Govinda’s Pure Vegetarian Restaurant is a key attraction at the Hare Krishna Temple of Understanding in Durban. The restaurant specialises in vegetarian Indian cuisine, which ranges from complete dishes like curries and biryanis to tasty Indian snacks such as rotis and samoosas. All meals can be enjoyed as sit-down or takeaway.

Did you know?

The architect used a lotus flower as inspiration for the architectural design of the Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple of Understanding.

Govinda’s Pure Vegetarian Restaurant and Take-Away is worthy of a visit, as much for the food as the impressive location: Chatsworth’s Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple of Understanding, the largest Hare Krishna temple in Africa.

Situated on the ground floor of the creamy-walled temple, Govinda’s restaurant is a simple, unadorned space, but diners flock here for wholesome vegetarian Indian food, including options for vegans and Jain vegetarians.

The restaurant is open daily. There is no written menu, but visitors are invited to scour the cafe-style counter for offerings that have been freshly created that day.

Favourites include biryani; butterbean or sugar-bean curry; spinach and potato curry; rotis; chilli bites; and samosas stuffed with sweetcorn and paneer. Those with a sweet tooth can indulge in cakes, biscuits and sweets. Dishes are also available as takeaways, giving those in a rush or on a quick lunch break the opportunity to refuel with a warm, filling lunch.

With the country becoming increasingly health conscious, vegetarian restaurants in South Africa are growing in popularity. Gone are the days of dull, uninspired dishes bolstered with lentils and soy; vegetarians are catered for all over the country, from fine-dining and bistro establishments to the simplest of set-ups.

While the menu is impromptu and the décor sparse, the tranquil surroundings and attractive prices of Govinda’s Pure Vegetarian Restaurant keep devotees, locals and visitors flocking back for tasty snacks and hearty vegetarian lunches.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Govinda’s Pure Vegetarian Restaurant
Tel: + 27 (0)31 403 4600
Email: govindas@iskcondurban.net

How to get here

Govinda’s Pure Vegetarian Restaurant is located on the ground floor of the Hare Krishna temple at 50 Bhaktivedanta Swami Circle in Chatsworth. Take the N2 highway towards Durban South, and then the M1 highway (Higginson Highway) exit. Take the RK Khan Circle exit off this highway; the temple is right there.

Best time to visit

The restaurant is open daily from 10.30am to 7.30pm (Monday to Saturday), and from 10.30am to 5.30pm (Sundays).

Around the area

Visit the Gandhi Centenary Park and the Chatsworth Centre with its dozens of Indian stores, both in Chatsworth, or pop in at the nearby Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve (there are walking trails, a dam and camp site).

Tours to do

A tour of the Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple is a must – take a look around yourself or arrange for a guided tour. Various festivals open to the public are held at the temple throughout the year.

Get around

You can easily access the temple and restaurant by hotel transfer, taxi or hire car

What will it cost

Entrance to the temple is free. At the restaurant itself, expect to pay around R3 per samoosa, R4 per roti and up to R18 per spoon of curry or biryani.

Where to stay

Your best bet for accommodation is in Durban itself. Pick from the five-star Hilton Durban, the Garden Court Marine Parade or South Beach hotels, or the Southern Sun North Beach Hotel.

What to eat

Definitely the briyani