This list offers a selection of cool, student budget-friendly spots in Rosebank for Witsies looking to unwind outside of Braamfontein

With the drastic increase in the cost of living, and mid-terms approaching, it is advisable to take a step back, relax and appreciate life’s luxuries. Despite the higher costs, there are still affordable places Witsies can try out and enjoy.  

Here we suggest a few Rosebank spots that offer a varied selection of vibes and settings, allowing one to enjoy Johannesburg’s unique, vibrant culture on a budget.  

Soul Souvlaki’s famous ‘IN THE HAND’ pitas. Photo: Kate Liquorish

1.Soul Souvlaki  

Location: 42 Bath Avenue, Rosebank                                                        

Soul Souvlaki is a Greek-inspired franchise serving fresh, quality Greek-style food. The franchise, which began in Maboneng, has expanded to six stores sharing the same Greek style, but each unique from the others. The Rosebank franchise has a modern look mixed with a pinch of simple, practical and rustic. Souvlaki prides itself on producing quality meals with fresh, up-to-par ingredients, to serve meals freshly prepared in its kitchen. The Rosebank restaurant has an intimate and homey feel, perfect for anyone looking for an escape accompanied by filling meals prepared with passion. The menu offers a variety of simple meals such as Chicken Souvlaki in Pita, available as single (R65) or double (R86). It also gives guests the option of creating their own plate, and the choice of sharing a meat/vegetarian/vegan combo for 2-4 people from R269. Souvlaki offers a cosy atmosphere with freshly prepared food at reasonable prices.  


   2.Saigon Suzy Parkwood  

    Location: Unit 1, Parkwood Mansions, 144 Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood 

Saigon Suzy Parkwood. Photo: Malaika Ditabo

If you are looking for the perfect date spot, solo dates included, or a place to host a large group of friends at an establishment with great food, tasty cocktails and a warm atmosphere at a student budget, Saigon Suzy is just the place. 

It is a vibrant Southeast Asian-style restaurant that impersonates the streets of the Vietnamese food market, and is situated at the ever-so-busy Park Corner on Jan Smuts Avenue.  

The restaurant features traditional Vietnamese food on its menu, adding a modern, edgy twist to food filled with authenticity and flavour. As a result, the menu is rather diverse, offering a wide selection of meals. Whether it be “Street Eats” that are small in portion, or “Feast your Face” bowls that are rather large, there is a pocket-friendly choice for everyone. The establishment also has an extensive drinks selection, ranging from wine (R170-R295), cocktails (R75-R85) and mocktails (R45-R49) to beers on tap (R38-R60) and kombucha (R45-R49) if you prefer a healthy alternative. 


3.Zoo Lake  

Location: Corner of Jan Smuts Avenue & West World Street, Parkview 

Rowing boats at Zoo Lake. Photo: Malaika Ditabo

Zoo Lake is the ideal space to host picnics, take a walk with the ducks or enjoy a ride on the rowing boats at affordable rates. The park is situated across from Johannesburg Zoo and has no entrance fee. It has facilities such as basketball and tennis courts available for public use. The park is open every day and has parking for motorists worried about leaving their cars unattended on the street. There is so much to do at Zoo Lake that can cost you little to nothing.  


4.IndyKart Indoor Go Karting  

Location: Level 4 Parking, Entrance 5 (Above Dis-Chem) 50 Bath Avenue, Rosebank 

Karts on the IndyKart track. Photo: Malaika Ditabo

In need of speed, an adrenaline rush and fun? IndyKart is just the spot to achieve all of that and more. The go-karting track on the rooftop of Rosebank Mall is 240m long, with a maximum speed of 65km/h and a total of nine karts per race. This essentially means you and eight friends can compete against each other. The prize for winning the race includes bragging rights, the alleviation of stress, your name being featured on the big screen and your track speed being recorded. All of this can be experienced from Tuesday to Sunday at the cost of R130 per person, granting each rider eight minutes (+/- 15 laps), and R250 for 20 minutes (+/- 30 laps). No appointment is needed, but you can book online to secure a race slot. It is also advisable to check the calendar, available on the website, which outlines what days and times are either privatised (red block), closed (grey block) or open to the public (green, yellow and orange).                                         


Leonora Everard-Haden’s exhibit ‘A Life in Landscapes.’ Photo: Malaika Ditabo

5.Everard Read 

Location: 2 & 6 Jellicoe Avenue, Rosebank 

As you enter the gallery, you are instantly met with a peaceful, warm and calm setting that takes your mind on a journey. Everard Read was established in 1913, making it Africa’s oldest commercial art gallery. The art exhibited there is contemporary, mostly displaying works by southern African artists and a few international ones. The gallery is currently presenting a solo exhibition, “A Life in Landscapes”, by artist Leonora Everard-Haden. Her collection features delicate, harmonious colours within bodies and landscapes, interconnecting the human anatomy with nature. 

The exhibition will run until April 23, 2022. There are, however, other exhibitions such as “Paris Fair”, which can be viewed from April 7 to April 11, 2022. Entrance to the prominent gallery is free, and it is open to the public from Mondays to Fridays (9am-5pm) and Saturdays (9am-1pm). Other galleries in the area you can enjoy are Keyes Art and BKhz, which are a walking distance from the Everard.   





6.Infamous Brands Container – Tenders SA, Diggity Dogs & Vamos Pregos  

Location: 128 Jan Smuts Avenue (Behind Che Argentine Grill), Parkwood  


The Tender’s SA, Diggity Dogs & Vamos Pregos container. Photo: Malaika Ditabo


Infamous Brands Container houses three top Dark kitchen brands: Tenders SA, Diggity Dogs & Vamos Pregos. So what exactly are Dark kitchen brands? Dark kitchen brands operate only on food delivery applications, but do accept walk-ins. Their container can be found behind Che Argentine Grill, close to Woolworths. The container offers two-for-one specials every day of the week on several food items. These include but are not limited to chicken sandwiches/burgers (R98), gourmet hot dogs (R69-R99), appetising Prego rolls (R89) and filled doughnuts (R65). To get a taste of the mouth-watering, affordable meals offered by Infamous Brands Container, Uber Eats and walk-ins are the route to take. Infamous Brands can also be found on Instagram.  


FEATURE IMAGE: The outside area of Saigon Suzy. Photo: Malaika Ditabo



  • Wits Vuvuzela, The List, March 2022.
  • Wits Vuvuzela, The List – Part Two, March 2022.