Slimming down the choice of Cape Town’s healthy eateries
Contrary to popular belief, healthy food is not restricted to carrots and cardboard-tasting crackers. We have come a long way in the past few decades to banish the stereotype that food that’s good for you tastes bad, and these days there are plenty of Cape Town restaurants that create dishes that are both healthy and delicious.
So what does a healthy menu consist of? For one, culinary offerings that are low in fat, high in fibre and rich in nutrients and minerals. Healthy eateries are also those that often have natural, organic and whole-food products that are unprocessed, free from hormones, sweeteners and food colourings on their menus.
Furthermore, many Cape Town restaurants are devoted to providing meals that are not only healthy and fresh, but that also utilise locally sourced ingredients and that aim to accommodate those with food allergies or dietary constraints, such as lactose and nut intolerances.
HEALTHY EATERIES IN THE CAPE TOWN CITY CENTRE
Dear Me is a gourmet brasserie in the Cape Town city centre that caters for vegetarians, vegans and people with any type of food intolerance. The kitchen team is passionate about fresh, seasonal produce prepared in a natural way, and aims to ensure the cuisine is still dished up with the maximum preservation of nutrients. Suppliers are handpicked, and usually share in Dear Me’s vision and commitment to create and maintain sustainable and ethical food production practices.
165 Long Market Street | Cape Town | +27(0)21 422 4920
Addis in Cape
With an extensive menu that includes vegetarian and vegan options, Addis in the Cape – an Ethiopian restaurant in Cape Town – is a fantastic place to share a memorable, yet healthy meal. Ethiopian cuisine is famous for its rich aromas and generous use of herbs and spices; though, it’s definitely not for the faint at heart. Addis’s flavourful stews are served in a pancake-like sourdough base called Injera, which is gluten-free, fat-free and which is meant to be shared in a warm and communal manner. All the food on the menu is Halaal-friendly.
41 Church Street | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 424 5722
This chic little spot, which is conveniently located on the corner of Buiten and Loop Streets, offers healthy and delicious plant-based grub. The 100% vegan eatery serves up everything from tasty mushroom burgers and eggless egg salads to flavourful, all-natural smoothies and a selection of sweet treats. Furthermore, Plant also makes their own vegan-friendly mayo, cheeses and tempeh bacon. The best part? The nosh is surprisingly affordable!
8 Buiten Street | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 422 2737
Founded by passionate foodie and MasterChef SA finalist Shannon Smuts, this colourful eatery in Cape Town’s CBD is all about dishing up the finest and freshest of eats at very affordable prices. One of Pure Good’s main aims is to appeal to busy workers in search of healthy, well-priced breakfast and lunch options, and the menu boasts items like fruit salads, wraps, sarmies and soups. On the drinks side, there’s Bootlegger coffee, organic herbal tea, smoothies and raw juices on offer. Moreover, Pure Good works with sustainable farm Fountain of Hope in an effort to make nutritious, ethically produced fare more accessible to people, so you can munch comfortably knowing that not only have you made a healthy food choice, but you’ve contributed to a worthy cause too.
21 St John’s Street (below Associated Media Publishing) | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 461 3818
In the mood for something naughty, nice and guilt-free (without the extra calories)? The Myog frozen yoghurt store on Kloof Street – which has become somewhat of an institution since its opening – dishes up delicious frozen yoghurt that is 98% fat-free. With a vibrant and funky interior, the store’s décor is as fresh as its locally-sourced ingredients (all our brought in from within the Western Cape). Not to mention, the delicious dessert is high in protein and calcium, and has both live and probiotic cultures.
103 Kloof Street | Cape Town
Sababa Kitchen and Deli
Healthy salads and vegetarian dishes abound at this Middle Eastern-inspired deli. The Cape Town city centre eatery offers an extensive menu that will even satisfy the cravings of the carnivorously inclined. Think falafel balls, dolmades, Lebanese pastries and leek and cheese borekas with stuffed cabbage rolls. All of the food is fresh and prepared daily on the premises by the cooks. They also cater for individuals with basic food allergies and intolerances, such as lactose intolerance and Gluten intolerance. You can also purchase some goodies to take back home for a nice respite from the usual supermarket ready-to-eat alternatives.
231 Bree Street | Cape Town | + 27 (0) 21 424 7480
The food produced at this Woodstock eatery is contemporary and fresh, and as much as possible, is made only from seasonal and local produce. The dishes are predominantly Mediterranean and Oriental in flavour, but they also flaunt a modern South African twist. The Kitchen is particularly well-known for its inventive salads – there are 20 to choose from on any given day – such as the lentil, black rice and coriander salad. Thus, people with food intolerances are sure to find something to suit their diet.
111 Sir Lowry Road | Woodstock | Cape Town | + 27 (0) 21 462 2201
The food at Gusto Cafeteria is served buffet-style and is made fresh every day from seasonal produce. Some of the options available on the menu include salads, sandwiches and freshly squeezed juices. The chef and staff are all well aware of the nutritious elements of all their dishes, and patrons can ask for dishes to be adjusted to cater for any food intolerances.
117 Hatfield Street | Cape Town | + 27 (0) 21 461 7868
This fresh food café in the heart of Cape Town offers healthy and nutritious meals made with exclusively seasonal ingredients. The informal, relaxed culinary hotspot prepares raw, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan dishes, as well as freshly-squeezed juices, herbal teas and organic coffees. Crush prides itself on its support for local farmers, sustainable agriculture and environmentally-friendly products, and it aims to provide the health conscience community with quality fare at affordable prices.
Shop no. 8 | St. George’s Mall | Cape Town | + 27 (0) 21 422 55 33
Sheff’s is a small and vibrant restaurant situated in the mid-section of the Mother City’s CBD. With a healthy selection of dishes that caters for both vegans and vegetarians, the restaurant also prides itself on its ability to conjure up culinary concoctions that keeps food as close to its natural state as possible, such as lentil burgers, green salads and freshly squeezed juices. They can cater for any food intolerances or allergy – just ask the chef and he will adjust the dish accordingly. All the ingredients they use are high in fibre and complex carbohydrates, laying the framework for an energy-filled day.
Please note: Sheff’s will be closed for renovations until the end of September 2012.
4A Buiten Street | Cape Town | + 27 (0) 73 273 5104
The Wellness Warehouse
The WellCafé (situated in most Wellness Warehouse stores) offers smoothies, sandwiches, salads and other healthy snacks. The café also caters for a wide range of food intolerances in its menu selection, such as wheat and dairy intolerances. Furthermore, if you feel like taking some of these delicious and nutritious snacks back home, the food market stocks health foods, organic foods and foods that are low in saturated fat, salt and sugar.
Lifestyle Centre | 50 Kloof Street | Cape Town | + 27 (0) 21 487 5440
Sushi in Cape Town
Most of us are aware of the immense health benefits related to eating sushi. For those of you still in the dark, fish is a lean source of low-calorie, high-quality protein. It is also low in saturated fats and cholesterol, making it a heart-healthy food choice. The thin sheets of seaweed that are wrapped around maki and hand rolls is high in iodine, magnesium, calcium, iron and folic acids, essential for proper hormone functioning. See our list of the best sushi restaurants in Cape Town.
The Green Smoothie Company
For a convenient way to get your daily dose of healthy goodness, try this online smoothie store that delivers pouches of ready-to-drink nutrition straight to your doorstop (if you’re within a 15k radius of Woodstock, that is). Passionate owner Linda Vels fell in love with the idea of getting all your nutrients, vitamins and minerals from raw green smoothies, which combine seasonal fruits with leafy vegetables, and so, she founded a virtual company to give others the chance to appreciate these natural beverages too. Her belief is that a good smoothie-drinking routine should help you get out of bed before your alarm goes off and should keep your energy levels up after that lunchtime slump. Flavour choices include raspberry and kiwi, pineapple and guava, blueberry and apple and more, and there’s also the option to add organic boosters like spirulina and hemp seeds. The drinks sell in 1-L pouches and can be ordered in bulk (two pouches should be enough for a week if you drink a glass every morning). Alternatively enthusiants can pick up a pouch from the company’s office at The Old Biscuit Mill.
Thegreensmoothiecompany.co.za | +27 (0)81 834 4081
Kauai is, arguably, the institution most well-recognised by South Africans for convenient food options that are healthy, fresh and nutritious. The food chain uses the most wholesome ingredients, and caters for a wide variety of dietary preferences. Not to mention, the eateries can readily make substitutions for those with food intolerances: If you are lactose intolerant, Kauai’s smoothies can be made with GM free rice milk, and all of the mayonnaise used in their sandwiches and salads is egg-free for vegetarians and vegans. Lastly, all menu offerings are free from trans fats, MSG and tartazine; the breads are wheat-free and the wraps are gluten-free.
Various locations across Cape Town
The sister chain to Kauai, Osumo and its menu offering claims the same health benefits as it’s more well-known brother. They try their best to only use free-range produce, and they will go the extra mile to cater for individuals with lactose, dairy, wheat and sugar intolerances. Also look out for their all-female staff – healthy girl power at its best.
Various locations across Cape Town
HEALTHY EATERIES IN CAPE TOWN’S SURROUNDS
The Nook Eatery
The Nook Eatery in Stellenbosch offers a breakfast menu fit for an Olympian. Choose from an extensive list of yummy smoothies, fruits with yoghurt, homemade granola and scrambled eggs. The lunchtime buffet offers an equally healthy assortment of fresh salads and homemade sandwiches and soups. The kitchen team at the Nook aims to use local and seasonal produce that is preservative free, and they even stock the vegetarian white and red wines by MANvintners. If you have any food intolerances, just ask the chef and he will try and accommodate you as much as possible.
42 Ryneveld Street | Stellenbosch | + 27 (0) 21 887 7703
HEALTHY EATERIES IN THE CAPE PENINSULA
The Tibetan Teahouse
The Tibetan Teahouse, situated alongside the Sophea Art Gallery, affords beautiful views of False Bay. It is known for providing patrons with delicious and healthy meal options, and is loved by vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. The menu offers imaginative and tasty vegetarian and vegan food that’s based on original Tibetan recipes. All meals and cakes are prepared from the finest ingredients, and organic coffees and herbal teas make a fitting accompaniment.
2 Harrington Road | Simon’s Town | + 27 (0) 21 786 1544
HEALTHY EATERIES IN THE SOUTHERN SUBURBS
La Belle Café and Bakery
Situated in the leafy Constantia Valley, La Belle offers an array of light yet satisfying meals – from fresh-from-the-oven-bakes to organic salads made with herbs and vegetables from the garden. The deli caters for individuals with a gluten-intolerance, and it makes use of the best local and homemade treats, including condiments and preserves. Simply choose a dish from the deli for takeaway if you prefer to enjoy your fare at home rather than at the restaurant itself.
Alphen Hotel | Constantia | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 795 6336
The Millstone Eco-friendly Farm Stall & Cafe
Try this delightful café for tasty food, freshly squeezed juices and home-grown organic produce. Millstone grows all of its own vegetables organically, much of which is then transported to the nearby suburbs to be sold by horse and cart. The guilt-free eats can be enjoyed in an equally healthy natural setting (there’s a lovely on-site garden featuring a tree house on which the kids can have hours of fun).
Alexandra Road | Oude Molen Eco Village | Pinelands | +27 (0)21 447 8226