Auckland was my first stop in New Zealand and also the one where I enjoyed the most vegan food! Covering a huuuge area, you can find over 100 places serving vegan and vegetarian food options. I did my best on my tight budget to try as many places as possible, but also did a lot of research to see which places were the most highly rated! Here’s my list of the best vegan options in Auckland…..
RESTAURANTS / CAFES
Up first is one of the best burgers I’ve ever had! If you are craving a BIG fast food fix, Burgerie’s Tower Burger is for you! Loaded with a ‘beef’ patty, mushroom, hash brown, ham/ bacon slice, tomato, lettuce and smashed avocado. It’s not a restaurant, but more of a hole-in-the-wall joint and does serve meat as well. However, the owner is passionate about creating vegan options, understands veganism and has an extensive menu that is forever expanding.
Everything at Green Time is homemade, with a strong focus on grow-your-own, environmentally friendly ingredients and a zero waste mentality. The menu is 100% vegan and is a fusion of Mexican and Asian inspired dishes such as the Sexi Mexi burger, BBQ pulled pork sliders and Thai green curry noodles. None of the dishes are fried and alongside no animal products, you also won’t find refined sugar or peanuts.
Founded by health-conscious Olivia Scott, The Raw Kitchen began as an online store for raw, healthy cakes and snacks. After the initial success, Olivia has now opened up a shop in the City Works Depot, selling breakfast cups, salads, wraps, snacks, sweet treats, smoothies and nut milks all prepared daily.
Australian born chain Lord of the Fries began as a food truck serving loaded fries and has since expanded across to New Zealand. They have also expanded their menu to include burgers, hot dogs and sides. I tried the Parma burger which contains a chick’n patty, Napoli sauce, vegan cheese and soy bacon, topped with diced onion and ketchup. To be honest, I wasn’t that impressed with the burger itself. It was a bit…. meh. Tasty enough but nothing special and with a fairly hefty price tag. For the same price, you can have a much better burger at Burgerie. However, the loaded fries looked and sounded amazing, so I think I’d go for fries next time!
With two stores in Central Auckland, Revive offers a selection of hot and cold breakfast and lunches in a pick-and-mix set up. Choose a small, medium or large box with 2,3 or 4 choices and fill up on healthy salads or their warming hotpot dishes of the day. See their most recent menu here.
Situated just outside of the CBD in Newmarket, Wise Cicada offers 100% organic vegan dishes, fresh ‘living’ salads and at least one hot option each day. They also have a selection of raw, gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, and egg free cakes and slices. As well as the cafe, Wise Cicada also sells organic groceries and household products.
This is one place I am GUTTED I never got around to trying. I’m a huge pizza lover and word has it Il Buco is the place to go to grab authentic Italian pizza by the slice! They have 6 vegan options and 8 vegetarian options. I love the sound of their vegan americano with onion, spinach, vegan chorizo and mozzarella.
A typical burger joint, Better Burgers is a bit of a meat-fest, however I have heard their veggie/ vegan mushroom burger is a winner. For $12.50 you can get a burger, fries and drink which is great value for money!
This vegetarian cafe has plenty of vegan options for breakfast and lunch including juices, smoothies, salads, scrambled tofu, falafel pittas and a large range of open sandwiches.
This veggie and vegan restaurant serves up a selection of healthy, organic Asian-inspired dishes. You’ll find the usual dishes, including the classic Pad Thai, big noodle soup bowls with tofu or mock meats, and crispy chicken, but also a selection of Western options such as a tofu burger and ‘fish’ and chips!
Gifts from Heaven
Gifts from Heaven is a food-court style restaurant in Northcote’s Food City, a collection of supermarkets and Asian food shops. It has a big menu full of Asian dishes packed with tofu, veggies and mock meats.
Indian is always a good shout when catering to vegans or vegetarians. There are A LOT of highly rated Indian restaurants in Auckland, so here are a few suggestions:
Tart Bakery was one of the best bakeries (vegan or not) that I’ve ever been to. It seems lots of people agree with me as Tart is often praised for its epic bakes. I was in there for about 20 minutes trying to decide what to order. I ended up walking out $25 poorer and about 5lbs heavier! Between us, we tried a custard and berry pastry, chocolate doughnut, steak pie and cheese and spinach pie. All delicious!
Right in the centre of Auckland, you can find this tiny bakery with a range of vegan cakes, bakes and slices. They also have a larger cafe in Ponsonby with both serving smoothies and coffees in addition to their sweet treats. I tried the caramel slice which was very tasty – it even went down well with sweet tooth non-vegan Gary!
At the top of Queen Street is this little hole-in-the-wall eatery selling a range of sweet and savory pretzels, stuffed pretzels, pretzel pies and Manakish (a traditional Middle-Eastern flat bread topped with zaatar, spinach, walnuts and tomatoes). They clearly label which are vegan – I tried the stuffed apple and cinnamon pretzel which was lovely.
Giapo Ice Cream
Giapo is a ridiculously fancy ice cream parlour with a difference – you won’t find your average scoop here! They always have a few different vegan ice creams on offer, such as caramel or dark chocolate and peanut. Your scoops are dipped in various edible delights and served with flair – you can’t complain when your ice cream comes covered in edible glitter!
Along a similar line to Giapo, Milse is another place you can head to for a fancy dessert. They always have a vegan option available and you can watch at the bar as your edible work of art is created in front of you. This fine dining dessert restaurant also offers vegan chocolate bars and sorbet sticks which look amazing!
Choose from a wrap or pita bread and fill with as many salad items as you like. Add falafels, up to three sauces and you are good to go! A good option for grabbing something quick on the go.
I’m a little bit obsessed with Mexican food, so this actually ended up being my favourite place to grab a quick lunch. For $9.90 you can get a huuuge veggie burrito stuffed with veggies, lettuce, guacamole, rice, beans, salsa(s) and jalapenos. I ask for extra guacamole to make up for the lack of sour cream and cheese, and the staff were always happy to oblige. You can also make the nachos, tacos etc vegan too.
Another good spot for a cheap, easy lunch. I tried the ‘Combustion Tofu’ burger with teriyaki sauce, peanut sauce, avocado, salad and relish which was LUSH! There’s also one with pumpkin, carrot and ginger bites, grated beetroot with chia seeds, salad and relish or a mushroom, chickpea and basil pattie with plum sauce and salad. Just hold the aioli on all three to make them vegan. All their thick shakes can be made with soy milk and ice cream – the caramel shake was amazing!
Another Mexican chain, this is better for a sit down dinner. Offering all the usual options and, you can easily veganise by removing the sour cream and cheese etc. Just ask your server if you are unsure about a dish!
Every Saturday Parnell runs a Farmers Market in the car park of the Parnell Community Library selling lots of local fruits and veggies, bread, snacks, dips, olives, and more. You can also find The Vegan Deli here (although sadly not on the one week we went!) selling sausage rolls etc and nut cheeses.
Blissful Health and Vegetarian Products
Prepare yourself to spend a while here! We couldn’t decide what to buy – there was just SO much choice. Freezers FULL of mock meats, fish, tofu and shellfish plus rows of dry products and cans. We ended up with some great frozen beef chunks, canned chicken, korean style pork, dry mince and more..
This vegetarian and vegan Asian supermarket also stocks a huge range of Asian groceries and mock meats.