The Ultimate Guide to Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in South Africa

Vegan and vegetarian eating is on the rise in South Africa, and residents—especially Capetonians—seem intent on making kinder and healthier food choices. With the ever-growing demand for vegetarian and vegan food, many restaurants have become more accommodating or even completely vegan. Here’s a delightful list of wholly vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants and cafés to visit in the nation’s most popular cities:

Cape Town | Johannesburg | Durban
Restaurant chains

Cape Town

Plant

100 percent vegan

Delicious,light and oh so tasty… Thai veg rice paper rolls #plantstrong #lunch #vegan #capetown #eatout #DeliciouslyConscious #food

A photo posted by Plant (@plantcafe) on

Plant is a tasty, healthy, and nutritious vegan restaurant that opened in Cape Town CBD in 2013. See the website, which will tempt you to visit in no time.

Recommended: nachos, burgers, hot chocolate, sweets, and cakes

Raw and Roxy

100 percent raw vegan

Raw vegan sandwiches made with dehydrated beetroot sunflower-flax-chia seed bread, raw beobab mayonaise, sundried tomatoes, avo, sprouts, lettuce, cucumber and red onion. #rawandroxy #rawvegansandwich#rawlunch #cape-town#glutenfree#dairyfree

A photo posted by Beatrice Holst (@rawandroxy) on

This gorgeous hidden café, located at 300 Albert Rd., Woodstock, offers a delightful and healthy raw-vegan food experience. Visitors leave feeling guilt-free and light. Raw and Roxy also offers exciting raw food “un-cooking” classes. Visit its website to learn more about its food and moving vision.

Recommended: juices, detox boxes, and rice paper rolls

Sexy Food

vegetarian and vegan-friendly

Playing around with a crisp and savory dosa wrap 🌈 Made from sprouting and then fermenting rice and lentils 💪🏾 She’s the one I’ve been dreaming of 💃🏽 Holds tight 💋 Deep textured digestive bliss ✨ Cheers to how wonderful life is now that you’re in the world 🎉

A photo posted by SEXY FOOD (@sexyfoodsa) on


Sexy Food is a health café inspired by James Kuiper’s amazing life journey. Its mission is to make people more aware of the environment and of what they’re putting into their bodies as well as to help them make healthier food choices while leading a busy urban lifestyle. The restaurant is located in the beautiful surrounds of 190 Bree St., Gardens. While Sexy Food is not a completely vegan café, it does offer many vegan-friendly dishes as well as vegan substitutes.

Recommended: hummus, wraps, juices, and veggie burgers

SpiritCafe

vegetarian and vegan-friendly

Vegan carrot patch carrot cake! Gluten free and free from refined sugar! @lilalu_reddy

A photo posted by SpiritCafe (@spiritcafeza) on

SpiritCafe is a cozy, friendly, and spiritual café in Constantia Village offering only vegetarian and vegan foods that are quick, healthy, and available for takeout.

Recommended: chili hot chocolate and berry cheesecake

vegetarian and vegan-friendly

The delicious Restorer Salad with Edamame Beans for protein, antioxidants & vitamin C and are pretty high in iron. Image by @myhealthyalternative

A photo posted by nü (@nuhealthfood) on

This chain health-food café in Cape Town stands for health and wellness. It offers nutritious, fresh global food options in a friendly, comfortable environment. To find a location, check the chain’s website.

Recommended: fruit smoothies, breakfast bowl, salads, and soups

Wellness Cafe

vegetarian and vegan-friendly

Spring is finally upon us, yay! Come visit our Kloof cafe and try our new Lentil & Wakame Bowl! Did you know that wakame is filled with nutrients and houses an array of health benefits? #health #healthy #wellness #yum #food #foodphotography #love #happy #capetown #glutenfree

A photo posted by Wellness Warehouse (@wellnesswarehouse) on

Comfy, casual Wellness Café serves healthy food to people on the move. It specializes in raw, vegan, superfood, and carb-conscious options, including smoothies. The café has locations on Kloof Street and on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.

Recommended: smoothies, quinoa breakfast, and salads

Scheckter’s RAW

vegetarian and vegan-friendly

Our food looks as good as it tastes! Raw zucchini pasta #gourmethealthfood #madewithlove❤️

A photo posted by Scheckter’s RAW Health Food (@schecktersraw) on

This popular up-and-coming café, situated in Sea Point, offers deliciously prepared and beautifully presented gourmet health-food options in its loving, caring environment as well as a relaxing atmosphere for visitors to enjoy.

Recommended: juices, matcha flapjacks, wraps, and smoothies

The Hungry Herbivore

100 percent vegan

Waffles and cake all #refinedsugarfree come visit we know the weather is gloomy but we aren’t 😉 Thank you @maritsa_on_v for the awesome pic 💜 #vegan #capetown #vegansa #veganfoodshare

A photo posted by The Hungry Herbivore (@the_hungry_herbivore) on

This friendly vegan eatery, at 11 Orphan St., provides customers with delicious, plant-based comfort foods as well as snacks that are rich in nutrients and free from preservatives.

Recommended: raw pizza, ice-cream sandwich, and other desserts

Looking for more vegan-friendly restaurants in Cape Town? Check out these eateries: Zucchini’s, 61 + ate, Nooka, Inside & You’re Out (best vegan burger), Kind Cafe and Deli, Maria’s, Maharajah Vegetarian, and Sababa Kitchen and Deli.


Johannesburg

Conscious 108

100 percent vegan

Sugar free and gluten free carrot cake @conscious_108 YumYummmmy #eatright #liveright #veganbaking #vegantreats

A photo posted by @conscious_108 on

Conscious 108, in Greenside, was founded by three vegan Buddhists, who cater for a large number of people. They offer plant-based versions of “regular” foods to show people that they don’t have to forgo familiar options in order to go vegan. The concept for this restaurant derives from a philosophy of kindness.

Recommended: Chickpea Bunny Chow, peanut butter chocolate cake, and crunchy tofu wrap

The Greenside Café

vegetarian and vegan-friendly

💕🌿 VEGAN YUMS 🌿💕

A photo posted by Boitumelo Thulo (@boity) on

All the food at this vegan haven is made with love, integrity, mindfulness, and respect for all living beings and the planet. The café actively encourages the community to go vegan and green and also tries to educate people about the planet as well as the importance of making kind, humane choices.

Recommended: burgers, juices, salads, and desserts

Leafy Greens Café

vegetarian and vegan-friendly

Our beautiful #winter salad will be on the buffet in the month of July. The recipe will also appear shortly on #antonias show on @peoplesweather #Dstv channel 180, so watch out for that! It’s loaded with the goodness of #quinoa, #fennel, #cranberries, #pecans, #radish and more! #Antoniasfoodblog #wellnessambassador 💪🏻#healthysalad #healthylife #eatclean #quinoasalad 💚

A photo posted by Leafy Greens Cafe & Shop (@leafygreenscafe) on


This restaurant prides itself on making a difference. It’s located on a heavenly and relaxing organic farm in Muldersdrift and provides visitors with a holistic plant-based dining experience. A bonus is that the café is pet-friendly, so you can take your animal companions along with you!

Recommended: juices, cakes, sushi wraps, and kale crisps

Elemental Café

vegetarian and vegan-friendly

Our Grown up platter. Veggie sticks and hummus!!! #vegetarian #veganlife #vegansofig #cafe #johannesburg #jozi #newrestaurant #linden #jozivegan #superfood #hummus #veggies #veggie

A photo posted by Elemental Cafe (@elementalcafe) on

This new Johannesburg restaurant serves delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes. Visitors can enjoy their food in a beautiful, serene, and spacious garden setting in Linden. It’s a great place for the whole family to visit.

Recommended: soups, breakfasts, soy-free burgers, wraps, and salads


Durban

Chilliplum

100 percent vegan

Tofu cutlets marinated in bbq & chilli, grilled & served piping hot! #yumyumchilliplum #vegan #veganfoodshare #poweredbyplants

A photo posted by chilliplum (@chilliplum_restaurant) on

This restaurant, deli, and bakery offers all-vegan food that is whole, organic, and unprocessed. The owners believe that plant-based cuisine represents the future of food. Find Chilliplum in the Richdens Village Shopping Centre in Hillcrest.

Recommended: chocolate-and-coconut cake, butternut-and-cinnamon bonbons, sweet-potato chips, mango-and-coconut bombs, and the mushroom burger

Conscious Café at The Castle

vegetarian and vegan-friendly

Sometimes, this is what self-care looks like. #vegan #vegansofig #eatyourfukinggreens

A photo posted by 🌿Reené Otto🌿 (@reeneotto) on

This café proudly offers pure vegetarian health food as well as tips and advice about making conscious, happy, and healthy lifestyle choices. It also has a unique and beautiful setting in a “castle” situated in Hillcrest, where visitors can sit on the porch or under the trees. Conscious Café is one of the few restaurants that offer great vegan and vegan-friendly meals in Durban.

Recommended: wraps, salads, and nondairy hot beverages

Earthmother Organic

vegetarian and vegan-friendly

#vegan lunch#falafal#delicios

A photo posted by @earthmothercafe on


This organic café and supermarket specializes in organic and natural vegetarian and vegan foods. It has a natural, outdoorsy atmosphere and offers delicious, healthy meals. The almond milk is freshly prepared each day.

Recommended: tofu, almond milk, and freshly prepared specials

Falafel Fundi

vegetarian and vegan-friendly

My lunch! I am so glad there is now a place you can get this awesome food any day of the week! #comfortfood #goodfood #falafelfundi #durban

A photo posted by Kirstin Joy Dedekind (@kirstinjoy) on

Falafel lovers need look no further! Falafel Fundi makes outstanding fresh, homemade, and authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. You can request vegan preparation of meals. The restaurant is situated in Morningside.

Recommended: falafel (of course), chickpea curry, spicy curry dishes, and hummus

It’s All Good Café

vegetarian and vegan-friendly

Sweet Potato Noodles back on the Specials Board this week. #local #seasonal #organic #plantbased #vegan #delicious

A photo posted by Its All Good (@itsallgoodorganiccafe) on

This establishment offers a quiet, friendly, relaxed, and unpretentious atmosphere. It serves organic, vegetarian, and vegan whole foods, with gluten-, dairy-, and sugar-free options. Visit this café and grocer on Mackeurtan Drive, Durban North, La Lucia.

Recommended: falafel salad, sweet treats, and beetroot soup


Also, keep these vegetarian and vegan-friendly chain restaurants you can find throughout South Africa in mind:

  • Tashas: This stylish and popular franchise offers a variety of healthy vegetarian dishes, and vegan substitutions are available.
  • Kauai: You can find a wide selection of vegan salads, wraps, sandwiches, and smoothies here.
  • Col’Cacchio: This nationwide Italian restaurant chain offers wheat-, yeast-, sugar-, dairy-, and gluten-free options.
  • Osumo: This chain keeps its food simple, fresh, wholesome, and tasty to promote clean, healthy eating.

Written by PETA Asia intern Kristen Fay