Review: Ocean views and a playlist that arrives with your drink at Surf Riders Cafe in Ballito

Fast facts

Restaurant name: Surf Riders Cafe

Address: 17 Compensation Beach Road

Phone number: 033 032 0196

Trading hours: 7am to 9pm

Average price of a main course: R150

Corkage fee: R150

Parking situation: Secure road parking

Cuisine: Seafood


The well-known Surf Riders Cafe (a favourite on the Durban beach front) has opened up in one of Ballito’s best beachside spots. Tania and Yiannie Tsiantos, a father-daughter duo, opened Surf Riders Cafe Ballito because it has consistently been one of their most cherished dining spots. They have been running Nikos Ballito (next door to Surf Riders Cafe) since 2021. When it comes to the menu, there’s a variety of options available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can expect creative dishes such as sushi hotdogs, which are beautifully presented with deep fried rice and packed with ginger, avocado, cucumber, toasted peanuts, seaweed dust and prawns. They are known for their handmade wood-fired gourmet pizzas, which are freshly made with their own tomato base. If you’re in the mood for seafood, try their marinara pizza or one of their seafood pastas. Leaving room for dessert is a must, so I recommend you end off your meal with one of the delectable treats from their deluxe ice cream bar or order their famous Belgian waffles.


Surf Riders Cafe Ballito has a passionate mixologist on the team, Kay Scott. Kay has curated a special drinks menu for the restaurant, featuring classics such as espresso martinis, Aperol spritz, and mojitos, along with unique signature cocktails, each paired with a Spotify link for added enjoyment. The wine list is varied and there are options by the glass. There is also a great selection of tasty mocktails on offer.


From making the booking to paying the bill, the whole process was smooth and seamless. The staff were exceptionally friendly and attentive, creating a welcoming atmosphere that made us feel right at home. Every staff member was well versed in the menu details.


Surf Riders Cafe Ballito has perfect ocean views. The blue murals and painted surf boards give the place a relaxed, beachy feel. The crowd is diverse, and the setting is undoubtedly family-friendly. The restaurant is also pet-friendly, and even boasts a special doggie menu.

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