14 vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Cape Town

Posted by Rachel Robinson on 19 July 2021

We went looking for some of the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Cape Town and found some great eateries.

Photo by Rachel Robinson

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.

Vegetarian restaurants around the CBD

1. Nourish’d

Address: 176 Kloof Street, Gardens
Opening hours: Mondays to Sunday, 07:30 to 17:00
Contact: 064 755 2431

20 vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Cape Town

Nourish’d is a chain of vegan cafés and juice bars in Cape Town that live by the principle that health is the harmony of mind body and spirit. From their stores on trendy Kloof Street (176 Kloof Street Gardens) and artistic hub Observatory (186 Lower Main Rd. Observatory) they are a staple of the plant-based food scene in the city. While known for their thick, dreamy, creamy smoothies and freshly pressed (and eccentrically named) juices they also have a wide range of whole-food plant-based options including deliciously decadent double chocolate waffles, exotic salad bowls and dangerously indulgent deserts. Besides their menu, the café is also a popular spot for influencers from around the globe – due to its stunning minimalist interiors and bounty of indoor plants. A must-see when in the city.

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

Photo from Plant Cafe
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 and they also smoke their own tempeh bacon.

3. The Kind Kitchen, Woodstock

Address: 252 Albert Road, Woodstock
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10:00 to 15:00 and 17:00 to 20:00, Monday and Saturday, 10:00 to 15:00
Contact: thekindkitchen.co.za

Photo by Rachel Robinson

Originally started in owner, Jason McNamara’s, home kitchen using Uber Eats for delivery, the Kind Kitchen opened in November 2018 next door to the Woodstock Brewery. This 100% vegan eatery offers vegan breakfasts, including chickpea flour omelettes, tofu scrambled or fried eggs (very popular), vegan flapjacks and French toast with agave syrup and vegan bacon. You can also try The Impossible Burger, vegan fish and chips and vegan sushi on selected evenings during the week. I gave their vegan fish and chips a go and was impressed with how much banana blossoms in beer batter looked and tasted like the fish and chips you get at fish shops! If you prefer burgers, The Impossible Burger has been created with carnivores in mind and it’s likeness to a fleshy beef burger is uncanny. I recommend you give them a go!

4. Cocoa

Address: Cocoa Cha-Chi, 20 Lower Main Road, Observatory; Cocoa Wah Wah, 18 Main Road, Rondebosch; Cocoa Oola, 100 Kloof Street, Tamboerskloof
Opening hours: All branches, Monday to Sunday, 07:00 to 23:00
Contact: cocoa.co.za

Photo by Rachel Robinson

There are three Cocoa restaurants in Cape Town that all serve well-priced dishes in generous portions with plenty of vegetarian options available. They also have a happy hour, breakfast specials, burger nights and pasta nights. The menu is wide, with tapas, toasted sandwiches, wraps, burgers, salads, pizzas, gills, desserts, smoothies, milkshakes, juices, craft beers, cocktails and hot beverages. While the menus at each of the restaurants is much the same, the venues themselves are all quite different with different clientelle. If you are looking for a quiet spot to enjoy a cuppa while checking your email, I recommend Cocoa Cha-Chi in Observatory. I loved their vertical garden, water fountain and quirky décor. The scrambled eggs with hummus come highly recommended, as do their tapas options – they give you four, rather than three, of each tapas so you can actually share it and not fight over the last one!

Vegetarian restaurants in the Southern Suburbs

5. Govinda’s Natural Food Cafe, Rondebosch

Address: Hare Krishna Temple, 17 St Andrew’s Road, Rondebosch
Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday 12:00 to 18:00
Contact: Govinda’s on Facebook

Photo from Govindas

Govinda’s (who have been open for as long as I’ve been alive) has always been a popular go-to for vegetarian food – 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 served 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. GroundZero-Marley Coffee, Observatory

Address: 122B Lower Main Road, Observatory
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 17:00, Sundays 10:00 to 17:00
Contact: GroundZero-Marley Coffee on Facebook

Photo by Rachel Robinson

Marley Coffee is not just a coffee shop that serves a great cuppa in a relaxed and friendly environment; their restaurant (GroundZero) also offers a vegetarian and vegan-friendly menu with a variety of affordable options. I tried their vegan chicken mayo sandwich on a toasted stoneground Turkish roll and was amazed at how much it looked and tasted like the meaty version. I am now intrigued enough to try their vegan ‘facon’. You’ll also find wraps, stir-fries, curries, and quiches on the menu, along with breakfast bowls, desserts and treats. If you just feel like a drink or a quick snack, their vegan banana and chocolate milkshake is a meal on its own and their chips are jolly good too.

7. Maharajah, Rondebosch

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

Photo by Rachel Robinson

This is 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 – pop in a few samoosas, 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.

Vegetarian restaurants on the Atlantic Seaboard

8. 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

Photo 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, raw pizza (butternut, sunflower seed and golden flax seed base) and treats like raw macaroons and the highly-recommended Raw Snickers bar!

9. Massimo’s, Hout Bay

Address: Oakhurst Farm Park, Main Road, Hout Bay
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 12:00 to 21:00
Contact: massimos.co.za

Photo by Rachel Robinson

I first discovered this Italian family-run restaurant while searching for great tapas restaurants in Cape Town. I have since returned a few times, as not only do they have a wide menu with really good food, they are also very pet-friendly, even offering a pet menu that my dog totally approves of. Vegetarians and vegans are spoilt for choice here and there’s an entire vegan-friendly menu with tapas, pizza, pasta, salad, and dessert options. The owners, Massimo and Tracey, are extremely community-minded and support various local charities by donating an amount to them when you buy selected pizza and pasta dishes. You can also pay it forward by buying a virtual slice of pizza for someone in need. Good food and good causes certainly go well together!

10. Bugatti’s, Hout Bay

Address: 40 Victoria Avenue, Hout Bay
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 10:30 to 22:30
Contact: bugattis.co.za

Photo from Burgattis

To be honest, this local hangout on Victoria Road is the last place I expected to find vegan options, let alone a wide range of vegetarian options on the menu. However, it turns out that the owner’s daughter is vegan and has had a hand in adding vegan cheese (imported from Greece!) to the pizza menu, along with vegan burgers, vegan pastas and starters, and a vegan tapas plate. While I’d try any of their vegan options, I have been told that The Spuddy Buddy pizza with potato, mushrooms, peppadews, tomatoes, onions, garlic, fresh basil, and herbs smothered in vegan cheese is a firm favourite with their plant-based patrons.

11. Mary-Anne’s Emporium, Mouille Point

Address: 3 Park Road, Mouille Point
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10:00 to 18:00, Saturdays and Sundays, 09:00 to 18:00
Contact: Mary Anne’s Emporium on Facebook

Photo by Rachel Robinson

I first discovered Mary-Anne’s Emporium when exploring Gordon’s Bay and was very impressed with their lavish vegetarian lunch buffet, so when I heard they’d opened up a branch in Mouille Point, I popped in for a visit. Their lunch buffets are on offer daily and you can expect a variety of vegetarian dishes served with various sauces, salads, nuts, and breads. In addition to the popular buffet, they have smoothies, juices and hot drinks, as well as what is possibly the best vegan cheesecake I have ever had. There are also eco-friendly and vegan-friendly pantry items available to buy, including flours, nuts and non-irradiated spices, along with earth-friendly bath and body products.

12. The Sunshine Food Company, Green Point

Address: 6 Main Road, Sea Point
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 08:00 to 20:00
Contact: The Sunshine Food Company on Facebook

Photo by Rachel Robinson

Elisha Madzivadondo started out by selling his vegan burgers at various markets in Cape Town before opening his bright-yellow restaurant on the main road in Sea Point. The place may be tiny, but the burgers are huge! The vegan patty is made up of butternut, sweet potato, lentils, coconut flour, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds and is seasoned with basil and thyme. It’s topped with black beans and micro-greens (which Elisha grows himself) and served in a black activated charcoal bun. I have to admit that while the burger was delicious, the black burger bun was very much a novelty for me! However, you can opt for their bun-less version or have it in a wrap, including a nori sushi rice wrap. If burgers aren’t your thing, they also offer falafel balls with a Tahini sauce. There are also plenty of fresh juices and smoothies. The Sunshine Food Company can also be found at the Tokai Earth Fair Food Market, Cape Point Vineyard Market and the Kirstenbosch Market.

Vegetarian restaurants on the South Peninsula

13. Yoffi Falafel, Muizenberg

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

Photo 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.

14. Stoked Café, Muizenberg

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

Photo by Rachel Robinson

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 (three-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!

 

Feature image: Rachel Robinson

 

 






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