Durban is renowned for its diverse cuisine from all over the world, but is famous for its spicy Indian curries and exotic meat dishes like venison, crocodile and ostrich.
Head for some of the city’s best eating and entertainment destinations:
Durban Central Beachfront
There’s always a great atmosphere here, plus a wide variety of restaurants, cafés and bars.
The Bunny Chow
You don’t need a plate or eating utensils for this one! Half a loaf of bread, hollowed out and filled with curry. Cheap, delicious and filling, this is Durban’s most famous dish. You’ll find it at corner cafés and restaurants, particularly in the city, along the beachfront and around the Blue Lagoon.
Bunny Chow Makes those Pret A Manger sarnies look somewhat inadequate, doesn’t it?
No one’s quite sure how bunny chow came to be named, but what is certain is that this hollowed-out half- or quarter-loaf of white bread filled with a blistering-hot curry is one of South Africa’s most treasured street foods. The meat and vegetable curries that fill bunny chows were bought to South Africa by Indian indentured laborers who came to South Africa in the 19th century to work on the sugar-cane fields. Available as takeaways in all major cities, but the best bunnies come from Durban. and it is listed as number 4 at Africa Facts on 15 of Africa’s favorite dishes
( 031 307 7841 / www.wilsonswharf.co.za )
One of Durban’s liveliest venues offering a fusion of food, live music and shopping overlooking the magnificent Durban Harbour.
Florida Road, Morningside
Hip, happening and cosmopolitan – that’s Florida Road, where cafés and restaurants line the sidewalks amid buzzing art galleries, boutique shops and nightclubs.
This upmarket resort area north of Durban offers a range of fine-dining options, from classic and elegant restaurants to contemporary and cool eateries.
Fun and food for the whole family can be found in Toti (as the locals call it), from pubs to steakhouses to takeaways.
Helen Joseph (Davenport) Road, Glenwood
You’ll find this road is packed with restaurants offering everything from Moroccan food, Portuguese food, gourmet pizzas and classic hamburgers; cafés and interesting independent stores.
uShaka Village Walk
At the Cargo Hold restaurant (031 328 8065) inside the Phantom Ship, you can dine while you marvel at the backdrop of a massive shark-tank. Moyo ( 031 332 0606) offers a sophisticated and truly African dining experience.
Sundowner Harbour Cruise
For a unique eating and entertainment experience, book a trip on one of the many charter boats that offer day, sunset, or night cruises around the harbour.
Durban is a shopper’s paradise, with pavement sellers selling arts, crafts and curios, street markets selling curries and spices, handmade curios, and massive shopping malls.
Gateway Theatre of Shopping
( 031 514 0500 / www.gatewayworld.co.za)
This is one of the greatest entertainment and shopping complexes in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s located on the Umhlanga Ridge, overlooking the Indian Ocean.
The Pavilion Shopping Centre
( 031 275 9800 / www.thepav.co.za)
Just 10 minutes inland of Durban, this mall has a wide range of stores as well as cinemas, ten-pin bowling and a skatepark.
The Heritage Market
( 031 765 2500 / www.heritagehillcrest.co.za)
This open-plan shopping complex in Hillcrest is surrounded by rose gardens, giving it a country atmosphere with 160 Victorian style shops.
( 031 904 2233 / www.galleria.co.za)
This centre is a must for entertainment junkies with its ice skating rink, bowling, glow-in-the-dark mini golf and games arcade.
Pop into the Craft Village alongside the beachfront and pick up some distinctive Zulu crafts, art and other memorabilia.
( 031 208 1264 / www.essenwoodmarket.com)
You can find everything from local clothing, jewellery and food to plants and herbs at this market that runs every Saturday at the Berea Park in Musgrave.
Shongweni Farmers’ and Craft Market
( 083 777 1674 / www.shongwenimarket.co.za)
The Shongweni Farmers’ and Craft Market in Assagay in the Valley of 1000 Hills specialises in organic foods, fresh produce and traditional crafts.
Victoria Street Market
( 031 306 4021)
This vibrant Indian Market with its colourful stalls, fish market and curio outlets is a favourite for tourists.
The Midlands Meander
( 033 330 8195 / www.midlandsmeander.co.za)
The Midlands Meander is South Africa’s first, largest and most popular arts and crafts route. Weavers, potters, woodcrafters, leather workers, artists, metalworkers, wine makers, herb growers, cheese makers, beer brewers and more can be found along the meander.