Top 10 Durban Restaurants & Cafés

Durban diners have never had it so good. With so many talented restaurateurs setting up shop in the casual city, Durbanites now have access to some of the best bistros in South Africa. For the finest Italian food, coffee, croissants and other irresistible indulgences, check out our list of the best spots to eat out in Durban.

Spiga d’Oro, Florida Road

Spiga d'Oro on Florida Road, Morningside, Durban

Located in the social centre of Florida Road, Durban’s long-standing Italian sidewalk café with flair is probably the only spot where you can tuck into delicious homemade pastas well past midnight. Having hosted the likes of former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, it goes without saying that Spiga d’Oro is the place to see and be seen.

Bookings: 031 303 9511 | facebook.com/SpigaDurban | View location

The Factory Café, Durban

The Factory Café, Durban

Arguably the leader of the pack in Durban’s rising coffee shop culture, The Factory Café is a coffee lover’s destination attached to the Colombo Coffee Roastery. With brewing methods that extract the richest flavours from all origins, The Factory Café is about passionate baristas, bean education and sharing the love of coffee through their multiple social networks.

Bookings: 031 205 3283 | factorycafe.co.za | View location

Craft Trattoria, Glen Ashley

Craft Trattoria, Glenashley, Durban

The gargantuan fork that greets you at the entrance to Craft Trattoria signals a feast characterised by hearty Italian food… and lots of it! Pasta is made on site daily and you get to watch the chefs prepare everything through the huge window which separates the kitchen from the restaurant.

Craft Trattoria is the perfect dinner spot just north of Durban serving contemporary Italian cuisine in an equally contemporary setting. Read Bridget’s Craft Trattoria review.

Bookings: 031 562 1951 | crafttrattoria.co.za | View location

9th Avenue Bistro, Morningside

9th Avenue Bistro, Durban, South Africa

This award-winning establishment has been at the vanguard of Durban’s fine dining scene since 2001. Focusing on fresh seasonal ingredients, 9th Avenue Bistro offers patrons a modern and down-to-earth dining experience in one of Durban’s most stylish neighbourhoods.

9th Avenue Bistro is an owner managed restaurant with a constantly evolving creative menu and a reasonably priced wine list. The 6 course tasting menu is a must.

Bookings: 031 312 9134 | 9thavenuebistro.co.za | View location

parc. café, Glenwood

Parc Cafe, Glenwood

Nestled in the heart of Glenwood – Durban’s vibrant varsity suburb, Parc Café offers a laidback dining experience that captures the essence of eThekwini culture.

Menu’s written in chalk on the walls, indoor and sidewalk seating and friendly service create a comfy and casual sanctuary in the city. Expect fuss-free muesli’s, salads, sandwiches and quiches in a colourful setting.

Bookings: 031 205 7285 | parc-cafe.co.za | View location

Bellevue Café, Kloof

Bellevue Cafe, Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal

Drive 30 minutes inland from Durban to the Outer West suburbs of Hillcrest and Kloof and open yourself up to an entirely new café culture experience in the green hills of Natal. Bellevue Café offers comfy and casual bistro dining with ample outdoor seating to capitalize on those warm daytime lunches.

Post meal, browse the bric-a-brac of attached store Fat Tuesday or see what’s going on in the art gallery upstairs. A trip to Bellevue Café makes for the perfect weekend outing.

Bookings: 031 717 2780 | bellevuecafe.co.za | View location

Cafe 1999, Berea

Cafe 1999, Durban

Offering an iconic dining experience in Durban since the year that bears its name, Café 1999 on Vause Road serves modern Mediterranean fusion food to Durban’s jet set crowd.

Café 1999’s tastefully decorated interior is modern and stylish and service is laidback but by no means lackadaisical and Chef Marcelle Roberts and her team have been creating award-winning food and satisfying Durban locals for more than 10 years.

Bookings: 031 202 3406 | cafe1999.co.za | View location

Freedom Café, Greyville

Freedom Cafe, Durban

The self-confessed ‘café-in-a-can’ is an offbeat combination of colourful containers and glass. Light breakfasts and lunches, fresh salads and good coffee are served from the open-plan kitchen and the menu evolves constantly, guided only by the mantra: ‘local, fresh, and direct.’

Freedom Café is great if you’re looking for some eccentric coffee shop inspiration in the centre of Durban.

Bookings: 031 309 4453 | tastefreedom.co.za | View location

Stretta Café, Hillcrest

Stretta Cafe, Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal

Serving simple fresh Italian without the checkered tablecloths, Stretta in Durban’s Upper Highway region is open Monday to Sunday for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, as well as for coffee and drinks (including craft beer) in between.

Its minimalist interior is easy on the eyes and the restaurant brings a refreshingly upbeat dining experience to the growing Hillcrest area which is inundated with local and international chains and fast-food outlets.

Bookings: 031 765 8862 | stretta.co.za | View location

Oscars, Hillcrest

Oscars Cafe, Hillcrest

With an extensive menu that includes curries, open sandwiches and oxtail, Oscars Café in Hillcrest is a firm favourite among Durban families that come from suburbs far and wide to enjoy home-style comfort cooking on the hill.

Oscars is owner-managed and there is always a good amount of staff present so you can expect consistently efficient service. It’s no wonder Oscars is famous in Durban for its relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere.

Bookings: 031 765 7322 | oscarscafehillcrest.co.za | View location


These are the Durban restaurants that best represent the city’s vibrant mix of people and their tastes. What’s your favourite Durban restaurant?

Our Readers Comments

  1. Mooki Noodle Bar is high on my list!

    • Mookies, no, no a thousand times NO.

    • Love Mooki…. may not be top 10, but just love the food and the chilling

  2. I second the Mooki Noodles vote! But lots of good on this list 🙂

  3. Market Restaurant has to be way up there?

  4. I would love to see the Glenwood bakery on this list

    • I agree – Glenwood Bakery is top class.

  5. Delfi in Morningside is a wonderful family owned Greek restaurant. Inexpensive, authentic, welcoming….a must!

  6. Mo’s Noodles definitely! One of the longest running and consistently fantastic!

  7. What about Delphi, Lupa, Vicky Christina’s?

  8. Mooki, for sure! And another vote for Delphi and you definitely need to add Fusion World Cafe!

  9. Stretta is a great restaurant.. Great coffee.. But the service is shocking.. The kitchen is far too small for the number of people dining.. Oscars should not be anywhere near this list. Food is shocking, service is shocking, prices are ridoculous. All in all, oscars and stretta should be avoided unless you want a very average to poor dining experience

    • I have been to Oscars many times, great food excellent service. I have only been to Stretta once on a very busy night, it was full. Food was excellent service was fine and we had a booking of about 30 people. I would definitely go back to both in fact Oscars has always been one of our favourites in the highway area. We have tried to get a booking at Stretta twice since our last visit and both times it was full.

  10. I’d replace Spiga, Oscars and Freedom Cafe with Fish, Glenwood Bakery and Unity

  11. Great list though!

  12. WHY OH WHY is THE OLIVE GARDEN RESTAURANT IN ASSAGAY not on this list. You guys are seriously missing out, best mezze platter in the world and such a kiff atmosphere, check out their facebook page
    https://www.facebook.com/TheOliveGardenKZN?fref=ts

    • Because the OLIVE GARDEN in Hillcrest has owners that TERRORIZE their guests!!! One customers food arrived and hour and a half late and when he asked for his meal, he got SCREAMED at by the owner across the restruant not once, not twice BUT 3 TIMES!! Another customer had terrible service and complained and got attacked on facebook by the owner calling her a self tanned wearing, private schooled snob! APPALLING!!! And when ever anyone writes a negative review – The owner deletes it. Plus The olive garden charges RIDICULOUS prices for food that is only average. They are the most hated restruant in DURBAN!

    • My worst EVER dining experience was at the Olive Garden in Assagay! Shocking service, the owners are terribly rude. The food was nothing to write home about and the decor is something from the 90’s! I live in Assagay and am very proud of the are but would NEVER recommend The Olive Garden!

  13. ok, a few significant oversights here…Mo’s and Harvey’s in Umhlanga, Lupa in Hillcrest, La Storia in Westville, MarcoPaulo in Mt Edgecombe…..

  14. …but what a wonderful conundrum for the city that so bttled to put together a decent Top 10 a decade back!!!

  15. Why is Pizzetta in Davenport rd not on this list? A few weeks ago the Independant on Saturday rated Pizzetta the best place to go for gourmet pizza’s pasta and a whole host of other fantastic dishes. Great atmosphere and brilliant service with excellent food are the hallmarks of this cool place.

  16. Why is Pizzetta in Davenport rd not on this list? A few weeks ago the Independant on Saturday rated Pizzetta the best place to go for gourmet pizza’s pasta and a whole host of other fantastic dishes.

  17. I’m looking for a nice restaurant to take my fiance for his birthday later this month. Can you guys advise which top restaurant i can take him for this special day?

    Thanks in advance guys

  18. Personally, I would love to include Barrio in Umhlanga! Great meals… and entertaining environment. Good list, and I will need to try some of the favourites listed in people’s comments.

  19. Please cat the recommended list into Breakfast / Lunch / Supper

  20. We are looking for a restaurant to take our overseas visitors to next week…what about Cargo Hold, can anyone recommend it ?

  21. Spice is my all time favourite restaurant in Durban

    Spice Restaurant & Bar Lounge

    362 Lillian Ngoyi (Windermere) Road
    Morningside
    Durban
    4001

    • Spice is no more.

    • SPICE have moved to Westbrook Beach. Not sure of the exact address

  22. i relay think that barrio umhlanga shop be on the top of the list, the food and service and location is excellent.

  23. I have looked at all these restaurant posts and comments, but I do not see anything, at all, about compliance to food safety, legislation, and meeting the customers expectations in terms of the consumer Protection Act. any comments from anyone?

  24. Yes to Mooki abd Pizetta and Parc for breakfast and casual. No to Glenwood Bakery….rather arrogant no matter how good the food. So much great food and wonderful service out there for “fine dining”. Kerp it up

  25. You’re missing Glenwood bakery. The best Eggs Benedict in Durban. Lovely coffee and the rest of their baked goods are outstanding. Get there early before all the bagels and croissants go.

  26. North Coast has been totally excluded: Beluga in Umhlanga, Mozambik and Beira Alta in Ballito, La Casa Nostra and Bel Punto in Umdloti, Sage in Salt Rock.

  27. Joops Place in Avondale Centre has to be on the list. Best steaks in town.

    • Totally agree

  28. I agree Lupa should definitely be on the list. Bellevue is amazing. Both restaurants are owned by Chris Black and Guy Cluver. Oscars is overrate.

    • Oscars Cafe definitely stands out! Great vibe friendly staff and always consistent, by far the best on the hill. We eat out often and rate their food up there with the best. Good value great service.

  29. I love Jumeli on Clark Road, Glenwood. Excellent food, delectable coffee and a gorgeous Hostess!

  30. Camden 031

  31. Add “La spiaggia” in Umhlanga to the must list. Consistently good food + unbeatable location. As the name implies (Italian) its on the Umhlanga beach front promenade. Hassle free, to simply sit, relax and enjoy is what is expected of you. No, I am not the owner 🙂

  32. Wonder Lounge is a winner for me.

  33. Craft has changed ownership in the last few months and is no longer trendy or innovative. Real pity as this was one if our favorite restaurants, and now it’s a glorified Europa. Dead. That fork outside has been broken for weeks. Would have liked to see Harvey’s, Mo Noodles or Market on that list. Each is far better

  34. Love Stretta, and have never found the service anything less than stellar! Also think Mookie’s is awesome, their Hambugu is to die for!

  35. Remos in The Rocks takes some beating for vibe, service and great salads…. plus ….plus.

  36. The Press Club in Unhlanga… Best curry in Durban, especially the Chicken and Prawn and the Oxtail. Fish, soups and salads also excellent. Service also excellent. Highly recommended

  37. Lupa and Olive and Oil in Hillcrest are also great dining spots!!!

  38. love the 9th aveneu bistro food dining everyting

  39. Sunday 3/8/14 : Breakfast at Green with Envy in Vause Road, Durban was not to be envied in any shape or form! – food almost inedible and total no care attitude on management’s part.

  40. Took my wife out to dinner at Vicky Christina’s in Hillcrest about a month ago. The decor and food is excellent loved it and they have a very good wine list. BUT the waitresses weren’t dressed appropriately sorry to say, but it felt like we were in a Lollipop lounge. The dress our waitress had on barely covered her buttocks! That is not professional attire for such a great establishment. The male waiters were dressed very professional. I did my fare share of waitering in my days, and never were the staff allowed to have “shots” with the customers while on duty! I will return, but will definitely be asking for a male waiter to attend to us.

  41. Two GREAT restaurants Olive & Oil in Umhlanga and Bel Punto in Umdloti really recommend them!

  42. We eat out often and always go back to Oscars Cafe for the vibe and friendly service. The food rates as good as the best especially their pizzas!

  43. Love Glenwood Bakery but don’t believe it qualifies as a restaurant hence why it’s not part of this list

  44. Hmmm no Indian places yeah

  45. Umhlanga – Ile Maurice, remos, little havanna, Oyster box ocean terrace for the best breakfast in the country, greedy Buddha ( cut above mo’s noodle) gateway, beluga, Ile firenze (la lucia), Indian summer ( Sunningdale) takeaway spot, grill room at Oyster Box ( fine dining), vuvo telo ( umhlanga village).

    North coast – eat local, la fiamma, beira alta, mama g’s, impulse by the sea (traditional Indian in tinley manor, gem of the north coast) , bel punto, sage in salt rock, spice (moved to westbrook beach, full sea view) , the terrace at the salt rock hotel for scones and tea and great lunch time specials for senior citizens and families, prawn shack for a fab rustic experience in amatikulu, Mozambique in ballito, al pescatore.

    Durban – 9 th avenue, market, cafe 1999, spiga, Vicki christinas, cargo hold, roma revolving, fine dining meal with a cruise at Wilsons wharf ( can’t remember the name), california dreaming on South Beach ( massive revamp on south Beach, well worth a lunch time visit), havana grill sun coast, delfi.

    As a true foodie and professional concierge in the 5 star industry, these are some of the places I recommend and frequent.
    Every place is well the visit, and carries it’s own unique flavour.
    Bottom line, it’s all about the food, the flavour and the experience…

  46. Olive & Oil Cafe Westville ! Great family cafe ,great food ,get there early as don’t take bookings but definitely worth a visit!

    • Hi Grant,

      thanks for the inside info.

      Will be sure to give it a try. Always up for great food. 🙂

  47. Very nice post. It;s wonderful information me .My dream eats someone day in this restaurant.

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