Meat Free Monday. The concept has a pretty catchy tag line, but when put into practice, it can leave you feeling empty and/or scouring the house for a steak.
However, if you’re keen to give it a shot or you’re a vegetarian looking for a delish dinner to start off your week, Auckland has plenty of meat-free goodness on offer. There are some great dishes in some equally as great restaurants that are interesting, fresh and good enough to make you ditch the meat for an evening.
Here are 21 meat free dinners to get amongst this Monday.
- How does a slice of vegan pizza sound? Trust us, it’s miles better than you think. Il Buco’s vegan creations are made using vegan mozz. Our fave comes with tomato, caramelised onion, roast pumpkin, spinach and vegan blue cheese.
- The Hawker style vegetarian green curry from Farang features a whole manner of delicious ingredients—lemongrass, tofu, asparagus and mushroom ginger wonton. Don’t be put off by the black fungus, it’s an awesome addition.
- Bolaven’s menu changes on the reg but their vegetarian pho is here to stay. And it’s a standout.
- Grab your meat-free taco from Conch. It’s filled with black beans, gauc, chipotle, smoked cheddar and coriander.
- Yes, Bird On A Wire are pros at roasting a chicken, BUT they also make top-notch salads for a meat-free meal on the go.
- To make your life just that much easier, Soul Bar & Bistro have a dedicated vegetarian menu. We’re talking aubergine caponata, faux Nicoise salad, and a goat’s curd gnocchi that will have you wishing every night was meat-free.
- You won’t miss the beef with Better Burger’s Portobello mushroom patty.
- Go all out and try the seven course vegetarian tasting menu at Clooney, featuring impressive dishes made from vege-friendly ingredients you’ve probably never heard of.
- Make Meat Free Monday an excuse to visit Mt Eden’s newest Italian restaurant, Pasta & Cuore. They’ve got several vegetarian pastas on offer including spaghetti topped with creamy gorgonzola, wild walnuts and fresh rocket from their garden.
- Broaden your tastebuds at Ima Cuisine with sabich—a unique Israeli dish made with chickpeas, potatoes, eggplant, tahini and chilli. Don’t forget an order of fried haloumi.
- Cibo have a fantastic vegetarian section on their menu. Tuck into beautifully presented textures of beetroot, blackberry, horseradish, cacao soil and goat curd. Yum.
- Keep it simple with Prego’s gorgeous spaghetti agioli. It’s paghetti tossed with garlic, olive oil, salvagno olives, parsley, chilli and feta—and it’s really, really good.
- Craving a Big Mac? Ralph’s have created a vegan mac with a vegan patty, big mac sauce, iceberg and pickles. Eat them with a side of curly fries and you’ll never need Macca’s again.
- Sit down for a vegetarian feast at Beirut where you’ll be treated to fig leaf cheese curd, tabouleh, burnt eggplant and a selection of other tasty sharing dishes.
- Go hard on the crispy tofu buns at The Blue Breeze Inn.
- Sink your fork into a burrito bowl from the Food Truck Garage. Jam-packed with tortilla, herbed freekeh, baby cos, slaw, black bean dip, chipotle yoghurt, spiced corn, especial sauce, jalapeno pineapple salsa AND nut mince. You’re sure to be chocka after this!
- Order a plate of vegetarian dumplings from New Flavour and singlehandedly demolish.
- While it may be hard to resist Oh Calcutta’s tender meat curries, their dhal makhani with cheese naan is definitely worth a try.
- Perfect for breakfast, lunch and in this case, dinner, Odettes’ wild mushroom, whipped Persian feta, donuts and basil creation is one you won’t want to share.
- Vegetarian risotto can be utterly delightful and Baduzzi does one of the best versions in town.
- The smashed green papaya salad from Mekong Baby rocks. Roasted red chilli, peanuts, snake beans, cherry tomatoes and lime are tossed through for a flavour-packed MFM meal.
Not sold on Meat Free Monday? Munch on Auckland’s Best Fried Chicken instead.
Image credit: Otto Ristorante