Many years ago there was little to choose from for a vegan on a restaurant menu. You could have a garden salad and the vegetables of the day. Creamed spinach was as creative as things got, and sometimes a roasted mushroom made an appearance.
All that has changed and now you will find some great options on most restaurants in the area. There are some restaurants dedicated to providing delicious and sustainable plant based meals using local ingredients – here are some of our favourite places for vegetarian and vegan options in Knysna.
Oak Leaf Restaurant in Belvidere
Oak Leaf is situated in the picturesque suburb of Belvidere away from the hustle and bustle of town. There is indoor and outdoor seating in the courtyard, or under the grapevine. It caters for all dietary requirements with a focus on sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients.
Everything on the menu is scrumptious, but my personal favourite from the vegan menu is the Beet Ball Buddha Bowl. It is packed with delicious goodness – pan-fried beets, quinoa, spinach, red cabbage, edamame beans, hummus, cashew nut cheese and more. It is mouth wateringly good. While you are there, stock up from their deli which offers a wide range of vegan products, including cheeses.
The Node at Oaks on Main
On the busy main road right in the middle of Knysna town you will find the haven, Oaks on Main. This shopping centre is delightful with locally-owned shops offering unique goods and delicious food. The Node is a firm favourite. It offers cold-pressed juices, light meals, vegan options and artisanal gifts. The food is seasonal and fresh and is made with love and creative flair.
On our recent visit we ate a delicious falafel meal. It was a deconstructed pita bread with oven baked falafel, and it came with tzatziki and hummus. And delicious homemade tabbouleh. The juice is freshly squeezed and packed with goodness. Another firm favourite is the “nice cream”, perfect for a hot summer’s day.
Peace of Eden in Rheenendal
Peace of Eden is a Vegan Nature Lodge and Forest Retreat. It is a magical and whimsical place to stay. You don’t have to be a resident, though, to enjoy a delicious meal at the pop up cafe. Meals at the Forest Cafe are a creative affair – passionately vegan, nourishing and never boring. They are inspired by the forest, by what is available, and what is sustainable.
We love the idea of the “Secret Dinner” at Peace of Eden, and it will be a highlight of your visit to Knysna.
Liola in Sedgefield
Liola at the Scarab Market is popular with locals and visitors alike. It does sit-in meals and take-aways (think ahead and get tomorrow’s meal sorted). It’s hard to choose a favourite from the menu, but the Funghi Risotto is delicious.
Other options to try are:
Chef Mau-Mau’s Rise’n Shine Restaurant the Rastafarian Village at Judah Square
*Article written by Visit Knysna – March 2021.