9th Avenue Bistro, which opened in 2001, has an excellent reputation for delicious light meals that are inventive yet honour classical cooking traditions. Menus are reinvented to match the season in an atmosphere that is sophisticated yet laid-back, in true Durban style.

Did you know?

9th Avenue Bistro in Durban was named best bistro in the 2012 Eat Out Awards.

The multiple award-winning 9th Avenue Bistro in Durban certainly lives up to its name, offering its faithful clientele the finest of bistro fare.

Modern criteria such as seasonality and quality local produce guide its menu choices. And it is fortunate in that Durban’s subtropical climate lends itself to the serving of light fare all year round (although winter evenings between June and August are also ideal for comfort food).

Good bistro food is all about a one-plate offering that is innovative, flavoursome and has a certain wow factor. Think steak frites with a knock-out sauce, à la blue cheese or béarnaise.

The bistro, in the upmarket suburb of Morningside, has regionalised its plates, with seafood much in evidence. The stuffed calamari is a favourite, while the pasta and shellfish combinations are pure bliss. The dishes come alive with seasonal fruit and vegetables, such as litchi, pawpaw, avocado and aubergine.

The KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, known for cottage industries, are easily accessible, 9th Avenue Bistro is spoilt for choice when it comes to high-quality cheeses, pickles, olives, olive oil, pork and charcuterie. The invigorating salads are eye-candy that is actually good for you. The chocolate gateau is optional…

Husband and wife team Graham and Gina Neilson are at the helm, and strive to deliver the best produce, as fresh as possible, to their diners. They are both international travellers, and have worked in top eateries around the world, including in the United States, the United Kingdom, Bermuda, South America and the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

The restaurant setting is crisp, clean and uncluttered, the service matches the excellence of the food, and the wine list can complement any dish you choose.

This establishment has received many an online rave review from satisfied customers and critics alike – one of the latter proclaiming his meal there the best he’s ever had in Durban.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

9th Avenue Bistro
Tel: +27 (0)31 312 9134
Email: info@9thavenuebistro.com

How to get here

The restaurant is close to beachfront hotels and the Durban International Convention Centre. Follow Argyle Road from the beachfront area, which becomes Sandile Thusi Road, and turn off at 9th Avenue.

Best time to visit

9th Avenue Bistro is open for lunch Tuesday to Friday, and dinner Monday to Saturday.

Around the area

Florida Road is a great place to go for easy eating and pre- or post-dinner cocktails. Moyo at uShaka is another popular spot for drinks, while Umhlanga and Umdloti have some fun little bars and restaurants worth exploring.

Tours to do

Visit the Victoria Street Market for wonderful herbs, spices and a local atmosphere. There are wonderful fabrics and textiles on offer. You can also visit the Hare Krishna temple in Chatsworth.

Get around

Organise a taxi from your hotel as there is minimal public transport available in the evenings. Hiring your own car in Durban will be an advantage and give you the freedom to move around.

What will it cost

Prices vary according to your menu choice. There is a feature menu and a bistro menu available. Starters begin at around R60, and mains range in price from R90 to R160. There is a sample tasting menu available at R250 per person (no alcohol or gratuities), and a special R235 menu on offer.

Where to stay

There are some superb hotels in Durban – try the Quarters Hotel Florida Road, or there are a number of good guest houses and B&Bs in the Morningside area.

What to eat

Try the smoked ostrich fillet, the salmon tartar or the creamy shellfish orzo. The crispy deep-fried calamari is a favourite, while vegetarians will enjoy the home-made roasted butternut squash ravioli. For mains, the crispy roasted free-range duck, and roasted tomato and four-cheese bread pudding have patrons coming back for more.

What's happening

There's always something fun happening in Durban, whether its visiting uShaka Marine World, taking a stroll along the Umhlanga promenade or visiting any of a number of malls and markets.

Related articles