Veggie-friendly Restaurants in Cape Town
By Alice Beckett
In recent years, being “green” has become synonymous with reducing meat consumption, as livestock leaves quite a considerable carbon footprint (for more information, click here and here). Being healthy and ‘green’ is sometimes difficult, even in the comfort of our own kitchen. This struggle becomes even harder when looking at the menu in a restaurant. We have therefore set ourselves the challenge of finding the ‘greenest’ restaurants in the city of Cape Town. This is also an opportunity to try vegan or vegetarian food.
All their products are completely vegan and plant-based, brought to you by founders Amy and Brent. What started as small artisanal snack shops around Cape Town is now a restaurant in the city centre, where you can enjoy their famous coconut chips or chocolate chip cookies guilt-free. The Hungry Herbivore is open seven days a week, 363 days a year, allowing you the opportunity to try out their seasonal food all year round.
Plant is a 100% vegan restaurant with award winning hospitality on tripadvisor. Their objective is to promote a gentle and compassionate lifestyle by making plant-based options readily available to all of Cape Town. Not only do they supply a mouth-watering variety of food, from vegetable thai wraps to french toast, but they also provide a list of organic smoothies to sip on while you wait for your order.
Nooka is surely the best kept secret of Roeland street, offering both a coffee shop and a vegetarian kitchen… surely this is the perfect combination? The space is open until late and welcomes all into its warm atmosphere. If you don’t fancy eating out, they offer a takeaway service and ‘fast pick-up-your-order lane’ for those who do not have time on their hands yet still want to eat green.
As suggested on their website, the only thing in which their food is saturated in, is ‘love’. Dear Me respects the environment and reduces, reuses and recycles whenever they can. This restaurant takes into account everyone’s needs and can adjust any meal to vegetarian, lactose free, nut free, vegan, wheat free and egg free. This loving restaurant is located in the city centre on Longmarket street.
This magical restaurant is the home to the theory that all food should be effortlessly digested. This organic kitchen strives to teach others how to ferment their food, and consequently reduce food wastage. Products on sale include pickle juice brine, fresh alkaline sprouts, miso pastes and broths, raw rooibos and of course botanical flora! This delicious and exciting range of food is effortlessly made in Sexy Food’s own kitchen. This restaurant is a must see, and one to check off your bucket list whilst in Cape Town. Check them out on instagram.
In the heart of Woodstock, hidden away in the Old Biscuit Mill, is a taste of mediterranean and European style food. Amanda Lewis, restaurant owner, stated herself that “We are trying to become model eatery to show other restaurants that it’s easy to make the transition to becoming green”. They are a plastic-free restaurant, and all their packaging is bio-friendly. This is a massive achievement and change for any restaurant and should be supported by all!
“Nothing will benefit health or increase chances of survival on earth as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” – Albert Einstein
While these restaurants are known for providing vegan or vegetarian options, it is sadly not the case for many restaurants in Cape Town that are not specifically vegan or vegetarian. And for those instances when your friends invite you to a non-vegan or non-vegetarian restaurant, here are some tips to help you out.
1. Look up the restaurant and menu online beforehand
2. Learn your codes – look at the codes given on the menu to reassure yourself what is and isn’t vegan or vegetarian
3. Most restaurants have food that can easily be made vegetarian, so politely ask your waiter if it can be altered for you
4. If they do not provide your dietary requirements then you can always get creative with the side orders
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