Can we get vegetarian food in New Zealand easily?
Top 18 Places to Eat For Vegans & Vegetarians
If you are a vegetarian or vegan wondering whether you can easily find your preferred type of food in New Zealand, the answer is yes. It’s quite easy, especially in big cities like Auckland and Christchurch.
There are many restaurants with a dedicated vegetarian and vegan menu. It can also be found on the menu of almost every restaurant and cafe across the country. What’s more, supermarkets and accommodations are filled with vegetarian and vegan items. 10% of New Zealanders are vegetarian and thousands of vegetarians visit the country every year. Auckland, the most populated city in New Zealand, is the 13th most vegetarian-friendly city in the world, so you won’t be having a hard time finding your preferred food in New Zealand.
In this blog post, I’m going to share some tips for finding vegetarian and vegan food in New Zealand, as well as some of my favorite restaurants.
So, whether you’re a lifelong vegetarian or just looking to try something new, keep reading cause we are going to get straight to the point: Where to get food?!
In this article you will read:
Dedicated Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurants:
When it comes to vegetarian food, your first choice is a dedicated vegetarian restaurant, which is on the rise, as more and more people are choosing to eat less meat or no meat at all. These restaurants offer a wide variety of delicious and innovative vegetarian dishes.
If you are vegan, you should be extra careful because while vegetarian meals are commonly on menus, vegan meals are not. Chefs will be able to prepare a good vegan meal for you only if you describe your dietary preferences. In doing so, you should pay attention to these facts: fish is often considered vegetarian, oysters and fish sauce can be in curries, cheese often contains calf rennet, and wine can contain isinglass (from fish swim bladders).
Make sure you check these with the waiter before ordering your meal. It is not challenging for English-speaking tourists to explain their dietary preferences as New Zealand is an English-speaking country.
1- Gorilla Kitchen
One of the very first restaurants you should consider going to is Gorilla Kitchen, a vegan restaurant that avoids using any animal products. If you’re looking to boost your health and wellness, this place suggests going for a diet that focuses on plant-based foods. They believe that this approach will help you build a stronger and healthier body.
A classic NZ cafe experience, but made vegan. The wide range of pizzas, burgers, salads and more all come in very generous portions, so come hungry. Great value for money. Vegans and non-vegans alike are spoiled for choice with the large menu filled with both hearty faux meat bites and healthier options too. You will leave very full.
Joseph – Google reviews
- Address: 159 Symonds Street, Eden Terrace, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
- Phone: +64 22 060 6763
2- Aunty Mena
Another good place is Aunty Mena’s Vegetarian Restaurant. If you’re looking for a tasty and affordable vegetarian meal, Aunty Mena is the perfect spot! With a diverse menu that includes vegetarian nuggets and deep-fried mushrooms as the entree, this restaurant offers something for everyone.
I love this restaurant. I have been many times over the years and on my vegan journey. I enjoyed it so much more after being vegan for six years. I appreciated the friendly fast service. Will be visiting many more times.
Pros: All vegan, Fast friendly service, delicious menu
EmmaLouise33 – happycow
- Address: 167 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
- Phone: +64 4 382 8288
3- East St
East St. is a vegan restaurant, cafe, and wine bar in Nelson, New Zealand. East St. is a casual place that’s suitable for large groups. It also has special features for families with children, such as reduced rates, a kid’s club, or a place for children to play. They serve a variety of vegetarian dishes, including falafel, garbanzo fingers, and chicken sandwiches.
I have to say I was surprised to find a Vegan Restaurant in this small town. I was on a tour of New Zealand when we stayed in Nelson. As a friend and I walked around Nelson looking for somewhere to eat that suited us both. We bumped into another person and our tour. After much persuasion my friend a very fussy meat eater agreed reluctantly to try it. The food was one of the best meals that I had had on this holiday. Even my friend agreed that the food was very tasty.
Lady Traveller – tripadvisor
- Address: 8 Church Street, Nelson 7010, New Zealand
- Phone: +64 3 970 0575
Indian food is known for being vegetarian-friendly and there are plenty of Indian restaurants all across New Zealand. So, you will have no trouble finding a good Indian restaurant in a major city or a tourist spot.
4. Ras Vatika Indian Vegetarian Restaurant
This restaurant offers a wide range of Indian vegetarian dishes, including dosas, idlis, and curries. The food is all made with fresh, high-quality ingredients, and the service is excellent.
Such a lovely and welcoming space, and the staff are wonderful. Felt very “at home” here. I ordered the Chole Bhature and it didn’t take too long to cook and serve. It was sooooo tasty and super fresh. Looking forward to trying more of their menu.
Salamasina P – Google reviews
- Address: 596 Dominion Road, Mount Eden, Auckland 1041, New Zealand
- Phone: +64 9 623 2145
5. Mumbai Chaat
This restaurant specializes in chaat, a popular Indian street food. The chaats are all made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, and the flavors are simply amazing.
It’s a good place to have a healthy homemade food. I loved the food they made. I tried allo prantha and thali and food they provide is fresh n tasty. I loved their rotis so soft n thin.
sharma vidhi – Google reviews
- Address: 71 Taylor Street, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland 0600, New Zealand
- Phone: +64 9 820 9393
6. Saravanaa Bhavan
This international chain restaurant is known for its delicious South Indian vegetarian dishes. The menu features a wide range of dishes, including dosas, idlis, and uttapams.
I was really happy with the food and thankful for the staff for taking on board my preferences of the palak curry to be vegan and mild. Really appreciated how we could place an online order but specify we want to dine-in so that the food was ready when we arrived. It’s really helpful to save us ordering time! The staff who served us were really polite and friendly too, I note their nicknames being the moon and the star.
Purita Mok – Google reviews
- Address: 51E Hobson Street, CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
- Phone: +64 9 218 8012
Italian And Pizza Places:
Pasta or vegetable pizza as a vegetarian food is a safe bet anywhere in the world, and New Zealand is no different. While ordering, just make sure that the pasta sauce has no meat and the white sauce has no eggs (if you do not eat eggs).
If you are particular about animal rennet in cheese, then ask for cheese that is made with vegetarian rennet or leave out the cheese altogether.
7. Toto Pizza
This casual pizzeria is known for its delicious and authentic Neapolitan pizza. The pizzas are made with fresh, high-quality ingredients and cooked in a wood-fired oven.
One of the best pizzas in town, they also have vegan options which is a big plus! Great and friendly staff!
Rok Papež – Google reviews
- Address: 5 Hardinge Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
- Phone: +64 800 868 677
8. Archie’s Restaurant & Pizzeria
This relaxed Italian eatery offers a variety of wood-fired pizzas, as well as other Italian dishes like pasta and risotto. There’s also a lovely terrace for outdoor dining.
What a delightful restaurant! The atmosphere is lovely, staff are super helpful, friendly, and attentive; even when the place is packed. The food is incredible! So tasty, with huge portions, and an amazing range to choose from.
Karen Turner – Google reviews
- Address: 63 Davis Crescent, Newmarket, Auckland 1023, New Zealand
- Phone: +64 9 523 5111
9. Al Volo Pizza
This Neapolitan pizzeria is known for its light and airy crusts and its generous toppings. The pizzas are cooked to perfection in a wood-fired oven.
Al Volo Pizzas are awesome, and the pasta too. This is food made with pride & passion. I say this is Auckland’s best pizza – certainly, I haven’t found anywhere else that even comes close. Eating in is a pleasure, takeout is a treat. Service is genuine, attentive & professional.
Brett Patchett – Google reviews
- Address: 27 Mount Eden Road, Grafton, Auckland 1023, New Zealand
- Phone: +64 9 302 2500
Well-known burger joints in New Zealand will almost certainly have a vegetarian option. The most common options are the veggie burger and the falafel burger. Veggie burgers are no longer just a niche food in New Zealand, they’re now mainstream and enjoyed by people of all dietary persuasions. This is thanks to the growing number of restaurants and cafes serving up delicious and creative veggie burger options.
10. Lord of the Fries
Lord of the Fries is a vegan fast-food restaurant with delicious fries and burgers. It is casual in nature and popular among late-night partygoers, but is also suitable for daytime visits.
I passed by this fast food before while in Australia, not knowing that it’s vegan. After Google suggested this to me in Auckland, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Then I gave it a try and I was really surprised at the variety of the choices here. Looks like your regular “burgers and fries” fast food – only vegan.
_tevob2017 – TripAdvisor
- Address: 183 Karangahape Road 1 Shop 2, St Kevins Arcade, Auckland Central, Auckland 1010 New Zealand
- Phone: +64 9-600 1234
11. Wise Boys
Wise Boys Burgers is a vegan burger joint that serves up some of the most delicious burgers in Auckland. Their sustainability efforts are admirable, and their burgers will leave you feeling satisfied any time of day.
Unexpectedly lovely food. No idea it was a plant-based menu, and after enjoying a ‘cheeseburger’, I still wouldn’t be able to say for sure. The Tater Tots are in-cred-i-ble 😍 In a busy food court, nice and easy to order, great food 👍🏽 Vegetarian options: The entire menu is vegan. Kid-friendliness: Yep. Wheelchair accessibility: In a food court, all one level. Dietary restrictions: All vegan, so all vegetarian, and a number of gluten free options too.
Nirmal Grewal – Google reviews
- Address: Commercial Bay 7 Queen Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
- Phone: +64 9 302 0440
12. Burger Fuel
This New Zealand-wide burger chain has a few veggie burger options on the menu, including the V8 Vegan and the Kumara and Feta Burger.
The food was delicious as always, fresh ingredients and perfectly cooked. The service was great, staff were friendly and courteous. It’s my favorite burger joint 😊
Sarah Tribe – Google reviews
- Address: Shop 2/3070A Great North Road, New Lynn, Auckland 0600, New Zealand
- Phone: +64 9 827 6009
You will find a good number of Asian and Southeast Asian food places throughout New Zealand. Thai food is the most common. Chinese food is also easily available.
Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant is a small and intimate vegan eatery in the heart of Auckland specializing in Thai dishes, as well as Chinese and American options. The restaurant offers a variety of authentic Thai flavors, as well as freshly squeezed juices and traditional Thai teas to complement your meal.
Been here twice in a week. The food is fantastic! Highly recommend. I’m celiac and vegan so hard to eat out but the staff is wonderful/helpful and felt safe eating (no reactions either time). Will be going back again soon.
Beks Barootes – Google reviews
- Address: 6/50 High Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
- Phone: +64 9 302 0616
14. Chow Tory
Chow Tory is a Pan-Asian restaurant located in the heart of Wellington that serves up delicious curries, noodles, mains, and cocktails. They are known for their modern and casual atmosphere as well as their delicious food options that meet all kinds of dietary needs. Chow Tory offers a vegan takeover day every Tuesday, which is sure to satisfy both meat-eaters and vegans alike!
Service is always good they are quick to seat you if you have booked in advance. Food is pretty good it is sharing plate type of restaurant so you usually buy a few different dishes. Very yummy and always delicious.
Harmonypaea – Google reviews
- Address: 45 Tory Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
- Phone: +64 4 382 8585
The Botanist is a vegetarian restaurant that offers innovative organic and vegan meals that are so satisfying you won’t miss meat. The garden outside the restaurant is popular for brunch or drinks in the sun.
It is a hidden gem, nestled just in front of the beach, offering breath-taking views of the ocean. Whether you’re a local looking for a peaceful spot or a traveler seeking a tranquil retreat, its location is a definite winner. The menu is a paradise for vegetarians, and the options are both innovative and satisfying.
William Ericsson Eulatth Vidal – Google reviews
- Address: 219 Onepu Road, Lyall Bay, Wellington 6022, New Zealand
- Phone: +64 4 891 0198
New Zealand has a strong coffee culture and Wellington, in particular, has some of the best cafes in the country. Interestingly, coffee shops and cafes are great places to find a vegetarian snack or perhaps even a full vegetarian meal. Sandwiches and smoothies can be found in cafes across New Zealand.
16. Raw vegan cafe
Raw vegan cafe Little Bird Kitchen located in Britomart offers an extensive range of plant-based food, which is suitable for everyone. The cafe also has a takeaway spot and operates as an offshoot of the raw food restaurant Little Bird.
Absolutely sensational breakfast at Little Bird Kitchen!! Blew my mind how good everything was!! As a gf vegan I feel so valued by this menu 😋 it was sooo tasty!! Great interior, lovely staff, and afforable high quality meals! What more could you want?
Caitlyn – Google reviews
- Address: Summer Street &, Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland 1011, New Zealand
- Phone: +64 27 648 4757
17. Sweet Release
If you’re looking for a vegan cafe that offers delicious food, then Sweet Release is definitely the place to go. The cafe has a touching back story of overcoming a health issue through the “release” of baking, and since opening its doors two years ago it has become one of the most popular vegan cafés in Wellington. In addition to serving up delicious food, Sweet Release organizes monthly night markets called “The Vegan Vault” and provides a meat subscription service called Not a Butcher.
We’ve just moved to Wellington and were so happy to find this lovely vegan cafe! The coffee was on point (with a tasty little brownie bite on the side), the mains were great and the cake some of the best we’ve ever had.
- Address: 99 Manners Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
- Phone: +64 27 285 3046
Revive Vegan Cafe is a health-oriented place with vegetarian and vegan meals, as well as a salad bar, smoothies, and juices. The menu is ever-changing, so pop in to try something new!
Staff was kindly greeting, I ordered medium hotpot w green bean salad and I loved it. All the foods were delicious and well nutritional. Always wanted to try vegan cafe and I finally made it here!
Sophie Bae – Google reviews
- Address: 24 Wyndham Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
- Phone: +64 9 303 0420
That’s it for my list of some of the best vegetarian and vegan places in New Zealand! I hope this has given you some inspiration for your next meal out. Whether you’re looking for a casual bite to eat or a special occasion dinner, you’re sure to find a vegetarian restaurant in New Zealand that you’ll love.
So next time you’re in the mood for a delicious and satisfying vegetarian meal, be sure to check out one of these great restaurants. You won’t be disappointed!
And if you know of any other great vegetarian restaurants in New Zealand, please let me know in the comments below. I’m always looking for new places to try.
Thanks for reading!