New Zealand’s Favourite Plant-based Restaurants

Monday, September 21, 2020

As customers look for more plant-based foods and adopt meat-free lifestyles, restaurants are quickly adapting. Some offer a couple of options while others dedicate entire menus to this dietary lifestyle. If you’re in New Zealand and are looking to try vegetarian or vegan meals, here are a few fantastic places to start. 

Plant based restaurants, vegan restaurants, NZ Plant Based Restaurants

Customers around the world are starting to ask more from their meals than to just keep them full. They’re looking for locally sourced food with sustainable practices that are planet and animal friendly. For a growing number of people, that takes on an exclusively plant-based diet of vegetarian or even vegan restrictions.

Top 3 Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants in Christchurch

If we jump over to the South Island, you’ll find a whole new batch of vegetarian and vegan-friendly eateries in town. Starting with the Portershed, their café has all the traditional Kiwi favourites! They also offer plant-based milk for tea and coffee.

As you head closer to the CBD, check out Raw Sugar Café. Their simple yet yummy meals and gorgeous desserts are sure to draw you in. Don’t believe us? Scroll through their Instagram account @raw_sugar_cafe and see if that doesn’t win you over. Two minutes down the road from Raw Sugar Café is another crowd favouite, Barefoot Eats which presents a delcious plant based menu, with organic and allergy friendly foods.

When you’re ready for dinner, be sure to visit The Lotus-Heart Vegetarian Restaurant.  This unique temple-like restaurant is independently owned and operated by students of Sri Chinmoy, Be sure to check their opening hours though as they only serve dinner two nights per week! If you aren’t in town on those days, it’s ok because the restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch every day except Monday. It might take a bit of coordination to time everything just right, but it’s worth the effort!

Raw Sugar, Christchurch (1), Barefoot Eatery, Christchurch (2 & 3)

Top 3 Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants in Auckland

If you’re looking for eco-friendly, sustainable, vegan and vegetarian restaurants, Auckland has them in spades. For dairy-free tree nut cheese, head straight to kaiaroha.  This café and deli provides vegan meals for breakfast and lunch, but the main attraction is their tree nut cheese that comes straight from their vegan cheese cave.

Another option, established in 2017 as a food trailer that’s now expanded to a brick-and-mortar store on Symonds St, is Gorilla Kitchen which serves all kinds of food such as pies, rolls, wraps, burgers, salads, and sweet treats. They are a 100% vegan and plant-based eatery and brewtique, so don’t let those delicious sounding dishes fool you. Everything on their menu ticks the vegan box.

If you’re looking for a different cuisine, the Sunflower Thai Vegetarian Restaurant has you covered. With the claim of being the only Thai vegan and vegetarian restaurant in Auckland, their menu is completely vegetarian and almost entirely vegan as well. Even their staff members are all vegetarian!

Auckland Plant Based Restaurants

Kaiaroha, Auckland (1, 2 & 3), Gorilla Kitchen, Auckland (4)

Top 3 Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants in Queenstown 

While not exclusively vegan or vegetarian, Queenstown restaurants offer plenty of options for customers wanting to eat a meat-less meal. Farelli Trattoria is a family-friendly Italian restaurant that offers a completely separate vegan menu. There are plenty of choices for starters, pasta and pizzas.

The menu at Bespoke Kitchen changes with the season to provide fresh produce and has a handful of vegan options available. With a great atmosphere and healthy, contemporary food, you’re sure to enjoy a meal there.

For craft Mexican food that combines fast good with great flavour, visit Taco Medic. About a third of their menu is vegetarian and/or vegan. With tacos and nachos to keep you busy, it’s sure to be a hit with everyone!


Queenstown Plant Based Restaurants

Taco Medic, Queenstown (1), Bespoke Kitchen, Queenstown (2), Farelli Trattoria (3)


Are you looking to spend a night in and want some plant-based recipe ideas to make at home? Discover our range of delicious vegetarian recipes here.