Are you in the mood for a night out on the town, but short on cash? We’ve got you covered. Counting Coins found the trendiest, cheapest spots in Joburg to spend your hard-earned cents. We’ve found amazing places where you can enjoy dinner and drinks for under R200.

You’ll have so much fun, you won’t even know you’re on a budget, we promise.

Here are the top 5 spots on our list:

1. Great Dane

Situated in Johannesburg’s hip-and-happening Braamfontein, Great Dane is the place to have a budget night out. They serve a variety of gourmet hotdogs, ideal for those living on a shoestring. The cheapest item on the menu is the Plain Jane. For only R45, you get a Frankfurter smothered in homemade mustard and tomato sauce, served on a delicious bun, with hand-cut chips.

Their cheapest cocktail is the Fruit Fix, which is vodka with the fruit of the day, priced at R35. They also serve craft beer and wine.

You can easily have a hotdog with two to three drinks and give a decent tip for under R200. Have fun!

Affordable restaurants

Great Dane

2. Afrikan Freedom Station

Located in Westdene, on the edges of the old Sophiatown, Afrikan Freedom Station adds a dash of culture to your budget night out. They exhibit artworks by up-and-coming local artists, and frequently host jazz jam sessions and screenings.

The most expensive item on their menu is R40, while for only R25 you can enjoy a vegetable curry with salad and rice or roti. Yum! You can also nurse a coffee for R10. So, even on the tightest of budgets, you can enjoy art, music and a meal in Johannesburg.

3. Chalkboard Cafe

Nestled in trendy Maboneng, Chalkboard Cafe serves toasted sandwiches, salads and pizza. The sarmies are priced from R25 to R30, and salads from R35 to R45. For R54 you can get a Margherita, but my personal favourite is the Mr Owen, loaded with bacon, mushroom, avo and feta for only R88.

Top off your meal with a bottle of Bob’s Your Uncle wine for R50. The also serve craft beers and hot drinks. Perfect for a night on the town.

Affordable restaurants

Chalkboard Cafe

4. Jo’anna Melt Bar

Offering delicious speciality sandwiches, Jo’anna Melt Bar can be found in Melville. Their mouth-watering sarmies are sure to bust your hunger, and keep you on budget.

For R49 you can have a Joanna Classic, with fresh basil, tomato, mozzarella and avo, a Jimmy the Blond, with Dijon mustard, cheddar, grilled pepper and salami, or a Green Belt, with gouda, cooked spinach, feta, caramelised onion, pepper and mushroom.

They even have a toasted dessert sandwich, with Nutella, sliced strawberries, pecan nuts and flamed marshmallows, served with whipped cream, for R42.

If you’re not in the mood for a sandwich, you can have the Air Base for R48. The Air Base is chicken wings with one of their sauces: sweet chilli vodka, brandy and coke BBQ, or hot chilli tequila.

Their cheapest cocktail is a Cosmopolitan for R30, or maybe you’d like a Mango Colada for R38.

Cheap Restaurant

Jo’anna Melt Bar

5. Mamma’s Shebeen

There’s always something cooking in Greenside, but if you’re in the mood for real African food, try out Mama’s Shebeen.

Their menu offers a variety of meals, and for R55 you can have a delicious chicken or steak prego roll. Also, you need to try the African flatbread. The pan-fried flatbread is served with a filling of mince, chicken or veggies, smothered in cheddar. All for the low, low price of R50.

Proving that local is lekker, all their cocktails all have a South African twist. For R45 you can have a Mamelodi Moijito, Free State Passion or Witbank Russion. For R46 you can have a Sophiatown Sunset, Bo-kaap Blues, or Mzanzi. We suggest you try them all, budget permitting, of course.

affordable restaurants

Mamma’s Shebeen

About The Author

Ula Van Zyl

Ula van Zyl is a sub-editor at a major news outlet. She has been a bibliophile since she could recognise the little squiggly things as letters and words. Ula is the person you want to have on your pub quiz team, but is, unfortunately, already committed to a team at present.

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