Saturday, December 22, 2012

Top Vegetarian Recommendations in Cape Town, South Africa

I thought I would give this blog a bit of a unique twist. One of my passions of being a vegetarian of course is creating mouth-watering, unforgettable vegetarian food. That's why I created this blog; to share easy and delicious recipes of tasteful food. It is, however, also a real pleasure to go out to eat and find restaurants that are not only vegetarian-friendly, but also create vegetarian food that makes you green with envy that you can't make it in your own kitchen! If I am eating out with a large group of people, I am never opinionated on where we go, as long as there is one vegetarian option. Many other vegetarians will agree that the common dishes in these "we offer one dish of vegetarian" places is often spaghetti, salad, or a vegetarian wrap. But, there are so many restaurants these days whose chefs have designed innovative and fantastic vegetarian menus. It gives vegetarians an idea of what it must be like to be omnivorous with a plethora of delicious looking dishes to choose from. When I am going out to eat with my husband alone, I am very picky on the place we eat at. I will not have spaghetti, salad, or a vegetarian wrap. I want a delicious concoction of vegetables, sauces, and a meat-free protein (my favorite? lentils). Recently, my husband and I vacationed in Cape Town, South Africa where we ate at several restaurants. I would like to share my top 8 restaurants that were vegetarian friendly and budget-conscious. If you ever find yourself vacationing in the mother city of South Africa, please keep these restaurants in mind! They are not ranked in any order, simply just listed as great options for vegetarians. Click on the names of the restaurant for a menu, if the restaurant offers it on the internet:

1. Takumi - Japanese food with some Asian fusion. Unique sushi options that cater to the vegetarian lifestyle, especially with their starters. Located in Gardens, Cape Town.

2. Timbuktu Cafe - contrary to what the name suggests, this is a cafe' devoted to Ethiopian food. It offers a vegetarian sampler for only 55 rand and you will not leave hungry. There's cute balcony dining. We ate here twice. They are located at 76 Long Street on the second floor of the Pan African market. Follow the loud music.

3. Galbi - a Korean/South African infusion. Come for authentic Korean food or a South African braii or both! They offer bimbimbap - a Korean vegetarian staple or a vegetarian braii for 2 platter. I was excited to learn they make all of their cocktails out of soju - the great Korean alcohol! Located in an arcade off of Long Street.

4. Saigon - as the name suggests, it offers Vietnamese dishes and a whole section of the menu is vegetarian. It is Asian fusion, however, so you can still get sushi or other Asian dishes. Might I suggest the rainbow noodles? Located in Gardens.

5. Jewel of India - Indian food is an easy answer to all your vegetarian dining woes. Thanks to the beliefs of Buddhism within India, there are always a great variety of vegetarian options at Indian restaurants. The Jewel of India located at the V&A waterfront offered great Indian food for a reasonable price.

Around Cape Town

6. Knead - located in Muizenberg on the Cape Peninsula, this bakery offered a large variety of vegetarian options and great cafe' options for the coffee lover as well. I was pleasantly surprised with the many options available to vegetarians!

7. Cafe Caprice - located at Camp's Bay this hip cafe' offered pricey but tasty vegetarian options. The service was mediocre, but the location was perfect.

8. Empire Cafe - located in Muizenberg on the Cape Peninsula, I passed by this cafe' after looking over and considering their few vegetarian options on their chalkboard menu. At first glance and without a description of each item, the vegetarian options looked overpriced and boring. I really only gave this cafe' a second chance because they offered free wi-fi. I ordered their vegetarian option and it was so flavorful, my omnivorous husband ordered it right after tasting mine even though he wasn't even hungry. 

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