A Restaurateur's Guide to Eating Out in Durban, South Africa

Restaurateur Thandi Dlamini knows Durban’s culinary landscape like the back of her hand
Restaurateur Thandi Dlamini knows Durban’s culinary landscape like the back of her hand | © Siyabonga Mkhasibe / Culture Trip
Having lived in Durban, South Africa, all of her life and been a prominent figure in its food scene, Thandi Dlamini knows the city’s culinary landscape like the back of her hand. Here’s her take on the city’s hotspots.
Dlamini is a prominent figure on Durban’s food scene © Siyabonga Mkhasibe / Culture Trip

A love for experimenting with new restaurants and trying new recipes renders Thandi Dlamini the best person to curate our culinary itinerary in Durban. She’s behind a company that caters for all sorts of events, and she also runs her own healthy delivery service, Thandi’s Fresh Produce, which sees her work with small farmers to cart their goods all around the city.

Read on to learn of seven delicious destinations to bookmark featuring Durban’s signature dish, bunny chow. “When you come to Durban you have to have bunny chow,” Dlamini says. “I probably only have it once a year as it’s quite heavy and spicy, but you must try it!”

Bunny chow is a Durban icon © Siyabonga Mkhasibe / Culture Trip

Mythos Restaurant at Suncoast Casino

Restaurant, Greek, $$$

“Mythos is my absolute favourite restaurant in Durban. Here you’ll get award-winning Greek cuisine, made from family recipes. The food is truly excellent, with my all time favourite being the lamb kleftiko. The atmosphere is amazing and lunchtime specials are very affordable and delicious.”

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Jiran Café

Bistro, Cafe, South African, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$

“A coffee shop by day and a gastro-restaurant by night, Café Jiran is a one-stop foodie destination. In my opinion, it’s a winner for breakfast. Their eggs benedict is the best. It’s a really relaxed vibe for coffee.”

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The Brasserie at Quarters Boutique Hotel

Restaurant, South African

“Open for all three courses, The Brasserie gives guests the choice to dine in its conservatory-style indoor restaurant or al fresco in its courtyard. Either way, the ambience is excellent, much like their service. If you are looking for the best chicken livers in the world, this place won’t disappoint.”

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Dukkah Restaurant and Bar

Restaurant, Wine Bar, Snack Bar, Wine, Snacks
© Siyabonga Mkhasibe / Culture Trip

“Dukkah Restaurant and Bar in Durban’s Florida Road is a wine aficionado’s heaven: there’s a whole wall of wine bottles for perusal. Then there’s the cocktails. Together the drinks are world-class. The service and dishes are a really well thought-out concept and they’re constantly changing the menu to keep the place exciting.”

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Big Easy Durban by Ernie Els

Wine Bar, Snack Bar, Snacks, Wine

“This restaurant is owned by and named after golfer Ernie ‘Big Easy’ Els, who got his nickname for his effortless golf swing. It’s another venue for wine lovers – their wine pairing events are brilliant, although not cheap. Also, their tomato bruschetta is to die for.”

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The Curry O's

Restaurant, Indian

“You can’t live in Durban and not crave some good quality bunny chow now and then. It’s a true Durban icon. The Curry O’s at Point Waterfront is still fairly new, having opened on the 1st of December, but it’s proving to be one of the best spots for Indian cuisine in Durban.”

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These recommendations were updated on February 28, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.