Durban, South Africa: A Melting Pot of Cultures and Flavors

April 19, 2024

Welcome to Durban, a vibrant city on the east coast of South Africa, known for its bustling harbor, stunning beaches, and a fascinating blend of cultures. This guide will take you through some of the best places to eat and explore in Durban, making sure you get a taste of its rich cultural tapestry and, of course, its mouth-watering cuisine.

Introduction to Durban

Photo: Awina Bawuthi

Durban is the third largest city in South Africa and a popular destination for tourists seeking both adventure and relaxation. The city enjoys a subtropical climate, making it a year-round paradise for sun-seekers. Its golden beaches are perfect for surfing and sunbathing, while the city itself is a hub of activity with a deep historical context.

Cultural Hotspot

Photo: Larce Raymann

Durban is a melting pot of cultures, including African, Indian, and colonial influences, which are reflected in its architectural styles, cultural festivals, and, most importantly, its food. The city is particularly known for its Indian cuisine, thanks to a large population of Indian descent.

Must-Visit Culinary Destinations

Photo: The Oyster Box Hotel

The Curry Buffet at The Oyster Box
One of Durban’s most iconic dining experiences is the Curry Buffet at The Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks. Overlooking the picturesque lighthouse and the Indian Ocean, this buffet features a spread that showcases the best of Indian cuisine mixed with South African flavors. It’s a perfect introduction to the spicy, flavorful dishes that Durban is famous for.

Photo: Stephanie Umurdhew

Roma Revolving Restaurant
For a dining experience with a view, head to the Roma Revolving Restaurant. Located in the city center, it offers panoramic views of Durban and the surrounding area. The menu includes a mix of Italian and local dishes, ensuring there’s something to satisfy every palate.

Photo: Quintin Dreyer

Mali’s Indian Restaurant
Located in the heart of Durban, Mali’s is a favorite for authentic Indian dishes. The restaurant has been a staple in Durban’s culinary scene for years, known for its generous portions and the quality of its tandoori dishes.

Photo: Afro's Chicken Shop (Umhlanga)

Afro’s Chicken Shop
For something uniquely Durban, Afro’s Chicken Shop offers a casual, no-frills dining experience. Their specialty is chicken prepared with South African spices and served in a variety of styles, including their famous chicken burgers.

Exploring Durban

Photo: Ntuthuko Hlabisa

The Golden Mile
Begin your journey at The Golden Mile, Durban’s renowned beachfront. Stretching from uShaka Marine World to the Moses Mabhida Stadium, this area is perfect for those looking to soak up the sun, enjoy a swim, or simply take a leisurely walk along the promenade.

Photo: Andre Meintjes
Photo: Sebastião Jarbas

uShaka Marine World
This theme park is a must-visit for families. It combines an aquarium, a waterpark, and a host of dining options, making it a perfect day out for people of all ages.

Photo: Nigel
Photo: Stepan Ozhigov

Durban Botanic Gardens
For a quieter day, visit the Durban Botanic Gardens. Established in 1849, it is Africa’s oldest surviving botanic garden and hosts some of the rarest plant species in the world, along with a magnificent orchid house.

Photo: i am u photography (Nirdev Udith)

Moses Mabhida Stadium
For adventure seekers, the Moses Mabhida Stadium offers the chance to sky car to the top of the stadium for a breathtaking view of Durban. More daring souls might try the world’s tallest swing, which dangles participants 106 meters above the pitch.


Durban is a city where every corner has a story, each meal is a celebration, and every sunset is a spectacle. From its spicy, savory dishes that echo the city’s Indian heritage to its African rhythms and colonial architecture, Durban offers a unique South African experience. Whether you’re here to explore its culinary delights or the rich tapestry of its cultural heritage, Durban invites you to be part of its vibrant story.

This blog has just scratched the surface of what Durban has to offer. With each visit, you’ll uncover more secrets, meet new people, and create unforgettable memories. So pack your bags, bring your appetite, and get ready to explore Durban!

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