Being vegan in Cape Town.
You might think South Africa is the land of braai and boerewors or as the rest of the world would say BBQ and sausage. The fact is that most of the country still isn’t very vegan friendly. Things are thankfully changing and Cape Town is right there leading the pack.
Here are some things to know as a vegan ( or vegetarian ) when coming to Cape Town.
There are plenty of grocery stores with huge vegan selections:
Go into any grocery store and you will most definitely find a whole lot of vegan options. There are a few though that have large selections of specialised products like, mock cheese and meat, yogurt, cakes and more. The prices are not bad at all either especially considering these products are either imported or produced by smaller companies.
I do love that it’s getting way more accessible now and people don’t return your questions like “Where can I find the plant based milk” with blank stares!
My two favorite places to find the best vegan goodies is SPAR in Sea point and Checkers in Kloof street. Even shops like Woolworths have vegan mixed in with the regular food. If you have trouble locating the vegan items just ask! For example their vegan yogurt sits right next to the diary version so you might miss it at first glance.
Vegan Restaurants are plentiful and really good:
Veganism has grown substantially in Cape Town over the last year or so. This has meant an influx of some pretty epic places to eat! Cape Town is already known for its great food so you don’t need to be worried about the vegan options.
Here are a few great must visit vegan friendly restaurants in Cape Town
- Lekker Vegan – Vegan Junk Food
- Raw and Roxy – Beautiful raw vegan food options ( yummy to eat and definitely instagramable! )
- Plant – So many interesting vegan options
- Scheckters Raw – Fresh healthy and delish with loads of raw options
- Jessy’s Waffles – Getting your vegan waffle fix with savoury and sweet options
Other restaurants will make a plan:
If you don’t want to go to a vegan restaurant most other places will definitely make a plan to either “veganize” a dish or tell you which options are available. I am not saying all restaurants so remember to phone ahead if you aren’t sure! Most places I have been to though have been willing to swap out meat for veg free of charge.
Not everyone will understand the vegan bit and they might think you are vegetarian. Be specific about not eating eggs or dairy as those usually seem to sneak into dishes quite easily.
Indian restaurants are also great for vegan options and there are quite a few great ones around Cape Town!
Don’t dismiss traditional meat restaurants:
I have been surprised by a few restaurants that just scream non-vegan that actually have pretty good options on their menu’s. Steers for example is a fast food restaurant ( if you don’t know its similar to Burger King ) and it has a very yummy vegan burger, just remember to ask for no cheese.
Other burger and pizza restaurants also have vegan options on their menu’s even though it’s not marketed as a vegan or vegan friendly restaurant.