Chalkboard walls, geometric white furniture, brightly coloured African-print plant pots and kitschy summer radio hits on the stereo capture the charms of Durban’s beach bars (Papy previously lived in Durban before moving up to Joburg) while expansive floor-to-wall windows provide ample natural light and plenty of opportunities to people watch.
The pan-African menu includes South African and Congolese favourites plus café staples like wraps and burgers included for the international crowd staying at the adjoining backpackers. Beloved by the café’s Congolese patrons, a menu highlight is the authentic Karapauw, a whole freshly-grilled mackerel slathered in lemon butter and herbs, served with fluffy home-style pap and a spicy tomato chakalaka or wedges and a house-salad. We also recommend the massive flame-grilled Kafe Noir smash burger served with shoestring fries and salad.
What really sets Kafe Noir apart from the crowd is its hidden rooftop space (ask the staff to show you the way up there). Perfect for sundowners in the summer months, you can also enjoy a game of pool, browse the vinyl collection and choose your own tunes to play on the little record player while you enjoy the view or simply relax on the beach loungers and soak up the sound of the inner-city’s distinct soundtrack. Like all good beach bars, the beers are cheap and the portion sizes hearty. All that's missing is some sand and a view of the ocean.
Keep an eye on the Kafe Noir Facebook page for information about their regular live music events and Afrobeat DJ parties.
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