Eating Out Vegan
1. Tell your server that you’re on a vegan diet and have special dietary restrictions. Letting the servers know that you’re a vegan and that you can’t have anything with any animal products whatsoever will them make your dish as vegan-friendly as possible.
2. Double check that your meal is vegan. Even if it has a name that sounds vegan, always double check with the server (or this website ) to ensure that it truly is vegan.
3. Make sure there isn’t any hidden non-vegan item in your meal. Butter always seems to be the culprit that always finds a way to sneak into your vegan dish. So always double check with the server (reinforcing tip #1 and #2).
By following these tips, you’ll be sure to enjoy a truly vegan meal from whatever restaurant you visit, preferably one of the ones on this list.
Okay so with that being said, let’s get to the vegan restaurant menus and options.
Southdowns Shopping Centre, Shop 52, John Vorster Dr, Irene (at Karee St), Centurion, South Africa
Now Open: Mon-Tue 7:00am-9:00pm, Sun 7:00am-9:00pm, Wed-Thu 7:00am-10:00pm, Fri-Sat 7:00am-10:30pm
Cuisine: Lacto, Ovo, Pizza, Italian, Western, Beer/Wine, Non-veg
Serves meat, veg options available. Franchise concept cafe in Irene with a relaxed atmosphere. Offers a variety of pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and grilled food. Vegans could get the chickpea avocado salad, falafel burger, coconut curry, a vegan pizza (no cheese), tapas plate, and a few of the pasta dishes. Stocks soymilk for coffee.
Afro-boer (Die Wilgers)
Allergies, intolerances, experimental phases, health-oriented lifestyles – name it and they will cater for it. A hot favourite on the vegetarian side (as well as being dairy-, wheat-, egg- and gluten-free) is the butternut flatbread served with a leafy mix and topped with toasted shaved coconut, chopped pistachios and a chilli dressing (R62).
They are happy to bake special orders of cupcakes – called their ‘little miss sunshines’ – which contain no egg, dairy, wheat, gluten or sugar. On the drinks side, dairy-sensitive or lactose-intolerant customers can enjoy a soy latte (R26) or a chai frappé. The new menu will feature a millet grain and sweet potato porridge with almond milk, further tapping into the revival of ancient grains and other new current food movements.
Laughing Chefs (Rietondale)
This mother and daughter team firmly believes that eating out should be pleasurable, but that we also have a responsibility to care for our bodies. Their offering is therefore both rich and balanced. Their tapas menu includes a number of vegetarian options such as butternut-and-cashew popiahs (R25), risotto-and-mushroom balls (R25), camembert-and-raspberry parcels (R35) and marinated feta (R40). Main course items include a vegetarian parcel with ratatouille, basil pesto and seasonal veggies (R105), and for vegan diners they offer patatas bravas (R30) and assorted bruschetta (R30) with toppings such as caramelised onion, basil pesto and sundried tomatoes. For those who follow a low-carb high-fat diet they have bobotie meatball skewers (R30) made without any flour or breadcrumbs. All sauces are made with butter and reduced cream and no gluten.
Toni’s Fully Furnished Pizza Company (Sinoville, Menlo Park, Rietondale, Craighall Park)
Even though almost every pizza restaurant offers a gluten- and wheat-free option nowadays, at Toni’s they also have a 30cm cauliflower base (at an additional R33 charge per pizza). The menu lists 14 vegetarian pizzas such as Pizza Insalata (with garlic, chilli, rocket, avocado, pine kernels, grana padano and olive oil); Vegan customers should enjoy the Verdure pizza, which is topped with roast peppers, zucchini and aubergine, capers, olives, fennel seeds and lemon zest on a tomato base (no cheese). They do make it clear that they use nuts for people having such an allergy.
Red Tomato Supper Club (Waterkloof)
Owner-chef Renette Vosloo is happy to go out of her way to accommodate vegetarian and vegan guests for her five-course tasting menu (R350 per person). She will, for example, substitute carpaccio with thin slices of fresh beetroot, and coconut milk instead of a parmesan custard. When she tea-smokes fish, duck or ham, she could as easily smoke some halloumi for vegetarians or smoke eggplant or mushroom for vegans. The tasting menu is very much about a sensory experience. She is also happy to adapt her newest sweet creation, Mist at the Sea – crème brûlée with honeycomb rocks, chocolate sea stars, blue jelly and dried ice to emulate fog rolling in – by swapping the crème for a coconut milk panna cotta.
Conscious 108 (Greenside)
The words ‘fully plant-based’ sound much more magical than ‘vegan’, don’t they? That’s what this restaurant is, with its dark walls, white tables and a few Buddha-themed lanterns and hangings. Their motto is ‘kindness’ – another appealing idea for the tummy. The mayo and creams are soya and nut based, so you can have your tofu and eat it as beer-battered deep-fried sticks, piled with ‘mayo’ and ‘sour cream’ and a slew of fresh herbs. Another highlight is their Vitamin C salad, with cucumber ribbons and beetroot grated with sweet carrot, walnuts and sesame seeds for crunch and a fresh orange juice dressing. There are also gluten-free options for the breads, rolls and wraps.
Pudding Shop (Parktown North)
You’ll feel healthier and happier just by opening the door and stepping into a magical garden room of plants and Buddhist bells. Though Chef Zeus Gusson is vegan, the restaurant is mostly vegetarian with a few items like smoked salmon for the meat eaters. Remarkable dishes include a mille-feuille of sautéed sweet potato, Rosa tomatoes, baby spinach and field mushrooms, topped with spicy lentils; the beloved Egyptian tasting plate of bulgur, tomato and walnut salad, falafel rolled in sesame seeds, spiced eggplant in kadaifi and a dressing of tahini; and the beautifully executed salad of finely shaved fennel, green apple, celery and mint with walnuts.
The Vine Garden Café (Mulbarton)
This is serious vegan fare with some raw dishes like a curry of fresh seasonal vegetables with coriander, onion and tomato sambal. Cooked meals include rather good corn and cannelini fritters, served with roasted asparagus and fresh salsa, and a beauty of a red and white quinoa salad, with cranberries, red onion, mint leaves, radish, kale and toasted almonds.