Where to Shop in Johannesburg

Diagonal St, Johannesburg South, South Africa
On a recent inner city tour I attended with tour operator, Past Experiences, we went past some of the local stores, one of which was a Muti Store. Muti is the Southern African traditional medicine which is prepared by a Sangoma or traditional healer. The medicines range from plant materials to mineral compounds and even zoological specimens. This particular store carried all that and more (traditional dress, traditional weapons, etc), as store owners try to capitalise on the very diverse African market that filters past.
276 Fox St, City and Suburban, Johannesburg, 2094, South Africa
Sunday is the day to go when food vendors from nearby sell their eats in one place. Maboneng is the arts district of Joburg. Arts on Main hosts several galleries, shops and vendors to enjoy. Many of the galleries feature young and emerging artists of Joburg who are very talented. The picture shown features some of these artists’ works. Jozi’s art scene is rapidly growing and on the same level as New York and other big art cities in the world. We stayed at the 12 Decades Hotel for a few nights and explored Soweto (for history) and Parkhurst for drinks/eats. I also heard from a local that Rosebank has a great market for crafts.
116 Greenway, Greenside, Johannesburg, 2193, South Africa
There are several shops in the trendy Parkhurst neighborhood that caught my eye. We were there with Jo’burg trend spotter Craig Jacobs who showed us the way. Essential Life was the first place we stopped. Here is a description from their website: “A unique retail experience awaits you at Essential Life lifestyle boutique on 4th Avenue in Parkhurst, Johannesburg. The store boasts hundreds of uniquely South African lifestyle products, interior accessories, artworks and multi-functional hard furnishings produced exclusively for Essential Life by the in-house design team. Ranges include Essential Earth home-ware and accessories themed on the essence of African botanicals, the reflections of nature Earth Furniture collection, Essential Wear’s fashion for the soul and contemporary inspirations like Symbols in the City. Lifestyle items are emblazoned with iconic images of the city that landscape the interior, bringing the outside in.”
73 Juta St, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa
This semi-outdoor market on Juta Street in Joburg’s Braamfontein neighbourhood is fun fun fun. Eat oysters from Namibia, drink craft beer from South Africa, and devour paella, gelato, cheeses, chocolate...a food lover’s paradise! Open on Saturdays.
Main Rd & William Nicol Dr., Bryanston, Johannesburg, 2191, South Africa
Life sized replicas of Rhinos and steel Elephants are the order of the day at this location. Here you’ll find beaded wire works of African plants and animals, Jewellery, art, stone statues and many other interesting curios. If you’re looking for a few souvenirs to take back home as memories and gifts for friends, a good place to look would be the market at the intersection of William Nicol and Main Roads in Bryanston. Beaded keyrings and traditional styled jewellery can be bought at a great price and if you buy a few items it’s worthwhile haggling with the artists and store vendors for a better price. One of the artists, Gabriel, manufactures some amazing tin animals, which includes the Big 5 of Africa. A staple of tourist souvenirs are wooden Giraffes, so be sure to check a few out that you might want to take home with you! If you don’t make it to this specific location, you will likely find street vendors selling similar wares. So keep an eye out for them!
Oxford Rd, Rosebank, Johannesburg, 2196, South Africa
The Zone is located in the leafy suburb of Rosebank, with a Gautrain station located just across the road. It has a great collection of stores, restaurants, fast food joints, drinking spots, a cinema and even an arcade with an awesome bowling alley! On one particular occasion, I met up with some friends for a Big Lebowski themed night at the bowling alley. After we’d knocked over some pins and smashed some strikes, we made our way to the froyo store a few steps away to end off the night with a bit of a sweet treat.
38-60 Lilian Ngoyi St, Fordsburg, Johannesburg, 2092, South Africa
The Oriental Plaza, located in Fordsburg, just west of the old CBD, is home to many an Indian store owner who specialise in beautiful exotic fabrics and other clothing items and related trades such as tailoring. That’s not to say that the Plaza is limited to those items, as there are spices and curios too, amongst other things. It is a favourite shopping destination amongst locals who are looking for designer fabrics and good deals on those items. While you’re resting from all the price haggling, you can enjoy a good curry or some samoosas or any number of Indian dishes from one of the stores inside the plaza, or venture out and find one of the many restaurants nearby.
70 Juta St
Located in the trendy 70 Juta Street complex, Parooz Fashions is stocked and run by an awesome young lady named Roxy. Frequented by top local celebs, the store has a wide range for all tastes, so as a visitor you should walk in and ‘Parooz’ the store, then grab something stylish that catches your eye and kit yourself out from head to toe in some awesome threads!
3 Desmond St, Kramerville, Sandton, 2090, South Africa
A new addition to the Jo’burg night market scene is the House & Leisure Night Market at Katy’s Palace Bar, which is also home to an antique store located on the ground floor and The night market featured a good variety of local arts and crafts as well as some locally produced foods and drinks. On the night there was a competition to win a prize hamper consisting of awesome prizes from all the vendors at the market, and amazingly my friend and I ended up winning! Katy’s Palace Bar is normally a private venue for hire, however they are also open for selected public events and every first Sunday of the month for easy lunches and cocktails on their balcony which looks out over the city of Sandton
Nelson Mandela Square, Sandown, Sandton, 2000, South Africa
Sandton City shopping centre houses some of the best brands both local and international, and if you’re looking at just spending a day window shopping, this is a pretty decent place to do it. From clothing boutiques to tech stores, Sandton City has pretty much whatever you’re looking for. It even has a mini casino! Take a break and grab a bite to eat at any of the restaurants, or catch a movie at the cinema on the bottom floor. If your feet get too tired, and you feel a little sleepy, you could always check yourself into one of the attached hotels, like the Sandton Sun or the Michelangelo.
115 Grant Ave & Nellie Road, Norwood, Johannesburg, 2117, South Africa
Having recently opened its doors to the public, the Factory on Grant Avenue in Norwood aims to be a destination for promoting the arts, crafts, design and a bit of individuality as it hopes to inject some renewed interest in the old neighborhood. The Factory features an artisanal bakery, a glass blowing studio, a screen printing workshop, an art gallery, boutique clothing stores and even a flower shop. Over the years, the popular Grant Avenue in Norwood has declined somewhat, with a proliferation of massage parlors and mini supermarkets. With the new Factory having opened early in 2014, Norwood seems to have a new buzz about it which, hopefully, will lead to other new ventures and establishments popping up too.
39 Kerk St, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa
Walking through the CBD, I was delighted to come upon this buzzing shopping area. The street has been turned into a mall, with a covered area, where vendors can set up to sell all kinds of things. Haircuts are one of the favorites. There are nice shops, like Kurt Geiger, opening in the area, to go with the street vendors. I heard that people come from all over Africa to shop here.
264 Fox St &, Berea Rd, Maboneng, Johannesburg, 2094, South Africa
A collection of art galleries, artists’ studios, restaurants, and shops, Arts on Main functions as a hub for Johannesburg’s creative community, bringing people together to share ideas, beverages, and one another’s company. Every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the space also hosts a market where you can buy everything from ice-cold beer to books and prints by William Kentridge, who has a studio in the building. Make sure to stop by the David Krut Workshop to pick up an experimental etching, then grab a bite to eat at Canteen, a casual café serving everything from French toast to lamb burgers.
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