Florida Road has long been one of the best-known and most-loved places in Durban. Commercial property regeneration company Urban Lime is now the largest landlord on the strip, and it has big plans for the area, including working together with the EThekwini Metropolitan Municipality and Florida Road Urban Improvement Precinct to make the road more pedestrian-friendly by upgrading pavements.
We’ve also heard that the next wave of additions to the neighbourhood includes the first restaurant from the chefs behind Roti & Chai pop-up eatery (due to open in the next few months) as well as a vintage concept store by Zigzag surf magazine, a barber and a slow baked-potato take-out eatery called the Potato Exchange.
Spiga d’Oro owner Marco Santoniccolo speaks for many Durbanites when he says, ‘We love that there is this cultural integration happening without any influence from the powers that be. It’s the people who are cultivating this change.’ Here’s our explore-it-on-foot guide.
This hidden gem behind Hertex is the third offering from owner Clint Wolter, whose passion for great coffee and connecting with customers is obvious from the way Jacksonville is run. A relaxing space to work while enjoying a flat white.
Charlie’s Café & Bistro
An eatery renowned for its weekend brunch, Charlie’s is a neighbourhood go-to for good reason, with excellent eggs and java. Sit on the deck and people-watch, then pop in next door to Egg to get your local design fix.
Afro’s Chicken Shop
Designed by interiors expert Kevin Boyd, the homegrown ‘chicken and tjips’ chain’s newest space will soon be holding outdoor film screenings.
Sidebar at Spiga D’Oro
Spiga d’Oro is a popular Durban hangout, so it’s no surprise that the restaurant has opened a sister bar next door. The venue hosts everything from art exhibitions to live performances, and on every first Thursday of the month, it’s home to the best party in the city.
Record lovers will adore Paul Buttery’s vinyl store, which also organises weekly music events. Don’t forget to ask what’s on the calendar for the month ahead.
Nicola and Anton Oosthuizen have been running this vintage treasure trove for more than 18 years, and it’s known for its array of Mid-Century Modern furniture, antique glassware and artwork by Vladimir Tretchikoff – the artist is one of Nicola’s favourites.
Owner Saar Ben Hamoo, who has apparently made over 1 million falafel in his lifetime, says it’s the secret family recipe that sets his apart from the rest. Get there early to beat the queues and grab a seat in the courtyard outside Cityzen Internet Café (and do buy some falafel mix to take home for later).
You’re in for divine espresso, brilliant design by Ken Leiman Furniture and masses of hanging plants in macramé creations by Lauren Taylor at this sweet café. Owner Jeannie McCall aims to continue what she calls ‘the Love Coffee culture’, where customers are recognised by name and their choice beverage remembered. Plans are also underway to build a deck and seating area off the front of the shop, fitted with planter boxes to continue the urban garden feeling.
Head to this buzzing Irish pub for a cold beer (ask for it in a nonik glass) and a cup of bacon on a Saturday afternoon, or half-price cocktails on Sundays. It also boasts an attractive upstairs balcony section that can be hired for functions.
If you’re spending the night in Durban, you must stay in one of design and food aficionado Neil Roake’s ‘boutique bungalows’. Located in a leafy courtyard, their three rooms have distinctive interiors that epitomise modern luxury, Durbs-style.