What can a Vegan eat in Cape Town, South Africa?

Vegan Food in South Africa by Maria the Vegan World Trekker

Tofu Scramble in Cape Town, South Africa

Maria from the Vegan World Trekker blog is here to share news of all of the wonderful food she discovered while visiting Cape Town, South Africa in 2009.

A few years ago I traveled to South America. The highlight of the trip was a stop to Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia region of Argentina. Prior to heading home, the plane made a stop at the southernmost tip of the continent, Tierra De Fuego or the town of Ushaia.

Having visited the tip of South American fueled my passion to do likewise in Africa. The destination for my African journey last year, was Cape Town and the surrounding area. Cape Town is filled with hostels, a backpacker’s dream. They are pretty inexpensive too!

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How to Order Vegan Food at Any Restaurant

Buffet picks

Buffet Restaurant, Florianopolis, Brazil

Whether you’re backpacking for a few months, going on a short vacation or driving from city to city on a road trip, chances are you’ll be eating at least some of your meals at restaurants. I’m also willing to bet not all of the restaurants you choose will be strictly vegan or even vegetarian. It would be great if every city had a veggie restaurant but that’s not how things are today. Even if there’s a veg-friendly restaurant in the city you’re visiting, it may not be nearby when hunger strikes. So the question is: how do you order food at a restaurant that doesn’t cater to vegans and may not understand your preferences.

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Stop in Porto Alegre, Brazil to Dine at Cafe Bonobo

Cafe Bonobo

Cafe Bonobo

Since 2001, Shannon Wu has been a vegan backpacker travelling throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe. To get a taste for what it’s like to live in Buenos Aires, Argentina, check out her blog at

Shannon recently visited Brazil and enjoyed a meal at Cafe Bonobo. After reading her post, I’m sad I missed the chance to eat there while in Brazil. We even made it to the Porto Alegre bus station!! So close, but so far away…

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My First Time Eating at a Squat Cafe

De Peper Vegan Restaurant

De Peper Squat Cafe

Coming from Canada, squatting is a new concept for me. As far as I know, it’s illegal in Canada. You can’t just find any old abandoned building, break in, change the locks, set up a table, chair and bed, and call the local authorities to notify them you’ve moved in. In Europe, it’s different. However, laws seem to be changing and squatting is becoming an endangered lifestyle in some countries.

Many squatters seem to claim large properties, with ample space for living as well as community projects. In Amsterdam, there’s a legalized squat in the former Netherlands Film Academy (OT301) building. It’s now home to a vegan cafe, music performance/rehearsal space, cinema and gallery where [sub]cultural activities take place. When we heard about it, we knew we had to visit.

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Vegan Food is Everywhere, Even the West Coast of Ireland

Dingle Coast

Dingle, Ireland

Before our visit to Ireland, friends and family kept insisting we rent a car and drive along the coast. We didn’t rent a car, but managed to make our way west by taking the bus and hitch hiking. We were excited to visit the Dingle Peninsula, located in County Kerry, knowing we’d be treated to some beautiful views and landscapes. We weren’t sure what to expect for vegan food options but found there were more than enough choices to keep us happy.

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Enjoying the Abundance of Food at Cornucopia in Dublin, Ireland


Cornucopia, Dublin, Ireland

Before visiting Dublin, Ireland, I asked several people for restaurant recommendations and kept hearing the same thing again, and again: “You have to eat at Cornucopia.” Dublin has a few vegetarian restaurants, none are 100% vegan, but this one stood out to most locals and recent visitors as being the best of the bunch. On one of our first days in the city, we headed there for lunch and met up with Glauce from the All About (Vegan) Food blog.

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Cheap Takeout and Crazy Pancake Dessert at 222 in London, UK

222 Veggie Vegan

222 Veggie Vegan Restaurant, London, UK

On one of our last days in London, we reflected on our list of things to do, see and eat. We found one important item unchecked. We hadn’t taken the long tube ride out to west London to eat at the 222 Veggie Vegan Restaurant. I’d read a bit about it online, including posts by Quarry Girl and Vegan in Brighton, and really wanted visit and try their crazy looking pancake dessert.

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Our Bangin’ Vegan Brunch at Manna in London, UK

Organic Bangers and Mash

Organic Bangers and Mash at Manna, London, UK

London vegans may seem like they have it all but there is one department where I found them to be lacking: vegan brunch. I did a little investigating online and found less than a handful of the many vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the city offering brunch on the weekends. One weekend, John was begging me to find him a good brunch so I took him to Manna, a fancy vegan restaurant in Primrose Hill. Technically, they serve lunch on the weekends. Luckily, they had one very brunch appropriate and delicious sounding dish on their menu: organic bangers and mash.

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Food, Culture & The Challenge of Eating Vegan in South Africa

Kenya: Fruits and Vegetables for Sale at Market in Samburu

This guest post is by Danielle Nierenberg from the Border Jumpers blog. Danielle is a senior researcher at the Worldwatch Institute and co-director for their Nourishing the Planet project. Visit Border Jumpers and learn how to make two traditional South African vegan recipes.

Before Bernard Pollack, my travel partner, and I left on our year-long trip across Africa, many of our friends and family asked “how are you going to be vegetarian or vegan in Africa? There’s nothing for you to eat there.” A few months later, over a mushy bowl of nshima—a kind of maize porridge and a staple food in both Zambia and Malawi—I looked at Bernard and smiled. Nshima’s definitely not the most attractive looking food, but it’s a tasty vegan dish that’s similar to mashed potatoes and often served with pumpkin leaves, which are a bit like collard greens, as well as cabbage and carrots.

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Life is Sweet for Vegans in London

Rock 'n' Roll Cones by Tofutti

Rock 'n' Roll Cones by Tofutti

We spent two weeks in London, which sounds like a long time but it went really, really fast. Almost everyday, we discovered vegan treats we’d never come across before. It got to the point where we could no longer buy every new and interesting thing we saw, we had to exercise some willpower to save our budget and waistlines. One of our best finds, in my opinion, was the Rock ‘n’ Roll cones by Tofutti. In Canada, we have a similar treat called Drumsticks made by Nestlé. As an omni kid, I loved eating these in the summer. It was a cold and rainy day when we found the Tofutti cones at the Holland & Barrett near Camden market, selling for about £4.00 GBP ($5.86 USD) for a box of four, but we enjoyed them all the same. This was only one of many sweet things we found in London. Those London vegans sure are lucky!

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