Eating out in Durban

Foodies Guide to Durban

“Food in Durban reflects the flavours of the communities who live here.” Mrs Zuleikha Mayat, author of ‘ Indian Delights’.

As good as the food available at the DEC, and the brightly coloured high streets lined with franchise outlets offering the tried and tested, but an eating experience is best when unearthing hidden gems. The metro is full of such gems, some so discreetly tucked away that not even regular Durbanites know them. From mielies (corn) cooked on the pavements of Warwick, to spicy local curries and internationally recognised fine-dining, Durban offers a wide variety of culinary delights. Familiarise yourself with Durban’s very own ‘otherwhere’ creation, the Bunny Chow and a South African favourite, the Shisa Nyama.

The Bunny Chow:

a quarter-loaf or half -loaf unsliced white bread hollowed out and filled with curry, eating a bunny is a process of deconstruction: work from the top to the sides, the rest is self-explanatory. One of our newest exports, ‘bunnies’ are popping up all over the world. They are so popular, an annual competition is held to find the best one. The humble bunny even has a website dedicated to it: Don’t leave Durban without tasting this distinctive street treat.

The Shisa Nyama:

in Zulu, this means “hot meat” – the shisa nyama is a type of braai or barbeque. Eating shisa nyama is a very social experience and in many shisa nyama restaurants, you order your meat from an in-house butchery, and then cook it yourself over coals. Shisa nyama is best accompanied by steam bread, phutu (maize meal) and chilies. Although shisa nyama spots can be found in the city centre, they are most prolific in Durban’s townships.

Durban Bunny Chow

Otherwhere Eating Experiences In Durban

A number of ‘otherwhere’ eating experiences form part of the UIA2014 Fringe Programme.


Zak and Tonic

Zak and Tonic are two foodie friends who are passionate about local and sustainable deliciousness! They will be hosting a "pop-up" cafe on the Roof Garden at the Urban Management Zone building - right across the road from the ICC on Monty Naicker Street! They will be cooking up daily gourmet specials from breakfasts to lunch and yummy sweets and snacks all day that aim to showcase the flavours of Durban and South Africa! Pop-in to the pop-up cafe anytime to enjoy a hot or cold drink, a delicious meal and to appreciate this incredible urban food farm!

Where: 77 Monty Naicker Street, Urban Management Zone Roof Garden
Dates and times: 8am- 6pm daily
Cost: Free entry, food on sale
Open to: Public

Long table local meals

Taste and enjoy some of the best artisan, traditional and organic food produce the province of KwaZulu-Natal has to offer. Cool Runnings, one of Durban’s small but most iconic bars, is hosting a unique eating experience in a funky, back-alley, long table restaurant where you can enjoy the great inner city outdoors and a showcase of local and African musicians and DJ’s. At the same time you can sample cheeses made from hand milked traditional Nguni cattle; organic butter; artisan breads and homemade preserves; organic salads; artisan meats; lamb products from the world’s only herd of Nguni sheep; artisan pork from landrace Kolbroek pigs; organic yoghurts and ice-creams; home-made organic soups; local kraft beers and a traditional shisa-nyama (barbeque).

Where: Cool runnings, East Lane
Dates and times: 1-10 Aug, 11:30-23:00

Some other great places to eat:

Max’s Lifestyle:

One of the best known shisa nyamas in Durban, located in Umlazi – V1328 Mbe Road.

Little Gujarat:

Durban’s celebrated Indian vegetarian restaurant selling curries, bunny chows, samoosas, pakoras, bhajis, roti breads, rice and pickles. Open for lunch. (43 Dr Goonam Street, Durban).

Freedom Café:

A funky restaurant with zany décor in Morningside, built out of containers, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Friday and Saturday nights (37 St Mary’s Avenue).

Brittania Hotel:

Considered one of Durban’s best curry restaurants, a Durban legend situated in a semi-industrial area (1299 Umgeni Road).

Spiga d'Oro:

A lively pavement Italian restaurant in the heart of Florida Road, Morningside. Open for late night diners (200 Florida Road).

Unity Bar:

an eatery with an edge to it, and an excellent selection of craft beers (117 Silverton Rd, Morningside).

Afros Chicken:

A chicken and ‘tjips’ spot located with the best sea view, and catering specifically to surfers, skaters and cyclers on the promenade at South Beach! (2 OR Tambo Parade (closes 6pm).


A fantastic, authentic Ethiopian restaurant in Glenwood, featuring slow cooked food and coffee served in a traditional clay pot (124 Helen Joseph Road, Glenwood).

Otherwhere Coffee Experiences In Durban

Do you prefer the off–the-mill filter coffee? Or are you a connoisseur who prefers the complexity of a cortado? Perhaps you like your espresso made with early morning roasted beans. Whatever your taste, Durban offers the perfect fix for you.

 Earthmother Organic:

An organic restaurant, with organic coffee (106 Bulwer Rd, Glenwood).

Café Jiran:

Once voted the best coffee shop in the region (151 Snell Parade, North Beach).

Glenwood Bakery:

An artisanal bakery with an enthusiastic barista (398 Esther Roberts Road, Glenwood).

The Corner Café:

An obsessive eco-friendly eatery. Serious about their coffee and smooth service (197 Brand Road, Glenwood).

Bean Green:

An intimate coffee shop, music off a record player and rustic wooden chairs with coffee roasted just behind the counter (147 Helen Joseph Road, Glenwood).

Factory Café:

Housed in a factory, the Café sells in-house roasted coffee. They also have a great tea selection (369 Magwaza Maphalala Street, Glenwood).

Love Coffee:

Straight lines interior, welcoming counter and bars stools to enjoy your fix (484 Windermere Road, Morningside).