Good vegetarian restaurants in Cape Town used to be few and far between. But with the recent trend of healthy, organic eating, a slew of veggie eateries has been popping up in and around the city. For most Capetonian vegetarians like myself, this wave couldn’t have come any sooner, as we’ve exhausted the menus of our former veggie haunts.
Taking advantage of the abundance of readily available fresh produce, the quality of food at these establishments is unlike any I’ve tasted around the world. So when in Cape Town, pop in to one of these amazing restaurants that cater exclusively to a vegetarian diet. Here is my list of best vegetarian restaurants in Cape Town.
Bella Vegan Cafe
Bella Vegan Cafe is located in the seaside suburb of Muizenberg, about a 30-minute drive outside of Cape Town city bowl. Opened in 2012, the menu offers both vegetarian and vegan food. The culinary team of Jen and Blue are inspired by food from all over the world, particularly Mexico and Spain. The food is simple but bursts with colour, fragrance and flavour in dishes like the Spanish gourmet burger and the mushroom pie. The diverse menu also features wholesome soups, tasty pies, creamy hummus and decadent desserts, and the decor is rustic yet beautiful. A small shop here sells vegan groceries as well.
Situated in heart of the city, Plant opened its doors to the public in 2013. As the name suggests, this amazing establishment promotes plant-based food choices and provides vegetarians, vegans and people with food allergies a place where they can find and enjoy tasty food. Even though their made-from-scratch meals may take a bit longer to prepare, they are always delicious. They offer light meals including breakfast wraps, mushroom burgers and miso soup, as well as sweet treats like fudge brownies and florentines. Plant also serves a selection of smoothies, freshly squeezed juices, and hot and cold drinks.
Aniyor Bakery & Cafe
In a quieter part of Cape Town’s central business district, Aniyor is a must-visit for any vegetarian coming to the city. Located in Thibault Square, this artisanal bakery and vegetarian cafe offers a selection of freshly baked bread, pastries, cakes and tarts — it definitely accommodates those with a sweet tooth. The cafe side has various sandwiches and warm meals with a fusion theme. The free wi-fi means you’ll often find it packed with business people having meetings. Aniyor also has some of the best coffee and croissants in Cape Town, which can be ordered as a takeaway.
Govinda’s Natural Food Cafe
With delicious Asian-inspired and fusion food, Govindas Natural Food Cafe serves some of the tastiest food in Cape Town. Situated in the suburb of Ronderbosch behind the Hare Krishna Center, Govindas Natural Food Cafe has a warm and friendly atmosphere. You can expect yummy bean curries, pakoras and crisp papad with cumin. Govinda’s also offers the best eggless desserts that is worth visit itself. If those looking for something a bit more western, the cafe also serves veggie burgers and pizzas, as well as scrumptious Italian food. This cafe is only open over the weekend for lunch, early dinners and takeaways.
Maharajah Pure Vegetarian Cuisine
Using coconut cream as a substitute for milk, ghee (clarified butter made from buffalo or cow milk), and no gelatin, Theresa Peters creates healthy plant-based food at Maharajah. The owner and chef, she makes one of the best vegetarian “chicken and prawn” curries using soya, and delicious homemade samoosas! The food is layered with various spices and all dishes are available with biryani, rice and rotis with sides of raita and dhal. The restaurant is popular amongst students, as the food offers really good value for money. The restaurant also has a selection of wine, including a sweet Bombay wine with rose syrup. Locations in Rondebosch and Kloof Nek Road.
Slow Life Cafe
Owned by a passionate animal rights activist and dog lover, Slow Life is a rustic cafe situated in Muizenberg. With views of the False Bay coastline, you are really forced to slow down and enjoy the scrumptious veggie comfort food that comes out of this cafe’s kitchen, such as poached egg, mint and pea soup, and zucchini and chickpea lasagna. They also serve a variety of beverages including Ethiopian Bean There coffee and organic tea. Keeping it green, the cafe is decorated with unfinished tables, chairs and benches made from recycled wooden pallets — even the cushions on the seats are made from old coffee bags. Slow Life also supports the suspended coffee scheme, so buy an extra cup while visiting and it will be passed on to a homeless person.
Located right in the centre of the city, Zucchini’s is a local favourite amongst Capetonian vegetarians and vegans. Boasting a menu that will leave your mouth watering in a simple and cozy setting, this restaurant is equipped to leave non-meat-eaters satisfied. Open for breakfast, lunch and early dinner, all food is prepared fresh daily. You can enjoy a simple fruit salad and yoghurt for breakfast, hearty broccoli and feta soup for lunch, and tuck into a lentil and vegetable cottage pie for dinner. And for those who have a sweet tooth, there’s homemade carrot cake or almond fudge.