The suburb of Melville in Johannesburg falls in and out of favour like a pair of shoes, and now it’s in favour again, with Time Out in England listing it as one of the 40 Best Suburbs in the World.
“Melville is a joyous, everyone-knows-everyone kind of place,” the magazine said.
With the main drags being 7th Street, lined with restaurants and great shops – books, secondhand stuff – and 4th Avenue, it’s a great place to browse on a weekend morning or hang out at night. Not far from these axes are Main Road, the Bamboo Centre on 9th Street and the enclave of Richmond.
A local regular to Melville suggested a few must-stops: “I love Tinsel for jewelry; they have recently moved back to the Bamboo Centre, which also obviously has the popular Love Books, and across the road is local designer Superella, who is amazing. In the main drag, I love Bookdealers, such an awesome shop. Ant Cafe (7th Street) is such a huge Joburg institution and definitely one of the best thin-based pizzas in Joburg. Also Hells Kitchen for drinks and dancing on the weekend. The junk shops are great – Hotel Hope has 3 shops in the area and they have some great finds.”
The Service Station, also at the Bamboo Centre, on the corner of 9th Street and Rustenberg Road, is great for a coffee and eats. Just on the border of Melville, but close and vibey enough to be part of it, at 14 Menton Road, is the Richmond Cafe.
On 4th Avenue is 27 Boxes, the small lifestyle centre created out of 27 containers, and full of places to eat and drink and shop. Across the street, one of the city’s best coffee shops, Tilt. Although the famous breakfast place Pablo Eggs Go Bar has moved to the Mint Hotel in Sandton, the owners still have the boutique hotel Pablo House.