Durban is brimming over with food and lifestyle markets. Craft and flea markets, farmers’ and organic food markets, indoor markets, open-air markets – whatever your preference. They manage to combine live music, foodies, crafters and enthusiasts in a way that keeps the locals coming back for more.
In Durban and want to know which markets to go to – here are the city’s top 10 …
DURBAN FOOD MARKET
Held on the last Saturday of every month from 08h00 until 13h00 at the Hellenic Community Centre inUmgeni Park, this award-winning market lures some 3 000 local foodies to breakfast, brunch or lunch, and to stock up on organic, sustainable and local fresh produce. The focus is on foods and edible products, and the stall holders a collection of food-conscious home cooks. In a nutshell: a treat.
One of the oldest markets in Durban, you nonetheless cannot beat the venue under the trees at Berea Park in Musgrave, every Saturday from 09h00 to 14h00. This is flea market meets classy stalls where you can expect to find anything from homemade food, plants, baked goods, handmade clothing, crafts, leatherwork, jewellery, soft furnishing, a tea garden, live entertainment and a children’s play area right next to the food area, making it simple for parents.
GOLDEN HOURS FAMILY MARKET
This more informal, rather ‘rustic’ market, is a community fundraiser for Golden Hours Special Needs School, on the corner of Uitsig Road and Radar Drive in Durban North, every Sunday between 10h00 and 15h30. It isn’t called a ‘family’ market for nothing. The main emphasis is on food and a large adventure playground for children. Go for the hearty breakfasts, food stalls, candyfloss and pancakes, as well as the rather surprising range of goods, second-hand bookstalls, household items and clothing. Set in the shade of mango trees there are also jumping castles, tractor rides, quad bikes and a surprisingly vibey atmosphere.
GREYVILLE CAR BOOT MARKET
Durban’s list of markets would be incomplete without this gem held every Sunday morning from 05h00 until 14h00, at the racecourse. In true car boot sale tradition find anything and everything that can fit in a boot – odds and ends, carpets, household goods, second-hand books and clothing, bicycles and other paraphernalia.
I HEART MARKET
Held in the Moses Mabhida Stadium on the Imbizo lawns between 09h00 and 14h00 on the first Saturday of every month, this wonderfully imaginative market combines fresh and homemade with arts and crafts in a delightful way – all of it local. Innovative and hand-designed crafts, art, fashion, jewellery, homeware, artisanal foods, recycled and upcycled goods, as well as second-hand gems. You’ll leave with a bag full of irresistible loot (Blu Betty leather shoes, painted wooden hearts, fabric earings and rings, unique gift tags, chocolate anything – visit to experience what is happening in the local creative scene.
KARKLOOF FARMERS’ MARKET
As one might anticipate from a farmers’ market, the emphasis at this in-door market on the Midlands Meander (a bit of a drive, but not too far from Durban; we think it’s worth the journey) is on food – anything from fresh fruit and vegetables, to homemade delicacies and organic products. In short: this market is a foodie mecca in the true sense of the word. It supports local; the local farmers who bring their cheeses, produce and products. A great place for breakfast in amongst friends and neighbours – table d’hote style. On every Saturday between 07h00 and 11h00, 2.6 km from Howick along the Karkloof Road.
PS: Get there early; 10h00 is too late!
SHONGWENI FARMERS’ MARKET (MEETING TREE MARKET?)
On the corner of Kassier and Alvestone roads in Assagay, this is one of Durban’s stalwart markets, dishing up the dibs on country-style food every Saturday morning between 06h00 and 10h30 (you need to be an early bird to make this market). But it’s worth the early rise if you’re after organic foods and home-made crafts, with over 90 stalls to choose from.
PS: You’ll be secretly glad you didn’t make time for breakfast before leaving the house.
STABLES LIFESTYLE MARKET
A lifestyle, arts and crafts market opposite the rugby stadium in Durban, Stables is a liberal sprawl of over 230 different ‘shops’ dressed up in what served as stables 100 years ago. Open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays the market offers an extraordinary range of home décor, antiques, fashion, books, arts and crafts as well as food and live music. It’s creative, fun and original.
UMHLANGA FARMERS’ MARKET
A farmers’ market in the true sense of the word held every Wednesday from 10h00 to 13h00 on Autumn Drive, Prestondale (near the Sharks Board). This market is a no-mess, no-fuss trade affair with old trestle tables, table cloths blowing in the wind, food served up in tupperware and handmade signs. But it’s the real thing – organic and fresh fruit and vegetables, farm produce and home grown. Expect anything from free-range eggs, bunches of fresh flowers and savoury tarts and muffins, to fresh trout, cheeses and homemade loaves.
WHOLEFOOD NIGHT MARKET
You will find this happening night market in the courtyard of the Three Cities Docklands Hotel, on the corner of Mahatma Gandhi and Browns Avenue. Once a month a range of Durban’s top creative, handcrafted and bespoke design items combine with deli-vibe and organic food (assemble a meal, picnic style) and music to entertain you.
PS: Wholefood is, in fact, the name of Darryl Hofmann’s event company responsible for both the Bulwer Market and the Night Market (he also does weddings).