9 vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Cape Town

Posted by Rachel Robinson on 1 October 2018 Tags:,

As more and more people embrace a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, so more and more restaurants and cafes open their doors. We went looking for some of the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Cape Town, and found some great eateries – whether you’re looking for a rich Indian curry or a raw smoothie, you’ll find it below.

 

And for a post-surf lunch, there's Yoffi Falafel. Image by Teagan Cunniffe.

Yoffi Falafel has the most delicious, moist falafel. Image by Teagan Cunniffe.

 

Vegetarian restaurants around the CBD

1. Elixir Café, Bree Street

Address: 120 Bree Street, Cape Town
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 6:30 to 15:30, Saturdays from 8:00 to 15:30
Website: Elixir Café on Facebook

Elixir Cafe - Photos by Rachel Robinson
Elixir Café is one of those bohemian-style places where you choose the fruit that goes into your smoothie from a big bowl next to the counter. I had one of their curry wraps filled with potato, carrots, coriander, chickpeas and chutney, which could’ve served two people (I did take the other half home for later) and a very yummy Refresh pressed juice (apple, strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, blackcurrants, redcurrants and lemon). There isn’t a lot of food to choose from apart from wraps or rotis, but the selection of pressed juices, smoothies, lassis and coffees is pretty impressive.

 

2. Plant, Buiten Street

Address: 8 Buiten Street, Cape Town (corner Loop Street)
Opening hours: Mondays 10:00 to 17:00, Tuesday to Friday 10:00 to 22:00, Saturdays 09:00 to 15:00
Website: plantcafe.co.za

Plant Restaurant - Photos by Rachel Robinson
Plant was my first experience of a vegan restaurant, so I decided to go with the Vis Burger – a nori-encrusted potato steak served on a ciabatta roll with tartar sauce and salads. It was absolutely delicious, with the nori giving it a seafood-like taste. There’s a wide range of dishes available, including beetroot burgers, chickpea, spinach & butternut masala and sweet & sour tofu, not to mention the desserts, pressed juices and smoothies. Plant makes everything on the menu from scratch, including their own mayonnaise and cheeses. They also smoke their own tempeh bacon (which I still have to try!)

 

3. Raw and Roxy, Cape Town City Centre

Address: 300 Albert Road, Woodstock
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10:00 to 17:00, Saturdays 10:00 to 16:00
Website: Raw and Roxy on Facebook

Raw and Roxy - Photos by Rachel Robinson
Pioneers of the raw and vegan restaurant movement in Cape Town, Raw & Roxy is a small bohemian space in Woodstock that also offers raw cooking lessons. The restaurant space is tiny, but everything is made with a big heart and judging by the people going in and out buying ingredients and smoothies, it’s popular with those in the know. You can help yourself to kale chips from a bowl on the service counter, which were surprisingly tasty. I also tried their red velvet cupcake (beetroot, cashews, coconut flour, flaxseeds, zucchini, raisins and apple) and a super-thick and super-delicious red berry smoothie. Raw main meals include lasagne, zucchini pasta, red Thai curry, a tapas platter (so you can try a little bit of everything) and raw vegan sushi. There are also plenty of sweet treats to choose from, including a raw magnum ice-cream – raw, frozen cashew and coconut and cocoa on a stick in mint or vanilla flavour.

 

4. Scheckter’s RAW, Sea Point

Address: 98 Regent Road, Sea Point
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 7:00 to 16:00
Website: Scheckter’s RAW on Facebook

Scheckters RAW - Photos by Rachel Robinson
Scheckter’s RAW had literally been open for a day or two when I walked past in the late afternoon. Owner, Toby Scheckter, offered me a sample of a vegan version of a Snickers Bar and I was back the next day to try the rest of the menu! The food here is literally beautiful. The presentation is next level and if you are thinking of embracing a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, then this is the place to get you started. I had the raw zucchini pasta with an avocado, sunflower seed and lemon pesto washed down with a jar (literally) of Pine Punch (pineapple, coconut water, broccoli, green apple, mint and lemon).

They offer breakfast and lunch, or grab a raw pizza (butternut, sunflower seed and golden flax seed base) or have a treat, like raw macaroons or the highly recommended Raw Snickers bar!

 

Vegetarian restaurants in the Southern Suburbs

5. Govinda’s Food Cafe, Rondebosch

Address: Hare Krishna Temple, 17 St Andrew’s Road, Rondebosch
Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday 12:00 to 18:00
Website: iskconcape.org.za

Govinda’s (who have been open for as long as I have been alive) has always been a popular go-to for vegetarian food as their meals are tasty, unpretentious and ridiculously low-priced (plus the portions are large). You can choose to eat in or dash in and grab a tasty takeaway, but if you are really feeling the pinch, you can join the Sunday Love Feast every Sunday where you get free food! It starts at 15:30 with a meditation, followed by talks and learning more about the Bhakti lifestyle, with dinner at 18:00. Yoga-lovers are welcome to attend their yoga sessions every Tuesday and Thursday at 18:30, which includes a vegetarian meal after the session.

 

6. Maharajah, Rondebosch

Address: Fountain Square, Main Road, Rondebosch
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 11:00 to 21:00
Website: vegetarianfoods.co.za

Maharajah - Photos by Rachel Robinson
A well-loved vegetarian spot that also sells frozen vegetarian and vegan ingredients (chicken and prawns) as well as a delicious dhanya chutney. You can eat in or grab a takeaway – do pop in a few samoosas as they truly are yummy! The menu is quite extensive and the owner is only too happy to guide you in your choice. I had the chickpea and butternut curry (served with rice and sambals) which was delicious, but when my friend’s chana chaat (chickpeas and spicy potatoes) wrap arrived, I fancied that instead. So we ended up sharing our meals, which you probably will too as all of them taste so good!

 

7. O’Ways Teacafé, Claremont

Address: Heritage House, 20 Dreyer Street, Claremont
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 07:30 to 17:00, Saturdays 09:00 to 14:00
Website: oways.co.za

 O’Ways Teacafé - Photos by Rachel Robinson
The main focus here is tea and there are pages and pages of different teas in the tea menu. There’s even a tea club that meets on the first Saturday of each month and membership is free – all you need is an overwhelming love for tea! Apart from teas from every corner of the world, they serve breakfasts and lunches, with a simple menu for both. They also have specials of the day and I really enjoyed my special of the day, being a butternut ravioli drenched in a creamy mushroom sauce. The best part was getting a bamboo bowl filled with slices of different breads and a mini leek gratin served on top of a slice of cucumber, ‘with compliments of the chef’. It wasn’t because I was special in any way, everyone gets one! A tasty and unexpected touch.

 

Vegetarian restaurants on the Cape Peninsula

8. Yoffi Falafel, Muizenberg

Address: Surfers Corner, Muizenberg
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00
Contact: Tel 0843648466

Yoffi Falafel - Photos by Rachel Robinson
Cheap, cheerful, delicious and filling are four words that describe Muizenberg’s favourite falafel spot. Being on Surfer’s Corner, you can literally step off the beach and cross the road into this tiny restaurant, where everything is kept simple. A few tables and chairs, a service counter and a chalkboard listing falafels (chicken falafels are also available, for people who don’t understand what a falafel is) toasted sandwiches, sweet potato chips, muffins, smoothies and hot and cold beverages. The toughest choices you are going to have to make are whether to have your falafel balls on a plate or in a pita and whether to eat at a table or on the beach.

 

9. Stoked Café, Muizenberg

Address: 175 Main Road, Muizenberg
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 08:00 to 17:00
Contact: stokedbackpackers.com

Stoked Cafe, Muizenberg

Stoked Café is part of Stoked Backpackers, which was included in 16 of the best backpackers in Cape Town. The café serves vegetarian breakfasts, light meals and cooked lunches. Items on the chalkboard menu include a Healthy Hippy breakfast (homemade muesli, yoghurt, fruit and honey), a Spanish breakfast (3-egg omelette with a filling of mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, cheese and peppers), sandwiches, nutty salads, stir-fries, nachos and a vegetarian surfer burger. You can eat in the café, or upon the deck with a view of surfers taking on the ocean.

Have we missed your favourite? Let us know in the comments below!