Veganism has hit Cape Town hard. So much so that it’s no longer a trend, but rather a veritable dietary requirement restaurants should cater to, like those serving food that is lactose-free, kosher or halaal. Our great vegan list is split into two parts: the first is made up of dedicated vegan restaurants, with kitchens that use no animal by-products whatsoever, and the second comprises vegan-friendly restaurants. These restaurants have a number of vegan dishes on the menu that require no substitutions.
This stylish vegan eatery produces a menu that is the perfect mix of indulgent and healthy food. They have a concise pizza menu to curb your carby cravings, complete with homemade vegan mozzarella. They also have a number of virtuous salads in addition to hearty pastas. The alfredo is a popular choice and – with a garlicky almond cream, mushrooms and sunflower-seed parmesan – it’s easy to see why.
This newcomer specialises in – yep, you guessed it – waffles. But these aren’t any old waffles, they’re gluten-free vegan waffles. Everything in the café is vegan and if sweet waffles aren’t your thing, there are also two savoury options available.
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It doesn’t matter if you’re vegan or not – everyone, at some point, wants to indulge in something greasy. In the past, vegans had to be satisfied with just chips and tomato sauce, but those days are over thanks to Lekker Vegan. Lekker Vegan serves all the best junk food, while remaining entirely cruelty-free. Using patties made from a wheat and soy protein mix, they make burgers, gatsbys and even cheesy fries that contain no animal products. Word on the street is that the crispy burger with ‘cheese’, tomato, bacon, their secret OG Lekker sauce, and crispy onions is not to be skipped. They’re open until the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings, making this the perfect post-club stop.
Plant is something of an institution on Loop Street, and it’s little wonder why. The menu has a vegan version of every dish you love. Mac and cheese? Carbonara? Eggs Benedict? The menu includes these and more, made from scratch with fresh vegan replacements. They also have a wide dessert menu that includes a really great vegan milk tart.
Possibly one of the first dedicated vegan restaurants to open in Cape Town, Raw and Roxy has been winning over even non-vegans with delicious summer rolls and moreish hummus. Having moved to a shiny new space on Hout Street, there’s now even more space to feed hungry vegans. The menu is mostly made up of raw and vegan dishes, so everything here is highly nourishing. Though the menu changes quite often, you can always bank on one of their decadent desserts being available, which are also free from refined sugar.
There’s no shortage of great restaurants in Sea Point and many of them are known to cater for a whole host of dietary requirements, veganism included. Scheckter’s Raw, however, is the area’s first dedicated vegan restaurant specialising in raw food. With a menu made up of hearty breakfasts and lunches, as well as indulgent (refined sugar-free) sweet treats, Scheckter’s is changing the way we view ‘health’ food. They make a filling burger comprising a patty of vegetable protein, lentils and brown rice, which is topped with avo, caramelised onions and a vegan BBQ mayo sauce. There’s also an über healthy probiotic bowl (with massaged kale included). We’ve heard, though, that the best choice is the pumpkin-pie flapjacks served with berries, banana and your choice of vegan cream or ice cream.
Aubergine has always known for welcoming vegetarians with open arms and they’ve extended that welcome to vegans, too. The refined vegan offering includes starters such as vegetable spring rolls with a garden leaf salad and coriander chutney, followed by mung bean dhal and potato puree with coriander, roti and pickles for mains.
The famous high tea at the Twelve Apostles has recently had a shakeup with the addition of a vegan tea menu. On it you’ll find a selection of finger-sized vegan sandwiches and other teatime treats like scones and panna cotta. Additionally, Azure offers a complete vegan menu, should you be looking for a more substantial meal.
This Mediterranean-inspired spot is the perfect place to satisfy the veggie-inclined in your life. Half of the menu caters for vegetarians and the other half for vegans, and includes a fairly traditional Middle Eastern menu. The vegan offerings include cashew cheese to appease that creamy craving and a classic mujadara (with brown rice, lentils, spices and caramelised onions) with vegan tzatziki, as well as a wide range of vegan mezze to start.
This popular pizza brand also offers a great selection of vegan eats for those eating a plant-based diet. Look out for the leafy ‘V’ and order options like the pomodoro pasta with tomato and basil (try it with wheat-free pasta or zucchetti). There’s also the vegan margherita pizza with dairy-free cheese, the Lazio with vegan cheese, avo, roasted cherry tomato and pumpkin pesto, or the zucca with vegan cheese, butternur, beetroot, seeds and avo. For dessert, go for the Amistoso which is comprised of cashew cream, caramel pineapple, orange flavoured crumble and coconut shavings.
Ever the perennial spot for traditional Mexican, El Burro is always a good choice for dinner. They’ve also recently added an entire vegan section to their menu, which includes a non-dairy version of their chilli relleno, a spicy chickpea and cauliflower taco (among other mains) and hearty salads.
What would we do without The General Store? As they specialise in heaping bowls of freshly made salads every day, there are always many vegan options available for lunch. They also have almond milk ready for coffees and their famous date balls are vegan, too.
Govinda’s is a well-kept secret in Rondebosch and the small unfussy space caters to all those in the area who are veggie-inclined. The menu at this vegetarian restaurant has Indian influences, so you can expect punchy spices and interesting pulses. Their rotis are reportedly the thing to order, as well as their vegan chickpea fudge.
The Bo-Kaap has gone through something of a renaissance of late, and Harvest Cafe has been a welcome addition to the area. While the restaurant is not strictly vegan, the menu features very little meat. Vegans are prioritised here, with a number of fully vegan dishes that include porridges and avo on toast for breakfast, and filling salads and burgers for lunch.
Honest Chocolate’s dedicated café proves that being vegan doesn’t mean you can’t be naughty. Most of the items on the café menu are vegan – including the truffles and the insane hot chocolate – or are easily swapped out with a ready-to-go vegan option. When you can, try the vegan banana bread bunny chow with chocolate spread and ice cream.
As the sister restaurant to the iconic Kloof Nek restaurant of the same name, Maharajah Vegetarian specialises in traditional vegetarian Indian dishes. The yellow dahl is always comforting and a delicious choice, as is the butter bean curry. If you’re dining with someone who does eat dairy, the paneer butter masala is truly special.
What did we do to deserve Massimo’s? Their famous wood-fired pizzas have made the drive out to Hout Bay worth it time and time again, and now they’ve added a full vegan section to the menu. With pizzas topped with vegan mozzarella and even a vegan melanzane parmigiana, you won’t be missing out on a single cheesy thing.
You’d be forgiven for driving right past this little spot in Gardens, as it’s tucked behind the iconic Bacini’s on Kloof. Make sure you turn right back around, though, and visit Nourish’d. The bulk of the menu here is made up of wholesome juices and smoothies, but they also have a small lunch menu made up of nutritious and interesting salads, smoothie bowls and overnight oats.
It’s safe to say that Olami makes the best falafel in town, to be served alongside their heaping salads. The menu changes daily at this Bree Street stalwart but has long been a destination lunch spot for vegans. If they have it, their beetroot and carrot salad with dill is a must-try.
Promoting a healthy lifestyle with their wide range of delicious smoothies and juices, Orchard on Long has been credited with making some of the best smoothies in the city. The little café also has an impressive food menu. Though mostly vegetarian, it also features many vegan options. Fill up on a Samurai roll – crisp veggies, quinoa and seeds all rolled in rice paper and served with a peanut dipping sauce – or one of their satisfying vegan salads.
Royale will always have a special place in our hearts, as their burgers are consistently good, as are their fries and shakes. While they were always fairly vegan-friendly, they’ve now added a dedicated vegan section that spans across two pages of their menu. It also includes a couple of vegan shakes, which means that when that burger craving hits, there’s something for everyone.
Saigon, with its South East Asian-inspired menu, is a great place to accommodate everyone. Their vegan offerings are some of the best dishes on the menu, namely the veggie crystal rolls with peanut dipping sauce, the miso soup and yellow vegetable curry. There’s also an entire vegetarian section that is mostly suitable for vegans – including the famous tempura vegetables.
Skinny Legs is another very vegan-friendly café, situated on a quiet section of Loop Street. The vegan breakfast menu includes the usual coconut porridge suspects, as well as avo on toast; while the lunch offering includes a number of vegan salads and larger plates. The risotto, made with sunflower seeds, is popular. They also make a mean vegan zucchini linguine with macadamia pesto. Wash it all down with a glass of homemade lemonade.
This Bree Street deli doesn’t only serve great cheesecake and indulgent breakfasts. Those one plant-based diet are also taken care of here with some tasty vegan options. Try the vegan tacos with chipotle-marinated tofu and black bean purée; a vegan super bowl with coconut, mixed nuts, seads, dates and coconut milk; a vegetable bowl filled with spinach, green beans, zucchini ribbons, cherry tomatoes and roasted sweet potato; or a simple slice of homemade vegan banana bread.
If you’re looking for a special way to spoil the vegan in your life then a date night at Tintswalo Atlantic should be it. They recently announced that they’re adding an entire vegan tasting menu to their refined repertoire, as well as opening their dinner reservations to non-hotel guests. The menu changes fairly often, but we’re confident it will always be delicious.
These mad ice-cream scientists burst onto the Cape Town scene and it’s hard to imagine how we ever survived before they arrived. They make small batches of quality ice cream and their vegan offering is not simply limited to lemon sorbet. As with their dairy-based ice creams, the vegan offering changes daily and includes flavours like mint choc-chip, blue coconut and vegan peanut butter.