the best vegan and veg-friendly restaurants in cape town
Veganism is picking up steam for people all over the world, especially for travelers who wish to lower their carbon footprint, believe in cruelty-free living, or just like eating healthier on the road. Luckily, Cape Town has picked up on the veganism trend as seen at many of their restaurants, cafes, and stores. Although there are a number of establishments on this list that are not entirely vegan, they still offer delicious options for those who are. From quinoa and bean burgers to raw cuisine to vegan chocolate, here are the top places to get your fix of hearty and light veg-friendly eats and drinks.
1. Raw and Roxy
Raw and Roxy is the first vegan restaurant to have opened in Cape Town and is the only one that upholds an entirely raw menu. Even the most die-hard meat eaters find themselves devouring down these healthy vegan savory meals and dairy-free desserts. Pictured here is their raw vegan burger served on a portobello mushroom “bun.” Other popular items to try are the raw tapas platter, raw pizzas, and their energy-boosting “Rocket Fuel” drink (main ingredients are raw cacao, maca, coconut oil, and a blend of powerful superfood powders).
2. Orchard On Long
Freshly blended Hullaballoo smoothie (pictured lower right), cold-pressed juices and health shots (pictured upper right), and raw vegan zucchini’s noodles (pictured bottom left) are only a few of the items you’ll find on Orchard On Long’s predominantly vegan and vegetarian menu. The spot is a favorite of locals and travelers seeking the healthiest and best-tasting plant-based dishes in Cape Town and for good reason! Their food items are made fresh to order and truly taste as good as they look! They also dehydrate their own fruits and kale chips and sell them in-store and in other health food stores in the city (such as Wellness Warehouse on Kloof Street). Plus, their aesthetically-pleasing space filled with natural light, decorated with crates of fresh lemons, pineapple, and ginger, makes them a go-to for food photographers and design appreciators alike.
3. The Botanical Bar
The recently-opened Botanical Bar has a clean, minimal interior that invites you in and makes you want to stay. Their menu consists of botanical-inspired foods and cocktails that pay homage to South Africa’s unique flora. Their cocktails are named after different regions of South Africa including The Great Karoo, The Kwazulu Coast, and The Cederberg, all created with bitters and/or exotic shrubs from each location. Similarly, their tapas-style food items include a mix of spices and fresh vegetables that are simple but complex in flavor. Pictured here are the paaper bites with cauliflower dip, wild mushroom risotto, and arugula salad with pear and spiced walnuts.
4. The General Store
The General Store is every local’s favorite stop for fresh and clean eats. They make a wide variety of fresh vegetarian and vegan salads that you can pair with one of their locally sourced proteins (if you’re a pescatarian or carnivore) or just enjoy a combo of non-meat options. Pictured here is their roasted cauliflower and carrot mix tossed with olive oil over a bed of arugula. Their one and only location on Bree is a tiny sliver of a restaurant, but make sure not to miss it whilst in the city. It's an ideal place to get a takeaway box as the seating is limited to a few tables.
5. Hail Pizza
You would never know that Hail Pizza existed unless you walk through the burger-heavy restaurant at the front called Clarke’s. Although Hail can’t be seen from the outside, it would be silly to miss out on this hip, vegetarian-friendly wood-fired pizza joint. Their menu favors veg-heads and even includes a new vegan pizza (the Pomona) made with vegan basil pesto, almonds and nutritional yeast, zucchini, and baby rosa tomatoes freshly baked on a wheat flour crust. To get the best deal, stop in for lunch and order their special which includes a large Margherita and a half pint of beer for 60 Rand (just under USD $5./ EUR €4).
6. Scheckter's Raw Gourmet
Scheckter’s RAW serves an extensive menu of incredible vegan eats! Pictured here are mini avocado toasts drizzled with truffle oil and sprinkled with chili flakes, the Zen Bowl made with red and white quinoa, kale, seeds, and cashew cheese, and their BVB (Best Vegan Burger) on a charcoal and sesame seeded bun served with a side of baked sweet potato fries and vegan aioli. Don’t forget to try their vegan chocolate peanut butter cups for dessert!
7. Honest Chocolate Cafe
Chocolate makes life seem a little sweeter, don’t you agree? Honest Chocolate Cafe makes all kinds of the good stuff and more. Their cacao beans are sourced from Tanzania and ground in-store, making their chocolate super fresh and undeniably decadent. While some of their desserts might use a hint of dairy, most of their treats are vegan. Their specialty is called “Banana Bread Bunny Chow”—a carved-out mini banana bread loaf filled with a scoop of (vegan) ice cream, homemade chocolate spread, and nuts to top it all off. They also make their own line of chocolate bars, truffles, brownies, tortes, and chocolate-dipped dried fruits. Honestly—it’s chocolate heaven!
8. Unframed Ice Cream
Unframed is a specialty ice cream shop on Kloof Street that is never short of visitors. Here, it’s all about quality over quantity: they only craft ten flavors per day and usually offer 3-5 vegan flavors. They constantly experiment with making new, innovative flavors while also providing everyone with tried and true classics. Pictured here is their delicious vegan vanilla flavor made with a nut milk blend. If you’re seeking something with more of a kick, they also create some very unique flavors such as chocolate ginger beetroot.
9. Lekker Vegan
Many people believe that vegans live off salad and a bland, boring diet. But at Lekker Vegan, it’s pretty much the opposite. This all-vegan, late night establishment specializes in creating extravagant, delicious-tasting monster-sized burgers. Pictured here is their Lekker Crispy - a fried vegan patty made with dairy-free cheese, fried onion rings, their special OG Sauce, lettuce, tomato, and sour cream and onion crisps. It is not for the faint of heart—trust me! Vegan or not, this is the spot to be for fast food, hip music, and good vibes.
Have you ever been to Cape Town and visited any of these vegan-friendly restaurants? Let me know!
This list was originally created for the Travelstoke app.