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Grab a “Bunny Chow” the Durban way

Having fun in Durban can be hungry business, at which point “grabbing a chow” becomes pretty top of mind.


Durban may not be known as the gastronomic capital of the country, but the city still has much to offer.

Durban alongside London, has something no other city in the world has: an international reputation as one of the only places off the Indian subcontinent where you can get GREAT curry!

Because Durban has a great climate, outdoor eating venues are popular and there are plenty of places you can sit and look out over the sea, the bay, a stunning garden or watch the world go by and get great food at the same time.

In this blog, we explore Indian food and the most popular take-away known as a “bunny chow”.


Definition of “Bunny Chow”

A “bunny chow” has nothing to do with rabbits, but is a half or quarter load of fresh white bread, scooped out and filled with steaming hot curry. These takeaway curries are usually very reasonably priced.

Bunny chow myths and legends

‘Bunny’ is a Zulu corruption of the world Bhania or Bunia, people who in India are a caste or class of merchants or traders (some say from Gujarat). In Durban, they were apparently the guys who, back in the bad old apartheid days, found a creative way of serving take-away curry to their working-class customers who weren’t allowed inside their restaurants.

Because many Indian workers had to leave early for work, there was often no time to make Indian-style bread. Western-style bread was a handy substitute that also provided a great way to serve the curry without the plate.

The origin of the world ‘chow’ is also disputed, apparently coming from the Chinese word ch’ao which means to ‘fry’ or ‘cook’.

But really, you don’t have to understand a bunny chow, you have to eat it!



To find more and discover 100 activities in and around Durban, purchase a copy of Visitor’s Guide Durban & Surrounds here


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