The Interesting Story Behind Linden’s Ritual Café

by | Nov 12, 2018 | Food and Drink, Johannesburg | 10 comments

I got invited to review Ritual Café in Linden. I was looking forward to it. I love Linden, I love eating out, and I’d been meaning to try Ritual forever anyway. Great excuse for a date night with nice-guy-Kevin.

Dinner at Ritual Café

Before I went to Ritual I already knew it was a neighborhood bistro with an unpretentious menu (written on a big chalkboard above the kitchen), featuring lots of vegetarian options and also plenty of meat.

I went in expecting to enjoy my dinner at Ritual, and I did. The restaurant has such a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and the food is simple and innovative at the same time. Nice-guy-Kevin and I had a great night and we can’t wait to go back.

Ritual Cafe in LindenRitual Café, on the corner of 7th Street and 4th Avenue in Linden.

Menu at Ritual CafeA closer look at Ritual’s interior with its giant chalkboard menu.

Fillet of sole with rice and veggiesMy meal: Fillet of sole with rice and veggies.

Oxtail stew at Ritual CafeNice-guy-Kevin’s meal: Oxtail stew. We also had a delicious brisket spring roll starter and fig ice cream for dessert.

But during the dinner, I realized Ritual’s story is about more than food. The decorative plates on the walls provided a hint.

Plates on the wall at Ritual CafeHandmade ceramic plates on the wall at Ritual.

In additional to being a restauranteur, Ritual owner Julia Kunstler is also a ceramicist and has a pottery studio in Bertrams, near the Joburg CBD.

I love good restaurants, I love art studios in gritty Jozi suburbs, and I love the idea of writing about both in the same blog post. So I decided to pay a visit to Julia K Ceramics.

Julia’s Ceramics

Julia’s studio is in a beautiful old industrial building on Frere Road in Bertrams (not far from the much more well-known arts hub, Victoria Yards). Julia actually owns the building, which has a great view of the Joburg skyline, and used to live on the top floor. Today the building is occupied by several small, commercial businesses (dressmakers, photographers, etc.) and Julia K Ceramics on the ground floor.

Julia in her ceramics studioJulia in her studio.

Julia and her staff make ceramics for big commercial companies, like game lodges and wineries, but also for smaller clients and retail shops. Similar to the food at Ritual, Julia’s ceramics are simple and pretty and innovative all at once.

Blue and white dishes from Julia K Ceramics Simple blue and white.

Penguin mugPenguin mug.

Gold-painted giraffesGold-painted giraffes.

Bird on salt shakerBird-painting in progress.

Ceramic bunniesCeramic bunnies waiting to be painted.

Good food and ceramic bunnies: the perfect blogging recipe. Check out Ritual for a hearty South African meal and Julia K Ceramics for for pretty, hand-crafted pottery.

Ritual Café is at 32 7th Street, Linden. Find its opening hours on Facebook. Ritual doesn’t have a liquor license but customers are welcome to BYOB. (Tonic, Joburg’s best gin bar, is a couple of doors down.)

Julia K Ceramics is at 33 Frere Road, Bertrams.

Ritual outsideMy dinner at Ritual was complimentary. Opinions expressed are mine.


  1. dizzylexa

    Small world, when Julia stayed in her building in Bertram’s she walked with us in the park. Then she disappeared and later I went to the ceramic factory with Eugenie and reconnected. I’ve always planned to go to the restaurant but just haven’t got there yet.

    • 2summers

      Oh yes, somehow your name came up and she told us she knew you from the park!

  2. autumnashbough

    I love locally made stuff. Unique, and generally not made with lead.

    • 2summers

      I assume there is no lead in ceramics? I’m embarrassingly unsure.

      • autumnashbough

        I think it sneaks into a lot of red paints.

  3. eremophila

    Fig dessert – please send some asap! -:)

    • 2summers

      I normally don’t like fig desserts but that one is so good.

  4. Peggy Laws

    It looks like a great restaurant and can’t wait to try it out. I have seen some of Julia’s ceramics and they are delightful.

    • 2summers

      I agree!


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