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Outdoors restaurants in Durban and surrounds

From sea views to balmy gardens, here’s where to dine al fresco in the East Coast city.

Afro’s Chicken (OR Tambo Parade)

This quirky chicken shop is located on the Durban promenade and is a perfect pitstop after a walk, swim, or surf. Grab a seat at the famous yellow container or head to the sand and tuck into a sumptuous chicken burger and tjips.

Place your order at the counter and take in the sea views at Afro’s Chicken. Photo supplied.

Bel Punto (Umdloti)

This breezy Italian spot offers balcony dining with views of the Indian Ocean. Try the seafood risotto for a bit of luxury, or enjoy a portion of plump prawns. The desserts include espresso-flavoured crème brûlée and silky panna cotta. All perfectly paired with the balmy north-coast breeze.

A view of the ocean at Bel Punto. Photo courtesy of the restaurant

The Chocolate Garden (Canelands)

A new addition to the KZN foodie scene, this garden café features all things chocolate, from chocolate vegetables and fruits to actual cocoa-infused eats. There are even chocolate-and-mascarpone toasties. Enjoy the balmy weather and sit amongst the trees and flowers while tucking into fresh café fare by Beetroot & Bear.

The Chocolate Garden. Photo supplied.

Circus Circus (Snell Parade)

Grab a seat at this sea-facing café and sip on a smoothie or a coffee. Alternatively, snag a sought-after table on the sand and enjoy cheesy toasted sandwiches, wraps and gourmet burgers.

Outside at Circus Circus. Photo supplied.

Dee’s Café (Durban North)

Located at Spades Design Centre and nursery in Durban North, this hidden gem is perfect for a peaceful outdoor lunch. There’s a stunning garden and nursery to inspire your home landscaping. Try one of the toasties, or go for one of the beautiful freshly baked cakes and a coffee.

Delish Sisters (Salt Rock)

Nestled in the heart of the popular Litchi Orchard, this Salt Rock spot offers a unique breakfast menu and an ever-changing harvest table for lunch. Grab a table outside under the rustling trees while the kiddies and pets enjoy the surrounding lawns. Also be on the lookout for Litchi Orchard events, where you can grab some bites from Delish Sisters to tide you over.

Delish Sisters garden

The garden at Delish Sisters. Photo supplied.

Flavour Café (Pietermaritzburg)

This unassuming café is set in a tranquil nursery and is the perfect stop for al fresco family feasting. As for the grub, the leafy café has become quite famous for its over-the-top milkshakes and giant gourmet burgers. Think beef and bacon burgers stuffed between doughnut buns, and candyfloss-topped shakes.

One of the OTT milkshakes at Flavour Cafe. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Glenwood Restaurant (Glenwood)

Book prime position at one of the garden tables at this neighbourhood gem. Sip on chilled wine while chef Adam Robinson and his team expertly prepares silky pasta dishes or robust Sunday roasts.

The outside area at The Glenwood Restaurant. Photo by Nikita Buxton.

Jack Salmon (Glenashley)

Seafood, sushi and a sea view tick all the boxes at this breezy Glenashley favourite. Book a table on the outdoor deck and stare out at the sea while you tuck into seafood favourites like the bam bam roll with tempura prawn, chilli-bean mayo and fresh cucumber, or the prawn fusion California roll with spicy creamy prawns and a sticky soy reduction. Good ol’ beer-battered fish and chips with homemade tartar sauce is also a hit.

Seafood and sea views at Jack Salmon in Glenashley. Photo supplied.

Joint Jazz Café (OR Tambo Parade)

The ground floor of this shisa-nyama and jazz spot spills out onto the sunny promenade. Grab a table before it gets too busy and spend the afternoon people-watching as you snack on braai platters and sip on icy cocktails. Alternatively, head here for a Mzansi-inspired breakfast of rooibos flapjacks or eggs and wors with chakalaka relish.

Brunch at Joint Jazz Café. Photo supplied.

Market (Morningside)

The courtyard at Market is complete with a water fountain and dappled sunlight, making for a lovely spot for lazy lunches or a tranquil midweek bite. Breakfast is served all day and becomes a real occasion, with dishes like the croissant French toast with passionfruit curd and bacon. Lunch includes inventive salads, or more substantial plates like a lamb burger with a minted feta crust, and a pulled pork sarmie. Dinners under the fairy lights are also popular.

A fairy-lit dinner at Market Restaurant. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Mundo Vida (Umdloti)

This laid-back Umdloti restaurant has beautiful views of the ocean, making for a lovely spot for lunch or dinner. Natal wild oysters, oven-baked line fish, gourmet burgers, and a selection of pizzas and pastas are the menu highlights.

Mundo Vida

The outside seating and sea views at Mundo Vida. Photo supplied.

Sagewood Café (Pietermaritzburg)

This Maritzburg eatery, run by passionate foodies, is situated in Blackwood’s Home of Gardening, making it a perfect spot for al fresco feasting. The food offering boasts a wide variety of sweet and savoury meals, and pastries made with farm-fresh, local, seasonal and organic ingredients. The deck and veranda along the Dorpspruit River offer a tranquil setting for families and friends to enjoy a relaxing meal of eggs Benedict for breakfast, or wood-fired pizza and hearty open sandwiches for lunch.

The deck at Sagewood Cafe. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Shed (Salt Rock)

This restaurant at the Litchi Orchard opens onto the lawns and is a perfect location for a boozy lunch with a group of friends or a family outing with the kids. Enjoy a pizza, a fantastic burger, or simply a few gin and tonics with snacks.

Surf Riders Food Shack (OR Tambo Parade)

This wildly popular spot is located on Durban’s Golden Mile and serves up great breakfast grub, poké bowls, burgers, pizzas, cocktails and craft beer, with a perfect view of the beach. Sit outside and enjoy the sea breeze while surfers, dog-walkers and tourists walk by.

A vibrant poké bowl at Surf Riders. Photo supplied.

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