Plant Cafe has been around for about as long as vegan food has existed in Cape Town. They were one of the first places to boast a menu dedicated to plant-based cuisine, and the fact that they’re still around – and have more than one location – is a testament to the fact that they truly are market veterans. If you haven’t yet tried out this spot, here’s what you need to know.
Where: 8 Buiten Street Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town
When: Tuesday to Saturday 7.30am to 8.45pm; Sunday 8am to 4:30pm
What do you think of when you hear the term “vegan food”? Kale leaves? Sliced bread, devoid of any butter? Plain rice? You may think I’m being hyperbolic, but people have gone to great lengths to make rice for me, assuming I could eat nothing else in the whole damn world.
Well I have news for you. Plant Cafe offers guests a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, and a fully plant-based menu that offers many of the things you’d find on “normal” menus everywhere. Burgers, Chinese bao buns, Mexican delights – If you’re looking to satisfy a craving, they’ve probably got just the thing for you. And the best part is, it’s all vegan, so your cheat day can feel a little less guilty than it would otherwise!
Their drink menu is a treat too, and visitors are really spoilt for choice. You can choose from a wide variety of teas, to coffee-based beverages, to kombucha. Even those who aren’t particularly committed to the vegan cause can find something to enjoy. The steak (it’s made of chickpeas!) burger in particular is a tasty surprise, and definitely comes recommended above the signature plant burger. It has a fantastic texture that holds together a little better than most veggie burger patties do. Not to mention the fact that it’s scrumptious!
If you’re vegan, you’d be hard-pressed to find this kind of variety anywhere else – we’ve all had to resort to ordering the side salad (sans the feta) and a plate of fries before, while our friends gorged themselves on pizzas, pastas and burgers. The only problem at Plant is that they can lack stock on certain items, and it may be best to enquire about a particular dish before you set your heart on it.
Other customers have criticised Plant Cafe on their service, but each time I’ve visited I’ve left with no complaints. Our waitress was extremely helpful when it came to recommending the best items on the extensive menu, and checking in frequently to make sure we were doing okay.
Though vegan places have been popping up all over Cape Town over the last few years – and most other restaurants have become a lot more accommodating – Plant Cafe endures, and it’s existent is a quiet testament to the fact that what it offers is pretty great. If you feel like trying out a vegan diet, or if you want to treat some vegan friends, make a stop at this spot. You’re bound to find something that’ll satisfy your every culinary desire.