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WORDS: EMILY SHAW IMAGES: SUPPLIED

Joburgers are spoilt for choice when it comes to trendy, sophisticated eateries with complicated menus and imported wines. In fact, they’re so prevalent that when you find a venue that offers the exact opposite – with its own unique charm – you may just become a regular.

Tucked away in the strange little village that’s the Rustic Timber Centre on Witkoppen in Fourways, is Picolinos, a friendly pub/pizza parlour/beer garden/ farmyard/party venue/sports bar. It’s difficult to say exactly what the theme or concept of the space is, but a good description is probably “festival”.

Long, plain wooden tables with plenty of shade – some covered by thatch umbrellas – are arranged on three different levels around the busy bar and the frenetic pizza oven station. In the outdoor section you’ll be able to watch ducks take to a little pond and if your dog is friendly and well socialised, you’ll be able to bring him/ her along too. A huge outdoor play area, the casual setting and Bambinos menu also make Picolinos a great spot for kids’ parties or fun Saturday afternoon out with the whole family.

Once you’re settled at pretty much any table in the restaurant you’ll be able to spot a TV which is convenient for sport lovers and often after a big game there will be live music and even karaoke which can get quite loud and jolly as the sun goes down.

The menu is extensive – everything from sushi to steaks, but it’s the pizza you really want to have a go at – especially if it’s your first time. When you’re ready to order, you’re given a small piece of paper that lists a huge variety of toppings you can add to various pizza sizes. If you’re clever with what you add, you can pay just over R100 for a massive, fully loaded pie. The pizzas are absolutely delicious and Picos – as it’s fondly called by addicted patrons – creates their own “red and green sauces” which are both hot and mild respectively and equally moreish. They’re also available to buy and take home at about R30 a bottle.

Service is efficient given the sheer volume of drinks and dishes that are going out on an average Saturday and the ambience is festive and laidback. Add to the stress-free and fun feel of the place, the divine pizzas, and an ice-cold R&R from a jam jar, and you have yourself a winning excursion for any summer afternoon.

In your hood: Fourways
Picolinos | 011 467 0618 | picolinos.co.za