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Best restaurants for vegetarians

The food world is getting better at giving choices to those of us who don’t favour a carnivore’s diet.

It used to be that a restaurant menu might have one vegetarian option – if you’re lucky, it won’t merely be a simple salad – but now, well, there are whole restaurants dedicated to a plant-based diet in all of New Zealand’s major cities.

Whether you adhere to a meat-free diet or you just really love vegetables, these are the best restaurants in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin for vegetarians – and most of them are ideal for vegans, too.


The Blue Bird Vegetarian Café, Dominion Road

“Bird” most definitely isn’t the word at The Blue Bird Vegetarian Café in Mount Eden; the word is “delicious”. It’s like an oasis of vegetarian and vegan food in an ocean of Big Macs and steak, serving tasty vegetarian salads, sandwiches and hot-pots as well as a range of sweet treats.

Raw Power Café, Vulcan Lane

Power through the day with Raw Power, probably the best-named vegetarian restaurant in all of New Zealand. With a huge selection of hot meals – including cooked breakfasts – this is one Auckland vegetarian restaurant that even the most ferocious meat-eater can embrace.

Revive, Lorne Street & Fort Street

Suitable for vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free diets, Revive vegetarian café on Lorne Street and on Fort Street is all about offering a healthy alternative to other cafes and restaurants. It uses only fresh, locally grown produce and its salad menu changes daily.

Loving Hut, Victoria Street West

What Pizza Hut is to pizza, Loving Hut could well be to the world of vegan food – and we don’t mean it’s cheap and nasty. Loving Hut has hundreds of outlets in major cities all across Planet Earth, making it the fastest-growing vegan restaurant in the world. As for the food, well, there’s a reason for this restaurant’s success.

Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant, High Street

You won’t have to eat like a rabbit here, where you’ll find a great range of mock meats as well as veggie burgers and vegetarian desserts. Best of all, Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant is as inexpensive as its food is good.


Vegan Buffet, Ward Street

Formerly the Chinese Healthy Vegetarian Food restaurant, Vegan Buffet is as aptly named as any other restaurant on this list. The name really says it all; this is a buffet-style vegan restaurant that’s proves variety is the spice of life – even for vegans and vegetarians.

Blissful Healthy Vegan Takeaways

Blissful by name and nature, this vegan takeaway restaurant serves tasty food that is both easy on your body – and on your wallet. Blissful Healthy Vegan Takeaways and Buffet prove that, though Waikato may be moo-loo country, you don’t have to eat cow to fit in.


Nature Vegetarian Food, High Street

We’re not sure about the terrible name – but even the most ardent carnivore would have to concede that the food at Nature Vegetarian Food is tasty as. Its Thai, Chinese, Malaysian and Western dishes include curry puffs and BBQ buns, nasi lemak and bean curd with black bean sauce, just to name a few.

Aunty Mena’s Vegetarian Café, Cuba Street

Meat-free Chinese and Malaysian dishes are the order of the day at Aunty Mena’s Vegetarian Café, a dinky little joint on Cuba Street. What the restaurant may lack in pizzazz it more than makes up for with its tasty food.


The Lotus-Heart Vegetarian Restaurant, St Asaph Street

Christchurch’s Lotus-Heart Vegetarian Restaurant is dedicated to conscious living and healthy eating, catering to all of its customers dietary requirements. Whether you’re vegan, gluten-free or on a raw-food diet, you’ll no doubt find something delicious to eat here.


Circadian Rhythm, St Andrew Street

Southern men and women need not feel left out when it comes to vegetarian food – Circadian Rhythm is among the best vegetarian restaurants in the country. Think all-you-can-eat buffets from $9.50, homemade baking, fair trade organic coffee, vegan beer and live music on Friday nights.

You might also enjoy the best low-fat dining options.

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  1. 299 Dominion Road, Mount Eden, Auckland City, Auckland
  2. B
  3. Floor 1, 10 Vulcan Lane, Auckland Central, Auckland
  4. C
  5. 61 Victoria Street West, Auckland Central, Auckland City, Auckland
  6. D
  7. Level 1, 50 High Street, Auckland, Auckland
  8. E
  9. 148 Ward Street, Hamilton West, Hamilton City, Waikato
  10. F
  11. 519 High Street, Boulcott, Lower Hutt City, Wellington
  12. G
  13. 167 Cuba Street, Wellington Central, Wellington City, Wellington
  14. H
  15. 363 St Asaph Street, Christchurch Central, Canterbury
  16. I
  17. 72 St Andrew Street, Dunedin City Centre, Dunedin City, Otago

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