Vegan Foodguide: Cape Town
Cape Town, South Africa
If you are vegan or vegetarian, you probably have heard the term "oh you won't find anything to eat there" - no matter where you were travelling to. I did too, and that's why I am doing this vegan foodguides!
South Africa is in general called a more "difficult" place when it comes to a plant-based diet. Cape Town itself is well-known for being a special place, which is way more western than the rest of the country. For now, I`ll concentrate on this beautiful city that stole my heart over the past four weeks, but I will definitely do another edition about South Africa in general!
First and for all: Cape Town is one of the vegan-friendliest places I have ever been. Every coffee shop offers multiple milk alternatives, there are always vegan options on the menu and vegan restaurants are to be find absolutely everywhere.
Most bigger supermarkets have soy yoghurt options and especially the frozen section is fantastic. Spar and Woolworths are the biggest ones and some even stock vegan cheese. Both offer a huge health collection even in smaller stores.
( Gordons Bay/ Mouille Point)
Mary-Ann is well known in SA as a specialist for a plant-based, healthy diet and has published multiple books about the topic. Together with her husband they run two restaurants with a built-in shop: one in Green Point close to the lighthouse and Green Point Park and the other one in Gordon Bay in False Bay. The store is absolutely beautiful and offers a wide variety of home-made goods, which are all produced in their production center in Gordons Bay. Some products are sold in reusable glass containers, but sadly most of them are packed in plastic. Everything they sell is vegan (except some honey), locally sourced and produced. Their concept is mainly focused on healthy food to fuel the body and keep the toxins out. Besides the store, both locations have a buffet-based restaurant which offers breakfast and lunch with a huge variety of different dishes. You can clearly taste the quality and the love that is put into the food. If you either are in the area, fancy something that makes you feel really good and healthy or are on your way to the drive to the Garden Route, make sure to stop by as this is definitely a must try for any vegan in the city!
Ferdinando`s is a cute little pizzeria in Observatory, a neighbourhood in the west of Cape Town that is a mixture between arty, hip and troubled. The owner couple met on Ibiza and decided to open their own pizza place a few years ago. You can actually read their whole love story on the first few pages of their menu! The moment you get in, you feel welcomed and I love the fact that they even paint their packaging everyday instead of having it printed. It’s not a vegan-only place, but they got tons of vegetarian and vegan options, which is fantastic. The Vegana pizza was one of the best I ever had: Italian balsamic meets avocado?! Heaven. Even their signature garlic dip is vegan, and it tastes bloody amazing. Every Wednesday they organise the pasta kitchen for the homeless people of Observatory. So, if you're ever in the area make sure to pop by as it is actually so much fun, eye opening and just an hour well spent for a good cause.
(all over Cape Town)
NY Slice is a local fast food chain that has branches all over the city and beyond. They got some basic signature pizzas and as a special, you can order a vegan pizza! As the demand normally is rather small, they only offer them as a whole and not as single slices. You can get any topping on your vegan pizza, but the normal one would be Margherita with vegan cheese. Their restaurant in Sea Point is pretty cool with a really edgy feel and is open until late, so perfect drunk food!
The owners are currently planning to open a vegan restaurant in the city. I will keep you updated as soon as it opens. The concept sounds amazing and I had the pleasure to try some things of the new menu.
As I mentioned before, many coffee shops actually have vegan options and Motherland Coffee is an extraordinary example. They have vegan milk alternatives and several dishes like the avocado on toast with tomatoes or the breakfast müsli, which are both incredibly rich and filling. For non-coffee drinkers, they also got chai and tea options. The cafe itself is situated in the CBD: just a short walk from Whale Street and right there, where the free walking tours start.
No secret to locals and a vegan heaven, situated on the busy Long Street, is the Royale Eatery. With a menu packed with burgers of all kind (meat, veggie and vegan) and a mouth-watering milkshake-section, this is the place to take your friends to for a first. Three of their burgers are vegan anyway, but every veggie burger can be made vegan on request. They also hand out an information sheet with all the infos if you say you're vegan. Additionally, you can choose between sweet potato or french fries. Same goes out to the vegan shakes: they are incredibly creamy and taste even better than the original one. The restaurant itself is built like an American diner, which makes it even more authentic. And everything is in pastel colours - even the drinks! If you're in CT and craving some burgers and are looking for something that offers everything you wish for, Royale Eatery is the way to go.
This little bakery is placed in Observatory, just a few minutes from Ferdinandos. Most of their menu is vegan, some things are vegetarian but as they offer such a wide range, there is something for everyone! I absolutely loved this little coffee shop/bakery, because you can literally feel how much passion is put into each piece they serve and the owner, Russel, is a great guy who is happy to help wherever possible. The shop looks like a colourful playground and it’s the perfect passionated mess you never knew you needed but always were looking for. Even if you're not in the area, take an Uber to Observatory and check this place out as I doubt you'll find better vegan treats anywhere in the city.
A well-known plant-based restaurant in the CBD, has a wide variety of cashew cheese dishes. Nice, modern interior. The food is a bit bland but that is easy solvable with some salt.
Ethiopian restaurant in the CBD. It has a beautiful interior with tons of plants and decorations. Every table has its own niche and they have loads of vegan options on the menu. Again, the vegetarian dishes can also be served vegan. The food tastes absolutely amazing - a must try if you're looking for African cuisine!
Vegan fast food with long opening times: everything you wish for after a long night out! The burgers are fantastic. Same goes to the kebab sticks and the sauces. I highly recommend it, if you're looking for nice vegan junk food.
The market takes place every Wednesday evening and every weekend until 3pm, right next to the Green Point Stadium and a five minute walk from the Waterfront. It’s heaven on earth: loads of vegan options and the whole vibe is one of a kind. You can buy food, ingredients, clothes, plants and they sometimes even have rescue puppies there - the best way to start a day in CT!
As always, I want to mention that I'm not fully vegan but try to stick to a plant-based diet most of the time. That's why these guides are purely about vegan places.
Some of these places worked with me on this article in return for a complimentary meal. But all of them are mentioned because I fully stand behind their products and concepts.
Until next time, Cape Town!