By Sacha van Niekerk
From juicy veggie burgers to creamy cashew mac and cheese there’s plenty of delicious vegan offerings to tuck into across the country this month during World Vegan Month.
In August 1944, members of the Vegetarian Society, a group founded in Britain in the nineteenth century by people who actively promoted and followed meat-free diets asked that a section of its newsletter be devoted to non-dairy vegetarianism. By November that year, a quarterly newsletter was dedicated to this purpose. It was named “The Vegan News”.
Donald Watson, secretary of one of the society’s branches, chose the word “vegan” himself, based on “the first three and last two letters of ‘vegetarian'” because it marked, in his words, “the beginning and end of vegetarian”.
The new Vegan Society held its first meeting in early November. Today, World Vegan Day is held annually on November 1 to mark the founding of the society.
In celebration of the World Vegan Month, here are six spots in Cape Town, Joburg and Durban where you can get your fix for a vegan feast:
52 Florida Rd, Windermere
Call: 083 783 6172
On the hunt for the perfect on-the-go meal, something you can really dig into? Falafel Fundi’s wraps are stuffed with fluffy falafels with the perfect golden-brown exterior, zesty and crunchy veg, creamy tahini and melt in your mouth brinjal, with just the right amount of heat from their chilli sauce (optional). Completely vegan and oh so delicious, it’s got to be one of the top vegan food options in the city.
Oh My Soul Café
68 Adelaide Tambo Dr, Durban North
Call: 063 172 2531
From golden waffles topped with a creamy vegan chocolate spread and a scattering of fresh berries and nuts to juicy “vurgers” smothered in barbecue sauce, topped with melted vegan cheese, pineapple and served with fries, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a favourite on this menu. Round up all your friends this month to try out all their tasty treats, which are not just limited to people only. Dogs can come along for yummy “ice-cream” or delicious doggy biscuits. The pet-friendly food is freshly made with love for their furry customers.
Buttercup Vegetarian and Vegan Cafe
10 De Mazenod Rd, Greyville
064 011 1101
Crispy portions of vegan chicken paired with a helping of mash and gravy, coleslaw and either chips or a soft roll, Buttercup serves up delicious vegan and vegetarian fast food like you have never tasted before. The KFV meal is one of their signature menu items that has attracted a loyal customer base while wowing even the skeptics. When ripping into the battered pieces of crunchy, perfectly seasoned “chicken” you’ll be surprised by meat-like texture and taste.
The Fussy Vegan
Caltex Waterfall Garage, Blairgowrie, Randburg
060 716 6029
The Fussy Vegan has a broad range of menu items, from healthy to wholesome. Pick from options like their Poke Bowl boasting edamame, carrot roses, activated cashews and mango served on a bed of sushi rice or go for something a little more nostalgic, like their creamy mac and cheese with smoked cashew sauce and seitan bacon bits. From breakfast through to lunch and dinner, they’ll have you sorted with sandwiches, burgers and burritos – the options are truly plentiful.
147 N Reef Rd, Bedfordview
011 524 7603
Food that’s pretty delicious and deliciously pretty, you’ll definitely want to snap a picture of your meal for the ’gram before tucking in. Kaylees’ is a plant-based eatery that uses only fresh, healthy and seasonal ingredients to create their flavourful and full of goodness meals. Whether you have a major sweet tooth, or an appetite for savouries, they have got a menu of scrumptious treats like strawberry cheesecake or our salted caramel cookie crunch sundaes and much more.
Leafy Greens Cafe
Rocky Ridge Road 1724, Muldersdrift
010 595 4563
Embrace the natural flavours from fresh, organic fruits and vegetables at Leafy Greens Cafe.They believe in keeping things raw and natural wherever possible. Stop by for breakfast and indulge in pancakes and gelato or experience a hearty chickpea curry or the refreshing crispness of rice paper rolls stuffed with sliced veggies and paired with an Asian dipping sauce for lunch.
The Kind Kitchen
252 Albert Rd, Woodstock
061 508 0655
Gourmet sandwiches, wraps and burgers with all the fancy trimmings and an ever changing selection of desserts and drinks, The Kind Kitchen is all about offering vegan comfort food to those who seek it. The mantra is “be kind” and they incorporate this ethos throughout the entire structure of their business, from the people they source ingredients from to the way they package their food.
8 Buiten St, Cape Town City Centre
072 521 9252
Visually stunning, thoughtfully presented and full of flavour, Plant Cafe makes their own ingredients including dairy-free cheese, vegan mayo, meaty mushroom biltong and smoke their own crispy tempeh bacon. Their deliciously conscious menu boasts a broad selection of goodies to choose from including a chopstick and crepe section.
105 Kloof St, Gardens
084 903 6697
Proving that not all vegan food is rabbit food, Lekker Vegan is dedicated to providing their customers with the best plant-based alternatives, so you won’t feel like you are missing out or compromising on flavour and taste. One factor that is so evident on their menu is that their aim is to make vegan food that is familiar and tastes similar or even better than what you’re used to, thus making the transition into a more plant-based diet a whole lot more delectable.