Burgers of the East Rand: Zani in Katlehong

by | Jul 4, 2024 | Ekurhuleni (East Rand), Food and Drink, Johannesburg | 7 comments

I used to write about food in the East Rand — the municipality just to the east of Joburg, officially called Ekurhuleni — all the time. (For a few examples, see here and here and here.) But it’s been far too long since I’ve recommended a food spot in the East, so I’m dropping in quickly to tell you about Zani Eatery in Katlehong.

Burgers and chips (fries) from Zani.

Those of you who have read my blog for a while might remember I spent a lot of time in Katlehong, a historic township southeast of Joburg, in 2020, when I helped organize a series of Spaza Shop Tours there. Thorsten and I were back in Katlehong this week, doing some work with our friend Bongani, and Bongani recommended we go to Zani for burgers afterward.

Outside Zani Eatery
Outside Zani, which had quite a vibe going even though it was early on a Tuesday afternoon.

Zani is just the kind of place that I like to visit and write about. It’s simple and unassuming, fun, with menu prices on par with South African fast food (which has become very expensive lately — I’m looking at you, Nando’s). But the food at Zani tastes much better than fast food, and it’s more pleasant to eat because you’re supporting a local entrepreneur rather than a billion-dollar corporation.

Zani's food menu
Zani’s food menu is short and to-the-point: chicken, burgers, and fries. They also serve great-looking desserts and fancy beverages but we didn’t get around to those.
Co-owner of Zani
Zani’s super cool co-owner, Manini Mafokeng.

Lunch at Zani

We each ordered a double-patty burger, which comes with chips, and a plate of chicken wings for the table.

Zani's lunch

I liked that the burger was hefty but not too huge for me to pick up easily without it falling apart. The burgers are topped with “Zani’s sauce”, which had a pleasant, cheesy-mayonaise-y consistency to it.

(Side note: For years after moving to South Africa, I tried to order my burgers without sauce and with a bottle of ketchup on the side. But eventually I accepted that people do not eat burgers that way here. South Africans like sauces on burgers — the more sauce, the better — and ketchup is hard to come by. So I’ve learned to embrace whatever sauce comes on my burger, no questions asked, and I’m a happier person for it.)

Double patty burger
A double-patty cross section, held easily in one hand.

The chips are nicely spiced and come with their own thousand-island-like sauce, which I really liked. The barbecue wings are meaty and saucy in their own right. Everything was delicious.

Burger joints seem to be a thing in the Katlehong/Thokoza/Vosloorus area these days — I’ve already got another one in mind to try the next time we’re in the neighborhood (which will be soon). Stay tuned.

Zani is located at 105 Nonyana Street, Monise Section, Katlehong. Open every day but Monday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Follow them on Instagram.


  1. frankieford

    Happy Independence Day!

    • 2summers

      Oh, thank you! I almost totally forgot as it’s just like any other day here 🙂

  2. AutumnAshbough

    “Embrace the sauce” seems like a good mantra. Do burgers usually come with cheese, too?

    • 2summers

      Yes, almost always. Burgers and pizza usually have LOTS of toppings here.

      • AutumnAshbough

        I hope someday you get around to a comparison of the pizzas and burgers in Europe, the US, and South Africa!

  3. dizzylexa

    Love your comment “I’m looking at you Nando’s”

    • 2summers

      Haha thanks. So expensive!


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