Last Updated on September 6, 2020 by lauren
With no hiking trails in easy reach, eating out has become my go-to activity in Jozi. Since I left the nest for Cape Town in 2014, I’m happy to report that Johannesburg’s vegan restaurant scene has grown and is slowly giving the Mother City a run for her money.
There are cute cafes aplenty, more restaurants than ever before are offering soy milk on the menu, and it’s becoming harder to find a vegan option on a menu that isn’t a salad.
Whether you’re visiting the City of Gold on holiday, for a stop-over or you’re a local looking for a few new haunts, I’ve whittled down my go-to vegan eats list to the best of the best (in my hungry opinion).
Here’s where to find the best vegan food in Johannesburg!
Table of Contents
Lexi’s Healthy Eatery (Vegan-Friendly)
Lexi’s Healthy Eatery is one of the newest vegan-friendly restaurants in Johannesburg. Located in Sandton, it’s a trendy spot with beautiful décor that makes it one of the most Instagrammable restaurants in Jozi.
The service at Lexi’s is also impeccable. Each time I’ve stopped by for lunch, the food comes out faster than expected, and the waiters are super attentive.
So attentive, that you need to watch how close you put your fork and knife together. Otherwise, you might find that your plate has been spirited away and your food neatly packed in a takeaway box.
Lexi’s isn’t a 100% vegan restaurant in Johannesburg.
There are meat items on the menu, but everything is ethically sourced. I think it’s a great option if you’ve got plans with a non-vegan and you’re looking for a place that caters to both your diets.
What to Try: The Glow Bowl is one of my favourite items on the menu, and I like to wash that down with their delicious pumpkin pie smoothie.
Naked Café (Vegan-Friendly)
I came across Naked Café in Morningside by accident. I was on Instagram scrolling away when I saw a photo of their beautiful green tiled wall.
The name of the café quickly captivated my attention, and it wasn’t long before I was dragging my boyfriend out of the house to grab breakfast here.
Naked Café serves one of the best cups of coffee in Johannesburg. You can choose your dairy-free milk alternative, and while the menu isn’t entirely vegan, there are more than enough options that will keep you satiated.
Another thing that I love about Naked Café is their attention to detail. The café has beautiful cutlery, and every single décor item adds to the vibe.
It gets jam-packed here on the weekends, especially around brunch time. You might have to wait for a table, so it’s best to phone ahead and reserve one in advance (even if you’re only two people).
What to Try: If you’re coming here for breakfast, try one of the smoothie bowls, and their iced coffee is my go-to order on a hot summers day in Johannesburg.
Greenside Café (Vegan Restaurant)
Greenside Café is the first vegan restaurant in Johannesburg that I visited when I decided to hop on the plant-based bandwagon. And boy, did the menu blow me away.
I think it took me a good 10 minutes to decide what to have. There is an incredible pizza menu that’s full of delicious choices, and then you also have burgers, wraps, smoothies and vegan desserts!
It’s the ultimate “junk food” vegan restaurant in Johannesburg!
Located on the corner of Gleneagles Road that used to house some of Johannesburg’s hottest bars and nightlife, Greenside Cafes neighbourhood is a lot quieter these days. Stop here if you’re after chill vibes on a Sunday or if you’ve got a hankering for vegan junk food during your lunch hour.
What to Try: Go here for the vegan pizza, stay for the vegan ice cream.
Kaylee’s Eatery (Vegan Restaurant)
Tucked away inside the Comic Book Warehouse in Bedfordview, Kaylee’s Eatery is my favourite vegan restaurant in Johannesburg. Not only is it super Instagrammable (think pink walls with green fern trees, silver finishings and modern décor), but the menu is mouthwatering, and the dishes never fail to impress.
Plus, it’s amusing to watch families walk into the restaurant and turn around because there’s nothing on the menu their kids will eat.
So if you’re looking to geek out at the comic books, snap some cute pics for your feed and escape the screams of children while you eat lunch – Kaylee’s Eatery is the place to go!
What to Try: The taco or falafel bowls are delicious, and the iced coffee will satisfy your caffeine cravings.
Saigon Suzy (Vegan-Friendly)
Located in Rosebank, around the corner from Sin Tax (one of the best-hidden bars in Johannesburg) is Saigon Suzy. It’s a Vietnamese Restaurant that’s decked out with incredible murals of life in Vietnam and has an entire wall devoted to golden cats nodding their heads with a single paw raised.
While Saigon Suzy isn’t a fully-vegan restaurant, it’s easy to adjust the menu to your dietary preferences if you order the DIY your wok dish.
You can pick and choose every single ingredient down to rice noodles, tofu and plenty of vegetables.
I’ve been here a few times and have found that coming here for dinner on a Friday evening isn’t the best idea. It’s super busy, and the quality and quantity of the food seems to go down.
The best time to come to Saigon is for lunch or brunch when the restaurant is quieter.
You can pick and choose your table. If you’re after cute Instagram pics, sit in front of one of the murals or ask for a table upstairs.
There is a second level courtyard that has even more murals, plenty of natural light if you like documenting your meals and it’s where you’ll find the wall of cats!
What to Try: DIY your wok and try the teriyaki or peanut satay sauce! You can’t leave without trying their authentic Vietnamese coffee.
If you follow me on Instagram (and if you don’t you should *wink wink*), you’ll know that I have a major weak spot for Uber Eats. At the heart of this first world convenience obsession is Col’cahico’s.
It’s the only restaurant in my neighbourhood that offers delicious vegan pizza. The only downside? It will cost you a pretty penny.
You can expect to pay just under R 200 including the delivery fee, but it’s worth it. I think Col’cacchio makes the best vegan pizza in Johannesburg!
My bank account might shudder and cry each time I give in, but my tastebuds and stomach are always grateful for my weak will.
What to Try: The Lazio vegan pizza!
Conscious 108 (Vegan Restaurant)
Conscious 108 is a staple on the Johannesburg vegan scene. It’s been around for a good couple of years and only serves 100% plant-based foods with a few gluten and soy-free options.
If you’re looking for a vegan restaurant in Johannesburg for a date, Conscious 108 is a great fit. The décor is beautiful, and there is an intimate vibe that’s perfect for when you’re in that awkward getting to know each other phase.
With menu items like bunny chow, Buddha bowls and burgers, there’s something for everyone. The only thing that I would steer clear from is the beer battered tofu. There are way better items on the menu.
What to Try: You can’t go wrong with a chickpea bunny chow! Plus, if your date can’t handle you at the messiest of your bunny chow journey, you can safely ghost them.
Are you impossibly hungry and ready to go on a vegan food adventure? Or did I miss your favourite vegan restaurant in Johannesburg? Let me know in the comments below!
Want more vegan food inspiration or things to do in South Africa? Check out my other posts:
- The Best Vegan Restaurants in Cape Town You Need To Try
- 12 Vegan Travel Products You Need for Your Next Trip
- Where to Find The Best Vegan Food in Berlin
- Staying in a Cabin at Rosemary Hill Farm in Pretoria
- The Best of the Panorama Route South Africa: 2-Day Itinerary
- 10 + Best Hiking Trails in Johannesburg (A Local’s Guide)
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