BEST FOR BREAKFAST: From Glenwood to Morningside. If you prefer to breakfast like a king there is where you can expect to be treated like royalty on the Berea
Durban’s Berea, an area which stretches from Howard College to Burman Bush, is full of gracious family homes, which reflect the elegant architecture of Victorian and Edwardian eras, with oregon pine flooring mellowed to gold, high ceilings and cooling verandahs. Many parts of the Berea also offer panoramic views of Durban’s coastline.
But the Berea is rich, too, in Art Deco architecture. Examples include the Memorial Tower on the UKZN campus, Berea Court on Berea Road, Cheviot Court in Musgrave Road and Surrey Mansions in Currie Road. Find out more from the Durban Art Deco Society’s Facebook page.
The Berea (which is, apparently, ancient Greek for place that is well-watered) also boasts a lively hospitality industry with many restaurants taking advantage of Durban’s all-year-round balmy weather to offer outdoor seating in lush surrounds. Add good food, deeply satisfying coffee and you have a winning combination for breakfast.
All these restaurants below offer good breakfasts, pretty surrounds and outdoor eating.
40 Gladys Mazibuko (Mariott) Road Greyville
Call 031 309 8581
Market is one of Durban’s prettiest venues with an enclosed courtyard that is shaded by tall leopard trees. There’s also the proverbial tinkling fountain to add a touch of Zen.
Not only do they offer a varied breakfast selection, but you can order it all day. None of this
“served only until 11am” restriction.
If I’m feeling indulgent I order the cinnamon hotcakes served with banana, crème fraiche and honey. Alternatively, if you are health conscious, you can opt for homemade granola with stewed citrus segments and double cream yoghurt. Yum.
Other options include savoury crumpets with spinach, crispy bacon, poached egg, crème fraiche and onion marmalade; smoked salmon and sweet potato cakes; a potato rosti with bacon, relish and poached egg; a prawn Spanish omelette, and their always perfect Eggs Benedict.
For true decadence you can order their French toast croissant topped with honey-glazed bacon and passion fruit curd. And don’t overlook their courgette and corn fritters with haloumi and eggs. They’re really good.
For the more conventionally-minded there are three different ways with scrambled eggs and a full-house option. They also serve pretty decent cappuccinos, and fresh fruit juice of the day.
Open: Tuesday to Saturday from 7.30am to 9.3pm; Sundays from 8.30am to 3.30pm and Mondays from 7.30am to 4pm. Breakfast served all day.
394 Esther Roberts Rd (formerly Frere), Glenwood
Call 031 205 7285
Parc is a culinary gem in lower Glenwood that never fails the consistency or taste tests. Brett Gentles (who epitomises his name) and his sister Lara have created a welcoming vibe and an environment that is uber cool.
It’s a true neighbourhood cafe. They know their customers. Their customers are loyal to the core. Brett is the creative brains behind the food and is always playing with new flavours.
But, since this is about breakfast, let’s focus on that. It’s varied, it’s interesting and it’s served all day. Yay.
You can go healthy and opt for Bircher muesli served with fruit, yoghurt, cinnamon, honey and seeds, or order fresh fruit, yoghurt and honey. If you like your brekkie simple there’s toast and preserves (a choice of homemade jam, marmalade, lemon curd and more). Or just toast and egg.
Their version of Eggs Benedict includes mushrooms and capers.
For open-mined traditionalist you can opt for welsh rarebit with a side salad and pancetta. If you prefer a little decadence, try the banana bread French toast served with bacon and caramel. Or corn and zucchini cakes with poached eggs, tomato and vanilla relish, haloumi, and brown butter. There may also be specials.|
You can enjoy your meal either indoors or sitting on the sidewalk watching the world go by. The coffee is great too and their bread is sourced from their neighbour, Glenwood Bakery, an artisanal bakery. Fresh juices also available.
Open: Closed Mondays but open Tuesday to Fridays from 7.30am to 4pm; Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 8am to 2pm.
34 St Marys Ave, Greyville
Call 031 309 4453
Freedom Cafe’s home is two bright red shipping containers which have been glassed in to create a an uber stylish space filled with natural light. It is set beneath huge trees and surrounded by lush sub-tropical foliage – and the odd dachshund or two. Well, not real ones. They are black, long and made of fibreglass. They double for benches. Its look is so cool it has earned iconic status in the design world.
But to those who really count, the customers, it’s the perfect place to breakfast and (lunch of course). It’s always cool no matter the humidity and, despite being close to busy roads, has a mellow-yellow vibe.
Their breakfast menu is varied and includes fresh fruit and Greek yoghurt and ancient grain granola served with a choice of topping such as fruit, nuts, honey, yoghurt and more.
They also have six versions of Eggs Benedict, from the classic to one with wilted spinach; with salmon trout; pork sausage and a local-is-lekker version with chakalaka. Oh, and there’s one with a beef burger patty and rosa tomatoes and, of course, eggs and hollandaise sauce.
Then there’s a whole section devoted to what you can have on toast. Again it varies, from avo to scrambled eggs and pork sausage, to smoked trout. You can also order toast with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and poached eggs.
Under Freedom Favourites you’ll find a Turkish breakfast with boiled eggs, cucumber, feta, calamata and castelvetrano olives, toasted artisan bread, honey, sumac; and a Freedom fry with
scrambled eggs, pork sausage, mushroom and tomato kebabs, crispy pancetta and chakalaka
Their three-egg omelette is filled with grilled zucchini, rosa tomatoes, feta, kale pesto and pancetta.
There’s fresh juices, various coffees and teas to wash it all down.
Open: Tuesday to Sunday from 7am to 4pm. Breakfast is served from 7am to 11am.
Lion Match Office Prk, 892 Umgeni Road
Call 031 312 9021
This is the younger and more accessible sibling to 9th Avenue Bistro, one of the Berea’s few remaining fine dining eateries. Boiler Room’s location in an office park has given it a style edge with its warehouse-like open space, vaulted ceilings, clean décor and natural light. You’ll love the wall murals and indoor trees.
Chef/owner Graham Neilson has put together a very innovative breakfast menu. Think duck and potato hash with spring onion, Parmesan and fried eggs; or haloumi and potato hash with spinach, mushrooms and eggs. You can also opt to go Mexican with spicy beans, chorizo, red peppers with poached egg on a toasted English muffin.
For simpler meals there is homemade granole with fresh fruit or toast and preserves. Boursin and black pepper omelettes and a croissant with smoked salmon are more options.
They also have a breakfast bun selection with the likes of bacon, egg and basil mayo; and pork sausage with rosemary caramelised onion.
Also daily specials.
Open: 7.30am to 3.30pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 2pm Saturday. Closed Sundays. Breakfast served all day.
191 Musgrave Road
Call 031 202 2511
St Clements is a low-key eatery in the heart of the Berea. It’s located in what was once a typical Durban verandah home dating back to the earlier part of the 20th century. So it’s quaint and little worn around the edges, but that’s part of its charm. There’s a chance to eat out the back next to a fountain and under trees where friendly sparrows vie for your crumbs, or inside or on the front veranda overlooking bustling Musgrave Road.
Their breakfast menu is not the most comprehensive or particularly original but what they do serve is always good with portions generous and reasonable prices.
Full breakfasts with sausage, mushroom are available as well as light breakfasts such as egg bacon and tomato, or toast and preserves or toast and avo. Their creamy scrambled eggs are really creamy.
They also serve a frittata with caramelised red onions, bacon and baby spinach; seared feta omelettes with tomato and avocado and a welsh rarebit with bacon and mushrooms.
I often order their poached eggs served on huge brown mushrooms drizzled with brown sage butter with crisped sage leaves. Without toast. It’s delicious. For the hedonists there is banana blueberry French toast.
Open: 8am to 9pm. Evening meals are on a different menu. Breakfast is served until 11.30am.
KZNSA, 66 Bulwer road
Call 031 201 9969
This café has a unbeatable location in an art gallery, which also includes a shop selling art and craft.
But it’s the café that dominates the complex, sprawing both inside and on a terrace sheltered by large leopard trees. There is also a play area for kids, which is supervised – which means you, and the rest of us – can sip your coffee in peace.
The café has has had many ups and downs culinary wise. Right now it’s at the top of its game and offers a comprehensive menu that meets the needs of all, including banters, vegetarians, hedonists and kids.
They make an excellent eggs Onassis, by the way, with perfectly poached eggs, homemade hollandaise sauce, seaweed caviar, capers and dill. You can also add avo. A traditional Eggs Benedict is also offered.
Mediterranean breakfast is vegetarian and includes grilled haloumi, hummus, olives, roasted tomatoes and pita . Banting option offers roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, avo, onion slivers, eggs, bacon and shaved parmesan.
Also lighter options such as avo, tomatoe and basil; omelettes with a choice of five fillings and homemade muesli with various toppings. .
A special cafe breakfast includes pork sausages, bacon and mushrooms while their courgette and pepper corn-cakes come topped with poached egg and coriander pesto.
There’s special breakfast and lunch menus for kids.
Open 8.30am to 5pm. But to-go coffee and pastry available from 7.30am. Breakfast is served until 11.30am.