A Vegan Guide to Cape Town by Garth Tavares

18 Jun 2021

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Cape town guide by Garth

What good is a guide to a city if it doesn’t come from the locals themselves? In abillion’s city guide series, we speak to abillion members, asking for their recommendations to their hometowns. This month’s guide comes to us from Cape Town resident Garth Tavares, abillion member, LGBTQ+ activist, musical theatre director and the blogger also known as Cape Town Vegan.

Tavares was born in Cape Town, raised in Port Elizabeth, and moved back to Cape Town in 2010. Tavares admits he was one of those guys that mocked vegans for years until something changed within him. “It was an overnight decision to make better decisions for me, the planet and the animal kingdom. It was clear that veganism chose me almost six years ago. I instantly gave up red meat, then chicken, fish, dairy and finally eggs. A choice I do not regret for a second,” says Tavares.

Must-try vegan restaurants

Grumpy and Runt

This female-owned deli makes small batches of hand-rolled doughnuts, New York-style sandwiches, and bagels. They make everything in-house, including their butter, cheese, vegan deli meats and even their mayonnaise.

Biscoff by vegan street food Photo by @capetownvegan of Biscoff Cheesecake from Vegan Streetfood.

Vegan Streetfood

Vegan Streetfood was started in 2018 to provide tasty, healthy and nutritious plant-based, fast-food alternatives for the vegan community. “Located in the quirky suburb of Observatory, Vegan Streetfood makes the best pizzas in Cape Town,” says Tavares.

The Sunshine Food Co.

Sunshine Food makes 100% organic, plant-based food from their tiny store right by the sea in Three Anchor Bay. This grab-and-go kind of restaurant also offers some of the most amazing vegan burgers in town.

Cape town map

Active Sushi on Bree

Active Sushi on Bree has an impressive vegan sushi menu that will fool even the biggest of skeptics. There are 26 vegan sushi options available on their menu, including Sweet and Spicy, Mushroom Bomb, Tofu Burrito, Toranj Vegan, and Crunchy Tomato Roll.

Prashad Cafe

Prashad Cafe offers mouth-watering Indian vegan and vegetarian dishes. Capetonians have three locations to choose from, located in Rondebosch, Constantia as well as Kloof Street. They have an extensive vegan menu of curries, biryanis, dhals, and desserts that are sure to please even the most discerning of foodies.

Hudons burger Photo by @capetownvegan of The Frontline Worker Burger by Hudsons The Burger Joint

Hudsons The Burger Joint.

Hudsons Burgers is an American-inspired diner chain with a contemporary twist. They offer a wide choice of vegan burgers, salads, and pizzas. They have 10 vegan main dishes—their latest addition to this is the Frontline Worker burger, a combo of cajun vegan chicken-style fillet strips, topped with mustard mayo, lettuce, tomato, and homemade pickles.

Vegan Desserts

Dolce cake Photo by @capetownvegan of Chocolate Cupcake from Dolcé Bakery.

Dolcé Bakery

Although not strictly vegan, Dolcé Bakery in Observatory offers one of the broadest selections of vegan-friendly treats in Cape Town. Just ask for their dedicated vegan menu. Signature treats include ‘Sweet Potato and Pecan Pie,’ ‘Vegan and Gluten-free Cheesecake’ and ‘Egg-free Chocolate, Carrot and Orange Cupcakes.’

Kristen's Kick-Ass Ice Cream

Kristen’s, which has four locations in Cape Town, is one of the city’s favorite ice cream shops. Owner Kristen Batzer recognized the potential for vegan ice cream and offers multiple flavors. It has been such a success that, today, 30% of her sales come from vegan ice cream. You'll also find vegan waffles at Kristen's that Tavares agrees are indeed “kick-ass”.


While Unframed is not a vegan exclusive ice cream parlor, they have some of the best vegan ice creams in the town. They specialize in creative ice cream combinations like Turmeric Latte, Beetroot Chocolate Ginger, Spicy Mango, and Vegan Matcha Tea.

Vegan Grocery Shopping

Tavares tends to buy bulk grains, legumes from Komati Foods as they are the most affordable. But to get zero waste goodies I go to Shop Zero as they aim to replace single-use plastic packaging with reusable containers," he adds. Located in Woodstock, the store is vegan and vegetarian owned and operated, striving to reduce its carbon footprint. You can buy fresh produce as well as hemp tote bags to carry your purchases.

Garth Garth Tavares

Local plant-based food brands that are worth checking out

Tavares highly recommends Urban Vegan SA, which makes a range of artisanal foodstuffs that include South African "boerewors" (sausage) and some Korean BBQ ribs. "On The Green Side makes the best vegan protein-rich chicken substitute, and for something sweeter, I'd suggest the Cheeky Co’s Orbs - chocolate-coated roasted chickpeas!"

If you’re a member who is interested in sending your guide to your city. Comment below and one of our staff members will get in touch with you.

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@valeveg75 profile image
valeveg751 YEAR AGO
amazing article, many thankssss 💚🔝
@gaynoru profile image
gaynoru1 YEAR AGO
Thank you for sharing! Was in Cape Town in may-did not get to any of these so now on my list for my next visit!
@kwaaimaraai profile image
kwaaimaraai1 YEAR AGO
Garth is SERIOUSLY the BEST ambassador for our vegan community :)
@nickyv profile image
nickyv9 MONTHS AGO
Love Garth and all he does for us and our animal residents at Greyton Farm Animal Sanctuary