Top Spots to Drink and Unwind in Durban

We’re sharing the team’s 11 favourite places to grab a drink and unwind in Durban (listed in no particular order). They’ve been tried out by our contributors and voted as the best of the best, based exclusively on personal experience. We’d love to hear your feedback! And if you think we’ve missed a spot, let us know in the comments.

The Lighthouse Bar at the Oyster Box Hotel, Umhlanga

Always a win. Views of the iconic red and white lighthouse against a back drop of clear skies and beautiful sunsets. Impeccable service and you can mosey down to the Oyster Bar where you can indulge in some of the finest sushi that Durban has to offer in a relaxed yet refined atmosphere.

Address: 2 Lighthouse Rd, Umhlanga Rocks, Umhlanga, 4320, South Africa
Recommended by: Debra Hughes and Emma Smith

Cocktail and lighthouse view at The Lighthouse Bar at the Oyster Box Hotel

Image via @theoysterbox Instagram

Canelands Beach Club & Spa, Salt Rock

Perfect setting with a blissful vibe. Ideal spot to unwind with a great cocktail or glass of wine with a breath-taking view of the Indian Ocean. And, on certain days you may be whisked away with the accompanied of live music.

Address: 2 Shrimp Ln, Umhlali Beach, Salt Rock, 4391, South Africa
Recommended by: Christina Pearl

The Gin Garden at Two Acres, Hillcrest

A great place to visit after a busy week to wind down with friends amongst the tranquil scenery of Two Acres in Assagay. Their gin menu is extensive, giving one the opportunity to work their way through, and have the perfect reason to come back again and again!

Address: 1 Country Lane, Assagay, Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal 3610, South Africa
Recommended by: Emma Smith

Lupa Osteria, Durban North or Hillcrest

A fun, vibey restaurant with incredible food and great staff. Outside her own home, Emma considers this some of the best Italian food she’s eaten. The bar is both laid-back and sophisticated. Try Emma’s favourite cocktail: The Wolf (gin, lemoncello, and tonic, mmmmm)

Durban North Address: 6-12 Swapo Rd, Durban North, Durban, 4051, South Africa
Hillcrest Address: 14 Old Main Road, Hillcrest, KZN, 3650, South Africa
Recommended by: Emma Smith

The Big Easy at the Durban Hilton Hotel, DBN Central

Perfect mix between comforting South African and fine dining. If you’re looking for a great glass of wine, come here. The outside deck is relaxed and welcoming and the wine list is expertly curated. It includes some of Ernie Els’s most beautiful wines as well as a wonderful selection of champagnes.

Address: 12-14 Walnut Rd, Durban Central, Durban, 4001, South Africa
Recommended by: Debra Hughes

The Big Easy at Hilton Hotel in Durban

Image via @big_easy_durban Instagram

The Shed, Salt Rock

Full of good vibes. It’s one of the best local spots for the hip and trendy nestled in the famous Litchi Orchard in Salt Rock. Christina’s favourite is Tapas Tuesday to match a curated selection of wine, gin and beer on tap.

Address: The Litchi Orchard, Seaforth Avenue 1, Salt Rock, 4390, South Africa
Recommended by: Christina Pearl

Dropkick Murphy’s, Windermere

Casual bites to eat with a dash of sophistication and some tasty cocktails. It’ perfectly situated as a meeting space in the centre of some of Durban’s best restaurants.
Address: 219 Florida Rd, Windermere, Durban, 4001, South Africa
Recommended by: Debra Hughes

Makaranga Lodge, Kloof

A place to eat, drink, and just relax. The gardens are beautiful to walk through, while the deck is the perfect place to soak up some sun while you sip on gin cocktails and nibble on delicious snacks as a part of Makaranga’s Gin O’Clock menu (served 15:00PM-18:00PM).

Address: 1 Igwababa Road, Kloof, 3640, South Africa
Recommended by: Emma Smith

Sandbar Restaurant and Cocktails, Umdloti

A hidden gem in Umdloti. Breathe in the sea air and enjoy a sophisticated selection of wine, craft beer and cocktails with quality service and an impeccable view to the ocean.

Address: 32 N Beach Rd, Umdloti Beach, 4350, South Africa
Recommended by: Christina Pearl

Craft Beers on offer at Sandbar Restaurant and Cocktails Durban

Image via @sandbarkzn Instagram

Hudsons, Umhlanga

A relaxed, fun vibe with some of the most creative cocktails you’ll ever have the pleasure of sipping on. The sliders are unreal, and they also make incredible chicken strips. Emma’s favourite cocktails: The Berry Press and the Gin Julip.
Address: Shop 5 Protea Mall, Centre of Lighthouse Rd and Chartwell Dr, Umhlanga Rocks, KwaZulu-Natal 4319, South Africa
Recommended by: Emma Smith

Beluga, Umhlanga

More on the sophisticated side, this is a great place to go for a girls celebration or if you’re feeling like you need to treat yourself. The great thing about half priced cocktails at Beluga is that they coincide with half priced sushi.

Address: 1 Palm Blvd, Umhlanga Ridge, Durban, 4319, South Africa
Recommended by: Emma Smith

What would you add to this list? Tell us in the comments below!