Durban's Freedom Café is one of the funkiest places to eat out in this port city. It is a boutique restaurant set inside a fire-engine red shipping container, and offers tasty dishes inspired by the continent of Africa. Oh, and the venue is dog friendly.

Did you know?

The nearby Greyville Racecourse is home to the Durban July, South Africa's most famous horse-racing event.

The Freedom Café in Greyville, Durban, is a funky, fun breakfast and lunch spot that has people talking as much about the look of the place as its food.

Its façade is a red shipping container, with windows added for your viewing pleasure. There’s also an outside space, shaded by trees and featuring an attractive wall punctuated by plants. It’s a quirky boutique setting, the work of design maestro Neil Roake, who is also an award-winning cookbook writer. Roake worked in conjunction with Egg Designs to create this innovative dining space.

The Freedom Café’s ambience not only tells you you’re dining in Africa, but also at a venue with a sense of humour and adventure. Doggie condiment holders, African prints, modern chairs and a view of the kitchen all work together to entertain the eye. The venue combines Durban’s balmy surrounds with a cutting-edge vibe favoured by urbanites.

The menu is concise yet avant-garde, with daily specials making the most of seasonal and regional produce. Seafood and vegetables play a starring role in dishes that include salmon on courgette fritters, veggie terrine, mushroom tart, and fresh mussels with roasted red pepper sauce.

Heartier appetites will appreciate the lamb tagine, or the very satisfying gnocchi, among others, while those with a sweet tooth will find solace in chocolate brownies, sweet treats and muffins.

The Freedom Café’s luncheon favourites include a trio plate that stars an unlikely combo of chicken, beef and falafel; another best-seller is the Vietnamese prawn summer rolls. Breakfast choices range from eggs Benedict to a seasonal fruit skewer to ricotta hot cakes to sweetcorn fritters.

The food manages to be both comforting and light, which is a tricky balance to achieve. Also, pesceterians, vegetarians and meat-lovers can dine together and all be spoilt for choice.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Freedom Café
Tel: + 27 (0)31 309 4434

The Concierge Boutique Bungalows
Tel: + 27 (0)31 309 4434

Best time to visit

The Freedom Café is open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday to Sunday.

Tours to do

Take a tour of the Moses Mabhida Stadium and see this gorgeous city from the SkyCar.

Get around

Having your own car will give you the freedom to explore this great city.

What will it cost

Breakfast starts at around R30. Salads will set you back anything from R35 to R65. Mains are roughly R55 to R85.

Length of stay

Durban is an amazing destination with so much to do – try to spend a weekend, or even a week or more here.

Where to stay

Book a room at the Concierge Boutique Bungalows right next door. There are 12 gorgeous rooms to choose from.

What to eat

Lamb tagine with apricots and couscous; sticky smoked ribs; prawn summer rolls.

Best buys

Neil Roake's book, Taste Freedom: Food From the Freedom Café.

Related articles