While it’s easy to be a vegetarian or vegan at home, it can be tricky eating out, even if it’s just meat that you are cutting from your diet. Luckily, more and more restaurants are catering to vegans and vegetarians. Plus, even if there isn’t anything specifically vegan on the menu, most establishments sub ingredients to make them vegan. To help you avoid the animal-product minefield that some restaurant menus can be, here’s a list of eateries in Cape Town and Joburg that you can put on your must-visit list.
Vegan Restaurants in Cape Town
Burger lovers rejoice! Royale Eatery has a burger for every taste and dietary requirement, including veggie and vegan. They even make sure that the burger buns are free of animal products — many buns are brushed with egg white to make them shine. Just make sure to ask your waitress for a vegan bun. Bonus: recently they added vegan milkshakes to the menu. Don’t forget to book, this restaurant is always buzzing.
Located on Regent Road in Sea Point, Scheckter’s Raw’s philosophy is to offer natural, authentic, honest, plant-based, cruelty-free and nutrient-dense food. Go for breakfast and have the organic matcha flapjacks.
Chefs Warehouse & Canteen
Vegetarians and vegans have it good with Liam Tomlin’s Chefs Warehouse in Bree Street and the branch on Beau Constantia Wine Farm. The restaurants are famous for their Tapas For Two menus, which consist of eight courses that you share with a partner. If you go with a meat-eater, they will be able to choose four dishes from the menu and you will be given four veggie dishes. They are able to cater for vegetarians without prior notice. If you phone and give them at least three days’ notice, they will be able to create four vegan options for you. The restaurant at Beau Constantia has a vegetarian and vegan menu and does take reservations — make them in advance, the bookings fill up quickly!
The Pot Luck Club
The Pot Luck Club’s vegetarian menu is filled with delicious tapas-style dishes designed for sharing (trust me, though, you won’t want to). I recently went as a vegan and they were able to give me a list of veggie dishes that could be made vegan and there were more than enough for me to choose from (and I didn’t share!). As with all restaurants, let them know your dietary requirements beforehand so that they can make sure that they can accommodate you. There’s one in Joburg, too.
Another iteration from Liam Tomlin, Thali offers Indian tapas in Tomlin’s signature tapas-for-two style. There are both vegetarian and vegan menus and you can expect dishes like dahl and tempura veggies with tamarind and ginger dipping sauce. Go hungry because the portions are generous!
Honest Chocolate Café
While chocolate and desserts are often oozing with dairy, this one caters for vegans. At the café, you’ll find a large number of vegan treats, including dairy-free ice cream, dairy-free milkshakes and of course, alternative milks for your Americano or latte. Their specialities are dairy-free milkshakes, our trademark ‘coconut dream’ drink, and the banana bread bunny chow. Vegan bliss on a plate. Yum.
Vegan Restaurants in Joburg
If you’re a sucker for Mexican food (like many WH team members) and in Joburg, then Perron is the place for you. The menu features tapas dishes as well as the usual suspects, including salads, burritos and nibbles (hi, nachos and guac!). They do meat and fish dishes, as well as vegetarian and a few vegan ones too, including the Bandera (pickled baby carrot and broccoli salad with radish, pistachios, avo, crispy shallots, spring onions, greens and agave-nectar dressing) and the Bowl of Beans (black beans with spicy aubergine, coriander, cauliflower rice, pumpkin seeds, fresh avo and fire-roasted tomato salsa). Word to the wise, if you like margaritas and beer, get The Rita (a bottle of Corona perched in a goblet of frozen margarita – it works and it’s delicious).
Not a restaurant, we still thought this ought to be on the list, since there are few vegan meal delivery places around. BeetFresh aims to make vegan food as inclusive and fun as possible for everyone – even the sceptics. Each meal is made to order and is delivered to your door. Think: kale and butternut salad bowls, breakfast burritos and tofu scrambles, taking the thinking out of your everyday meal needs.
The Fussy Vegan
If you’re looking for the plant-based version of your favourite meal, this is the way to go. They’ve also been voted best vegan restaurant in Joburg for two years running. Meals to try include their Tofu Facon Sub, Seitan Strib BGR, Breakfast Burrito and Tofu Buddha Bowl.
This expansive menu includes a host of vegan burgers to satisfy almost any craving. The burger patties are made from veg – not faux meat – so you’ll get all those nutrients that you need to keep going, while feeding your desire for a good, chunky burger.
The Green Room
The Green Room is a family-style restaurant situated at the Pirates Sports Club in Greenside, Johannesburg. On the menu, you’ll find a variety of vegan meals, spanning sandwiches, spring rolls, pizza and more.
Fresh Earth Café
This expansive menu has everything your heart desires. Choose from Thai stir-fries, wraps, sandwiches and freshly squeezed veggie juice for that health kick. They’ve also got a food store selling staple goodies for when you’re inspired from your culinary experience and want to recreate some meals.