I had coffee with a fabulous friend of mine recently, and she said this line, “It is a new year and it is time to make different choices”. Needless to say, it has clearly stuck in my head. Many people I speak to want to make different choices, but struggle to because they perhaps are so used to the way they have always done things in the past. It is difficult to welcome changes if you do not know what those changes may bring.
One of the things that has a direct impact on your body, mind, emotions, and energy levels, and in turn your self-esteem is of course the food that you eat.
This blog post is about informing you about healthy places to eat in Cape Town. Some of them you may know about, and perhaps some of them you have not heard of.
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, foods that are low in bad carbohydrates, higher in fat, 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.
Some of the top healthy eateries in Cape Town
HEALTHY PLACES TO EAT AT IN THE CAPE TOWN CITY CENTRE
1. Addis in Cape: with an extensive menu that includes vegetarian and vegan options, Addis in the Cape is an Ethiopian restaurant in Cape Town. 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. All the food on the menu is Halaal-friendly.
41 Church Street | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 424 5722
2. Dear Me is a gourmet restaurant 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
3. Plant: This restaurant offers healthy and delicious plant-based food. 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.
8 Buiten Street | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 422 2737
4. Myog: The Myog Frozen Yogurt store on Kloof Street 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.
103 Kloof Street | Cape Town
5. Sababa Kitchen and Deli: Healthy salads and vegetarian dishes abound at this Middle Eastern-inspired deli. They offer 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. They also cater for individuals with basic food allergies and intolerances, such as lactose intolerance and Gluten intolerance.
231 Bree Street | Cape Town | + 27 (0) 21 424 748
6. The Kitchen: 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
7. Crush: This 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.
Shop no. 8 | St. George’s Mall | Cape Town | + 27 (0) 21 422 55 33
8. Sheff’s restaurant: Sheff’s is a small and vibrant restaurant 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.
4A Buiten Street | Cape Town | + 27 (0) 73 273 5104
9. 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
10. 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).
thegreensmoothiecompany.co.za | +27 (0)81 834 4081
11. 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
12. Osumo: 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. Various locations across Cape Town
13. Gusto Cafeteria: The food 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.
117 Hatfield Street | Cape Town | + 27 (0) 21 461 7868
14. 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.
HEALTHY PLACES TO EAT AT IN THE CAPE PENINSULA
1. The Tibetan Teahouse: It is known for providing 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.
2 Harrington Road | Simon’s Town | + 27 (0) 21 786 1544
HEALTHY PLACES TO EAT AT IN THE SOUTHERN SUBURBS
1. La Belle Café and Bakery: This restaurant 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.
Alphen Hotel | Constantia | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 795 6336
2. The Millstone Eco-friendly Farm Stall & Café: 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
HEALTHY EATERIES IN CAPE TOWN’S SURROUNDS
1. The Nook Eatery: 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.
42 Ryneveld Street | Stellenbosch | + 27 (0) 21 887 7703