decent restaurant. It feels almost exactly like a New York City pizzeria, right down to the red-and-white checked tablecloths.
The sign off to the side reads: “You can’t buy happiness but you can buy pizza and that’s kind of the same thing.” Although it’s not visible in the photo, Ben’s has a brick pizza oven behind the counter.
I went to Ben’s on a Saturday evening with my friend Koketso. We split the Brigadier pizza, which has bacon, spicy chicken, and salami, and paired it with bottles of a Belgian cherry beer called Liefman’s. It was perfect. (Ben’s also serves pasta, burgers, calzones, and some other dishes. But I can’t imagine going there and not having pizza.)
While we were eating, Ben himself walked in wearing an Old Navy t-shirt with an American flag on it. There couldn’t be a more quintessential New York pizzeria owner. Don’t ask me why I didn’t take his picture.
I love the location of this restaurant — Marshalltown one of my favorite parts of downtown Joburg. Ben’s is on Loveday Street, right near the little Joburg turret, Gandhi Square, and the pedestrianized section of Main Street.
If you’re still nervous to venture into the CBD, please check out this part of town. It’s safe, clean, and delightful. Street parking is freely available on weekends, although parking can be tricky during the week.
Ben’s is open Monday through Thursday until 7:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday until 8:00 p.m. This is meaningful because lots of restaurants in this area are are only open during the day on weekdays. Ben’s is closed on Sundays.
Ben’s Pizza is at 21 Loveday Street, Marshalltown. Call +27-11-492-0313.