It’s been a while! If you’re a subscriber to my youtube channel you’ll have been in touch more recently than here on the blog with this last vlog from Dubai, which I failed to upload here on the blog. Since then I’ve been to Durban, South Africa as well as Mauritius, then back to Dubai for a couple of days before finding myself here. Back at home in front of my laptop. Now you might think I’m chilling and finishing off lose ends that I’m back home but actually I hit the ground running with my father and his wife coming to stay over the weekend. It’s all happening over here but now that I’ve finally got a moment to sit down here I want to share the vlog with you and a few pointers about being vegan in Durban.
Before I dig into tips and tidbits about being vegan in Durban I want to remind you that I wrote an extensive guide to eating vegan food in Cape Town last year. You’ll find it here in case you’re looking for more South Africa inspiration and information. Durban however is a little different to Cape Town in the sense that it’s smaller and more local meaning there’s less of a tourist influx. For me it’s also different in the way that some of Rob’s family live there and when we visit it’s more centred around getting together with them rather than exploring the city so much.
What I have found about being vegan in Durban, with my limited experience, is that it’s fairly easy. Most cafe’s have good salads on the menu and waiting staff is very helpful and are happy to accommodate your requests and substitutions (i.e. switch the cheese for avocado, please). Even places like Woolworht’s, South Africa’s Marks and Spencer, has good vegan options like the seasonal salad and awesome peanut butter and jam on toast. Now you might be thinking; really? toast!? Well yes I say because this is no regular pb and j, it actually comes with a sprinkling of raw peanuts and fresh raspberries. Fancy!
Other than that we went to the most wonderful place which is the Rainbow Restaurant, see the video for full coverage, which is also a jazz bar. This place is a piece of history and if you ever get the chance to sit down and listen to music at this place with a bowl of samp and beans I consider you a lucky pal. The atmosphere is great and it’s wonderful to sit in a room with people from different cultures and backgrounds and colours of their skin in a place where segregation still often rules. The food is great and very traditional for Durban, the mentioned samp and beans is a dish made from a kind of maize grits and beans which is yummy. We also enjoyed their fresh salads, house baked bread and bean curry.
We also had awesome breakfasts at our hotel‘s cafe called The Freedom Cafe. They were happy to accommodate our special requests but you do need to let them know in advance to get plant milks, or bring your own. Oatmeal with seeds and dried fruits, plates of fresh fruit, avocado on quality sourdough as well as fresh juices made us all happy campers. And ready for the day ahead!
For lunch our most fun excursion was to Little Gujarat which serves maybe not the best Indian food in Durban but it was fantastic to sit among locals as we shared a thali and fried banana leaf between rotis. They also serve bunnychows which is the most famous food to come of Durban. It’s a hollowed out loaf of white bread stuffed with your choice of curry and whilst I have yet to try it I will say that it looks delicious. There are many places you can try it in Durban though and one of the places I have heard good things about is Sunrise (Johnny’s) Chip n’ Ranch, a hole in the wall in the Overport area in Durban. If there’s something you should have in Durban it’s a bunnychow really, or at least a curry. Beware of the grease though – Durban curries are oily.
In terms of purely vegan places in the Durban area we’ve only visited one called Chilliplum, located in Hillcrest. The food was yummy and the staff knowledgeable and invested. Other than that I would have loved to visit Earthmother Organic which offers organic vegetarian fare in what looks like a cosy space. The Conscious Cafe at the Castle is another vegetarian spot I would have loved to visit, also located in Hillcrest. You also need to go down to the beach front for a stroll or a swim if in Durban. Maybe grab a drink at one of the places down there, I hear Circus Circus is good.
That’s all I know about Durban so far, I hope that’s at least a little helpful. Now I hope you’ll watch my vlog and get more of flavour of Durban and our short trip. Enjoy! x