Bite into these meat-free options in the Helderberg region

September 20, 2023 (Last Updated: September 19, 2023)
Meat-free restaurants (1)

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 foods 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.

Whether it’s for your health, your ethics, the environment, or a sense of culinary adventure, here are a few restaurants in the Helderberg region where you can tuck into scrumptious vegetarian or vegan meals:

Alex On Fire Moto Bistro

Alex on fire moto bistro

Alex on Fire Moto Bistro / Facebook

A deeply satisfying dining experience is guaranteed at this Somerset West-based bistro. A 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 a great place for plant-based foodies to grab a bite.

Opt for a Vegetarian Roti with vegetable curry, coconut raita, sambal, and basmati rice for a light meal, or enjoy their Vegetable Pesto Penne Pasta with artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, Danish feta, basil pesto, peppadew, Calamata olives, and spinach for the main event.

They also have vegan options such as The Alex Vegan Burger which has a delicious vegan patty, rocket, sliced tomato, dill cucumber, tomato relish, and Alex potato wedges; and the Friendly Vegan Poké Bowl which
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
  • Times: Tuesday to Friday, 5 pm to 10 pm | Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 am to 10 pm

Pajamas & Jam

Pajamas and Jam meat free

Pajamas + Jam e a t e r y / Facebook

An enchanting place of food, drink, and shops in the Helderberg charms both 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 farm-style hospitality and comfort.

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.

The Mushroom Affair is a top vegetarian choice for breakfast. Start the day with a bowl of the creamiest parmesan and paprika mushrooms served with spiced chickpeas, baguette, a poached egg, and a slight truffle oil drizzle.

For lunch, fill up on a Falafel Winter Bowl filled with white bean falafels served with hummus, a red winter pickle, pahi, and labneh.

They also accommodate vegan requirements and can alter several items on their menu to make your meal entirely plant-based, all you need to do is ask their friendly servers.

  • Location: 32 Van Zyl St, Strand
  • Times: Monday to Friday 8 am to 4 pm | Saturday 8 am to 1 pm

Antonio’s Pizza

Antonio's Pizza

Antonio’s Pizza Place / Facebook

For a bit of laid-back dining, meat-free lovers can find themselves soaking in the sea breeze right on the harbour’s edge at Antonio’s large outdoor seating area or cosying up in their lounging corner or under-roof patio.

While it is in the name, the restaurant offers more than pizza and stunning panoramic views. With approximately 30 years under their belt, Antonio’s understands that appetites come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s a wide variety of seafood, burgers, pasta, and delectable vegetarian dishes to satisfy any and all hungry tummies.

Kickstart your day with a Herbivore breakfast comprising of a vegetarian patty served with fried mushrooms, fried tomatoes, and a hash brown. For the main event, grab a slice of the legendary Afterburner Pizza (if you can handle the heat) topped with chilli, jalapeno, mixed peppers, and peri-peri spiral; or opt for a Saucy Freshman soya burger with a blue cheese sauce.

  • Location: The Boardwalk, Breakwater Lane, Harbour Island, Gordon’s Bay
  • Times: Monday to Sunday 10:30 am to 8:30 pm

Mary-Ann’s Natural Emporium and Eatery


Mary-Ann’s Natural Emporium & Eatery / Facebook

Vegan restaurant, online store, catering business, school and academy – Mary-Ann’s Natural Emporium and Eatery is all things plant-based and environmentally friendly.

The restaurant serves light, healthy home-style cuisine made from gluten-free and many locally sourced ingredients to inspire you to make delicious healthy meals at home. The daily vegetarian harvest table allows customers to choose what they want and how much for a fixed plate price.

The online shop sells convenient frozen ready-made meals for you to take home, and we’re 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 is also a treat – a beautifully crafted Cape Malay dish made to the traditional recipe without the meat!

  • Location: Triangle House, first floor, 1 URTEL Crescent, Somerset Mall Plaza
  • Times: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm


ALSO SEE: Why should you practice Meat Free Monday?

Why should you practice Meat Free Monday?

Article was originally written and published by Tauhira Ajam for Cape Etc. 

Feature image: Pexels

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