This is a working bakery and that takes precedence over the restaurant, which has strict menu times and days. And for good reason – this popular artisanal bakery keeps the city well-fed, supplying to both the man on the street and local eateries. Their flour is all locally sourced, stone-ground and unbleached, and the bread varieties produced are all hand-formed, slow-fermented and baked in a hearth oven. What results is bread from the gods and, any which way you cut it, you’ll experience a little slice of heaven.
A breakfast menu is available all day during the week, with a regularly changing lunch menu available from 10am. Expect to find a small selection of salads, toasties and pizza alongside pastries and bagels, and over the weekend eggs Benedict or royale make an appearance. The Catalan baguette is heavenly, with its soft pillowy inside rubbed in tomatoes that have been marinated in olive oil and garlic, then filled with coppa ham and mature cheddar. Other options included an Armenian lamb mince pizza dotted with minted yoghurt and herb salad, or the Spanish bocadillo which teams potato tortilla and chorizo on a ciabatta roll.
Make sure to leave laden with something fresh for home – there's a fantastic regular repertoire of bread, as well as crunchy parmesan grissini, Lebanese lavash flavoured with paprika and poppy seeds, sourdough loaves, salty rye and seed crackers and a selection of pastries baked daily – you won’t go wrong with a generously filled Belgian pain au chocolat. Plus you'll be able to pick up a variety of specialised sourdough, challah or focaccia on certain days.
Various baked goods will round off the meal for those sweet of tooth, with financiers proving a huge hit, as well as homemade ice creams. Flavours change regularly and could include salted caramel, ruby grapefruit or ginger. The latter is an unctuous triumph dotted with large chunks of chewy ginger.
A succinct list of coffees, teas and cold drinks, including a house-made kombucha.
A cosy cluster of tables inside the bakery, which spills out onto the pavement. This is a working bakery, so you'll be tempted by the smells of fresh bread and baked goods exiting the ovens. It serves as a vibey hangout for locals.
This small, friendly team is helpful and welcoming – they know the regulars by name.
A lazy brunch with friends, or on your own with a good book – they’ll actually leave you alone to enjoy yourself.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.
The Glenwood Bakery has established itself as the artisanal-bread baseline against which all other bakeries in Durban are measured, says Eat Out critic Shirley Berko.
Slow-fermented hearth-baked bread is freshly prepared before dawn every morning, and usually sold out before noon. But, as any reverent local knows, there’s more to The Glenwood Bakery than just that.
Simple breakfasts of soft-poached eggs, served with caramelised baby tomatoes on one of the breads, such as the coveted rosemary potato loaf, are representative of what chef and owner Adam Robinson, does well: simple, unpretentious food, with each ingredient honoured to perfection. Robinson has an almost constructivist approach to cooking: nothing is served that shouldn’t be on the plate. There’s no superfluous garnish, just the perfect slice of bread and the perfect free-range egg. No more, no less.
The Glenwood Bakery is open for pizza dinners every Monday and Tuesday, with pizzas ranging from about R60 to R70. Prices are extremely reasonable. The pizza menu is a single page of a few options, including antipasto, that changes each week depending on availability of seasonal ingredients. House-made ice creams are usually on the pudding list, with a rotating range of flavours.
Bring your own; otherwise, sip on freshly pressed juices and coffee.
Food preparation takes precedence over promptness, so if you are popping in in the morning, enjoy the free WiFi or the paper while you wait. If it’s the evening, bring a bottle of wine and some friends for a chat as your pizza bakes for dinner.
The bakery is abuzz with chatter, redolent with warm smells wafting from the oven, and occasionally punctuated by the hissing of the coffee machine or grinder. It’s cosy and comfortable.
If you are after a specific loaf, be sure to pre-order. The bakery can make anything from soda bread to challah.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.