Water-wise restaurants in Cape Town
With the drought on every Capetonian’s mind, it’s more important than ever for businesses to adapt themselves to the situation. Kitchens can be notoriously water-heavy, and as a responsible traveller it’s important that you choose the most water-wise places to eat. Below, you’ll find some of the restaurants in Cape Town that have made every effort to reduce their usage.
Vineyard Hotel, Newlands
The Vineyard Hotel in Newlands has made a big change to its menus: no more pasta or boiled vegetables. They’re using other cooking methods like frying and streaming. Water used to wash vegetables is stored and re-used too. The four restaurants (The Square, Myoga, Garden Lounge and Splash Café) have all made these water-wise changes so you can enjoy a meal guilt-free.
Catch22 is a fantastic venue with ocean-side dining, fresh seafood, and tasty cocktails. They’ve done away with ice-buckets, opting instead to use wine-cooler sleeves that are stored in the freezer and can be re-used many times.
Tribe Coffee, City Bowl
Tribe is a little different to most of Cape Town’s coffee shops. It is the perfect place for enjoying a cup of coffee and some quiet reflection. The atmosphere is zen-like and soothing, there is no better place to relax and take some time out to truly unwind. They’re now making use of paper and wooden coffee cups to save water.
IYO Burgers, City Bowl
IYO (Inside & You’re Out) Burgers on Bree Street is one of the hippest places to get a burger in Cape Town. The burgers are unique and the curly fries are among the best in the Mother City. To save water, they use grey water to irrigate plants, and re-use water in the kitchen where possible.
Villa 47, City Bowl
Villa 47 in the City Bowl has a tapas bar and restaurant, serving creations with a mix of Mediterranean and Asian flavour in a slick, contemporary setting. The establishment has introduced water-saving devices on their taps, and they use 25-litre water containers to catch the overflow from the ice machines and aircons. This water is used for washing floors. They’ve also done away with table cloths, and use only paper napkins.
Massimo’s, Hout Bay
Massimo’s is one of the best places to get pizza in Cape Town. They have also made some big changes to help conserve water. Pizzas are served on a wooden board covered with paper, and water and soft drinks come in biodegradable paper cups. Drinks that come in cans or bottles are served as is, with a biodegradable straw. Instead of bringing water to tables, there are water stations where patrons can help themselves to a cup.
The Cousins, City Bowl
The Cousins is famous for it’s genuine Italian homemade pasta dishes. To save water, they have started serving food in 100% biodegradable plates, and drinks will be served in 100% biodegradable cups or goblets. (They do allow you to bring your own glassware if you want to!) Ice won’t be supplied, and drinks will be served ice-cold from the fridge. The bathroom taps have been turned off, but they’ve supplied sanitizer serviettes to clean your hands with.
Banana Jam, Kenilworth
This casual, Carribbean-themed dining spot in Kenilworth is known for it’s delicious pizzas, burgers, and Carribbean fare. They have installed aerators on all taps to reduce usage, and they use stored water in the bathrooms. There is plenty of signage to make sure diners are aware of the issue, and the kitchen is also re-using water where possible.
Eight Restaurant at Spier, Stellenbosch
Spier is truly ahead of the curve when it comes to using water wisely. Eight Restaurant is using a new Water From Air™ machine, which can make up to 1,500 litres of water a day from thin air. The machine draws in air, cooling it until it condenses. The condensation is filtered nine times and purified using UV light. In addition, 400 water saving devices have been installed. The estate as a whole has many impressive water saving initiatives.
Saucisse Deli, Woodstock
The charming Saucisse Deli in Woodstock is owned by the eco-conscious restaurateur and chef, Amanda Lewis. She has not only made big changes to her own establishment, but is calling all other restaurants to do the same. They’ve really covered all angles too. The deli uses biodegradable cleaning products, to make the use of grey water safer. In the kitchen, buckets are used to clean dishes, as opposed to filling sinks or running the taps. They also offer alternatives to meat and have embraced meat-free Mondays, which is important when taking the big picture into account. Where possible, beef has been switched for venison or vegetarian options. The ice bucket water is used to soak dishes before washing, and boiling has been replaced with steaming.
La Bottega, Woodstock
La Bottega is a small Italian restaurant, and they do amazing pizza and Italian main meals. The restaurant has embraced water-wise methods, and they’re using one particularly clever trick: they’ve installed a pipe to catch all water from the ice troughs. This has allowed them to harvest 200 litres of water a day to use for flushing, watering plants, and cleaning.