Hops Bar and Restaurant
Durban, South Africa
Hops Bar and Restaurant Durban Reviews
Slightly out of the way but very worth it Jun 18, 2010
Hops is located in the Riverside Hotel, just over the river in Durban North. If you drive up Northway, you can't miss it as the hotel dominates the sky on the right side of the road. Though the place is attached to a somewhat high-end hotel, the prices are extremely reasonable and the food is surprisingly good for pub grub. There is also a surprisingly high number of locals that hang out at this place, which makes for a pretty booming Friday and Saturday night scene at the bar. They have screens showing the World Cup as well as any rugby or cricket matches going on. The service has been great every time I've gone there, and even when the place is packed they get things out in a timely manner. More on the food:
The menu has all the Durban bar basics - burgers, pizza, curries and fish & chips, and some decent salads and wraps thrown in as well. I've tried the fish and chips, the vegetarian pizza and one of the wraps, and all of them were really good. The pizza is loaded with toppings, so much so that it can be a pleasant ordeal to keep them on the slice. It is certainly enough for 2 hungry people, and even then you will likely take a few slices home with you. The fish and chips is the best I've had in Durban so far - great batter, not too oily, great tasting fish. My girlfriend the vegetarian got the Mediterranean Wrap, and she loved it. Durban does not skimp on the feta cheese. If you order something with feta, it will have enormous almost intimidating chunks of feta in it. When you order a dinner you have the option of also ordering "bottomless" drafts for R55. I don't know if this offer is available all the time, or just on certain days, but I was there around 6pm on a Monday, so it would certainly be worth asking if you plan on hanging out there for a bit after dinner.
The drinks are reasonable there, although I must admit I've only had beers there. They carry the Durban standards, like Hansa, Castle, Black Label, Windhoek and Amstel, many on tap. The Amstel bottles were R16, which was awesome with the exchange rate for the USD.
On a Friday or Saturday night, the bar area becomes a tad clubby, and a DJ will play music like Kings of Leon and Killers, and drunk people will hug each other and scream the lyrics out at the top of their lungs and then buy a round a shots. I know because the first time there I was one of those people. Some nights it tends to be a sausage fest, some nights the cougars are on the prowl, and some nights it works out to have an even ratio of guys and girls, so you never really know what your going to get until you show up. All in all, I've had a lot of fun there, and I think it's worth checking out if you tire of Billy the Bums or some of the other Durban hang outs.
Part of the Africa Summer 2010 travel blog
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