No matter what the reason, we all enjoy a meat-free meal every now and again. But vegetarian meals don’t just mean salads – there is a whole world of wonderful food and tastes out there to explore once you venture out of your usual meaty comfort zone. The Helderberg area, i.e. the beautiful trio of Strand, Somerset West and Gordon’s Bay, might not be as familiar as Cape Town city centre or the suburbs nearby, so vegans and vegetarians might struggle to find restaurants that offer enough options. That’s where we step in.
So whether it’s for your health, your ethics, the environment, or due to a sense of culinary adventure, we’ve found a few restaurants in the Helderberg where you can tuck into vegetarian or vegan meals:
Alex On Fire Moto Bistro
A deeply satisfying dining experience is guaranteed at this Somerset West-based bistro, an upmarket, contemporary fusion cuisine focused on quality, fresh ingredients and traditional flavours including butter, cream, lemon, spices and fresh herbs from the garden.
Alex On Fire is not just a comfortable spot to spend time with friends and family, but their vegetarian-inclusive menu also makes it’s a great place for vegetarians to grab a bite.
Our meat-free favourites:
The Funghi and Pepper English Muffin is delicious way to start the day; have a toasted English muffin, rocket, poached egg, Hollandaise sauce, creamy chunky mushroom and peppercorn for breakfast.
Or have a Vegetarian Roti, with vegetable curry, coconut raita, sambal, and basmati rice for a light meal.
For the main event, enjoy their Vegetable Pesto Penne Pasta with artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, Danish feta, basil pesto, peppadew, Calamata olives, and spinach.
They also have incredible vegan options: The Alex Vegan Burger has a delicious vegan patty, rocket, sliced tomato, dill cucumber, tomato relish and Alex potato wedges; and the Friendly Vegan Poké Bowl
is filled with avocado, quinoa, bean salsa, sesame broccoli, sweet peas, beetroot, potato hash, soya glazed tofu, and coconut raita.
- Location: 3 Columbus St, Van Der Stel, Cape Town, 7130
- Website: alexonfire.co.za
Pajamas & Jam
A magical place of food, drink and shop in the Helderberg charms locals and visitors alike. Pajamas & Jam, a breakfast and brunch eatery in Strand, is a family-owned business managed by the De Villiers family. From open to close, guests are welcomed into this home-away-from-home with an almost farm-style hospitality and comfort. Whether you’re looking for a wholesome breakfast to start your day with, a delicious brunch to share with loved ones, a refreshing drink to relax with, this Helderberg hidden gem is the ideal getaway for anyone who would like to recharge amongst friendly faces.
Pajamas & Jam focuses mainly on breakfast and lunch. Their meals are all unique and delectable – they put a special spin on each of their dishes. Not to mention, their menu is extremely pro-vegetarian.
Our meat-free favourites:
The Mushroom Affair is a top choice for breakfast. Start the day with a bowl with the creamiest parmesan mushrooms served with spiced chickpeas, quinoa fritters, a poached egg and crispy kale drizzled with a slight truffle oil drizzle.
For lunch, fill up on Risotto on Sweet Potato, creamy cooked pearl cous-cous served on puréed sweet potato with a drizzle of truffle oil and parmesan.
They also accommodate vegan requirements and can alter several items on their menu to make your meal entirely plant-based. Try the Winter Harvest, vegan korma sauce served with an aubergine stew and roasted cauliflower; you’ll definitely head back for seconds.
- Location: 32 Van Zyl St, Strand, Cape Town, 7140
- Contact: 079 804 6813
- Website: pajamasandjam.com
Mary-Ann’s Natural Emporium and Eatery
Vegan restaurant, online store, catering business, school and academy – Mary-Ann’s Natural Emporium and Eatery is all things plant-based and environmentally friendly.
Their restaurant serves light healthy lunches and drinks, to inspire you to make delicious healthy meals at home. And shop for natural and organic food and household products on their online shop.
Our vegan favourites:
Their online shop sells convenient ready-made meals for you to take home, and we’re absolutely salivating at the prospect of their mild Black Bean Chili, which consists of black beans, tomato purée, leeks, red pepper, chilli, Mary-Ann’s vegetable stock, garlic and herb salt, cashew mayo and cumin. The vegan Bobotie also is a treat, a beautifully crafted Cape Malay dish, made to the traditional recipe without the meat!
- Location: House 1st Floor, Triangle, 1 Urtel Cres, Somerset West, Cape Town, 7130
- Website: mary-anns.com