Welcome to Blue Zoo Restaurant & Cafe

Blue Zoo is Durban’s oldest restuarant (Est. 1914) and iconic establishments, based on its historically rich location within the beautiful Mitchell Park, in Morningside, the Berea.

Surrounded and shaded by trees, with rich, colourful flowerbeds lining the periphery, the restaurant has a plentiful array of indoor and outdoor seating as well as a jungle gym, swing, play-house, sand-art area and play tables for the children.

The menu has a wide variety of wonderful dishes ranging from light or hearty breakfasts lunch snacks including salads, wraps and sandwiches to sumptuous dishes including Lamb Shank, Beef Fillet, Duck a l’orange and our famous curries.

For the sweet-toothed, there’s a delicious range of cakes and desserts as well as the hugely popular scones, served with jam and cream.

Beverages include coffees, teas and other hot drinks as well as a wide variety of cold drinks including milkshakes and smoothies. There’s a well stocked bar that carries beers, cocktails, some spirits and a range of wines.

Whether you’re popping in for coffee, cake and some playtime with the kids, coming for breakfast or a leisurely lunch or holding your Special Event at our venue, you’ll be thoroughly satisfied with the location, food and service.

Contact us now to make a reservation or plan your function or simply make an impromptu visit.

We look forward to seeing you here.

Mitchell Park remains one the finest parks in South Africa with it's rich history, zoological collection and African feel.

Prior to 1850 the entire area, known as the Berea, was a forest and home to elephant, buffalo, leopard, the occasional lion and, on the periphery, hippo, with no shortage of snakes, from the giant rock python to deadly mambas and the boomslang.

By 1850 most of the large game had gone.

The park was initially designated and partly cleared in 1894 with the, still existant, Zoo forming the main attraction of the park from 1900, which is when the first animals arrived; five Mauritian deer that were donated donated by Clara Binns (Acutt).

In the years preceding other deer and buck arrived followed by the building of a lion house, aviary, monkey house and paddocks in 1911.

By 1913 the Zoo held 325 mammals, 49 reptiles & 855 birds. This formidable collection included larger mammals sach as elephant, leopard, lion, panther, brown bear, polar bear, buffalo and eland.

By 1914, the undergrowth was cleared from the lower section of the park and park benches provided as well as a Tea Room.

From then and up to today the park's flora is a mix of wonderful exotics and indigenous species including many trees that were not cleared when the park was originally established.

While many events have been held at the park, the most notable is the 1947 four day visit by King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and the two princesses, Elizabeth & Margaret, who stayed at Kings House, a stone's throw from the park, and enjoyed a civic reception in the form of a garden party held at Mitchell Park.

As for the Tea Room, the original Tea Room now has the band stand built on it's foundations, with the newer Tea Room, Blue Zoo, located steps away, surrounded by trees, shrubs and flowers.

(Compiled using excerts from the book 'In the steps of Nellie, A history of Mitchell Park and Robert Jameson Park, and of the Zoological Gardens, Durban' by Donal P. McCracken. Published 2001).

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