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Green to the core – our top ethical restaurants in Joburg

*Republished and updated (originally published in January 2020)

If, like us, one of your New Year’s resolutions are to consume less meat products and more plant-based, use less plastic, strive towards a zero-waste lifestyle and live more ethically, we have just the thing. We’ve rounded up the top ethical restaurants in Joburg that wiull leave your stomach satisfied and heart full of joy. 

Allow us to introduce you to the very first anti-ageing eatery. It’s revolutionary, really. So, what the heck does it mean? Firstly, every single dish has no added refined sugar plus is gluten-free and low-carb. Each dish has been intricately thought out for your wellbeing. The ingredients are high in antioxidants, contain collagen, will make you feel fresh and look younger. Basically, you can eat yourself pretty!

This new concept has been a roaring success because it’s evident that people are highly conscious about their food behaviours and also overspending habits. Why do we need to spend R7,000 on a night cream high in collagen when we can eat a green smoothie daily with a scoop of collagen? Just asking! Most importantly (and you need to know this), the food is delicious too. The chef, who previously worked at Fresh Earth, an all-vegetarian café in Emmarentia, is incredibly passionate about this style of food.

#HelloRecommends: The arrabiata butternut pasta that’s low-carb, wheat-free, gluten-free and absolutely delectable. Or one of the Bountiful Bowls, Detox Bowl, Wholesome Bowl or the Antioxidant Green Bowl. Also, they make their own breads and pastries and desserts in house and the vegan chocolate cake is to die for. Oh, and the scrumptious banana loaf or banoffee tart!

Clenergy Kitchen Hello Joburg

51 Greenfield Road, Greenside


The Health Food Emporium

This charming little café and grocer aims to provide its community with the best possible health options. We love it so much because it’s ridiculously affordable. The products for sale aren’t packaged so you need to bring your own glass jar or they’ll provide you with one which will cost you less. Plus, there’s no delivery fee, so again less cost for you. So, you can get your kombucha, kefir, legumes, mung beans, chia seeds, grains, make your own muesli or buy honey on tap at the best possible rate. Or you can simply grab a seat and have a delicious meal at the eatery.

#HelloRecommends: For the early riser, start off with a sugar-free real hot chocolate or hazelnut latte followed by a smoothie bowl. The Matcha Madness smoothie bowl is jam-packed with the goodness of mango, banana, matcha green tea powder and coconut milk. For the brunch enthusiast, order the chickpea vegetarian wrap with gluten and wheat-free wrap or a bowl of their creamy tomato soup.

Northlands Deco Park, Newmarket Road, Northriding


This is a humble space influenced by Africa where everything is right with the world again. The energy and flow of this brand-new location has the perfect Feng Shui equilibrium. It’s super-small, which lends to its cosy ambience and warm, welcoming atmosphere. As you sip on your yummy carnelian smoothie overlooking the Joburgers passing by, you’ll easily forget you’re sitting on the floor. Yip, that’s right – dining ensues on the floor. It’s extremely basic yet too cool – there are no frills or anything fancy; just wholesome goodness and celebrating food in its most natural form.

On weekends they have a beautiful buffet at R65 for a small plate or R90 for a large plate and you can eat as much as you want. They also offer reiki, yoga classes, reflexology, hypnotherapy, massages and life coaching sessions a new mom group. Plus, they have a mini zero-waste grocer.

#HelloRecommends: The tangy chickpea and tomato onion stew, wild mushroom green curry with coconut milk and vegan peanut butter chocolate brownies.

The Nest Cafe Hello Joburg

14 Gleneagles Road, Greenside (above Dukes Burgers)


We totally appreciate this concept because they’re trying to motivate us to newer ethical trends. “We started The Refillery because we are really concerned about our beautiful planet and we want to try (in our own small way) to help,” say owners Sam and Dom Moleta. This new planet-friendly grocer offers a stylish, convenient, plastic-free, ‘weigh-and-pay’ shopping experience that helps you to stock and re-stock your pantry with the highest quality, ethically sourced products. Also remember you can buy as much or as little as you want.

#HelloRecommends: Buying their 100% biodegradable coffee pods, wholewheat penne, nuts and seeds, and grains as well as their organic cacao powder, baobab powder, goji berries. We could go on … name it, they stock it! PS: You can even label each glass jar in your pantry for those OCD mutants out there.

Refillery Hello Joburg

Cedar Square, Cnr Willows Ave and Cedar Road, Fourways



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