Greenside, Johannesburg

Greenside, which lies just off the busy Barry Hertzog Avenue on the other side from Emmarentia Dam, is a trendy, albeit residential suburb of the city. It is rife with restaurants and described as having a café culture of note. That said, you also need to know where to find it, as the pulse of Greenside lies scattered over both Greenway and Gleneagles Roads.

Restauranteurs open up in Greenside to test their mettle. If you make a name for yourself here, then you're almost assured of moving on up to one of the other parts of Johannesburg, like Parktown, where you can make more money. As a result, there is an ever-changing series of restaurants here and just about the only solid, unchanging aspect of the retail neighbourhood is Woolworths, which stocks a fair amount of organic food.

Whilst the rest of Greenside lies sedately, its upmarket homes in tree-lined avenues, some of its roads in need of the odd workover, this part of Greenside hums. Although accommodation in Johannesburg's suburbs extols the virtues of the Botanical Gardens, leafy Jacaranda-lined roads and easy access to other neighbourhoods like Rosebank, Hyde Park, and Parktown, any number and any variety of restaurants jostle for attention – from Italian, Greek, Portuguese through to Sushi. Add to that the odd mosaic shop, printers and bicycle shop, and you will get the general picture.

Granted, Friday nights and weekends can get a little busy here, and parking becomes something of a nightmare, but there is a general vibe that makes it worth it. And a stay here makes getting to other vibey areas, like Melville and the centre of Johannesburg, relatively easy too. It is a good base to have, if Houghton or Killarney are on your agenda and it forms a 'gateway' to the northern suburbs.

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