{Review} Nooka Café

One of my favorite veggie restaurants in the Mother City has to be Nooka Café. This vegetarian & vegan coffee shop is situated in Roeland Street, Cape Town and serves a variety of hearty Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. It’s my absolute go-to place for a falafel fix since I can’t get my hands on Falafel Fundi’s fluffiness.

Nooka opened its doors in November last year, by good friends Eliav Vanunu and Or Sivan. The idea was simple – to complement the existing veg/vegan restaurants in Cape Town but bring their own twist into the mix with atmosphere, flavor, and design. Eliav told me that both him and Or believe in following a healthy, meat-free lifestyle (yay!) and so they wanted to share their views and love for Israeli cuisine in this fast-growing market. All their dishes, health drinks, and juices are freshly made/squeezed and they try to support local suppliers as far as possible. They are also part of our phenomenal Green Monday movement and promote eating plant-based foods at least one day a week.

Nooka Cafe Cape Town

As mentioned, the menu offers a combination of Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean flavors, which is the essence of Israeli cuisine. The most traditionally Israeli dishes are the Nooka Shakshuka and Sabich on a Plate – omit the egg and you have yourself a fine vegan meal. I’ve been to Nooka Café more than a couple of times and tried many of their marvelous dishes, but my old-time favorite is starting off with The Nook (a tahini, banana, dates & soy milk drink @ R33) and then ordering a few smaller items to share around the table. For two pax, I suggest ordering the following:

  • 2x Nooka Lentil Falafels (@ R30 per portion) because you’ll want more than two balls each!
  • 1x Hummus plate (@ R50 per portion) but ask for an extra pita bread.
  • 1x Nooka Home Fries (@ R30 per portion) – trust me, they are not the fries you have in mind.
  • 1x Salad of your choice… I like the Pan Salad without feta (@ R70) or, of course, the Vegan Salad (@ R65)

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Nooka Café is open from 7am to 6pm Monday – Saturday, but hope to keep their doors open for late night snacking during the silly summer season. They offer free Wi-Fi which makes it a great spot for a quick business lunch (hence the reason Galia and I were there again yesterday), but parking is just always a bit of a b*itch. The exciting news is that they are looking to expand! As soon as they secure a top spot in Sea Point, they’ll open up branch number two.

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Pop into Nooka Café and delight your taste buds the next time you find yourself in the Gardens area. You can also follow Nooka on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Vegan love,
Leo xx

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