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Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in Cape Town
The best vegetarian and vegan options for eating out in Cape Town
Life for a vegetarian or even a vegan isn’t always easy in South Africa. The nation cherishes the thought of a juicy boerewors (farm sausage) or well-aged steak sizzling on a braai (barbeque), and almost all restaurants predominately feature meat and fish dishes on their menu. While there are few eateries in Cape Town that offer more than just salads (if that) for vegetarians, surprisingly, pure vegetarian or vegan restaurants do exist as well (they’re just very rare). To help those who’ve forsaken meat, we’ve compiled an overview of the spots that cater exclusively for vegetarians and vegans, as well as those that are relatively vegetarian friendly.
Have fun and bon appetite!
VEGETARIAN RESTAURANTS IN CAPE TOWN CBD & GARDENS
Cape Town’s city centre has been craving a new addition to the veggie community and it is ecstatic to welcome Plant. This vegan and vegetarian eatery promotes a compassionate and gentle lifestyle by making plant-based meal options easily available. The menu offers Capetonians 100% meat-free dishes with a commitment to being deliciously conscious about the meals served. Order yourself a divine juice or smoothie or a delicious vegan wrap. All the options are bound to make your mouth water. Be sure to ask about their raw cakes, and if you are in need of vegan catering, Plant is your go to!
Opening Times: Monday:9am - 5pm; Tuesday – Saturday: 9am – 10pm; Sunday: 9.30am - 5pm
8 Buiten Street | Cape Town City Centre | +27(0)21 422 2737
The fairly new eatery in Bree Street, Sexy Food, promotes an innovative dining experience. The restaurant has created a menu where both herbivores and carnivores can meet and enjoy a meal together. Each meal has eco-awareness behind it and is based on a sustainable living approach. The concept is based on listening to your body regarding the food you give it, to create the sexy food lifestyle. There is a beautiful emphasis around providing plant-based meals, so make your way to the city centre for a build-your-own buffet and enjoy a divine dish from the ingredients you choose.
Opening Times: Monday – Friday: 8am – 5pm; Saturday: 9am – 3pm
190 Bree Street | Cape Town City Centre | +27(0)21 422 5445
This artisanal plant-based restaurant on Orphan Street has as beautiful interior as well as exterior. The inviting atmosphere will have you eating there most days of the week, especially because the food will get you feeling happy and healthy. The aim of the Hungry Herbivore is to bridge the gap between healthy food and comfort food. Be sure to stop by to fill your hungry herbivore tummy with some wholesome, healthy meals.
Opening Times: Tuesday - Wednesday: 9am - 6pm; Thursday - Saturday: 9am - 10pm; Sunday: 9am - 3pm
11 Orphan Street | City Centre | Cape Town
This modern, edgy city centre bistro offers visitors a large range of innovative seasonal dishes for breakfast and lunch. All cuisine is prepared on the spot, in a natural way, with fresh ingredients mainly purchased from local and organic farms. When creating their menu, the café also took vegetarians and vegans into consideration. They even cater for those with special food requirements, such as gluten or lactose intolerances. If you love wine, you should definitely have a look at the impressive wine list. After your meal, don’t forget to buy some bread or other homemade delicacies at the small shop. The large "White Room" on the top floor can be rented for private events.
Opening Times: Monday - Friday: 7am – 11am (breakfast), 12pm - 3pm (lunch) | Thursday: 6:30 – close (dinner); bookings only.
165 Longmarket Street | CBD | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 422 4920
Vandiar’s Indian Cuisine
Opened February 2013 this restaurant treats diners to a full-on taste explosion from Durban. The owner, Invin Vandiar, conjures up lekker, Indian dishes; the curries, many of which are vegetarian, are big favourites. The menu also boasts a hefty assortment of meat-free starters, and all dishes are freshly prepared - you’ll find all local Durbanites praise the delicious food.
16 Barnett Street | Dunkley Square | Gardens | Cape Town | +27(0)21 462 6129
VEGETARIAN RESTAURANTS IN THE SOUTHERN SUBURBS
Chuck Yang’s Speciality Dish
The often-praised Taiwanese chef Chuck Yang serves a wide range of hearty Chinese dishes, many of which are vegetarian or vegan, in his tiny eight-tabled restaurant. Fresh ingredients, lightning quick preparation and generous portions full of tasty flavours are the convincing winning formula of the eatery. Not to mention, this top-notch noodle shop boasts very reasonable prices.
Opening Times: Monday - Sunday: 11:30am – 9pm
93 Campground Road | Rondebosch |Cape Town | +27(0)21 689 7967
Maharajah Pure Vegetarian Cuisine
Chef Theresa Peters’s kitchen focusses on cooking healthy, vegetarian and vegan dishes with versatile favours and spices. The menu is entirely free of meat, a rarity in Cape Town, and the chef replaces the chicken and beef in signature curries and kormas with soy and paneers (in particular, the korma is to die for). Recipes have been passed down from generation to generation, and all dishes are served with biryani, rice or roti and with raita and dhal on the side. The hip café is also a popular student spot, and all dishes are available for takeaway.
Opening Times: Monday to Saturday: 10:30am – 9:30pm
6 Rondebosch Court | Fountain Square | Rondebosch | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 685 7891
VEGETARIAN RESTAURANTS IN OBSERVATORY
Poncho’s Mexican Restaurant
This popular high-energy restaurant spoils its guests, vegetarians included, rotten with an extensive selection of authentic Mexican dishes ranging from fajitas to burritos to empanadas. Aside from a menu section specifically devoted to those who don’t eat meat, the offering also allows diners to substitute mushroom in place of chicken or beef fillings. Decorated in Mexican style, the fun-loving eatery has an inside smoking section as well as a cosy courtyard in the back. Frozen lemon and strawberry margarita is the best selling drink, but body shots off fellow customers or one of the hot waiters are also house favourites. To avoid disappointment, it's best to book in advance for either 5:30pm or 8pm -the restaurant has two seatings per evening. Opening Times: Tuesday to Saturday: 5:30pm - late
127 Lower Main Road | Observatory | Cape Town | + 27 (0)21 447 4854
VEGETARIAN RESTAURANTS OUTSIDE CAPE TOWN
Owned by passionate animal rights activist Paul Kahanovitz, this relaxed Muizenberg spot is a pescetarian eatery that opened in June 2013, that’s taken the concept of slow living to heart. Based near the suburb’s colourful beachfront (it boasts great sea views), the contemporary, meat-free restaurant conjures up an ever-changing array of nutritious vegetarian dishes, with options like Broccoli Soup with Parmesan and Blue Cheese, Mushroom and Butternut Lasagne, and Sundried Tomato, Butternut and Lentil Hotpot on the blackboard menu. Guests are encouraged to take the time to enjoy the fare in an unhurried manner, and afterward, they can browse through the small assortment of eco-friendly African design products that the café stocks and sells. Those eager to adopt the ethos of the edgy, seaside eatery more fully can also stop in for free early morning meditation sessions any day of the week.
Opening Times: Monday to Sunday: 7am – 4pm (open occasionally in the evenings for events)
152 Main Road | Muizenberg | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 788 5849
If you are looking for vegan and/or vegetarian places to eat outside Cape Town have a look at our overview based in around these fine eateries in and around the Stellenbosch Area.
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