Hello foodies! Whether you are a Capetonian or planning a visit to our beautiful city in the future this is one experience you definitely need to know about! I was recently invited to join a vegan food tour around Cape Town’s CBD, and after seeing some of the photos from previous tours on social media I could not wait to try it out for myself.
Rupesh Kassen is the founder of Eat Like A Local, a walking food tour company that provides guests with a curated food and cultural experience and the opportunity to enjoy some of Cape Town’s best eateries. Whilst I love trying out new restaurants I am also a creature of habit and find myself visiting the same favourite spots in and around my suburban comfort zone. So I was excited to be a tourist in my own city and discover some new delicious places for a change.
While the city certainly has its foodie institutions that have been around for ages, the food and restaurant scene is constantly changing. I was impressed with Rupesh’s knowledge about Cape Town CBD’s restaurants, and not just the ones we visited. Whilst walking in between our food stops he shared a bit of history of the area, pointing out spots of interest along the way and sharing his insights on other hot (and not) restaurants in the city. Particularly handy if you are completely new to the city and looking for restaurant recommendations for your visit!
I must also add that whilst the tour I went on was vegan themed, Eat Like A Local also offers a broader “City Bowl Tasting Experience” as well as private and/or customisable tours so you can “choose your own adventure”.
So where did we go on our walking tour? Read on to find out!
It was a perfect sunny winter Saturday in the city and, armed with my camera and comfy shoes, I met Rupesh and my fellow tourists at Mustacchio Caffe in Kloof Street. From there we headed to our first stop, Plant where we were presented with an incredible platter of vegan yumminess including the vegan equivalent of a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel made with carrot ribbons (mind blown), juice shooters, black garlic and mushroom biltong, which was seriously good!
Next we headed to Nitro House in Bree Street for a beverage stop in the form of a nitro coffee and kombucha tasting. I was particularly impressed with the kombucha which is brewed and bottled on site and comes in three really tasty flavours. This was also an opportunity to use our new Tru2Bamboo bamboo straws that Rupesh gave us as a gift when we started the tour.
From there we headed up to the Bo Kaap and the iconic colourful buildings that attract bus loads of tourists every year. Not surprisingly the area was buzzing, but after popping into the fabulous Atlas Food Store for a gander Rupesh took us into Harvest Café and Deli for the best views in the house. Sitting on the rooftop we enjoyed the magnificent scene of Table Mountain and the Bo Kaap, and if that was not enough we were also presented with three gorgeous vegan desserts from the restaurant – berry cheesecake, chocolate ganache cake and (my favourite) the Snickers bar. This was only stop number 3 out of 8 so we had to start pacing ourselves a little, but oh my it was hard with so much deliciousness on offer!
After taking a few snaps we headed back down to street level and around the corner for a bit of traditional “street food”. We met Wardia who offered us some samoosas and freshly made sweet, soft and fragrant koeksisters – they were absolutely heavenly!
We made our way down to Bree Street and our next stop, the Cabrón Taco Bar where another feast awaited us. Cabrón has recently added some vegan options to its menu and our table was laden with goodies including corn chips, roasted tomato and coriander salsa, beetroot pesto, guacamole, roasted pumpkin seeds, vegan “cheese” and lemon and lime salt. And then the tacos arrived… I’ll let the pictures do the talking!
Three more stops to go, and we continued our meander down Bree Street popping into Heritage Square for a quick wander around. Next up we stopped at the Youngblood gallery. After taking in some of the exhibits we sat down at The Hot Skillet for some South African inspired nibbles (think pap, chakalaka and roosterkoek) and a delicious glass of Marianne Cape Blend.
But wait, there’s more! The next stop was probably my favourite of the tour – House of H in Loop Street. Previously a parking garage this restaurant and bar oozes vibrance and personality whilst at the same time giving off a comfortable and homely vibe. We met the owners, Heinrich (hence the “H”) and Christina before being seated at one of the large wooden tables inside and enjoying another delicious vegan plate including oyster mushrooms, panzanella salad, beetroot salad and rape crisps. Afterwards Christina took us up to the bar area a few floors up for some more incredible views over the city and again, the decor was quite striking with many of the walls covered in graffiti – all rather cool!
Our last stop as we headed back towards our starting point in Kloof Street was Moro Gelato in Long Street… because there is always space for ice cream, am I right? I am no stranger to Moro, where the ice cream is sublime and chocolate is on tap. Question is, how do I get one of those taps installed in my house?! There was just time for a decadent scoop of salty caramel popcorn gelato with a chocolate covered wafer before it was time to head home.
And if that hasn’t made you hungry then nothing will! This was the most enjoyable day in the most beautiful city in the world. I loved how the tour included vegan restaurants as well as restaurants with vegan options and something for everyone and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending a tour with Rupesh. To book your tour or find out more visit the Eat Like A Local website.
Thanks again to Eat Like A Local for inviting me to join your tour!