Sustainable dining in the Mother City does not leave you short of any options for places to indulge in a hearty breakfast, delectable lunch, exquisite dinner or treat. Indeed, the below eateries take pride in making their meatless menu options as delicious (or maybe even more so) than their beefed-up counterparts.
Whether you are fish-loving pesce, or dedicated vegan, the below options are guaranteed to leave you feeling well-fed and glowing with environmentally conscious pride.
Best for Vegans and Vegetarians
Vegan fans of Mexican food flock to El Burro for their dedicated Vegan Menu with starters, mains, and salads. Based in Green Point with a prime view of the Cape Town stadium and a great balcony from where to enjoy it from, this authentic Mexican restaurant is where you should head for a long lunch or cosy, dimly-lit dinner. Try the (very) hot cauliflower and chickpea tacos, vegan esquites, enchiladas, and a couple of hearty salads too. Margaritas are most certainly vegan so do order a jug for the table, or, if just for yourself, try one of the flavoured options – the pineapple chilli combo a delectable recommendation.
81 Main Road, Green Point, Cape Town
Ethiopian cuisine is actually traditionally vegan or vegetarian, with rich aromas and spices livening up the plants and pulses on your plate. Addis in the Cape offers a seemingly endless menu of vegan dishes, presented in a beautifully woven basket-like table called a Mesob. The dishes are served together on a large plate which is layered with a pancake-like sourdough base called Injera. Without utensils your hands and Injera are used to scoop the various flavorful stews and sauces. If you’re looking for something a little different with options for all tastes, Addis in the Cape will make for a great night out.
41 Church Street, Cape Town
Raw, organic and suitable for both vegans and veggies, the food at Scheckter’s RAW could not possibly be any more virtuous. But if you think it is all kale and cucumber you would be wrong. While one can enjoy vegan scrambled eggs, organic matcha flapjacks, Buddha bowls from this seaside cafe, you would be remiss for leaving without trying some of their indulgent raw organic superfood smoothies – the likes of which include ‘Snickers’, or their gluten and sugar-free desserts; the ‘Twix Bar’ with crushed nuts and a gooey, caramel centre proving in no uncertain terms that pudding can be both decadent and guilt-free. Sip on an organic coffee, or try one of their golden lattes with turmeric and almond milk.
98 Regent Road, Sea Point, Cape Town
A beautiful bakery and an award-winning restaurant that serves lunch and dinner, Foxcroft has seen a fast rise into becoming the darling of the Southern Suburbs. They have a dedicated plant-based menu, with delectable dishes that can be made vegan. Every ingredient is treated with care, so whether you are munching on a tandoori turnip, or dipping their homemade focaccia into carrot hummus, you are in for a treat! This one is best for a special occasion without feeling fusty.
Shop 8, High Constantia Centre, Groot Constantia Road, Constantia
Harvest Café and Deli
Just opened in the historic Bo Kaap area, Harvest delivers an array of tasty and original dishes to enjoy from their casually classy interior replete with sublime city and mountain views. Tuck into pumpkin fritters with berries and maple syrup, too-pretty-to-eat smoothie bowls, quinoa porridge or sourdough with avocado roses and dukkah spice. If you’re visiting during lunch, try a falafel burger or tenderstem broccoli and snap pea salad and don’t miss out on the carrot cake – the perfect accompaniment to their excellent coffee.
102 Wale Street, Bo-Kaap, Cape Town
Just because you have swapped beef for leaf, does not mean you should go without a juicy burger. Royale Eatery on Long Street is one of Cape Town’s best-loved burger joints and serves a legendary vegan cheeseburger with a homemade soya patty and freshly made tomato relish. In fact, there are no less than 12 veggie and vegan burger options, or 20 if you include the variants on the vegetarian cheeseburgers alone, and, if you fancy one of the meatier options, they will happily swap out the patty for a soy mince one, making the options truly endless. Choose the moreish sweet potato fries as a side or go half and half and get a portion of salad before finishing up with a vegan chocolate peppermint milkshake. With its quirky interior and Long Street city buzz, Royale Eatery adds a fun dose of personality to their patties and is a great spot to head to for a casual dinner or friendly lunch, the wonderful waitresses attuned to and happy to chat about Cape Town’s latest and greatest.
273 Long Street, Cape Town City Centre
Should you find yourself in need of a quick coffee, colourful breakfast or healthy lunch at the V&A Waterfront, Tasha’s is where you should head. With reliable and friendly service, an extensive menu that pleases all and beautiful, chic interiors, it’s a perennial favourite with locals and visitors alike. The hummus toastie is perfect for veggies who still love their (free range) eggs, though the team is happy to swap out ingredients to make dishes vegan friendly too. Lunch options are hearty with some generously portioned sandwiches, and their well-loved salads, the likes of which include quinoa and beetroot, heirloom tomato, chopped house salad chock-full of avocado and nuts, a charred butternut plate and a delicious texas salad with lime dressing.
Shop 7117, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town
Nourish’d Cafe is all about serving healthy mindful food and juices that are environmentally low impact. You will find a range of healthy freshly pressed juices as well as vegan-friendly breakfast bowls, decadent smoothies, and more. For lunch, tuck into their beautiful gourmet sandwiches or ‘rainbow’ buddha bowls. You will walk out feeling healthier and happier.
177 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Best for Pescetarians
Seabreeze Fish and Shell
There might be plenty of fish in the sea, but none are battered and fried to perfection quite like those found at Bree Street’s SeaBreeze Fish & Shell. A contemporary take on classics, we love their Hake & Chips (battered to crispy perfection), exceptional wine and cocktail list, and the glorious oysters which should be shucked and enjoyed with bubbles on their street-facing deck.
213 Bree Street, Cape Town CBD
FireFish is ideally positioned on the V&A Waterfront’s ‘sunset strip’ – the line of harbour-facing restaurants perfectly positioned to soak up the outstanding views of Table Mountain and buzzing wharf.
While seafood themed joints aren’t in short supply, FireFish’s Josper Charcoal Grill places them a cut above the rest; the high temperatures allowing them to roast even the most delicate of foods while preserving and enhancing flavours. Indulge in sushi, calamari, crusted kingklip and all kinds of tempura-battered morsels.
Shop 154, Victoria Wharf, V&A Waterfront
Willoughby & Co
It says a lot about a place when there is a constant queue of eager patrons winding their way around the entrance. Luckily the team at Willoughby’s is efficient and quite used to this state of affairs, and you will be offered a glass of wine while you wait for a table in this popular V&A Waterfront destination. Located in a thoroughfare on the busy ground floor, this is not where you should head for a quieter ambience, but once you have had that first bite of a perfectly-made Rainbow Reloaded Roll you will understand why foreigners and locals alike can not get enough of this Cape Town must. Sip on a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from their extensive list. They are equally as well known for their traditional seafood dishes so if you would prefer fish and chips, there is a gorgeous selection to choose from. Willoughby and Co don’t take bookings but are open Monday to Sunday from 12 to 10:30 pm so there’s plenty of time to visit.
Shop 6132, Waterfront Mall, V&A Waterfront
Codfather in Camps Bay is an unpretentious seafood-lovers dream. The model is simple, and the menu is non-existent. Instead, you are chaperoned to the seafood selection where you choose your favourite slices of the freshest shellfish and fish, which is then grilled to perfection and served to the table along with fat-cut fries, rice and greens. The large wood fireplace separates the main part of the restaurant from the equally as appealing sushi bar if that is more your scene. Whatever your choice, do not skip dessert – the brownie is one of the best around!
37 The Dr, Camps Bay, Cape Town
All Round Fine Dining at Signal Restaurant
If it is fine dining you are after, Signal Restaurant at Cape Grace offers a superb seasonal Vegetarian Tasting Menu with expertly paired Western Cape wines in a serenely beautiful atmosphere, while our regular menu and tasting menu heroes some delectable and sustainable seafood, prepared with uniquely Capetonian flavourful flair. We also accommodate vegans, so give us a heads-up and we will make sure that your dining experience is extraordinary, no matter what your dietary requirements may be.
Blog post by Tarah Darge