Durban, with its hotpot of cultures, has the best mix of foods full of character and flavors. Thanks to the rich Indian heritage and influence, you will get foods ranging from curry dishes from the round-the-corner eatery to fine dining options in 5 star restaurants. Read along as we sample some of the best places to eat in Durban.
Local dishes are always the best option to experience food while traveling, and what better way to try them than by visiting the following local eateries:
1. Nembula’s in Empangeni
Enjoy a local delicacy known as shisa nyama, which loosely translates to “burn the meat” or basically barbecuing. The South African term for barbecuing is braaing and boy do they braai! The meat will be falling apart in your mouth and hands as you lick your fingers. If they are not braaing at a home party, you can go to a township shisa nyama where you will get to choose the sausage (known as boerowors), chops, steak and chicken pieces you want and take it outside to put on the braaing stand. One such shisa nyama is Nembula’s where you can get tender meat, a cold beer, great music and a carwash, all in one place.
Nembula’s in Empangeni
Address: Esikhawini J, Richards Bay, 3887, South Africa
2. Goundens Restaurant and Take Away
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Famous for their hot street food, when you enter this restaurant and order their bunny chow, remember to ask for a cold beer to go with it. You will understand why after taking that first hearty bite and your mouth is on fire. This dish is made out of a half loaf of bread whose middle is taken out and the filled in with spicy curry which can be prawn, vegetarian, chicken or lamb. This is not food you eat on a date, as it is messy and clumsy. Use the beer to cool your tongue down before taking your next bite.
Goundens Restaurant and Take Away
Address: 520 Umbilo Rd & Deodar Avenue, Glennwood, Durban, 4001, South Africa
3. Govinda’s Pure Vegetarian Restaurant
Govinda’s is renowned for its Indian vegetarian food, which you can enjoy in the restaurant or you can opt to have as take away. This restaurant is located at the Sri Sri Radhanath Temple of Understanding, which is the largest Hare Krishna temple in Africa. There is not much to write home about its décor, as it is plain and simple, but they still manage to have people lining up for their vegetarian dishes which include biryani, butterbean curry, potato curry, rotis, chilli bites and samosas.
Govinda’s Pure Vegetarian Restaurant
Address: 50 Bhaktivedanta Swami Circle | Unit 5 Chatsworth, Durban 4092, South Africa
Website: Govinda’s Pure Vegetarian Restaurant
Saving up your money for other experiences? Well, the following places will help you save up on food:
4. Bamboo Sushi Lounge
This restaurant was started with the people in mind as it sets out to satisfy by serving sushi in a friendly environment and a chilled out vibe. They have a sushi buffet or you can sample a dish from their a la carte menu. Best thing is you can get sushi take away at half price.
Bamboo Sushi Lounge
Address: 78 Protea Mall, 1/3 Chartwell Dr, Umhlanga, Durban 4319, South Africa
Website: Bamboo Sushi Lounge
5. Hubcaps Woodfired Pizza
Pizza has always been very affordable and at Hubcaps it is not any different. Sample their authentic wood fired pizzas or other foods such as their pastas, for affordable, high quality food. They have great, friendly service too.
Hubcaps Woodfired Pizza
Address: 118 Problem Mkhize Rd, Berea, Durban 4001, South Africa
Website: Hubcaps Woodfired Pizza
Eat like a king at the following restaurants:
6. Beluga Restaurant
Editor’s note: Establishment is permanently closed
If your idea of dining is excellence in food, service and décor, then Beluga Restaurant is the place to go. Beluga’s menu does not stay constant as the chefs always change it to something new, innovative and exciting. Their service is effortlessly efficient without overcrowding diners. They have the drinks department down to a tee, with a professional cocktail mixologist who comes up with deliciously out-of-this-world cocktails and they have an extensive wine list.
Address: Gateway Theatre of Shopping, 1 Palm Blvd, Umhlanga Ridge, Durban 4319, South Africa
Website: Beluga Restaurant
7. The Cargo Hold at uShaka
How about enjoying your food a few meters away from sharks? Yes, The Cargo Hold is located at the Phantom Ship which is host to a shark tank housing several sharks. The dishes served include shucked oysters, grilled crayfish, citrus duck and other delicious foods.
The Cargo Hold at uShaka
Address: uShaka Marine World, 1 Bell St, Point, Durban 4001, South Africa
Website: The Cargo Hold at uShaka
Planning to have an evening of romance with good food, good wine and even great ambience? You can visit the following restaurants:
8. Roma Revolving Restaurant
This restaurant’s menu constitutes a lot of seafood served up with a comprehensive wine list. The staff is excellent in service delivery as they go old school with the whole pulling your chair out for you and pouring the wine for you. The décor consists of carpets on the floor and walls.
Roma Revolving Restaurant
Address: 32 Floor, John Ross House, Jonsson Ln, Durban Central, Durban 4001, South Africa
Website: Roma Revolving Restaurant
9. Harvey’s Lounge Restaurant
If you want a night you will remember, go to this restaurant and enjoy its elegant yet dramatic atmosphere. The food varies from prawns, to Peking duck, to lamb dishes. And the dessert being served? Their brownie plate has had young lovers milling to this restaurant to share its yummy delights. Its award winning wine list entices both serious wine drinkers and the everyday drinker. Come enjoy their sophisticated service provision with a staff that knows what they are talking about when explaining the menu and the wine list.
Harvey’s Lounge Restaurant
Address: Shop 13, Umhlanga Centre, 189 Ridge Rd, Umhlanga Rocks, Durban 4319, South Africa
Website: Harvey’s Lounge Restaurant
Eating with kids in Durban
Little tots joining you for dinner? Well, these restaurants are equipped to make the experience breezy:
10. Circus Circus Beach Café
Your kids will not be whining how hungry they are thanks to the swift food service offered at this café. They serve foods from burgers, to cakes, to wraps, to fish and chips, to salads. The kids will love their onsite soft-serve ice cream. As they are gleefully distracted by the ice cream, you can get yourself a glass of wine or one of their famous cocktails. The café is located smack on the beach with open spaces allowing you to people watch.
Circus Circus Beach Café
Address: 1, Snell Parade, North Beach, Durban 4063, South Africa
Website: Circus Circus Beach Café
11. Center Court Restaurant
This past weekend we had some face painting fun in store! Thank you to all the parents and munchkins for coming down to have fun with us :) Look out for more fun activities coming your way!Posted by Centre Court on Thursday, 13 October 2016
Center Court Restaurant creates memories while still serving up great scrumptious foods. They view all their customers as family, and they most definitely have a menu that will have the tots finishing up the food on their plates without a question.
Center Court Restaurant
Address: 301 The Pavilion, Jack Martens Rd, Beverley Hills, Westville 3629, South Africa
Website: Center Court Restaurant
Durban food experience
There is no doubt that you will have a lot of fun sampling all the above and some more. Durban food has a lot of Indian influenced flavors, seafood, authentic South African delicacies and a lot more for you to enjoy.
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