Durban’s Best Breakfasts
Going out for dinner has its obvious benefits – the romance, the variety of amazing dishes, not to mention being able to enjoy a glass of wine with them. But breakfast is somehow more fun. Not only is it slightly more kid friendly if you have little ones, but there’s no pressure to dress up, you can drink all the coffee you want (or wine, if you don’t mind a few judgmental looks), and when else can you have something sweet to eat as a main meal?
The greater Durban area is a fantastic choice for breakfast outings – it’s warm all year round, sunrise happens appallingly early in summer (so breakfast can feel a bit like lunch), and there is no shortage of great eateries on the beach, in the leafy ’burbs or at bustling markets. Take your pick.
THE BIKE & BEAN DURBAN Durban Country Club Beach www.bikebeandurban.com
+27 82 773 6870
Open from 06h00 to 18h00, The Bike & Bean Durban pumps, particularly from about 08h00 to 10h00. They’ve kept things simple with great single origin African coffee and a small range of unpretentious meals – bacon and egg rolls, avo on toast, and toasted sandwiches, as well as a selection of cakes and muffins. Really, you can’t beat one of their cappuccinos and a “sarmie” as you sit at one of the tables and look over the vegetated dunes, beach and ocean. You may need to queue with the cyclists, surfers, families, skateboarders and other locals who flock to the café, but it’s totally worth it and the vibe is great. You can also rent a bicycle from the café if the idea of cycling up and down the promenade appeals to you. And why wouldn’t it?
Belaire Suites Hotel, Battery Beach www.cafejiran.co.za
+27 31 332 4485
Not far down the promenade towards the main swimming beaches, Café Jiran has been serving up some of Durban’s finest coffee for years, and they take it very seriously. First thing in the morning, what else is there that matters? Set on the ground floor of the Belaire Suites Hotel, just across the road from the promenade and a forested dune, Café Jiran serves pastries from 07h00 and then breakfast from 08h30 to 11h00. And whether you’re there for a quick bite or a long, drawn out affair, they have the meal for you. Their English breakfast is legit, as are the griddled crumpets served with wild berry compote, cream and honey.
THE GLENWOOD BAKERY
398 Esther Roberts Road, Glenwood www.glenwoodbakery.co.za
+27 31 205 0217
It’s hard to disagree with the assertion that The Glenwood Bakery is the best bakery in the greater Durban area. Artisanal in the true sense of the word, the loaves of bread they produce are all hand formed, slow fermented and baked in a hearth oven. You’ll want to get there early (the bakery opens at 06h00 daily) because the locals
simply flock there to pick up their breads and pastries, and if you snooze you’ll definitely lose. Once there, order a fantastic coffee (we recommend the flat white) and see which pastry you can procure – their lemon curd pastry and the apricot and hazelnut pastry are both worth visiting for. They also do what may be the best Eggs Benedict in the country.
Makaranga Garden Lodge,
No. 1A Igwababa Road, Kloof www.makaranga.com / +27 31 764 6616
Head about 20 minutes inland from Durban on the M13 and you’ll crest Fields Hill to enter the lush green suburb of Kloof. Part hotel, part restaurant, part botanical gardens, it’s got to be one of the prettiest spots in Durban to enjoy a meal. NONNA, the on-site contemporary restaurant and deli, spills out onto a deck overlooking the gardens below. You can look at the menu if you like, but really, why would you order anything but the banana bread French toast with bacon and honey? After breakfast, you’d be insane not to take a stroll through the 30-acre garden, with its multitude of camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias, orchids, bromeliads and cycads. It really is a spectacular place to spend a few hours.
Of course, you could go to a different place every day of the week for a topnotch breakfast. Surf Riders Café (+27 31 825 8528) at Addington Beach is right on the promenade and the place to go when you have a massive hunger. The Breakfast Works dish is gnarly – we’re talking a sesame bun filled with two poached eggs, Gouda and chorizo gravy, baked in the pizza oven, and topped with hollandaise sauce. Up in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, the Shongweni Farmers & Craft Market (www.shongwenimarket.co.za / +27 31 777 4686) is held every Saturday, and you’d need to go there every Saturday for a year just to sample all the food on offer. A firm favourite is the falafel wrap by Falafel Fundi; if you’re hungry after this, there is no filling you.
Up the coast on Chartwell Drive in Umhlanga, Vovo Telo (+27 31 561 6593) bustles every day. Say what you will about franchised restaurants, but there’s a reason the locals keep flocking back to Vovo Telo – their griddle stack breakfast (waffles layered with bacon, sautéed rocket, poached eggs and cheese sauce) will keep you going all day. For the ultimate early morning experience, the breakfast buffet at The Oyster Box’s Ocean Terrace restaurant (+27 31 514 5000) is about as lavish as things get – think champagne, oysters, a massive Continental selection, pancake and waffle station, and hot breakfasts to die for. We recommend the Welsh rarebit or whisky oats.
The Bike & Bean
The Glenwood Bakery
The Shongweni Farmers & Craft Market