The Best Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in Cape Town 2018

The Best Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in Cape Town 2018

Being healthy and green has never tasted so good.

Plant-based eating, it seems, is gaining major traction in the Mother City, with a slew of quality vegetarian and vegan eateries popping up faster than you can sprout mung beans.

But, while vegetarian cuisine is relatively easy to come by, restaurants that serve strictly vegan food are not. So, we went in search of the best vegetable-focused restaurants in the Mother City, and here’s what we found…

A note to our vegan readers We understand that many of you have chosen a vegan lifestyle for ethical reasons, and we hope we have not offended you by including vegetarian restaurants (that may use animal products in their dishes). Our intention with this post is to support and grow the organic, sustainable and plant-based movement.

1. Scheckter’s Raw

Vegan Restaurant Schecters Raw

What A serene, yet buzzy, eatery on Sea Point’s Regent Street that serves raw, organic and vegetarian cuisine.
Vegan credentials Vegan and vegetarian.
Healthy objectives Scheckter’s Raw serves plant-based and nutrient-loaded healing food, cold-pressed juices, organic coffees and teas, and dairy-, sugar- and gluten-free sweet treats.
You must try the Golden Mylk: activated nut mylk with turmeric, cinnamon, dates, coconut oil, black pepper) and Organic Matcha Flapjacks.
Opening times
Tuesday – Saturday, 8am – 8.30pm
Sunday – Monday, 8am – 4pm
Contact 021 434 1364, love@schecktersraw.com
Where to find it 98 Regent Street, Sea Point, Cape Town

2. Spirit Café

Vegan Restaurant Spirit Cafe

What You don’t have to be vegan, vegetarian or even health-conscious to enjoy the utterly delicious, made-from-scratch dishes at SpiritCafé in Constantia, and its new(ish) sibling that opened in Dunkley Square in October 2017. Both cafés are known far and wide for their creative, seasonally driven dishes, made with farm-fresh ingredients and oodles of love. On any given morning at the Constantia branch, you’ll find a mix of yogis, students, captains of industry, the odd former Protea cricketer, and a sprinkling of ladies who lunch.
Vegan credentials Vegan-friendly and vegetarian.
You must try Buddha bowl with grains, greens, kimchi, slaw, and avo.
Opening times Constantia: Monday – Friday, 7.30 – 4.30pm
Saturday, 8.30 – 2pm
Dunkley Square: Monday – Sunday,  7.30am – 5pm
Contact 021 795 0167, cafe@yogaspirit.co.za
Location 26 Dunkley Square, Gardens, Cape Town; Shop 10A on the Square, Constantia Village Courtyard, Constantia, Cape Town

3. The Hungry Herbivore

Vegan Restaurant Hungry Herbivore

What A cosy space on Orphan Street, in the CBD, where health fiends gather to get their fix of delicious, wholesome and reasonably priced vegan fare.
Vegan credentials Healthy comfort-vegan fare.
Inside info While living in Thailand, owners Amy Scott and Brent Borman were unpleasantly struck by a predominance of meat dishes and fried food. Looking for healthier and more nutritious alternatives, they started experimenting with plant-based ingredients and, before long, came up with a repertoire of delicious vegan smoothies and raw food desserts. Realising they were onto something, they returned to Cape Town in 2014 and launched The Hungry Herbivore.
You must try The Oh-Sweet-Kim burger: lentil, sweet potato and quinoa-kimchi patty served with avo, caramelised onion and spicy mayo.
Contact 021 422 0347, info@thehungryherbivore.com
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 10pm (kitchen closes at 9:30pm)
Sunday, 9am – 3pm

Where to find it 11 Orphan Street, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town

4. Lekker Vegan

Vegan Restaurant Lekker Vegan

What Despite what it says on the label, 90% of the happy diners at this cool new joint aren’t even vegan, or so we’re told… The brainchild of James Knaap, Lekker Vegan’s menu includes delicious gourmet burgers, Gatsbys and nuggets that are so tasty, you won’t want to share.
Vegan credentials What it says on the label!
Healthy objectives While it might not be nutrient-rich, at least it’s cruelty-free.
You must try the Original Lekker Crispy Burger and Fries.
Good to know 95% of the packaging is environmentally friendly.
Opening times Monday – Thursday, 12pm – 10pm
Friday, 12pm – 3am
Saturday, 1pm – 3am
Sunday, 3pm – 10pm
Contact info@lekkervegan.co.za
Location 37 Barrack Street, Corner of Harrington and Barrack Streets, Zonnebloem

5. Raw & Roxy 

Vegan Restaurant Raw and Roxy
2 Ocean Vibes

What A specialist vegan restaurant that offers raw meals rich in nutrients.
Vegan credentials Vegan- and vegetarian-friendly, but honey is served in certain dishes.
Insider info Fifteen years ago, founder Beatrice Holst turned her life around when she switched to raw veganism. Now, she’s shares her knowledge and experience at Raw & Roxy Café.
Healthy objectives Using superfoods (spirulina, chaga and coconut oil), fresh fruit and organic vegetables, she prepares raw food that contains zero animal and dairy products or seafood.
Good to know The café also offers detox boxes, event catering and raw food “un-cooking” classes (on Monday and Thursday evenings).
Please note When we chatted to Beatrice this week (February 2018), she was in the throes of moving premises, but could not give us to details about her new location. Subscribe to our newsletter, and we’ll keep you posted.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm
Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Contact 079 599 6277, beatriceholst@yahoo.com

6. Plant

Vegan Restaurant Plant

What A gourmet vegan restaurant, established in 2013 (in the Bo-Kaap originally), Plant provides a space for vegans and those with food allergies and intolerances to enjoy great food. Vegan credentials Vegans, vegetarians and those with food allergies/intolerances are catered for.
Healthy objectives Plant’s ongoing commitment to educating people on plant-based eating is admirable. So is its dedication to charity – the café donates a percentage of its profits to human and animal-based charities.
You must try the vegan Tagliatelle Carbonara, Mushroom Burger, or the Dirty Mac & Cheese. Please note When we contacted the café in December 2017, we were informed that it had closed, but we’re happy to announce it has since re-opened
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 8am – 10pm
Kitchen closed between 3.30pm – 6pm
Contact 063 823 1198,  info@plant.co.za
Where to find it 8 Buiten Street, corner of Loop Street, Cape Town

7. O’ Ways Teacafe 

Vegan Restaurant Oways Teacafe

What This tranquil tearoom in the back streets of Claremont serves good coffee, soothing tea and nourishing food. It’s the go-to spot for office workers (and vegans) in the area. Ask Taiwanese owner Lisa Tsai about the symbolism of the O’ways logo, as you tuck into a wholesome meal.
Vegan credentials Vegetarian (milk and free-range eggs are served), but vegans are catered for.
You must try the har gau with mixed seasonal vegetables.
Opening times Monday to Friday, 7.30am – 5pm
Saturday and public holidays, 9am  – 2pm
Contact 021 671 2850, info@oways.co.za
Where to find it Shop 2, Heritage House, 20 Dreyer Street, Claremont

8. Nourish’d

Vegan Restaurant Nourishd

What Tucked away in the old garage on the corner of Hof and Kloof Streets in Gardens, and hidden behind lush granadilla creepers and a bounty of hanging plants, Nourish’d is a typical laid-back Cape Town café, where everyone is welcome – whether you’re strolling in barefoot from the beach, or popping in for a bite between meetings. Furry friends are welcome too, and nobody seems to be in a rush.
Vegan credentials Vegetarian with loads of vegan options.
Healthy objectives The simple menu speaks to owner Natasha Napoli’s mantra that health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. On offer is a selection of tasty juices, smoothies, breakfasts and gourmet sandwiches – all packed with fresh, homegrown ingredients to boost your wellbeing.
Good to know Nourish’d sells take-home juice cleanses. There are three options – one day, three day or five day – that can be collected in store, or delivered to your door.  
Opening times Monday – Friday, 7am – 6.30pm
Saturday, 8am – 2pm
Contact 063 648 1040 or 064 755 2431, natasha@nourishd.co.za
Where to find it Corner Kloof and Hof Streets, Cape Town

9. Orchard on Long

Vegan Restaurant Orchard on Long

What A delightful café on Long Street that serves fresh, delicious and healthy juices along, as well as wholesome breakfasts and lunches, with a strong focus on veganism.
Vegan credentials Vegetarian with many vegan options.
Healthy objectives Hydraulic plates are used to squeeze every drop from the fresh fruit without damaging or compromising the vitamins, minerals and enzymes that conventional juicing methods tend to destroy.
Opening times Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm
Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Contact 021 424 3781, info@orchardonlong.co.za
Where to find it 211 Long Street, Cape Town

10. Honest Chocolate Café 

Vegan Restaurant Honest Chocolate Cafe

What A charming café in Wale Street that sells raw-cacao treats, as well as selection of wholesome and healthy savoury dishes, cakes, pastries and tarts.
Vegan credentials All chocolate slabs and truffles are 100% vegan, and 60% of the chocolate baked goodies are vegan, too.
Healthy objectives Honest uses unroasted cacao beans – as opposed to roasted (which are full of sugar) – which contain higher levels of antioxidants. All chocolates are free of preservatives and artificial flavouring, naturally.
Inside info Partners Anthony Gird and Michael de Klerk started their chocolatey journey selling handmade raw-cacao bonbons at farmers’ markets, health shops and alternative-food stores around the country. In December 2014 they took the next step and opened this café in Wale Street.
Opening times Monday to Thursday, 9am – 6pm
Friday & Saturday, 9am – 9pm
Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Contact 076 765 8306, cafe@honestchocolate.co.za
Where to find it 64A Wale Street, Cape Town

11. Maharajah Vegetarian Restaurant

Vegan Restaurant Maharajah Vegetarian Restaurant

What Tucked away near the Fountain Centre in Rondebosch, this vegetarian branch of the popular Indian franchise is known for its moreish curries, paneers, briyani and kormas.
Vegan credentials Most dishes are vegan-friendly, and those that aren’t can be made as such.
You must try the vegan butter-bean curry and palak paneer
Good to know If you’re in the city, try the main restaurant on Kloof Nek, or order takeaways from their express spot on Newlands Main Road.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 10 – 9pm
Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Contact 021 685 7891
Where to find it 6 Fountain Place, Rondebosch, Cape Town

12. Green & Vegan

Vegan Restaurant Green and Vegan

What Vegans and non-vegans are welcome at this pop-up restaurant run by Karen Fletcher and Patrick Knight from their home in Greenpoint Village. Though the food they serve is strictly vegan (and includes a cheese board at the end of the meal), many of their customers claim to be “vegan-curious” rather than committed vegans – which could change after a visit to this homely eatery…
Vegan credentials 100% vegan.
Opening times It’s a pop-up restaurant, so opening times aren’t set in stone, but it tends to open once a fortnight.
Cost R299
Book online
Contact 021 439 7761 / 083 293 5501, fletcherkarenlouise18@gmail.com
Where to find it 34 Clydebank Road, Green Point

13. Govinda’s Natural Food Café

Vegan Restaurant Grovindas

What This natural-food café, with Indian accents, offers visitors a pleasant space in which to enjoy quality vegetarian food that’s reasonably priced. Touted by some as Rondebosch’s best-kept secret, Govinda’s serves wholesome, unfussy food and some of the best rotis around.
Vegan credentials Lacto-vegetarian and vegan-friendly.
You must try the chickpea fudge and the chickpea balls with tomato sauce.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm – 6pm
Sunday, 12pm – 4pm
Contact 021 685 8384, info@iskconcape.org.za
Where to find it Hare Krishna Temple, 17 St Andrews Road, Rondebosch, Cape Town

14. Pure Elixir Café

Vegan Restaurant Pure Elixir Cafe

What This cosy Cape Town café, with its warm wooden décor, serves a wide assortment of organic, preservative-free foods, including vegan-friendly rotis and gluten-free baked goods, as well as homemade milk alternatives (such as almond, cashew, hemp, oat and coconut milk), speciality teas, raw cold-pressed juices, and superfood smoothies.
Vegan credentials Vegan-friendly and vegetarian.
You must try the Organic Vegan Roti and delicious Good Vibration Smoothie.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm
Saturday, 9am – 3.30pm
Contact 076 768 0733, PureElixirCafe@gmail.com
Where to find it 120 Bree Street, Cape Town

15. Babylon Theatre Café 

Vegan Restaurant Babylon Theatre Cafe

What This cheap and cheerful Mediterranean-fusion restaurant has a menu bursting with flavourful vegetarian dishes, including halloumi kebabs, Mediterranean beans platters, and burgers made with hummus, falafel or mushroom tofu.
Vegan credentials Vegan-friendly and vegetarian
Inside info The exotic Hookah Bar inside the restaurant enhances the Arabian Nights atmosphere, with guests able to sample from a range of fruity extractions.
Opening times Sunday – Tuesday, 12pm – 12am 
Wednesday, 12pm – 1am
Thursday, 12pm – 2am
Friday – Saturday, 12pm – 3am
Contact 021 674 0032, info@babylontheatrecafe.com
Where to find it 111 Main Road Claremont, corner Roscommon Street

Be Kind to Every Kind

You might also be interested in these restaurants that, even though they serve food made with animal products, have special vegan menus.

  1. Wildsprout Eatery (extensive vegan options on the menu)
  2. Twelve Apostles (Vegan High Tea)
  3. Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant (vegan options)
  4. Maria’s (vegan platter)
  5. Masala Dosa (vegan section on the menu)
  6. Nu Health Food Café (vegan breakfast and lunch items)
  7. Saucisse Deli (Vegan Heaven breakfast)
  8. Bowls on Bree (Vegan Buddha Bowl)
  9. Marrow (Vegan White Broth)
  10. Harvest (selected vegan dishes)
  11. The General Store (selected vegan dishes)
  12. Giulio’s Café (selected vegan dishes)
  13. The Planet Bar at The Belmond Mount Nelson (chef Rudi Liebenberg’s vegan tasting menu; vegan-friendly high tea)
  14. Royale Eatery (vegan section on the menu)
  15. Nonna Lina (vegan salads and pastas)
  16. Massimo’s (vegan section on the menu)
  17. El Burro (vegan section on the menu)
  18. Addis in Cape Ethiopian Restaurant (vegan section on the menu)
  19. Si Cantina (vegan breakfast, tapas and mains options)
  20. Hokey Poké (make-your-own vegan bowls available)
  21. Skinny Legs (vegan breakfast and lunch options)
  22. Lily’s (vegan breakfast and lunch options)
  23. Tintswalo Atlantic (Guy Clark’s vegan tasting menu)
  24. Giovanni’s (deli-counter salads and vegetable dishes)
  25. Sababa (deli-counter salads and vegetable dishes)
  26. Olami (deli-counter salads and vegetable dishes)
  27. Dear Me (vegan breakfast and lunch options)
  28. Yokos Yogurt Bar (dairy-free yoghurts)
  29. Noa’s Hummus Bar at Mojo Market (vegan options available)
  30. Rootbar Newlands (vegan lasagne and selected vegan dishes)
  31. Yoffi Falafel (vegan lunch options)
  32. Aniyor Bakery & Café (vegan-friendly lunch options)
  33. Life Unframed (vegan ice-cream)

Researched by Simone Michaelis

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Disclaimer:

The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 06 February 2018

Add new comment

34 Responses to “The Best Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in Cape Town 2018”

  1. Angela Horn

    Hello,

    Thanks for the awesome roundup. Apologies if someone else has already noted this (I’m too lazy to read through all the comments), but both phone number for Govinda’s are incorrect. They both belong to some woman who does pop-up dining.

    Cheers,
    Ang 🙂

    Reply
  2. Rory

    How is this list missing Flourish Bistro in Woodstock? This is a must. All food is refined sugan and gluten free as well as vegan

    Reply
  3. Shan

    Spirit Café is NOT a vegan or vegetarian restaurant. They have very few meal options that are vegan. Juices and smoothies don’t count.

    Reply
  4. Ferozia

    What a Blast to come across this List.. So Grateful . I’m fully Vegan and yes will surely visit each and every restaurant throughout the year .

    Reply
  5. Sandy Shaw

    You should check out ‘Jessy’s Waffles’ in Dunkley Square, their menu is 100% Vegan and Gluten free.

    Reply
  6. Alexandra Guillot

    unfortunately all open during the day not in the evening.

    Reply
    • Brent

      The Hungry Herbivore (number 3) is open until 10pm from Monday to Sunday. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Accidental Vegan

    A warning to all vegans: Pulp is NOT vegan friendly at all. Almost nothing vegan on the menu (maybe 1 smoothie and a few juices), and it’s like pulling teeth getting them to substitute. I was shocked when I wanted to order the toast with humus, tomato & avo and was told they had NO vegan bread!

    Reply
  8. Roscoe Samuels

    If dining out is not your thing. Please check out The Yummy Vegan Food & Co. Fresh Frozen Meals.

    Reply
  9. Mary Leinberger

    Yes the Baxter restaurant should top the list. Also irritated by inclusion of non –
    vegetarian places on the list. The Hungry Herbivore is new (ish) on Bree Street. It’s vegan and has delicious food.

    Reply
  10. Charmaine

    I keep scrolling…hoping to find ZUCCHINI’s…the best ever take-out.

    Reply
  11. Sarah

    Check out Nomad on Bottlery road. Amazing veg and vegan food.

    Reply
  12. Lauren

    In response to two peoples comments that “but we felt that the CT market is too small to have separated raw/organic/vegan. Hope we didn’t cause you too much confusion.” the size of CT should not have an effect on writing a misleading article. Vegan is vegan and vegetarian is vegetarian and in both instances they don’t eat meat….Most people are vegan/vegetarian for ethical reasons so having restaurants that have meat on them not only does cause confusion but also may offend some people …..especially if they make an effort to go to a restaurant suggested only to find out I they are not in fact vegan/vegetarian

    Reply
  13. Kathryn Aronson

    “Plant ” in Cape Town central

    Reply
  14. Karabo

    Thank you for sharing. Will surely go and visit with friends.

    Reply
  15. Shona MacDonald

    Also Spirit Cafe in Costantia Village run by Kate Ball. Check out this months Fair Lady for an article on this amazing lady and her food!

    Reply
  16. Raphaella

    Most definitely Orchard on Long – world class !!!!

    Reply
  17. tracy

    bearing in mind that vegans don’t only hang out exclusively with other vegans,it’s nice to know of places that suit everyone’s needs. great article!

    Reply
  18. Andre BrinkBrinkd

    This article is slightly misleading. It would be better to do a separate listing for organic restaurants. Organic is not vegetarian nor vegan. It espouses the full utilisation of all creatures in the production of food.

    Reply
    • The Inside Guide

      Hi Andre
      Thanks for your comments. Perhaps we should have called the article Best Health Food Restaurants… but we felt that the CT market is too small to have listed raw/organic/vegan separately.Hope we didn’t cause you too much confusion.

      Reply
  19. Samantha Reynolds

    The title of this post is misleading as 4 of the restaurants are neither vegetarian nor vegan (Nu, saucisse deli + Addis serve animal products.

    Reply
    • The Inside Guide

      Hi Samantha
      Thanks for taking time to comment. We probably would have done better to call the article Best Health Food Restaurants… but we felt that the CT market is too small to have separated raw/organic/vegan. Hope we didn’t cause you too much confusion.

      Reply
  20. Ilze

    Thanks for the mention of Dear Me.

    Reply
  21. Laura Germishuys

    You forgot Nomad in Stellenbosch! Vegan cheeses for the pizzas, and all round great food. Also vegan desserts!

    Reply
  22. Zarah Z.

    And another favourite – Mary-Ann’s “Natural Way Cafe and Factory Shop” in Gordon’s Bay – THE best vegan buffet ever – you won’t be sorry 😉

    Reply
  23. Tracy

    Nooka also serves the best hummus is CT, their lentil falafel is other worldly and the salads are actual meals!

    Reply
  24. Loraine Kopman-Abel

    Nooka is really special, their shakshuka is the best in Cape town, we believe. I have been to Plant, and although I am not vegan but vegetarian, it has its good and bad plates…..if anyone finds themselves in Palma de Mallorca, PLEASE go to Bagel, a chic coffee and breakfast/lunch shop run by two Cape Town boys who are vegans, and personal friends, and who patronise Plant when they are in Cape Town. And let me know if you go there, please!

    Reply
    • Casey

      This is not the correct list of vegetarian restaurant you have not included the Baxter theatre restaurant this should be the no.1 vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Cape Town. Please publish the correct information. Thank you

      Reply
      • The Inside Guide

        Thanks for your opinions Casey. As with most reviews and Best Of lists, it’s all rather subjective. When he did the reviews, these were the restaurants/cafés that impressed us the most. We will most certainly consider your suggestions in the future when we update the post.

        Reply
    • Samantha du Toit

      Hi Loraine
      Wow what a very small world it is! My husband and I were in Palma in June and discovered Bagel by chance…loved it so went back a second time with my Dad (who lives in Palma). We noticed a big change re. veggie/vegan offerings this time around which was great & quite surprising considering how the Spanish love their jamon!

      Reply