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February 1, 2023updated Apr 27, 2023

The 5 Best Restaurants in Durban

Elite Traveler brings you an essential guide to the best restaurants in Durban.

By Alex Martin

Durban, a seaside city in South Africa, has been until now overshadowed by Cape Town and Johannesburg for the past decades, however, its profile has increasingly risen.

With influences from Italy, Africa and India, as well as easy access and view of the sea, it is no surprise that the restaurant scene is booming in the growing metropolis.

According to Elite Traveler, these are the five best restaurants in Durban.

Roma Revolving Restaurant

A mainstay of the Durban food scene is Roma Revolving Restaurant. The Reelin Group currently owns the business, which was founded in 1973 and has since then been run by the Leopardi family, originally from Rome.

With a rotating window and floor space, this restaurant is the third of its type in the whole world. The Roma establishment serves genuine and authentic Italian cuisine, with delicacies like fresh oysters and snails in garlic butter, which may be enjoyed with the best Italian wines.

The Roma is located on the 32nd floor of the John Ross House, with stunning views of the harbor and the rest of the city.

[See also: The Best Restaurants in Cape Town]

The Grill Jichana Durban

The Grill Jichana offers its diners the best cuts of meat sourced from local premium suppliers. 

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The dining experience, which can be enriched by a glass of fine wine, provides a range of dishes served with flair and is enhanced by the brick wall and modern and elegant interiors.

Every dish, made by cuts of beef, chicken or fish, takes inspiration from African cuisine, using strong spices like cassia, cardamom and turmeric.

The Grill Room

Situated within luxury hotel The Oyster Box is The Grill Room. The hotel and its restaurant have endured drastic political changes during their 70-year history. They have succeeded in delivering consistently excellent service and delicious food even in the most unstable of times.

Its coastal location makes freshly-caught seafood a must, but diners can select from a wide range of cuisines. Durban’s Indian influences make the curry a local specialty and The Grill Room proudly serves up its own authentic versions of the dish.

The spectacular seafood platter is perfect for lovers of fresh fish. It includes crayfish, langoustines, local mussels and a delicious prawn curry. It takes a full 50 minutes to prepare, so order in advance if you can. Guests of the restaurant can dine on the Ocean Terrace where they can enjoy unobstructed views of the Indian Ocean.

[See also: The Best Wine Experiences in South Africa]

Butcher Boys Morningside

From tiny acorns, great oak trees can grow. Alan Lazarus and Derryck Myers were self-described humble “grain-fed boys” when they first opened Butcher Boys in 1999. Twenty years later and they have built a formidable reputation as the best steakhouse in town and boast three sites across the city.

Their success is down to a long-standing commitment to serving only the best beef in South Africa, sourced from local farmlands. Their secret basting sauce has also got its own cult following while the wine list includes some of the country’s finest vintages.

Jack Salmon 

Jack Salmon Fish House has grown from its single location in the Glenashley district to four across Durban. That speedy expansion is a testament to their ability to produce some of the finest seafood in the whole city. All four abide by the same principles and source only the freshest seafood available.

The Poke bowls are the essential experience here. Guests can choose from soy-marinated salmon, tuna or prawns mixed with sesame seeds, radish, kewpie mayonnaise and pickled ginger in a fusion of flavor.

The extensive sushi menu will satisfy even the most seasoned diner.

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