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Live your best life at these healthy Cape Town restaurants

Want to start the year off on a fresh, light and healthy note? Banish all thoughts that nutritious food has to be boring and tasteless, and check out this list of 18 healthy restaurants in Cape Town.

Bowls on Bree (City Bowl)

Bree Street has a new addition and its health-packed bowls are a serious hit. Look forward to a menu of poké, paleo and buddha bowls featuring fresh, nutritious and seasonal ingredients. Think yellowfin tuna, trout, edamame beans, avocado, pineapple raw slaw, Japanese pickles, roasted beetroot, roasted turmeric cauliflower, sesame tuna tataki, free-range lemon-and-herb chicken, strawberries, and toasted almond flakes. Simply pick your base and build your bowl to your heart’s content.

A paleo bowl from Bowls on Bree. Photo by Michelle Parkin Photography.

Café Frank (City Bowl)

Health-conscious city dwellers can stop off at this café for a range of interesting salads and freshly squeezed juices. No preservatives or artificial flavourings are used. The menu changes daily, but usual options include the likes of rotisserie chicken or spinach-and-feta quiche with sides of beetroot, pear-and-feta salad, roast veg with thyme, or chopped Israeli salad. Cool off with a refreshing watermelon-and-mint juice.

The buffet offering at Cafe Frank. Photo supplied.

Chefs Cape Town (City Bowl)

At this grown-up canteen only three options are available: a meal containing meat or fish, a vegetarian meal, and a lighter meal. Arrive between 12pm and 4pm, choose your meal and beverage, and pay at the counter. Dishes might include lemony summer-pea risotto with spring leaves and asparagus, wood-roasted lemon-atchar chicken with a side salad and cumin baji, and mango-and-lime frozen yoghurt for dessert.

Dear Me (City Bowl)

Whether you suffer from celiac disease, are diabetic, lactose- or wheat-intolerant, vegetarian or vegan, Dear Me will have an option for you. The menu is cleverly laid out with icons indicating the dietary adjustments to each dish. Try the tuna poké bowl with raw marinated tuna, sushi rice, pickled ginger and mango; the lentil curry with cucumber raita; or the falafel buddha bowl with roasted butternut, baby spinach, quinoa and pumpkin seeds.

The General Store (City Bowl)

This stylish lunch hatch serves up fresh, Ottolenghi-inspired seasonal salads with a choice of protein. Must-tries are the rare roast fillet, Moroccan chicken and sesame-crusted salmon, paired with veg options such as barley-and-radicchio salad, roasted butternut with herbed yoghurt, or French beans with cucumber, mange tout and egg noodles. End on a coconut-dusted date ball or gluten-free brownies.

Hail Pizza (City Bowl)

Don’t let the name fool you, this hidden gem behind Clarke’s also do some powerhouse healthy eats. For breakfast, fill up on a wholesome kimchi organic fried rice with poached eggs (a vegan version with avo is also available), or enjoy a helping of Fire Eggs: eggs baked in a tomato-and-chickpea stew with Swiss chard and aubergine. Order it with gluten-free nut & seed bread. Lunches feature interesting, fresh sandwiches and, at dinnertime, tuck into one of the exciting salads like the chickpea salad with goat’s cheese, cucumber and pepper dressing, sunflower seeds, carrot ribbons and pea shoots. Wash it all down with a fresh juice, pineapple kefir water, or Theonista kombucha.

Hokey Poke (City Bowl)

The menu at this trendy poké eatery lets fans of this fresh food craze get creative with build-your-own options or set bowls. The No. 1 option features fresh tuna, shredded kombu, sweet onions and furikake seasoning, while the No. 4 offers a twist on the classic with hot tuna, jalapeños, charred pineapple and nacho dust. The real favourite, though, is No. 5, with fresh salmon, beets and ponzu dressing. If raw fish isn’t your thing, you can opt for cooked prawns, chicken, beef or tofu.

The Hungry Herbivore (City Bowl)

This 100% vegan spot keeps guests happy with clever and comforting vegan eats. Think raw pizza with crispy butternut and sundried tomato purée; a sweet-potato-and-kimchi burger with avo and sweet-potato fries; and raw vegan cupcakes for dessert. Cold pressed juices and smoothies keep patrons hydrated.

Inside & You’re Out (City Bowl)

When it comes to burgers that are good for you, these guys have got it down. The grass-fed beef is locally and ethically sourced and all ingredients are local and organic. Try the vegan Health Nut burger with an aubergine, flaxseed and sweet-potato patty filled with cashew nuts and topped with pickled butternut and hummus. If you’re after red meat, try the Umami Barbecue burger filled with boerenkaas cheddar and topped with pickled cabbage, toasted sesame seeds and peanuts, and served with a hoisin-barbecue sauce and miso mayo. For an extra-healthy option, order your burger bunless on a big bed of fresh greens. Powerjuices, kombucha and coconut water are also available.

The Kitchen (Woodstock)

Salads here are an event in themselves, so you won’t feel that you’re missing out by eating veg. The selection changes daily and can be made up into lunch boxes to go. Add some grilled chicken or bacon if you’d like a little more protein or try falafels thrown over your favourite greens.

Maharajah Vegetarian (Rondebosch)

Around 90% of this vegetarian menu is also vegan, and there are wheat- and dairy-free options available. Most of the ingredients used are low-fat, and the cream is fat-free. Dive in to a Durban-style butter bean curry, or mushroom korma cooked in cream and coconut sauce. For dessert, enjoy vegan muffins or the eggless chocolate brownies.

Marrow (City Bowl)

Inspired by the ancient craft of Asian broth and the rise of bone-broth bars in New York, London and Sydney, this hole-in-the-wall restaurant was one of the hottest spots to open in Cape Town in 2017. A one-pager menu offers four delicate but surprisingly satisfying bowls, like the clear soy broth with roasted chicken and chorizo, the green dashi and parsley broth with steamed white fish, tenderstem broccoli and leek, or the brown bone broth with red wine, venison and lentils. Add a soft boiled egg or sticky rice balls to bulk it up. Grab lunch early, before the crowds take all the stools.

A dish served at Marrow. Photo supplied.

Mojo Market (Sea Point)

While this massive foodie market offers plenty of indulgent treats, the venue also caters for the healthy crowd. Head to the Beetbox for vibrant organic fruit and veg smoothies, get build-your-own trendy salads at Salad Bae, and order refreshing poké bowls at Hokey Poke.

Olami and Sababa (City Bowl and Sea Point)

Choose from a wide selection of fresh salads and vegetarian options, prepared daily. The harvest table of Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern-style food offers healthy, home-made options like salads of rare roast beef fillet, feta and basil; roasted zucchini with lemon; and baby spinach with tomatoes and raw mushrooms. End off with a date ball and a coffee.

Orchard on Long (City Bowl)

Apart from the impressive range of cold-pressed juices, smoothies and health shots, the selection of fresh meals is enough to make any health fundi swoon. Try the Orchard fresco sandwich on 70% rye with avo, hummus, sunflower sprouts, basil and a French dressing, or the dreamy zucchini pasta with zucchini and butternut noodles, red pepper, marinated mushrooms, sunflower sprouts, and a tumeric-and-cashew sauce.

A takeaway salad at Orchard on Long. Photo supplied.

Plant Café (City Bowl)

This green food hotspot has recently reopened and serves up plant-based food that’s packed with nutrients and flavour. Try the wrap with tempeh rashers and cauliflower scramble with caramelised onions and cashew cream cheese; Cape Malay bobotie of lentils and baby marrows, or the buddha bowl with roasted carrots, beetroot, mushrooms and toasted coconut flakes.

Raw & Roxy (Woodstock)

This healthy favourite in Woodies offers raw vegan food, salads, freshly squeezed juices, vegan patisserie, vegetable chips and smoothies. For healthy comfort eating, try the lasagne made up of layered zucchini, raw cashew-nut cheese, green pesto and tomato relish, or sample the sweet-and-sour vegetables with green cabbage, carrot, red pepper and spring onion. Top it all off with a peppermint ‘Oreo’ cookie made from almonds, coconut, cocoa, peppermint oil, honey and coconut oil.

Raw & Roxy in Woodstock. Photo supplied.

Scheckter’s Raw (Sea Point)

This raw, organic, vegan and vegetarian restaurant is based in the heart of Sea Point’s busy Regent Road. The matcha flapjacks are a real winner, topped with vanilla, agave, cinnamon and strawberries. For something savoury, go for the falafel wrap with vegan tzatziki, greens, carrots and a secret dressing, or raw zucchini pasta with sunflower seeds and a lemon-and-avo pesto. For a delicious side, order the sweet potato fries with wasabi aioli.

Eat Out does not endorse any particular eating plan. We just want to help you find tasty food that helps you stick to your goals. Consult a doctor before making drastic diet changes.

Stop by for something healthy at Scheckter’s Raw. Photo supplied by the restaurant.

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