There are some 100% vegan eateries that have been around for a fair amount of time. It sometimes amazes, NAY, shocks me that a lot of plant-based folks have never tried most of these.
Here is a small list of Cape Town’s finest 100% vegan/plant-based eateries that you NEED to get onto/into/on top of this year. Seems like a pretty good New Year’s Resolution to me!
In alphabetical order:
403 Albert Rd, Woodstock
Owner and chef, Johanna de Groot has fashioned her eatery (that shares its premises with the zero-waste store, Shop Zero) to include a plant-based menu that is 50% raw, as well as refined sugar and gluten-free. Think of it as SA’s version of famous London plant-based chef, Deliciously Ella.
Green and Vegan Cape Town Pop-Up Dining Experience
Clydebank Rd, Green Point
Once a fortnight, Karen and Patrick create a unique plant-based menu at their home in Green Point. You simply arrive, bringing your own drinks (no corkage fee) and prepare to be fed up to five courses of food that will literally blow your mind! I have been about five or six times. It’s THAT good. An incredibly unique experience that is never the same twice and a great way to socialise and meet folks (local and not) from all walks of life.
Herbivorous Eats is an online takeaway joint that makes McD’s burger look like a poor substitute. They also make raw vegan cheesecakes (to order) which are renowned throughout the Mother City. I may have ordered two Salted Caramel Cheesecakes from them in the past – but there was little evidence left in the time that followed 😉
The Kind Kitchen
202 Albert Rd, Woodstock
Chef Jay Mac is a one-of-a-kind master at creating faux meat, egg and dairy dishes that are better than the real thing in his vegan “delicate’tuisen” and café. Try the “fish” tacos or scrambled tofu with “bacon”, spinach and vegan cheddar on an activated charcoal wrap! Blink and you’ll miss it though: its tucked away in the corner of the Woodstock Brewery.
Branches in Kloof St and Harrington St
Vegan gourmet junk food reigns supreme in what must be the most epic of portion sizes you could possibly find. The larger-than-life staff might sing to you or profess their undying love while they serve you a Lekker Messy Gatsby, Lekker Chick’n Bunini or their signature Lekker Crispy Burger. One thing is for sure: you need to go hungry, especially as there is soft serve galore for dessert!
Mary-Ann’s Emporium & Eatery
Branches in Mouille Point and Gordon’s Bay
It’s no secret that this is one of my absolute favourites! The concept is simple: arrive, order drinks, help yourself to a vast array of gluten-free, refined sugar-free, plant-based foods that are laid out in a gorgeous buffet for R140, and go back for more once you’re done! Owners Mary-Ann and Mark Shearer are only concerned with putting your health first and have done so by bringing their much-loved Gordon’s Bay triumph to Mouille Point. Make this one a priority!
8 Buiten St, City Centre
This is the mother of all vegan restaurants in Cape Town, setting the scene for the boom in veganism that was to come after it opened its doors several years ago. It’s a “something-for-everyone” restaurant that is open from Monday to Sunday. My personal favourites? The Breakfast Wrap, Dim Sum and Dirty Mac & Cheese. The staff are amazing, and owner Chef Pierre Lambret is always about to make sure that top-notch service is the first order of the day.
Raw and Roxy
30 Hout St, City Centre
Beatrice Holst is the raw food queen of Cape Town whose restaurant interior is probably one of the most beautiful in the Western Cape. If you’re new to raw food, I’d suggest starting slowly as the food is rich, decadent and dangerously moreish! You HAVE to try the raw vegan lasagne – it’s a triumph!
Sunshine Food Co.
6 Main Rd, Sea Point
The Sunshine Food Co. is a quirky food “pharmacy” that prepares 100% organic food that is quite simply out-of-this-world! Their signature Bunless Burger is their winning menu item. Whether you’re able to steal the two window seats, or even just pop in for a quick takeaway smoothie, I highly recommend this as one to add to your list. Open Mon-Sun, 8am-5pm.
While there are literally 100s of restaurants in and around the Western Cape that offer insanely good vegan options, I wanted to pay respect to those that have taken the brave step of running a 100% vegan-friendly establishment. This doesn’t mean that I don’t value and deeply appreciate the work that other establishments are doing to provide plant-based options.
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