Remember the good old days, when I used to meet people for coffee in interesting places and then blog about it? I’m ready to bring those days back.
Last week the Johannesburg in Your Pocket Guide published an article called Great Joburg Coffee Shops with Outdoor Seating. The list was curated by Rachel Leigh Dzenga of @JoziCoffeeSpots. I read the article and realized I had only been to three of the ten places on Rachel’s list, and had not even heard of the other seven.
Time to up my game, I decided. So I invited Manuela, an old friend who moved away from South Africa for several years and recently returned, to meet me at Toasted in Parkwood.
I was intrigued by Toasted because it appeared on Rachel’s list but I could not find any evidence of it elsewhere on the internet — no website, no Google Maps listing, no Facebook page. (Toasted does have an Instagram page, @Toasted_JHB, but I didn’t immediately find it.) A secret coffee shop! I thought. My favorite kind.
I arrived at the address, 138 Jan Smuts Avenue (just down the street from Saigon Suzy), and found a dark, imposing metal gate. If I hadn’t seen the small sign next to the door reading “Toasted”, I might have assumed I’d come to the wrong place and left.
I stood at the gate for a moment, looking unsuccessfully for a bell to ring. Then I heard a click indicating the gate had been unlocked. I pulled open the gate, pushed open the inner door, and found myself in a narrow corridor. The security guard at the desk pointed down the corridor. I walked to the end, turned toward the light, and there was Toasted.
I knew right away that I’d stumbled upon something good.
The Toasted courtyard was huge and there was so much to look at — interesting architecture, interesting furniture, lots of greenery. The entrance I walked through was framed by a bright yellow, fire-escape-style staircase and series of catwalks, with big planters hanging down from metal chains.
Before visiting this coffee shop, I hadn’t given any thought to what the name meant. But I made an amazing discovery when I arrived: Toasted is so named because it offers a variety of toasted sandwiches, or toasties. Let me translate for the Americans: I’m talking about grilled cheese, people. GRILLED CHEESE.
Toasted is a hip, secret coffee shop with great design, great coffee, and a specialty in grilled cheese. It’s a 2Summers dream come true.
Toasted is female owned and operated, the food is well priced, and the service is exceptional. They offer gluten-free bread and vegan cheese. I can’t think of a bad thing to say about it. Go.
Expect more coffee shop posts from me in the near future.
Toasted is at 138 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood. Opening hours and other details are on their Instagram page.