a colorful vegan rice bowl with tempura cauliflower and fresh pickled ginger next to a light green mug on a picnic table at wild eatery in cape town

Must Visit Spots for Vegan Food in Cape Town

I’ll level with you; I didn’t have high hopes for the vegan scene in Cape Town. I feared that it would be endless Biltong and meat skewers at every corner. I actually packed a mountain’s worth of protein bars and snacks to get me through, but it wasn’t entirely necessary!

The food scene, specifically the vegan scene, is as diverse and culturally rich as the city itself. I was incredibly pleased and surprised to find a small chain of vegan cafes, a vegan butcher, vegan high tea, and much more! And I was even further surprised when I realized there was more vegan food in Cape Town than I could possibly eat in one visit — how’s that for a problem to have?

Although there is a lot of meatiness throughout the city (and the country), a shift is taking place. Maybe people are realizing that living off dried meat sticks isn’t the best idea after all. Whatever it is, I’m here for it.

These fabulous spots are spread out all over the city, but have no fear; Uber is plentiful (and very affordable), so don’t hold back on planning a mega vegan food tour — you won’t be disappointed!

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Where to Find Vegan Food in Cape Town

#1 Scheckters Raw

Locations in Sea Point and Cape Quarter
With one look at this spot’s menu, I knew I’d be skipping the hotel breakfast! The warm and welcoming café is draped in green from the seats to the ceiling (their Cape Quarter location is at least). The concept is meant to bring you the most nutrient-dense, plant-based eats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I had a heck of a time deciding if I would kick off my day with a stack of spiced pumpkin pancakes or a warming bowl of Kitchari, and of course, I can’t skip a green smoothie! I decided on the Kitchari as it’s not something you (well, I don’t anyway) find on a breakfast menu often (or ever) — it was perfectly spiced and gave me a little boost to try and beat jet lag.

No worries if you’re not up in time for breakfast; they’ll have house-made burgers, chick’n wraps, falafel, and more waiting for you.

a dessert case with rows of vegan donuts, cookies, and muffins at Scheckters Raw  in cape town

#2 Okja

Locations in Camps Bay & on Kloof Street
It’s possible that you might find this brand’s plant milks on grocery store shelves even before realizing that they have a chain of vegan cafes throughout Cape Town. These vegan-by-stealth cafes attract your attention with their hip and bright ecstatic and then seals the deal once you set your eyes on their perfectly golden pastries. Unless you’re an eagle eye, vegan sleuther, you’d have no idea everything is VEGAN!

You’ll find a gorgeous lineup of light and flaky pastries, chewy cookies, sweet bread, and much more in their dessert case. These all pair perfectly with a latte (of course, with their signature milk). And if you’re gluten-free, you don’t have to miss out on this one. They have a delicious flourless chocolate peanut butter cookie waiting for you.

One last cute note about this spot. The name might sound familiar, and that’s because it’s named after the Korean film called Okja on Netflix. It’s about a little girl who befriends a massive genetically modified pig (or what resembles a pig), and she sets off on a mission to save its life. I loved this spot even more after realizing that!

a dessert and pastry case filled with rows of golden vegan pastries all in a row at  okja in cape town

#3 The Conscious Kitchen

34 Kloof St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
I’m in love with absolutely everything about this boho chic vegan café — the plush pink seating, soft wicker lighting, and most importantly, the colorful plant-forward menu! Before we get to the menu, aside from the ambiance, the next thing you’re immediately greeted with when you wander in here is their massive selection of house-made raw desserts. These sweet treats are saddled up next to their choice of house-made fresh pressed juices and health shots — I joked that maybe everything I need for lunch is in that case!

Once you’ve gotten past the sweets and made a mental note to save room for them, you’ll be delighted with their creative menu. From flavorful chick’n shawarma to vibrant veggie bowls, you’ll have a challenging time deciding what in the world you’ll get. I think the server had to come back three times before I finally made up my mind! 

#4 Ditto Ice Cream & Waffles

119 Kloof St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
This is another hip and eye-catching café that’s operating in vegan stealth mode! I actually didn’t find them in my own research; a local friend who runs vegan Cape Town tours brought me here (it’s always good to ask the locals for food suggestions)! Everything from the golden waffles to their scoops of creamy ice cream is entirely vegan. I am sad to say that I stopped here after stuffing a few cookies in my face from Okja and lunch at Conscious Kitchen, so I didn’t have room to mow down one of their awesome waffle and ice cream combos, but I did have enough room for one scoop!

But before I get to the ice cream, I think you really shouldn’t skip their waffle and ice cream treats; the flavor combos are amazing — apple pie chai, peanut butter bomb, cookies and creamy, and more! If that’s too much for you, don’t worry — their ice cream is ultra-creamy and delicious on its own. You’ll find yummy flavors like gingery snap, cheerful cherry, choccy orange, the minty way, and more.

#5 The Sunshine Food Sprouting Co.

2 M61, Three Anchor Bay, Cape Town, 8005, South Africa
On a dark winter evening, this café is a ray of vegan sunshine in more ways than one. We often think of powerful things as being large, but that’s far from the case here. They’ve harnessed the superfood power of microgreens in every dish for a super nutrition (and even flavor) boost! The tiny but powerful theme doesn’t end with the sprouts — the menu isn’t giant, nor is the place, but what it lacks in size, it definitely makes up for in flavor and creativity!

I’d even be willing to say that you might feel a bit of a pep in your step once you leave! Don’t skip their giant house-made veggie burger covered in a mountain of sprouts with a tangy lemon dressing, and no order is complete without one of their signature antioxidant-filled smoothies.

a vegan burger topped with a mound of fresh micro greens and sprouts next to a green smoothie at Sunshine Food Sprouting in cape town

#6 Wild Eatery

Locations in District Six & Somerset West
I love it when people take unexpected places that are generally considered unsafe and turn them into bright and welcoming spaces for people to gather. That’s exactly where you’ll find this fantastic vegan food truck. At first, the colorful murals and cozy seating will catch your attention—not something you’d usually find in an alleyway, and this fabulous spot is at the very end.

The plant-forward menu is a flavorful mix of wraps and bowls that are as delicious as they are beautiful. This was actually one of my favorite stops in Cape Town. I wasn’t really expecting much from a food truck in an alleyway, and they knocked my socks off with their creative and fresh flavors. It’s evident that everything is made with an abundance of care, and your taste buds are in for a fabulous mix of sweet, spicy, and tangy!

#7 Nourish’d Café & Juicery

Locations on Kloof Street, Observatory, & in Greenpoint
Whether you’re looking for a superfood-packed acai bowl or a sweet treat, you can find it (and more) at this relaxed café and juicery. There are multiple locations throughout Cape Town, and each one might have a slightly different menu. I visited the one in Green Point, which is connected to a unique co-working and hotel space — it offers a great spot to sit and relax or get a little work done if needed.

If you’re a smoothie aficionado, you’ll definitely not want to miss this spot. It has one of the lengthiest smoothie and juice lineups I’ve seen! No matter what you’re in the mood for, I bet you’ll find it. On top of that, they also have a great lunch menu with sandwiches, bowls, and treats. I give two thumbs way up to their raw Snickers bar!

Additional Spot for Vegan Food to Check Out in Cape Town

As I mentioned in the beginning, I found more spots for vegan food than I could eat while in Cape Town. Here are a few other places that were on my list that you should try and check out.

Vegan-Friendly Markets & Shops in Cape Town

Don’t miss these two markets if you want to pick up snacks, meal ingredients, or check out product selections!

Nude Foods

5 Constitution St, District Six, Cape Town, 7925, South Africa
This zero-waste, natural food shop is fantastic! After visiting Wild Eatery, you can pop in here because they are neighbors (perfect planning, right?). You’ll find an awesome lineup of products, from health and beauty products to pet supplies. They also have a small café with smoothies, coffee, and raw desserts.

Woolworths

Multiple locations throughout Cape Town
For my American friends, Woolworths is like if Whole Foods and Target had a baby, and for my UK/European friends, it’s just like Mark’s and Spencer’s. If you’re unfamiliar with any of those stores, then you’re in for a treat! This high-end market has all sorts of great things to check out. Some have clothing, housewares, and food, while others just have food. On the vegan side, you’ll find prepared salads and meals — everything I tried was tasty! Each store I visited also had a small section of alternative products like burgers, chick’n, and more.

Spots for Vegan High Tea in Cape Town

You probably didn’t even consider booking a high tea experience, or if it did cross your mind, you probably didn’t think there was a vegan option! Think again!

Mount Nelson

This is one of Cape Town’s most iconic hotels; its “Pink Lady” exterior can’t be missed! In addition to being a head-turner, Mount Nelson is well known for its elegant afternoon tea service, including a full vegan menu. You’ll get to sample some of South Africa’s indigenous tea, like rooibos and honeybush, while munching on mini sandwiches and pastries. The afternoon tea service is on Wednesdays through Sundays from 12 PM to 3 PM, and the vegan menu needs to be reserved in advance.

Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

If you’re planning a scenic drive along the peninsula, you need to pencil in a stop at Camps Bay for breathtaking views and a delicious vegan tea service here! The talented pastry chefs at the Twelve Apostles have created a fantastic tea time that includes decadent vegan cakes, coconut panna cotta, mini sandwiches, and much more. The tea service is available Monday – Friday at 10 AM, 12: 30 PM, and 3 PM, and you must make a reservation (and request the vegan menu) at least 24 hours in advance.