Situated on the warm East Coast, Durban is truly magnificent in summer. Mix its balmy days with fresh seafood or bistro-style delicacies, and the city becomes a lunch-lovers paradise. We round-up five of our favourite lunch spots in Durban that’ll satisfy any midday cravings.
With regular lunch specials, fresh Asian-inspired food and sleek, cosmopolitan interiors, Greedy Buddha is a great spot for long, lazy lunching. The diverse menu includes tapas-style bites like dim sum or heartier mains, like the Malaysian Bang Bang noodles with beef, spiced with chilli and Asian pesto. If you aren’t heading back to work afterwards, their unique G&T is ultra refreshing. With a newly launched sushi menu to top it all off, you’ll want to make this your go-to summer hangout.
Conceptualised by ad man, chef, hotelier, author and retailer Neil Roake, Freedom Café’s fig tree-filled courtyard is the perfect spot for whiling away the afternoon. With options ranging from a kimchi mayo beef burger served with furikake fries to Balinese gado gado (spicy peanut dressed Chinese cabbage, potato, tomato, boiled egg, cucumber, coriander and prawn crackers), the menu puts a spin on the classics and ventures into more adventurous flavours, too. As for drinks, pair your meal with a very Bloody Mary, top it off with a banoffee shake or try a fresh, cleansing robot juice.
Named after the immortal Roman wolf goddess who raised demi-gods Romulus and Remus, Lupa is an Italian restaurant that lives up to its namesake. The menu is a lavish showcase of Italy’s finest: crispy polenta fingers, creamy sauces, pretzel-dusted calamari, risotto cakes, crumbed artichoke and gorgonzola snails. And, of course, no Italian eatery is complete without classic pizza and pasta on the menu. With the authentic Italian food comes the homely Italian atmosphere – making for a restaurant at which you’ll want to spend lots of time.
the chefs table
If an exquisite meal done artfully is what you’re after, visit The Chefs Table, where each dish is presented so masterfully it’s almost a shame to each. Conceptualised by executive chef Kayla-Ann Osborn, the restaurant’s main feature is its central open kitchen, designed to give guests a theatre-like experience as they watch their meal being prepared. While the menu changes daily, the pumpkin mezzaluna and roasted fennel are often available and come highly recommended.
the ocean terrace
No list of summertime lunch spots in Durban is complete without a mention of The Oyster Box. Widely loved for its picturesque beachside location, The Ocean Terrace at The Oyster Box is just the place to settle into a long, late-afternoon lunch with friends. The menu is extensive and has something for all tastes and preferences, from pizzas and seafood to salads. While there are only two vegetarian options on the a la carte menu, the curry buffet menu has many more meat-free dishes from which to choose. And, with a beautiful view of the setting sun, you won’t be sorry if your lunch carries on into the evening.