There's a quiet revolution happening in restaurants across South Africa it seems. For years vegetarians have had to choose from sad and boring options on menus, making this lifestyle choice pretty unpalatable. But with the health benefits of eating plant-based foods (in short that means nothing with meat, dairy or eggs in it) being spread by ethical organisations like Green Monday, and raved about by celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow, more people are being turned on to the idea. And that includes restaurant owners. We hunted down the tastiest haunts in SA to get your dose of delicious plant-based nosh:
Founded by vegan Buddhists, this is a great lunchtime option. There’s plenty to choose from on their lunch menu, including veggie burgers, gluten-free wraps and a salad of the day Dinner? Think vegan bunny chows and even vegan desserts.
The Fresh Earth Café only uses natural and organic ingredients, naturally. Matthew, the proprietor and manager, strives to create the best quality meals from scratch because he knows that food in its purest form – untainted by artificial additives, sweeteners, colourants and preservatives – is the best tasting and most nutritious food available. You can enjoy a selection of foods from the ‘Table of Abundance’, a vegetarian and vegan buffet, or order something wholesome from the full a la carte menu.
Nu Health food is a popular franchise that serves up the freshest global trends using the finest local produce. They source their free-range chicken from a farm in Elgin, their hand-roasted coffee by people committed to fair trade and sustainability, and their wood-fired bread is sourced from local artisans. As a franchise determined to source the freshest local ingredients, they have managed to gain a fiercely loyal following.
This quaint café pride itself on maximum nutrition and minimum environmental impact, sourcing their food from various local producers certified for their organic, free-range and all natural products. It is places like this that makes you realise that you don’t have to be a raging hippy to eat fresh from the ground; you can be anyone, as long as you care.
From its humble beginnings in the Bo Kaap, to a gourmet vegan restaurant in the CBD, Plant offers delicious vegan food, helping you make more compassionate choices without sacrificing taste. Plant's objective is to supply clean, healthy nutrition optimised for today’s fast-paced life style. Something that can really be commended about Plant is that they are not just there for the food, but also for education; teaching people about the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle as a part of an ongoing project to make this world a little better, a little kinder. Plus, a percentage of their profit is donated to human-based or animal-based charities.
Sexy Food is “where ancient methods meet modern minds”: where herbivore and carnivore meet for lunch, where businessman and hippy sit down over some food, where eco-awareness is an integral part of what foods you eat. And they make a good point: If you don't recognise the ingredients, or feel good about the way it was prepared, neither will your tummy or metabolism. This is gut intuition taken to its most logical conclusion - don’t eat what you know isn’t good, for you, for other animals, for the environment and for the world. They also encourage you to have a conversation with your body, to listen to what it takes to and what it wants to throw out and never see again. They claim that being best friends with your body is the key to being a part of the sexy lifestyle. Sexy Food is bringing sexy back, the healthy, eco-conscious way.