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Other Northern Suburbs Neighborhoods
While Saxonwold, Parkview, and Parktown are where you'll find most of the sights in the northern suburbs, the nearby suburbs of Rosebank, Greenside, Parkhurst, Sandton, and Melrose Arch are home to some of the best restaurants and hotels in Johannesburg. The Sandton, Melrose Arch, and Rosebank areas have seen massive growth in recent years in the number of top-quality hotels, and these suburbs provide the safest accommodation with easy access to the city's top restaurants and shopping options.
Originally a farm known as Rosemill Orchards, today Rosebank is home to upmarket shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, and art galleries. It's frequented by well-to-do locals and tourists. At the Rosebank Rooftop Market, in the Rosebank Mall's large parking lot and open every Sunday, everything and anything can be purchased, from crafts and jewelry to clothes and plants. The African Craft Market, open daily, is adjacent to the mall and is open every day. It is popular for its curios and African art. Clubs, bars, galleries, and an art-house cinema add flavor to this trendy area.
Close to Rosebank, the suburb of Greenside is filled with popular restaurants. Gleneagles Road is lined with small eateries, including Italian, Indian, Portuguese, and Japanese restaurants, along with those offering a more conventional range of meats, fish, and pasta. Over the weekend, cars fill the streets and people pack the sidewalks. The adjacent suburb of Emmarentia is also benefiting from Greenside's popularity, with small restaurants popping up. The Emmarentia Dam and gardens, a popular dog-walking and picnic spot, is also a draw.
Also near Rosebank, Parkhurst, a neighborhood full of freshly renovated homes and young couples, has some of the trendiest restaurants in Johannesburg. There are more than a dozen places to eat on 4th Avenue alone. Antiques shops and boutique stores selling furniture and children's clothes also dot the street.
Close to both Rosebank and Sandton, Melrose Arch is an upmarket shopping, dining, and business district that features a handful of good restaurants and boutiques. This European-style lifestyle center offers pleasant accommodations, shopping and dining in a relaxed and safe setting.
Originally a residential area, Sandton is now home to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the enormous Sandton Convention Centre, which hosts large conferences and concerts.
In the large and expensive Sandton City Shopping Centre and adjacent open-air Nelson Mandela Square (also known as Sandton Square), you'll find trendy restaurants selling good but pricey food. There's also a small theater, Old Mutual Theater on the Square, which favors short, lightweight productions such as stand-up comedy. The convention center is next to the square.
But Sandton is not all glitz and glamour—a few miles from the Sandton City Shopping Centre and part of the large suburb is the township of Alexandra, home to an estimated 350,000 people, mostly living in overcrowded, squalid conditions in shacks and rented run-down houses.
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