Meat-Free Eats in Cape Town Gardens District
South Africans have a reputation as braai-loving carnivores, but here in Cape Town we know how to cook tasty dishes that appeal to every diet.
There is no better place to discover our rich cultural culinary diversity than the Gardens area of Cape Town. After all, it is named for The Company Gardens, where the 17th century Dutch settlers found good ground for growing veggies and fruits.
Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or a lingering evening of fine dining, there are dozens of outlets that offer seafood, vegetarian and vegan options.
Here are five of our favorites, all a short walk from Welgelegen Boutique Guest House.
- Open again after their short winter break, Nourish’d Café and Juicery is a great little venue for vegan lunches. It has a mind-bending selection of juices and smoothies and imaginative bowls and any-time snacks.
- 177 Kloof Street – 9 minutes on foot from Welgelegen Boutique Guest House.
- Open Monday to Thursday 7am – 5pm, Friday 7am – 4pm, Saturday 8am – 2pm, Sunday 9am – 12pm.
- Try a Moonshine Bowl for lunch, packed with goodness including avocado, falafel, turmeric hummus, kimchi, spiral carrots and zucchini, rocket, kale, micro greens, raw almonds, and mixed seeds.
2. Just around the corner from Nourish’d, Liquorice and Lime has more of a classic café menu with both meat and meat-free options, so there’s something for all tastes.
- 162 Kloof Street – 9 minutes on foot from Welgelegen Boutique Guest House
- Open daily from 7am-5pm on weekdays and to 4pm on weekends.
- Try the veggie sandwich, choosing from a range of breads and ciabattas, and filled with a choice of humus, cottage cheese, sprouts, carrot, cucumber, lettuce, tomato and sunflower seeds.
3. Down the hill and closer to Welgelegen, Café Paradiso serves Mediterranean cuisine in a corner garden with views of Table Mountain. The menu includes a good selection of vegetarian options, and there’s a tempting range of cocktails and wines.
- 110 Kloof Street – 3 minutes on foot from Welgelegen Boutique Guest House.
- Open Monday to Saturday 8am-10pm and Sunday 9am-10pm.
- Try the Paradiso pizza topped with pancetta, avocado and feta.
4. The Black Sheep is our tip-top favorite dining spot and not just because it’s at the end of our street. It has a really interesting menu that caters for a diversity of diets, and alongside meaty items there’s always a choice of seasonal fish dishes. The vegetarian options are not token additions, but so delicious that even the most hardcore carnivore will be tempted. Vegans can try white mielie and bambara nut loaf with roast vegetables, chakalaka, and amasi dressing. There are gluten-free options on the menu too.
- 104 Kloof Street – 2 minutes on foot from Welgelegen Boutique Guest House.
- Open Monday from 6.30pm, Tuesday – Saturday open for lunch and dinner.
- Try the lentil coconut curry with roasted butternut, sweet potato and grilled halloumi.
5. Indian vegetarian cuisine is famous and Thali Tapas is a good choice not far from the guest house, a little down Kloof street, behind Woolworths. As the name suggests, the food is served thali-style, with lots of small dishes to share. There are meat, seafood and vegetarian options.
- 3 Park Road – 10 minutes on foot from Welgelegen Boutique Guest House
- Open for lunch Tues-Sat 12-2.30pm and for dinner Mon-Sat 5-9.30pm.
- Try the fried fish tacos with coconut, coriander and lime dressing
Apart from these favorites, there are plenty of other great places to find fish, vegan and vegetation options close to Welgelegen Boutique Guest House. For a quick take-away try a Gatsby – a Cape Town long sandwich – from Lekker Vegan at 105 Kloof Street.
As you continue towards the city, Kloof Street joins Long Street about 20 minutes from Welgelegen, and the city has even more options. Orchard on Long is full of delicious fresh fruit goodies and a little further the popular Ethiopian restaurant Addis in Cape has opened a new vegan-only outlet in the same building.
Author: Hlengiwe Magagula
Image 1: Nourish’d Café and Juicery / Inside Guide
Image 2: Liquorice and Lime
Image 3: Café Paradiso
Image 4: Black Sheep
Image 5: Thali
Image 6: Lekker Vegan