The last two years have seen Durban’s Station Drive completely transform. With the opening of quirky coffee shops, bars, breweries, design studios, eclectic clothing shops, stores selling hand-made leather crafts, and a Sunday morning market, it’s no wonder that it has become Durban’s hippest hot spot. Whether you decide to pop in on a whim, or make a plan for First Thursdays, here’s your guide to eating and drinking in Durban’s coolest cultural precinct.
This buzzing market is located at the precinct’s hip rental space, The Plant. Spend your Sunday mornings enjoying its farm fresh produce and artisanal eats, such as fresh bagels, tacos, decadent mug cakes and gourmet burgers.
Renegade Street Kitchen
You’ll spot the works of this mobile food company at Sunday’s Morning Trade, but the Renegade Kitchen team is also seen at catered events around the city. The trendy company is headed up by Lucy Markewicz (of CakeLab and, previously, Freedom Café) and her services include pop-up food nights, weddings, food styling, cooking classes and menu design. Look out for her homemade pastas, sauces and relishes at the market.
The Cold Press Juice Co.
Here they make fresh fruit-and-veggie cocktails using the cold-pressed method, which retains all the nutrients. The current menu consists of Cucumber Cooler, Summer Loving, V8, Red Baron, ACC and Autumn Gold. You can also get your hands on straight orange juice using Valencia and Navel oranges, apple juice from giant Granny Smiths, and pear juice from Packhams.
Artisan Cheese This is Durban’s answer to all things cheese. Offering artisanal cheeses sourced from around the country, this specialist shop focuses on wares made from local, grass fed, and raw milk as well as knives to slice it all up. They also offer little platters on First Thursdays filled with the likes of oozy camembert and onion preserve.
8 Organics Durban foodies will find all things delicious, organic and locally sourced at this health shop. Buy your Beaver Creek Coffee stash, Pukka teas and tea accessories, honey infusions, kefir yoghurt and kombucha. Look out for preservative- and alcohol-free cocktails on First Thursdays. They also carry a small vegan range.
Fortune Coffee This little coffeeshop is nestled inside the beautiful Con Amore decor shop, offering shoppers and locals excellent coffee, power smoothies, breakfasts, and lunches of salads, wraps and pita breads. They also offer Vegan Fridays with delicious dishes like red-bean noodle salad with sesame green beans and crushed peanuts.
Wildly popular in Umhlanga, this noodle bar has opened a new branch in the U-shaped road of the precinct. This express version of Mo Noodles is a no-fuss concept with a menu based around the most popular dishes from the original menu. While the focus is on takeaways, guests are welcome to sit down at a table and enjoy their meal. It’s particularly busy on First Thursdays.
Boasting railway views in the middle of Station Drive is this small pavement-side nook. Serving up delicious Colombo coffee, fresh juices and wholesome eats, it’s popular with the office workers in the area as well as passers-by. Sit at the counter or take some grub to go like scrambled eggs on ciabatta, vibrant budget-friendly organic salads, free-range boerie rolls, comforting pastitsio, and tempting homemade cakes (we hear the carrot cake is killer).
S43 Home to That Brewing Co. This beer brewery offers a relaxed, stylish spot to grab a drink, tasty tapas and gourmet burgers. Locals can recline on the comfortable couches while watching the trains pass by or grab a table and order a round of drinks and some juicy pork sliders. This spot pumps at night and often has live music evenings.
Local entrepreneur and independent distiller Andrew Rall opened Distillery 031 in late 2015 to offer a new range of independent, Durban-distilled, limited-edition artisanal spirits, including vodka, spiced rum, gin and absinthe, as well as cordials and all-natural tonic water. There’s also an inventive street-food menu to complement the cocktail selection. Try the prohibition waffles or Asian wors rolls for major flavour explosions.
Here you’ll find hand-crafted leather and damn good coffee. They also serve up some light snacks for those feeling a little peckish.