Healthy eating spots in Joburg

The best spots for the most nourishing food in Joburg.

20 Mar 2015
restaurants, healthy, joburg

Vegan/ Vegetarian/Organic/Free-range

The Greenside Café

A multi-award winning little gem that’s been serving up Vegan delights for over 6 years (they are a whole food and plant-based establishment). It’s owner-run and has a great selection of different and interesting vegan pleasures: cheese-free pizzas with gluten-free bases, tofu ribbon pastas and a burger that you just have to try: made from mung beans, mushrooms, nuts, seeds and vine leaves, topped with salad and avo.

Free Food

Free Food is gluten, wheat, dairy, sugar, preservative and animal free food that still manages to be scrumptious and exciting! The brand started out selling ready-made vegan meals, but has now opened their very own diner and deli. Try the quinoa with spiced, marinated-then-seared tofu triangles, shitake mushrooms, carrot shavings, shredded red cabbage, cherry tomato and chives with toasted cashew nut and ginger jelly, the organic creamy kale with spicy tofu and red rice or one of their carb-free wraps which are also Banting-friendly.

Leafy Greens

On the same farm as the much revered Casalinga Restaurant and created by the same owners, It’s a raw food and vegan-friendly restaurant with an emphasis on ingredients that are in seasonal and that can be sourced locally and sustainably (much from their own garden in fact). They are famous for their weekend buffets offering an array sumptuous and healthy curries, salads, soups, ‘pizzas’, falafel, croquettes and breads that are all vegan-friendly. A must-try is their sugar, dairy and gluten-free cheesecake.


The call themselves ‘the home of the natural foodie’ and pride themselves in offering both fresh and seriously tasty, vegetarian food. They have a delectable range of freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices with the option of adding a shot of natural immune-boosting/anti-inflammatory/detoxing wonders. The salads are to die for with exciting combinations of veggies, cheeses, legumes, nuts and seeds that really prove that vegetarian food need not be boring. And, the burger patties are made using a falafel base or sweet potato, butternut, mushrooms, eggplant and more!

Conscious 108

They’re a vegan restaurant that is primarily focused on offering delicious vegan-friendly food that will cater to all tastes and palettes including their traditionally meat-orientated customers, this means they use soy as a substitute for meat in many of their dishes. They serve vegan-comfort foods like lentil ‘shepherd’s pie’ or the ‘conscious bowl’ (raw red cabbage, avo, carrots, sautéed spinach, quinoa and teamed chickpeas topped with hummus) as well as salads, wraps and burgers that all give you the feel-good factor.

Fresh Earth

Matthew Ballenden has become so successful with his range of gluten-free and wheat-free breads and baked goods that he’s actually opened a massive factory to deal with the overwhelming demand, but it all started in this little shop-come-restaurant. Matthew’s mission is to offer wholesome vegetarian and vegan food that is also delicious. Enjoy a menu that uses natural and organic ingredients free from artificial additives, sweeteners, colourants and preservatives. Opt for a gluten-free, vegan pizza, one of their fantastic veggie burgers or perhaps a Sunflower Nori Wrap (mixed lettuce, tomato, cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, avocado, sunflower seed pate and Asian tempeh wrapped in nori seaweed.)

Nü Health Food Café (they do free-range meat options too)

Free-range, sustainable, artisan…they’ve got it all, in fact they pride themselves so much on where and how they source their ingredients that they’ve dedicated their website to telling you exactly that. They have a range of breakfasts, chopped salads and low-GI multigrain wraps that will blow you away, with the added bonus of imported ‘guilt-free’ frozen yoghurt that’s low in sugar and fat and free from artificial colourants and flavourants.

Buffets and Great Salad Spots

Love Food

They have a daily harvest table is on display from 11.30am to 2.30pm serving an array of gorgeous salads and proteins that you can mix and match and that changes daily! The flavours are vibrant and the ingredients are always fresh; chargrilled cauliflower and wild rice salad, fresh slaw of baby spinach, beetroot  and grated raw courgette with poppy seeds and a honey mustard dressing to name but two.

Service Station

They have a daily lunch-time buffet that is a pay-by-weight vegetarian feast, abounding with salads and other delightful, baked, veggie treats. They also have a chalk board menu with delicious options for healthy salads or sandwiches AND the Bamboo centre hosts a Saturday market where you can get organic fresh produce, farm milk and butter, free-range eggs and chickens, preservative-free bread and fair-trade coffee.


It might be primarily a bakery, but they also do a fantastically healthy and sumptuous yet simple buffet-style lunch inclusive of about 5 different salads: roasted aubergine with slow roasted tomato, basil and feta and a red cabbage, pawpaw, pineapple and macadamia nuts are two gorgeous examples.


, Morningside, Rosebank, Atholl, Hyde Park, Melrose Arch, Village View

They have a fantastic array of salads; over 10 to choose from and all very different and bursting with flavour! Try the Tabouleh and Halloumi salad with bulgur wheat, fresh tomato, mint , parsley, red onion, lemon, olive oil, tossed with lettuce, micro greens and baby marrows or the Summer Salad with avo, watercress, spinach, sprouts, pumpkin seeds, black mushroom, red onion, mange tout and chicken.

Arbour Café

They serve gluten-free, savoury, buckwheat pancakes (galettes) as well as freshly squeezed juices and a delicious array of salads including chicken, avo, broccoli, beans, sun-dried tomato, Parmesan and pine nuts or the seared duck breast salad with orange, fennel, celery, lentils and pomegranate.

Take Away/Quick Bite

Be Leaf
Café Zing

- Kate Liquorish


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