Best Restaurants in Durban
Eating out in Durban is a multicultural activity, with its large
and diverse cultural communities each bringing their own
distinctive flavour to the table.
Durban''s Indian population, one of the largest outside of India,
permeates its cuisine at nearly every level. Take-away curry
restaurants abound on every corner, offering samoosas and Durban''s
own traditional food, the ''bunny chow'': a hollowed-out loaf of
bread filled with a hot helping of beef, mutton, chicken, prawn or
bean curry. Thanks to the generous helpings of peri-peri chillies,
the curries tend to be very spicy at most traditional restaurants;
most waiters will be able to recommend dishes suited to more
sensitive palates, though. If you find yourself battling with the
spiciness, you can end your meal with a bowl of mild soji (semolina
pudding) and cream. Iconic restaurant Silverani''s in Berea is a
great place for true Durban curries.
Because of the large Muslim population, many Indian restaurants
follow Halaal guidelines. Vegetarian options tend to be somewhat
lacking overall in Durban restaurants however, apart from vegetable
Durban''s strong and proud Zulu culture makes its own
contributions to local cuisine, though you''ll find it mostly in
more rural areas. Traditional restaurants in the Valley of 1000
Hills and Eshowe offer hearty meals of amadumbi (Zulu potatoes),
uphuthu or pap (hard maize porridge), mogodu (tripe), and more
adventurous options like boiled chicken feet and sheep heads.
Restaurants tend to be clustered in residential districts like
Glenwood''s Helen Joseph Road, Morningside''s Florida Road, or Durban
North''s Kensington Drive. There are cosmopolitan options to suit
every taste, including Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Greek,
Mexican, Moroccan, Mediterranean fusion and sushi.
There is cheap food and fine dining for every budget when
deciding where to eat in Durban, ranging from burger joints like
Steers and Wimpy to the elegant Roma Revolving Restaurant, which
offers a romantic atmosphere, decadent food, and spectacular views
as it rotates on the 32nd floor of a South Beach skyscraper.
Most restaurants close their kitchens promptly at 10pm; however
you''ll find a few late-night dining options in the party districts
like Florida Road and Suncoast Casino, and Chartwell Drive in
Umhlanga. Pizza and pasta eatery Spiga d''Oro is popular with
locals, staying open until 3am on weekends.
Tipping is always encouraged, as many waiters don''t receive a
wage. 10 percent is the standard minimum, going up to 15 percent
for very good service. Most restaurants accept credit cards, but
don''t let it out of your sight as identity theft is a concern in
The Cargo Hold Restaurant
uShaka Marine World offers a range of dining options, but the
Cargo Hold is the only restaurant that incorporates the aquarium
into your dining experience. The restaurant is located in what
appears to be the wreck of a ship, and is dominated by a massive
shark tank on one side. Diners can enjoy typical South African
seafood, steaks, and vegetarian options while watching ragged-tooth
sharks cruising by. You'll need to call ahead for a reservation,
and you can park in the secure uShaka parking lot.
Address: 1 Bell Street, Ushaka Marine World, Point
Caf?© 1999 is a tiny restaurant in Silvervause Centre, offering
Durban diners an eclectic mix of Mediterrenean and world fusion
cuisine. The caf?© is famous for their starter menu, which is
structured tapas-style, with bite-sized portions made to share.
Highlights include the calamata olives stuffed with ricotta,
crumbed, deep-fried and served with a chilli and herb mayo, and the
Ginger and Lime Prawn Tails. The main menu also gives patrons the
opportunity for smaller portions. The best options are often on the
ever-changing specials list, so ask your waiter for a
recommendation, as the service is among the best in Durban. The
restaurant is small and crowded, and often very noisy. It's best to
call ahead, as it fills up early.
Address: Shop 2, Silvervause Centre, 117 Vause Road,
Late-night dining options are limited in Durban, so many locals
flock to the popular Spiga d'Oro in Morningside. Located in the
heart of busy Florida Road, Spiga is a bustling Italian restaurant
that specialises in generously-portioned pizzas and pastas. It has
three seating areas, including a sidewalk caf?© that offers a great
vantage point for people-watching; an elegant open-air courtyard
with a fountain, two bars, and a balcony; and an indoor area.
Spiga's popularity is partly due to their extended hours, staying
open until midnight on Sunday and Monday, 2am on Tuesday and
Wednesday, and 3am Thursday through Saturday. They don't take
reservations, so there's always a wait during peak hours.
Address: 200 Florida Road, Morningside
Butcher Boys, Morningside
With red face-brick, rich mahogany, and the chance to choose
your own cut of meat from the in-house butchery, Butcher Boys
caters to serious carnivores, though vegetarian and seafood dishes
are also available. Start with the juicy bite size pork ribletts or
, traditional South African kebabs, sink
your teeth into your own hand-picked cut of rump, sirloin or fillet
complimented by a delicious glass of aged Cabernet Sauvignon, and
indulge in a Lindt Chocolate Panna Cotta for dessert. Open Sunday
to Friday for lunch and daily for dinner. Bookings recommended.
Address: 170 Florida Road, Morningside
The New Caf?© Fish
With airy d?©cor, floor to ceiling windows and fabulous views
over the water, the New Caf?© Fish is one of Durban's trendier
seafood eateries. Sip on a cocktail in a ray of afternoon sunshine
or enjoy the twinkling city lights at dark while feasting on some
of the freshest fish in the city. With exotic twists on classic
dishes, such as wok fried calamari in a Thai red curry coconut
sauce, seafood crepes, Cajun grilled linefish and Fisherman's pie,
you won't be disappointed. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Address: 31 Yacht Mole, Victoria Embankment
Situated on the vibrant Windermere Road, Indian Connection
boasts two chefs from Mumbai who love nothing more than serving a
range of Korma (curries), chicken dishes, fish and mutton, as well
as equally delicious vegetarian options. Amongst popular dishes
such as the Rogan Josh, Butter chicken and Chicken Tikka masala,
the Madras fish curry is delightful while the chicken Jalfrezi and
Lamb Achari send taste buds soaring to new heights. Open daily for
lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended.
Address: 485 Windermere Road, Morningside
Jewel of India
For some of Durban's finest authentic Indian cuisine, Jewel of
India was the second restaurant in Durban to introduce the Tandoori
oven, Bengali sweetmeats, Idli and Dosa. With plenty of vegetarian
options too, Jewel of India has plenty of fare to suit just about
everyone's tastes. Try the mixed kebaab platter to start, followed
by the Paneer Makhani, fragrant Kadhai Prawns or the Lamb Vindaloo
and end things off with the traditional warm pudding, Phirni
(Kheer). Open daily for lunch and dinner. Bookings recommended.
Address: Southern Sun Elangeni, Snell Parade
While locals may complain of its touristy atmosphere, visitors
to Durban can't get enough of Moyo's African menu, funky decor, and
gorgeous views of the beachfront. Located in the uShaka Marine
World complex in South Beach, you can sit in the dining room
upstairs, or lounge on the leather couches at the beach bar below.
The menu is a veritable tour of Africa, with influences and recipes
from all over the continent. Not hungry? Then treat yourself to a
gigantic strawberry daiquiri (virgin or otherwise). Whatever you
choose, you'll be serenaded by African music and dance groups, and
may even walk away with a bit of art on your cheek!
Address: 1 Bell Street, uShaka Marine World, Point
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