Looking for a vegan-friendly holiday? You might not have thought of South Africa – where steak, fish and sausage are some of the nation’s favoured foods. However, if you’ve always been interested in going on a safari, wandering through hidden jungles or simply exploring the local culture, you can. It may seem intimidating at first, but depending on where you stay it can be a breeze. Cape Town in particular is home to quite a lot of vegan and vegetarian friendly places, meaning should you choose to stay in a Cape Town villa, hostel or hotel you’ll have plenty of choice.
Some top picks include:
This is a great choice for those of you who like food as fresh as it comes. A modern little bistro that’s not entirely vegan, but does has great vegan/vegetarian choices as well as gluten and lactose intolerance ones too. All the meals are prepared on the spot, and they source them ingredients from the local area (many of their sources being organic farms). There’s also a shop so you can stock up with food to take back to your Cape Town villa! This’ll come in especially handy for those of you planning on taking a trek away from the city, since it’s much harder to find vegan food when you’re out exploring.
Organic at Heart
If you fancy something a bit more old-world, Organic at Heart can be found in a historical Cape Dutch building. It’s a beautiful setting, and one that you simply must experience if you want to get an authentic Cape Town holiday. Again, it’s not entirely vegan – but it caters to a whole range of preferences, from those with intolerance to raw-food fans. They grow their own vegetables on site, and you can also buy them from their shop. Well worth a look!
Let’s face it, the name should give this away – it’s got an entirely plant-based menu. Their goal is to be sustainable and they make much of their food on site – including dairy-free cheese! In addition, a percentage of profits go to charities, so this is a great way to stay vegan, enjoy some amazing food and give a little bit back! If you’ve been dying to persuade your non-vegan friends that veganism is worthwhile and doesn’t limit you, here’s the place to begin.
The Sophea Gallery and Tibetan Teahouse
Fancy a bit of culture or nature-watching during your meals? Then this is the place for you. This is home to a traditional Tibetan menu, which isn’t entirely vegan but has plenty of options, so it’s perfect if you’re staying with non-vegans too. It’s also in the perfect spot to get some whale-watching done. Of course, you could head out on a boat but that’d involve leaving dry land – so why risk it when you can sit in gorgeous surroundings, with delightful food?
If you want to head out of the city, you might also want to try…
Slow Life is owned by Paul Kahanovitz, known for his animal rights activism. With gorgeous beach views, it’s a meat-free restaurant with an emphasis on taking it slowly. For those interested, it runs free meditation sessions and also sells eco-friendly products. While it might be a bit of a trek out, it’s worth heading to at least once. If nothing else, it’ll give you an experience you’d struggle to find else were – and again, it’s a great starting place for those of you on holiday with non-vegan friends.
Depending on your plans, you may well have to source food yourself – especially if you’re planning on heading out on adventure tours! This can be tricky, but don’t worry – the Vegan Society has a list of food that’s vegan and available in South Africa.
In general, we recommend bringing over a decent amount of snacks with you on your travels – nuts, seeds, etc – so that you know you’ve got a back-up plan if you end up a bit stuck. However, South Africa is getting more and more vegan options as time goes on so it shouldn’t be too tricky. In particular, if you’re staying in a Cape Town villa you’ll be able to make use both of the local restaurants and self-cater where you need to.