Milk-shaking through KwaZulu Natal
Durban, my scenic seaside hometown, is known for its wide array of palatable foods…from bunny chows (a hollowed out loaf of bread filled with curry) to shisa nyama (barbecued meat), Durban is a melting pot of different cuisines with something to suit every palate. KZN also has wonderful drinks- from craft beers to fresh fruit juices, you can quench your thirst with a wide variety of beverages. However one thing Durban is overlooked for is our gorgeous gourmet milkshakes! In fact, most people don’t even know where you can find these magnificently creamy concoctions that bring the boys to the yard. So, due to popular demand, I have compiled a comprehensive list of the yummiest gourmet milkshakes in Durban and surrounding areas- for more info like addresses and contact details, just click on the name of each establishment. Prepare yourself for East Coast milkshake porn like you’ve never seen before.
(Beware: the below may cause food-coma-like symptoms and drooling…lots and lots of drooling.) In no particular order:
I think this is the most well known milkshake spot in Durban with delicious flavours, a funky vibe and charming service. Their milkshakes come with lip-smacking brownies, doughnuts and mini cupcakes depending on whichever one you order. Flavours include Bubblegum Bliss, Lime Wire, Turkish Delight, Red Velvet Indulgence, Death by Chocolate, Cherry Lips and a few more if I can recall correctly. I have been here more than once and have loved their consistently good service and awesome milkshakes. Their freakshakes are FILLING so go hungry and yes, they get super busy on weekends so book a table in advance.
Perfect for: A lunch date with old friends
Prices: Between R40-R55
Perfectly positioned along Durban’s South beach, this is the premier place to enjoy a delicious milkshake while gazing upon the glistening blue Indian Ocean looking for frolicking dolphins/hunky surfers. Although they didn’t have the exact milkshakes that I wanted on the day that I went, my friend and I tried out these beauties and weren’t disappointed.
They make their own ice cream, which probably accounts for the silky texture and creaminess of their milkshakes. Their flavours include double chocolate and bar one, peanut butter and banana, real vanilla bean, double espresso, salted caramel and honeycomb and some other yummy delights that you can go find out for yourself.
Perfect for: Taking your out of town friends so you can impress them with the view and the drinks.
Prices: Around R50 per milkshake.
This is the big kahuna of KZN milkshakes as their milkshakes are so perfectly presented that you don’t even want to take a sip! They have some fascinating flavour combinations like:
- Chocolate brownie and vanilla seed chocolate swirl ice cream
- Salted caramel popcorn and peanut butter, condensed milk cheesecake smash with vanilla seed ice cream
- Pretzel and home-made butterscotch sauce
- Fresh strawberry ice cream and red velvet cupcake with butter icing and strawberry jam
- Caramel ice cream, doughnuts, speckled eggs, chocolate cigar and peanut butter condensed milk cheesecake smash (Yes apparently that’s all one flavour.)
The flavours don’t disappoint and neither does the presentation. This is also the perfect outdoor setting to get into a messy freakshake as chocolate drips down your arms as you try to stuff your face with delectable ganache on top of your milkshake. These were the four that I ordered when I went with my friends and we left PMB in a milkshake induced coma.
Perfect for: A day trip up to Howick Falls or the Mandela Capture site in Howick with family followed by some delicious freakshakes at Flavour Café coupled with some browsing at the cute craft shop next door to Flavour Café. This place is very kids friendly so take the young ones along!
Prices: from R38 to R45
This café is an absolute hidden gem in Ballito. It’s set surreptitiously in a quiet suburb and then when you get inside the café, it’s like a whole new world. Just look at the dazzling décor surrounded by a picturesque forest!
This enchanting little place is well known for their sweet delicacies and they don’t disappoint. They have an extensive sections of cakes, dessert, waffles and cheesecakes.The cheesecake milkshake is a must-try and if you’re the adventurous sort (like Expat Fox), give the chilli-chocolate combination a try (yes it has real chilli powder in it!) Oh and do try out the Berrywood waffle if you are extra hungry…
Perfect for: Ending a blissfully romantic weekend in Ballito with brunch after frolicking in the waves at Thompson’s Bay all weekend.
Prices: Between R40-R50
I was a bit hesitant to put this one of the list as their hospitality left much to be desired when I stopped there on Tuesday afternoon. However, despite their sad service, the milkshakes were yummy and satisfying. I originally wanted the crème brulee milkshake but was told this was out of stock so I went for the cherry cola, which turned out to be a delicious alternative. Other milkshakes enjoyed by sisters, included espresso (perfect for coffee enthusiasts) and Belgian chocolate (perfect for dark chocolate lovers).
I was also informed that one simply can’t order drinks without ordering food (?) so we ordered a custard and granadilla flapjack stack only to be told that they had no custard. After changing our order to a Milky Bar and Nutella flapjack stack, we received two sickeningly sweet, undercooked pancakes. My advice is to only visit here is you happen to be in Gateway and have the craving for a burger that cannot be satisfied by anything else.
Perfect for: The pokemon Go obsessed teenagers as there are a lot of poke stops in the area!
Prices: R35 each
Now some would call this an uninspired option knowing my dislike of franchise restaurants. However the food and ‘Adventure shakes’ at this Mimmos branch are both delicious. There are few common milkshake flavours here such as vanilla, chocolate, mixed berry among others and you choose what topping you would like. It is served on this cute little board with some of your topping in a little bowl and some on top of the cream of your milkshake.
A little uninspired compared to the other options on this list however, the taste is what puts it firmly on this list. Pictured is the mixed berry milkshake with Oreo topping and it really is luscious.
Perfect for: A family gathering as there are activities to keep the kids entertained and there are so many food options which will please the fussy aunt in the family while the sun sets over Sherwood through the floor to ceiling glass windows.
Prices: R39.90 per shake
Wicked Donuts is a dietician’s idea of hell! Everything on their menu is so delicious but oh so sinful! Although they don’t have too many milkshake flavours (chocolate, strawberry and salted caramel), they do these flavours just so perfectly.
I could actually write a whole other blog post on Wicked Donuts alone simply because I love EVERYTHING on their menu and I have been a fan of theirs before they even had a store. Do try this sinfully delicious Nutella and marshmallow sandwich with a side of toffee sauce with your milkshake… you won’t regret it!
Perfect for: After work spoils with your colleagues while gossiping about the new addition to the company.
Another franchise restaurant that made it onto this list, which means it must have something special going for it. Mugg & Bean often have these novelty drinks, which change from season to season, and I have sampled quite a few at a few different branches (the Suncoast one is by far the worst). But these three flavours: lemon meringue swirl, blueberry swirl and the decadent chocolate hot milkshakes are worth a space on this list.
Perfect for: A catch up brunch with old high school friends as you discuss who has kids, who has gotten fat and the one who has the seemingly perfect life according to her Instagram feed.
Prices: About R45 per milkshake
Era Ice Cream is dangerously situated within walking distance of where I live. As a result, I have tried nearly everything on their menu and have never been disappointed. It is a small café with the cutest décor. I hardly ever see this place advertising and there isn’t even a big sign in front of it, yet there are always customers and have the most exquisite smells wafting out of the shop. Their milkshake flavours include cookies & cream, strawberry, vanilla Oreo and peanut butter. There is a lot of attention to detail in the food at Era Ice Cream and the ladies who work there dispense service with a smile. They also make their own ice cream, hilariously named after famous historical figures, which accounts for the amazing taste of their decadent offerings. Feast your eyes on this haul from my latest visit to Era in July…
Perfect for: Taking mum out for a treat after a long day of shopping and a movie.
Prices: R40 per milkshake
Just down the road from Pop Up Society is Spoonful Eatery tucked away on a side road underneath some leafy trees. You need to drive slowly down Helen Joseph Road to spot the sign telling you to turn into a tiny road and yes, there is parking on site. On the day I went (Voting Day), they weren’t doing milkshakes! What travesty is this?? However their hot drinks were just as pretty and tasty. Pictured here is the salted caramel hot chocolate topped with lashings of gooey caramel as well as caramel popcorn and red velvet hot chocolate topped with Romany Creams biscuits and melted chocolate. Mmm…
Note: The menu here changes daily and there are only about 6 items on the menu so go with eaters that aren’t too fussy.
Perfect for: Impressing that one ‘foodie’ friend who spends ten minutes snapping pictures of their food before they start eating their meal. Their food is presented beautifully.
I had been to Remo’s before and had a less than great dinner experience. However I decided to give it another go, two years later, and I am so glad that I did. My friend and I went for a 9am brekkie date and enjoyed these two divine concoctions of Crunchy Coco- vanilla ice cream, perfectly blended with crushed Crunchie Bar, honey and coconut milk as well as Strawberries & Cream which has actual chunks of strawberry in it…MMM. They might be the latest spot to join the milkshake league, but they’re ahead of the game with their enviable offerings.
Perfect for: A romantic first date… the brasserie ambience, vintage artwork and gorgeous decor would guarantee a second and third date.
Other café’s with supposedly good milkshakes include Ebb & Flo (Gateway), Cape Town Fish Market (Gateway), Republik (Durban North), O & O Cafe (Westville) and S43 (Umngeni Road) but unfortunately I haven’t had time to sample any of their milkshakes.
Special mention goes to these CONUTS from Old Town Italy (which is one of my favourite daytime eating establishments in Umhlanga), which, I know, aren’t technically milkshakes, but are heavenly and therefore deserve a mention! You’re looking at cherry and pistachio ice cream on the top with a donut ‘cone’ base which is dipped in sugar and has hardened chocolate down the sides…
Honestly I am reading over this post and wondering how come I still fit into size small clothes?! Haha! Durban I am going to miss you… I don’t know if I will ever know another place as well as I know you! But on the other hand, thinking of all the new, exciting things that I can sample and review in Kuwait is very thrilling!
Let me know what your favourite milkshake places are in Durban and surrounding areas, if you have any recommendations to add to this list or if you simply enjoyed this post by leaving me a comment below!
**I have not been paid to write this blog post by any of the restaurants featured nor was I offered anything in exchange for these review… I am merely sharing my experiences of eating at these establishments. All pictures in this post are mine or belong to the friends I was with at the time the photo was taken.