Cape Town, South Africa – In a country famed for its meat-eaters and a city celebrated for its seafood cuisine, Adien Aggenbach has done the unconscionable – she’s opened a 100% vegan café in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa’s second biggest city. The much-anticipated opening of Plant will take place in February.

The name, which is a both a verb and a noun, conjures up connotations of growth, green and goodness. Items on the menu are sourced with the well being of earth and the animals that walk it, in mind. Many of the ingredients have been hand-produced in their kitchen to ensure food free of preservatives and harsh ingredients – from the smooth dairy-free cream cheese on a bagel, to the dollops of eggless mayo and the tasty non-bacon strips on the scrumptious BLT, everything is 100% plant based and prepared without harming a single animal.  On offer daily for breakfast and lunch is a delicious assortment of muffins, pies and salads, with gluten-free options to choose from for breakfast and lunch. There is also a meritorious medley of cold-pressed fruit juice and smoothies to titillate the taste buds.

Aggenbach who also runs African Vegan Outreach (AVO) a non-profit organization aimed at bringing the vegan message of compassion and non-violence to South African consumers, says that the opening of Plant is long overdue because there are such limited options for vegans in a city that boasts thousands of restaurants. However, she says the main reason for Plant “is to find a different way to do education and outreach.  We do outreach with African Vegan Outreach but I find that people are more open to ideas when you show them that there are so many delicious food options.  My goal is to make plant-based food readily available in South Africa and to educate while we are serving amazing meals.”

The vegan message, according to is that eating non-animal products is “not just a diet or a label. Veganism is the principle that human-animals should live without exploiting other animals” but at the same time going vegan “can guarantee you better health (mentally and physically) and the knowing that you are indeed making this world a better place.”

This is a bold move given the prevailing preference for consuming animal foodstuff in South Africa. Asked what she thought of a 100% vegan restaurant in Cape Town one local facetiously quipped that “it would be hard in an environment gripped in the thrall of a protein-fat feeding frenzy” but Adien believes she can make a difference. South Africans are very good at adapting to new concepts and Capetonians pride themselves on being eclectic. Perhaps this may be a new trend for a city renowned for its gastronomic variety and excellence.



Adam Cruise

Adam Cruise is a published author and writer specialising in Africa, Europe and it’s environment. He travels extensively throughout the two continents commenting, documenting and highlighting many of the environmental concerns that face the regions. He is a well-known travel, animal ethic and environmental writer having his articles published in a variety of magazines and newspapers. The rich and varied cultural and historical aspects of both continents have also fascinated Cruise and are evident in much of his writings.

You may also like...

13 Responses

  1. Poppy Fields says:

    LOL! Well that’s just rubbish! Cape Towns first 100% vegan restaurant was Bella Vegan,first opened in 2009, followed by Closer in Muizenberg, then Bolo Bolo ( which is in Observatory, still all Vegan ). Spades and Spoons, in Plumstead, are 100% Raw-Vegan. Facts people…last I checked Obz, Plumstead and Muizenberg are part of Cape Town City? Very misleading. Headline should read, more accurately, City Bowl! Plant are doing nothing new but rather following in the wake of Leafy Greens and Greens Cafe, Bella Vegan, Closer, Bolo Bolo and Spades and Spoons. With all the hard ground-work already having been dug up and smoothed over, well composted, tended and blossoming their “work” running an all vegan restaurant should be a walk in the park.

  2. colleen says:

    A 100% vegan café is looong overdue in the Mother City
    and most welcome to compassionate eaters.

  3. Angela says:

    Hi Adam

    Super exciting news for us plant-based folk, but where is it? 🙂

  4. Lyndi Retief says:

    I’m very excited to hear about Plant- I think that it is a great concept not only for us vegans (who struggle to find suitable options at most restaurants) but also for people who would like to consider the switch. The dedication, love, commitment and sharing of this lifestyle is bold and transformational- thank you!

  5. cupcakemummy says:

    FINALLY!!! so hard to go and eat out when you’re a vegan, now at least i can tell people where we’re meeting up 😉

  6. Jeanne says:

    Good news. But it’s certainly not the first vegan cafe in Cape Town by far…!!?

  7. Mignonne van Heerden says:

    Wow, this is fantastic news! Cape Town should promote a Vegan Route – similar to the Wine Route. It is clear that there are a lot of markets, bakers and food entrepeneurs in the Mother City catering for humane eating.

  8. Schontelle says:

    Awesome. This is looooooon overdue!

  9. I am delighted and excited that Plant has opened in the CBD, which makes it central, for a start; the ‘burb’s tend to lose the none-locals. The teaser menu looks awesome, even for the animal-product obsessed! I have no doubt that the tables will be filled by regulars. Adien’s dream is being realised and I for one am looking forward to working my way through the menu…Mazeltov to Adien and the Plant team, may Plant wildly exceed all your expectations!

Leave a Reply