Durban has a rich culinary tradition, offering everything from fresh seafood and spicy curries to the best burgers in the country. You definitely won’t go hungry here!
Here are some of our favourite restaurants to try in the city if you’re after a tasty meal:
Fast and fabulous
Fast foods such as burgers and pizzas top the list when it comes to comfort food. This doesn’t mean it can’t be a culinary experience, however.
Food Riders Cafe on Addington Beach offers all-day breakfasts, burgers, pizzas, hot dogs and even seafood bao (buns) Burger lovers should try the soft-shell crab burger, or if you’re adventurous and craving something new, the fried snapper bao.
D’urban Burger Co. in Umhlanga Rocks also offers a unique take on the much-loved burger recipe. An offshoot of chef Khutso Masethe’s My Gourmet catering company, the outlet promises an abundance of tasty flavours. Its Moroccan burger sliders are served on panini buns and topped with zingy coriander pesto, onion marmalade and hummus.
Afro’s Chicken Shop is a street-food jaunt that originated in Durban and has become so successful there are now 11 outlets in KwaZulu-Natal and the business has even branched out to the Western Cape and Gauteng. The small menu comprises simple, chicken-based wraps, strips, burgers and salads, plus a breakfast menu. Try the Regmaker breakfast with egg, streaky bacon, chicken strips, chips and chicken livers on a toasted roll to start the day in a delectable way.
Healthy and wholesome
Not everything can be deep-fried and slathered in mayo. You need to make sure you also eat your greens and veggies. Luckily, healthy food has had a revolution of its own. Gone are the days of boiled broccoli and boring beans. Today, healthy, vegan and banting options are on a par with the most delicious meals out there!
Market restaurant in Greyville offers decadent gluten-free, vegan and banting options. The cinnamon-spiced hot cakes with smoked salmon on sweet potato and quinoa cake served with banana, crème fraîche and honey are something of a foodie experience. The Thai calamari salad with roast butternut, beetroot, goat’s cheese, micro greens and pumpkin seeds is also perfect if you’re looking for something light that will still tickle the senses.
St. Clements on Musgrave Road promises soul food with a few healthy twists. The Moroccan chicken (or beef) salad served with greens, chickpeas, spicy harissa and hints of piquant lemon zest packs a powerful flavour. Keep an eye on the chalkboard specials that are updated seasonally, or depending on produce availability. Expect many a stir-fry and chilli-based dish made with the freshest veggies available.
Hot and spicy
Any South African will tell you that Durban curry is a food genre of its own.
Indian Summer in Glenashley offers an array of vegetable, seafood, chicken and lamb curries along with fresh breads, all prepared on site in the tandoor oven. Prepare to embark on an adventure of taste sensations, spanning both traditional North and South Indian dishes.
Mali’s Indian Restaurant in Morningside is a small eatery that packs a massive punch. Try the lamb pepper fry in a dry-style gravy with green chilli and a generous helping of black pepper for a spicy treat served with jeera rice tossed with cashews, garlicky naan or paratha. Mali’s also caters for vegetarians.
Divine and decadent
Special occasion? Sometimes you’re after a meal that goes the extra mile. Whether you’re looking for dinner with pizzazz, a fine-dining experience or something completely different, Durban has you covered.
The Grill Room at The Oyster Box in Umhlanga about 16km from Durban offers a grand and extravagant dining experience. With the establishment having operated as a top fine-dining restaurant for the past 70 years, expect old-school luxury. The Grill Room prides itself on its formal gueridon (trolley) service, with a selection of 18 appetisers prepared and presented at your table. Talk about dinner and a show!
If you’re in the mood for delicious seafood, Restaurant Ile Maurice in Umhlanga Rocks is the place to go to. Considering its gorgeous ocean views and outside deck, you’ll want to arrive just in time for sunset. The menu focuses on seafood dishes inspired by traditional Mauritian cooking, so expect langoustines, seafood curries and more, served with zingy and fragrant spices.