Living green has become super easy. We are seeing more supermarkets stock eco-friendly produce, popular clothing, cosmetics and lifestyle brands have created ranges for eco-warriors, and even restaurants and eateries are being erected that concern themselves with wellness and sustainability. It is such a joy to walk into some of my favourite shops and cafes in Jozi and see that I’ve been catered for.

Here is a list of my top 5 wellness spots in the city:

Leafy Greens

True farm-to-table dining has been achieved at this vegan/vegetarian restaurant. The daily breakfast and lunch buffet is a display of all the fruits and vegetables growing in the garden that have been carefully picked for your enjoyment. If you prefer your meals cooked, an a la carte menu is on hand too. Every plate has had a generous helping of goodness poured into it, and you can taste it from the very first bite.

What I like about this oasis is that you really feel like you’ve escaped the restlessness of the city. A few kms away from the big smoke, but minutes after you arrive Johannesburg seems like it’s hours away.Not only that, but the entire ethos of Leafy Green encourages wellness. Weary diners can even spend a night or two – to recoup – in the peace and tranquility of La Casa cottages. You’ll return feeling like you’ve been on vacation.

Urbanologi

Here is a fine-dining restaurant steeped in history and concerned with conscious consumption. Nestled in one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city, Urbanologi honors the land with ethical culinary practises that include the local sourcing of products and zero-waste cooking. You’ll never eat the same meal twice, as the menu is season and extremely creative. Meat lovers and vegan/vegetarians can dine in the industrial-style eatery adorned with breathtaking murals.

As an amatuer foodie myself, I appreciate the creativity Chef Jack Coetzee implores in coming up with fresh new dishes on a regular basis.

Eat Your Heart Out

Grazers will love this Jewish deli as it is always stocked with the freshest breads and yummiest hummus. The perfect place to spend a sunny Sunday morning; either start your day off with a filling breakfast, before diving into the busy-ness that is the Maboneng Precinct over the weekend, or reward yourself after a few hours of shopping for discounted arts and crafts at the markets. There is a generous offering of delicious vegan fare, made from scratch of sourced locally.

Maboneng is a circus over the weekend, being able to grab a bite in a deli in the area helps me feel part of the excitable energy without getting lost in the flurry of it all.

Marble Restaurant

If you want to be wowed by food, you’ll get on the phone and make a reservation now! The talented David Higgs has conceptualised a dining experience around his love of South African cooking and his fascination with fire. The interior design is a sensory boast of local artists, which fairly reflects the creativity of the Keyes Art Mile it is located in. Every day, a seasonal invention upstages a menu already filled with locally-sourced options for both meat lovers and vegans to enjoy. My friends and I regularly patronize the restaurant for cocktails at sundown, though we’d love to eat them more often, the prices reflect the esteem that comes with David’s reputation.

Free Food*

Eateries that adequately cater to gluten- and lactose-intolerant diners are few and far between. This modest canteen makes some of the most delicious bowls and broths I’ve ever tasted – and it’s all meat free! What’s more, they have the most indulgent range of take away goodies. The wheat-, sugar- and dairy-free nut cheeses, coconut macaroons, syrups, and chocolate squares are also free of any animal-derived ingredients too.

I was skeptical about trying their tofu bowl – a traumatising first experience with the curd still gives me gooseflesh – but I was pleasantly surprised. This is always my go-to after I’ve done some shopping at either Rosebank or Melrose Arch.

UnbeLEAFable Outdoor Spots in Jozi

An Interview with I Love Coffee ‘The World’s Kindest Coffee Brand’