I’m not a vegetarian and definitely not a vegan. While I totally recognize the benefits of a plant-based diet, both for myself and the planet, I love the occasional burger just a little too much to make that leap. (Don’t even get me started on cheese.)

That said, I do limit my meat consumption at home and I often order vegetarian dishes in restaurants. And I empathize with the plight of vegetarians and vegans in South Africa, a country full of rabid meat-eaters.

So when I heard — twice in the same week — about a mysterious takeaway restaurant called the Fussy Vegan hidden at a Caltex garage in Blairgowrie, I headed right over.

Fussy Vegan restaurant in Blairgowrie
The Fussy Vegan.

An Unfussy Lunch From the Fussy Vegan

I love everything about the Fussy Vegan. I love the name, which is evocative and easy to remember. I love that the Fussy Vegan is hidden in plain sight, sandwiched between a petrol station convenience store and a car wash. I love the branding and the friendly staff and the interesting selection of products, almost all locally sourced. Most importantly, I love the taste of the food.

Inside the Fussy Vegan.
Inside the Fussy Vegan.
Dairy-free cheese in the Fussy Vegan fridge.
Fancy-looking “fauxmage” in the fridge.
Vegetarian biltong from the Fussy Vegan.Yes,
Yes, the Fussy Vegan sells meat-free biltong. I’m not a huge biltong fan so I didn’t buy any, but a meat-eating South African friend told me he really likes it.

I showed up around 12:30 on a Thursday afternoon and the shop quickly filled up behind me. I heard one woman say she’d come all the way from Krugersdorp.

I struggled to decide what to order. Everyone around me seemed to be ordering the Beyond Burger, a high-tech vegetarian burger that is supposed to taste exactly like meat. But I couldn’t resist the mac-and-cheese burrito. Then I glimpsed the baked goods in a cabinet behind the cash register and decided to throw in a cinnamon roll.

Fussy Vegan menu
The menu. There are no animal products in any of these dishes.

I waited five or ten minutes for my food, paid the modest bill, and headed to a friend’s house.

Vegan mac-and-cheese burrito from the Fussy Vegan.
My burrito.
Mac-and-cheese burrito from the Fussy Vegan.
A few bites in.

I have no idea what this mac-and-cheese burrito was made of. But I do know it contained no meat, no butter, no milk, and — impossibly — no cheese. Yet it was mouth-watering. The sauce was creamy, tangy, and flavorful — not cheesy exactly but equally as good-tasting as cheese.

I devoured the whole burrito in under five minutes. I told myself I would only eat a bite of the cinnamon roll and save the rest for later, but then decided what the hell and devoured that too.

Fussy Vegan cinnamon roll
The Fussy Vegan cinnamon roll.

Bam. The Fussy Vegan is a can’t-miss. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, this joint will save your life. If you’re a meat-eater you’ll love it anyway. Go.

The Fussy Vegan is at the Caltex Waterfall on Jan Smuts Avenue, Blairgowrie. Call 060-716-6029.

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