Gone are the days when eating out as a vegan meant a lunch or dinner of salad leaves. With more of Cape Town’s restaurants surfing the new wave of plant-based eating, vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants are becoming a dime a dozen. And the dishes they’re turning out are so lip-smackingly delicious and indulgent that even the most devoted of meat fans are getting order envy! Here’s our pick for Cape Town’s best vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants…
Babylon Theatre Café, Claremont
The Mediterranean and Middle East doesn’t get better than this fun café, with a massive menu of mezze, pizzas, veggie burgers, full spreads of mains with rice and couscous, vegan cheese and ice-cream, and a delicious (vegan) bakery. In other words, you can expect great food no matter what your dietary requirements. Babylon also has a fresh juice bar, which turns out wicked shakes and smoothies, and a rather enchanting and exotic Hookah Bar, where guests can try all flavours of fruity “hubbly-bubbly.”
Where: 111 Main Road, Claremont, Cape Town
Opening Times: Sunday to Tuesday, 12:00 to 00:00 | Wednesday, 12:00 – 01:00 | Thursday, 12:00 to 02:00 | Friday and Saturday, 12:00 to 03:00
Contact: +27 (0) 21 674 0032 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Cocoa (Observatory, Rondebosch, and Tamboerskloof)
From tapas, toasted sandwiches, wraps, and pizzas to desserts, smoothies, milkshakes, juices, the quirky Cocoa (all three franchises) serve reasonably priced, generously portioned dishes with plenty of vegetarian and vegan-friendly options. The menus vary little between the three restaurants, although the venues themselves are dressed differently and cater to different clientele.
Where: Cocoa Cha-Chi: 20 Lower Main Road, Observatory | Cocoa Wah Wah: 18 Main Road, Rondebosch | Cocoa Oola: 100 Kloof Street, Tamboerskloof
Opening Times: Monday to Sunday, 07:00 to 23:00 (all branches)
Contact: Cocoa Cha-Chi: +27 (0) 21 448 3637 | Cocoa Wah Wah: +27 (0) 021 686 3639 | Cocoa Oola: +27 (0) 21 422 3638
Flourish Bistro, Woodstock
Flourish Bistro is a plant-based, refined sugar and gluten free bistro in the heart of Woodstock, Cape Town. All of their produce is super fresh and comes from a local organic farm. Breakfast is an all-day affair (sweet and crunchy granola with homemade plant milk or an avocado smash on gluten-free spinach bread with tamari and thyme fried mushrooms) and lunch starts at noon, featuring mouth-watering options such as vegan Caesar salad, healthy Buddha bowls, and barbeque jackfruit sliders.
Govinda’s Natural Food Café, Rondebosch
Govinda’s Natural Food Café is an edgy, Indian-themed suburban café in Rondebosch with a warm friendly atmosphere where guests can enjoy sumptuous vegetarian and vegan-friendly food. Known locally as one of Rondebosch’s best-kept secrets, Govinda’s menu features wholesome, unfussy dishes at reasonable prices. Try the chickpea balls and chickpea fudge with tomato sauce!
Where: Hare Krishna Temple, 17 St Andrews Road, Rondebosch, Cape Town
Opening Times: Wednesday to Sunday, 12:00 to 18:00; closed Monday and Tuesday
Contact: +27 (0) 21 686 1179 or email@example.com
Web: Facebook Page
Green & Vegan Pop Up Dining, Green Point
Once a fortnight, Patrick Knight and Karen Fletcher create a strictly plant-based, vegan meal at their home in Green Point Village. Singles, couples, locals, and visitors come together around a communal table to share this eating experience and good conversation. Though the food they serve is strictly vegan, many of their customers claim to be “vegan-curious” rather than fully committed, which could change after a visit to this homely eatery! Tickets are available through www.quicket.co.za
GroundZero-Marley Coffee, Observatory
Marley Coffee is a coffee shop that serves organic, ethically farmed, and artisan roasted coffee in a chilled, warm environment. Their restaurant, called GroundZero, serves up a strictly vegetarian and vegan-friendly menu with a nice selection of affordable food options, such as the vegan chicken mayo sandwich (served on a toasted stoneground Turkish roll), as well as stir-fries, breakfast bowls, curries, wraps, quiches, and desserts. The vegan banana and chocolate milkshake is something special, too!
The Kind Kitchen, Woodstock
“We create seasonal vegan goodness from locally grown and sourced produce in the Cape Town CBD. Our mantra is No Harm Done. We live and breathe the vegan lifestyle and are here to support and share this ever growing movement with you.”
Opened in November 2018 next door to the Woodstock Brewery, the Kind Kitchen is a 100% vegan eatery that serves a delicious assortment of vegan breakfasts (think: tofu scramble, French toast with agave syrup and vegan bacon, and chickpea flour omelettes). They also do a selection of lunch dishes that are uncanny in their emulation of the real thing, such as The Impossible Burger and vegan fish and chips.
Where: 252 Albert Road, Woodstock
Opening Times: Tuesday to Friday, 10:00 to 15:00 and 17:00 to 20:00 | Monday and Saturday, 10:00 to 15:00
Contact: +27 (0) 61 526 1358
Lekker Vegan, Zonnebloem
With a tagline that reads “Vegan gourmet junk food” you literally get the best of all worlds at this restaurant. In fact, rumour has it that 90% of the diners you’ll find inside Lekker Vegan on any given day aren’t even vegan! The menu at this Zonnebloem-based restaurant boasts a selection of comfort food dishes made at gourmet-level and according to strict vegan standards. Lekker Vegan is the place to go for feel-good food (such as the Original Lekker Crispy Burger and Fries) that is cruelty-fee and the packaging of which is environmentally friendly.
Where: 37 Barrack Street, Corner of Harrington and Barrack Streets, Zonnebloem
Opening Times: Monday to Thursday, 12:00 to 22:00; Friday, 12:00 to 03:00; Saturday, 13:00 to 03:00; Sunday, 15:00 to 22:00.
Massimo’s, Hout Bay
Located at the Oakhurst Farm in Hout Bay, the Italian family-run Massimo’s has become somewhat of an establishment in the valley. Not only are they pet-friendly (and serve outstanding pastas and pizzas), but they also have an entire vegan-friendly menu with a lovely variety of tapas, pizza, pasta, salads, and desserts! With such delicious variety on offer, Massimo’s has become a favourite go-to lunch and dinner spot for people of all dietary persuasions.
Nourish’d Café & Juicery, City Centre
Nourish’d is the epitome of a popular Cape Town hangout, where pets are welcome, the atmosphere is laid back, and no one’s in a rush to do anything other than socialise and graze their way through a delicious and healthy vegetarian or vegan meal. Located on the corner of Kloof and Hof Streets in Gardens, Nourish’d offers patrons a grand variety of vegetarian and vegan meal options, as well as healthy smoothies, gourmet sandwiches, and even take-home juice cleanses, which you can order for delivery or collection as a one, three, or five-day package.
Where: Ground Floor 177 Kloof Street, The Old Garage on Hof Street Gardens, Gardens
Opening Times: Monday to Friday, 07:00 to 18:30; Saturday, 08:00 to 14:00
Contact: +27 (0) 64 755 2431, firstname.lastname@example.org
Orchard on Long
With an extensive menu of delicious and nutritious, vegetarian-friendly and vegan breakfasts and lunches, Orchard on Long is the perfect spot for an anytime refuel. What this café is best known for, however, is their fresh fruit juice and world class juicing technology:
“All our cold-pressed juices are hydraulically pressed with Norwalk juicers – the best juicers in the world due to their unparalleled ability to retain up to 5x the vitamins, minerals and enzymes compared to standard centrifugal extraction.”
If you’re looking for super fresh, super healthy, and revitalising juice, Orchard on Long is your port of call!
O’ways Teacafe, Claremont
Breakfasts, lunches, and sweet treats: O’ways Teacafe in Claremont serves up the usual assortment of pre-dinner fare (all vegetarian) but also caters to the palates and intolerances of vegans and patrons with food allergies. The menu is a cross-pollination of Eastern and Western cuisine, and much love and consideration is channelled into their coffee and tea brewing and presentation. The atmosphere is tranquil, yet trendy and contemporary with its face brick walls and bar, translucent chairs, and fabulous grand piano.
Where: Shop 2, Heritage House, 20 Dreyer Street, Claremont
Opening Times: Monday to Friday, 07:30 to 17:00; Friday again from 18:00 to 21:00; Saturday and public holidays, 09:00 to 14:00
Contact: +27 (0) 21 671 2850 or email@example.com
Plant Café, City Centre
Plant Café takes a gourmet approach to catering to the specialist food philosophies of vegans and vegetarians – and supplying “clean, healthy nutrition optimized for today’s fast paced life style.” There is also virtually no food allergy or intolerance the chefs cannot accommodate in their preparation of their delicious dishes. From super healthy salads, bowls, and wraps to bobotie, mushroom burgers, mac & cheese, and vegan tagliatelle carbonara… the Plant Café, which donates a percentage of its profits to charity, offers a fabulous variety of health-conscious, compassionate, and delicious food options.
Where: 8 Buiten Street, corner of Loop Street, Cape Town
Opening Times: Tuesday to Saturday, 08:00 to 22:00; Monday and Sunday, 08:00 to 17:00
Contact: +27 (0) 72 521 9252 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Prashad Café, Rondebosch
Prashad Café is a collaboration between mother and son, chef Theresa and manager Krishan Peters, from the renowned Maharajah Vegetarian brand. Styled like a modern day café, here you can catch a quick coffee and snack, or enjoy the robust taste of pure vegan and vegetarian Indian cuisine, including biryani, kormas, curries, and paneers (must-tries include the palak paneer and the vegan butterbean curry). There is also a branch on Kloof Street (town).
Where: 6 Fountain Place, Rondebosch
Opening Times: Monday to Saturday, 10:00 to 21:00
Contact: +27 (0) 21 685 7891
Pure Elixir, City Centre
Pure Elixir Café is a vegan and vegetarian restaurant located on Bree Street, Cape Town’s trendy restaurant strip. Here, customers can expect a variety of health-centred products, dishes, and delights, including fresh organic juices, “superfood” smoothies, and vegan and vegetarian meals. The restaurant is extremely environmentally conscious and strives to grow all of their own vegetables and fruits, while using wastewater and left-over food to water and feed their garden.
Where: 120 Bree St, Cape Town City Centre
Opening Times: Monday to Friday, 07:00 to 17:00; Saturday, 08:00 to 15:00, Sunday closed
Contact: +27 (0) 76 768 0733 or email@example.com
Web: Facebook Page
Scheckter’s Raw, Sea Point
At Scheckter’s Raw, the menu is all about organic, plant-based, and health restorative “super” foods, smoothies, and treats – serving a variety of vegetarian and strictly vegan dishes. A highlight is the Buddha Super Bowl, which packs quinoa, black beans, red kidney beans, organic mung beans sprouts, baby corn, coriander, sunflower seeds, and red and green peppers drizzled with lemon vinaigrette. The menu also features gluten-free desserts and sweet treats (the Organic Matcha Flapjacks are popular), cold-pressed juices, and organic coffees and teas.
Spirit Café, Constantia and Dunkley Square
“Eat well, eat regularly and eat enough. Fall in love with vegetables, but make sure you eat cake.”
The Spirit Café specialises in creative, made-from-scratch meals, the ingredients of which are super fresh, locally sourced, and seasonally focused. With a café in Constantia Village Courtyard as well as Dunkley Square (Gardens), these vegan-friendly and vegetarian restaurants have become a total hit amongst Capetonians with a hankering for healthy, tasty, and ethically sourced and prepared dishes, from breakfasts and bowls to salads and smoothies.
Where: Shop 10A Courtyard, Constantia Main Road | 26 Dunkley Square, Gardens.
Constantia Opening Times: Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 16:30; Saturday, 08:00 to 14:00.
Dunkley Opening Times: Monday to Friday, 07:30 to 17:00; Sunday, 09:00 to 15:00.
Contact: +27 (0) 21 795 0167 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Soul is a Holistic Centre located on the first floor of the Royal Albert building in Woodstock. Here, visitors can embark upon high vibrational daily healings, yoga, and meditation classes, workshops, events, and, of course, vegetarian and vegan-friendly food. Their coffee shop serves vegetarian and vegan-friendly light meals, such as broccoli and coconut soup served with spinach bread, vegan muffins and chocolate brownies, and vegan chickpea rotis. Sit in the tranquil courtyard area and admire the vertical garden while listening to the gentle tinkling of the fountain.
Where: 1st Floor, 388 Albert Road, Woodstock
Opening Times: Tuesday to Thursday, 09:00 to 19:00 | Friday and Saturday 09:00 to 16:00
Contact: +27 (0) 61 771 9740 or email@example.com
Web: Facebook Page
The Sunshine Food Company, Sea Point
The Sunshine Food Company is a quirky vegan “food farmacy” – that’s FARMacy – serving 100% organic fare that’s uplifting, life giving, and energising. Everything on the menu is plant-based and crafted to be as nourishing as it is delicious. Take the enormous vegan burgers for example, which are made from butternut, sweet potato, lentils, coconut flour, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds and seasoned with basil and thyme, served on a black activated charcoal bun. Incredible!
Where: Corner Glengariff Road and Main Road, Three Anchor Bay Medical Centre, Sea Point, Cape Town
Opening Times: Monday to Sunday, 08:00 to 20:00
Contact: +27 (0) 81 825 0925 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Web: Facebook Page
Yoffi Falafel, Muizenberg
Yoffi Falafel is a cheap and cheerful little spot in Surfers Corner, Muizenberg, where you can step in off the beach and order a gorgeous, messy, delicious meal of falafel-stuffed pita with all the trimmings. Also on the menu are toasted sandwiches, sweet potato chips, muffins, smoothies, and hot and cold beverages. There are a few tables and chairs set out for diners but why not take your lunch to the beach and enjoy it on the sand, while watching the waves roll in?
Where: Balmoral Building, Surfers Corner, Muizenberg
Opening Times: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00
Contact: +27 (0) 843 64 8466
Web: Facebook Page
Other Vegan and Vegan-friendly Restaurants in Cape Town
The following restaurants and cafés are also very vegetarian and vegan-friendly, serving up a handsome variety of delicious specialist dishes, as well as tailoring their other meal options to suit.
- Addis in Cape Ethiopian Restaurant (CBD) – vegan section on the menu
- Catharina’s at Steenberg (Tokai)
- Con Brio Bistro (Vredehoek) – vegan options
- Dear Me (City Centre) – vegan breakfast and lunch options
- El Burro (Green Point) – vegan section on the menu
- Foxcroft (Constantia) – plant based menu
- Giovanni’s (Green Point) – deli-counter salads and vegetable dishes
- Giulio’s Café (Loop Street) – selected vegan dishes
- Harvest Café & Deli (Wale Street) – selected vegan dishes
- Hokey Poké (CBD) – make-your-own vegan bowls available
- Hudson’s, The Burger Joint (across CT) – Vegan cheese and ‘Beyond Meat’ Burger
- La Colombe (Constantia) and La Petite Colombe (Franschhoek)
- Lily’s (Mouille Point) – vegan breakfast and lunch options
- Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant (Long Street) – vegan options
- Maria’s Greek Café (Gardens) – vegan platter
- Masala Dosa (Long Street) – vegan section on the menu
- Myoga vegan menu (Newlands)
- Nonna Lina (Gardens) – vegan salads and pastas
- Nü Health Food Café (Green Point) – vegan breakfast and lunch items
- Rootbar Newlands (Newlands) – vegan lasagne and selected vegan dishes
- Royale Eatery (Long Street) – vegan section on the menu
- Sababa (Sea Point) – deli-counter salads and vegetable dishes
- Saucisse Deli (Woodstock) – Vegan Heaven breakfast
- Si Cantina (V&A Waterfront) – vegan breakfast, tapas, and mains options
- Skinny Legs (Loop Street) – vegan breakfast and lunch options
- The Planet Bar at The Belmond Mount Nelson (Gardens) – vegan tasting menu and vegan-friendly high tea
- Tintswalo Atlantic (Hout Bay) – vegan tasting menu
- Twelve Apostles (Camps Bay) – try their vegan high tea experience
- Unframed Ice Cream (Gardens) – vegan ice-cream
- Wildsprout Eatery (Kenilworth) – extensive vegan options on the menu