Forget everything you thought you knew about vegan and vegetarian food—far from its can-o’-chickpea origins—this fare is now unapologetically delicious. Good for you and for the planet, there’s no shortage of plant-based eateries in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and they’re packed with mouth-watering dishes to woo your taste buds, no matter where you fall on the spectrum of herbivore to carnivore.
63-67 Nelson Street, Auckland CBD
75% of East’s menu is vegan and with a team of chefs specialising in cuisine from Japan, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka, you know this nosh is going to be mighty fine indeed. Think sticky jackfruit bao, gochujang cauliflower and typhoon shelter fried rice.
243 Dominion Road, Mount Eden, Auckland
Image credit: Forest | Instagram
Take a glance at Forest’s Instagram and, nek minnit, you’ll be en route. Most of their menu can easily be made vegan and, with curious components like marmite cream, Riesling jelly and fried broccoli rice balls, you’ll leave both awe-inspired and satisfied. This is one of Auckland's very best vegan/vegetarian restaurants.
Sunflower Thai Vegan Restaurant
6/50 High Street, Auckland CBD
A cheap and cheerful vegan twist on traditional Thai dishes, Sunflower Thai Restaurant whips up delights like zesty green curry, dumplings, and crispy fried ‘chicken’ all which live up to their flavourful roots, minus the animal products. Rejoice.
Khu Khu Eatery
171A Ponsonby Road & 91 Kitchener Road, Milford, Auckland
Image credit: Khu Khu | Urban List Wono Kim
Exotic Asian flavours in big, bold, boisterous dishes await you at Khu Khu, where each bite leaves your palate yearning for more. Mock meats a-plenty, but done frickin’ well. This is not your sad vegan lunch of the ‘90s.
604 Great North Road, Grey Lynn & Commercial Bay, 7 Queen Street, Auckland
Promising “a one-stop shop for a face full of indulgent plant-based burger goodness” you can’t go wrong with a burg’ from Wise Boys. Do get the vegan aioli. It’s practically transcendental.
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Image credit: Gorilla Kitchen | Instagram
There’s loads to stick your fork into at Gorilla Kitchen—from ‘cheesy’ nachos to epic salads, waffles and burgers that are totally boss—but the real star of the menu, in our humble opinion, is the fried cauliflower wings. If you’re looking for vegan crack, you just found it.
292 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD
For everybody who has ever said “I’d go vegan, but, cheese”, Atelier’s the spot for you because, after all, if anyone knows their cheese, it’s the French. And on that note we’ve got three words for you: roasted rosemary camembert.
597 New North Road, Morningside, Auckland
One of the coolest joints in the city and, hands down, one of the best vegan restaurants in Tāmaki Makaurau, Burgernaut dials out finger-lickin’ vegan smashed patties and loaded fries with the works. It’s a near-religious experience.
322 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD
Showcasing the best of Indonesian cuisine, Java is a vegan wonderland with a plant-based spin on traditional meals like satay gado gado, sweet soy tempeh, and crispy vegetable fritter platters (there is a god). If you manage to save room for dessert, dig into their “cendol” a traditional sweet finish that’s utterly gorgeous.
4 Williamson Avenue, Grey Lynn, Auckland
Image credit: Bali Nights | Instagram
Like its sister restaurant, Java, Bali Nights makes a great choice for a vegan night out. Choose from a massive array of vegan dishes including vegetable fritters, Javanese salad, jackfruit rendang curry and, of course, the full heat range of sambal chilli sauces.
95-97 Customs Street West, Auckland CBD
Contemporary Aotearoan blends with Japanese, Korean and Chinese cuisines at Hello Beasty in a fusion that screams get in my mouth, stat. Many of the dishes on the plant-based menu—like mung bean pancakes, Korean fried cauliflower and BBQ corn ribs—can be made vegan on request. Score.
193 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland
Introducing deep-fried momo, a Nepalese dumpling you’ll want to down by the plateful. Get your mitts on these, and a succulent array of other Nepalese-Indian fusion morsels like Aloo Chop and veg Manchuria at Everest Dine, a Parnell restaurant that dishes up a modern twist on traditional cuisine and vegan platters. Thirsty? Sip an Everestini.
Shop 16, St Kevin's Arcade, Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD
No one does Lebanese cuisine better than Gemmayze Street—fact. Tucked into the back of St Kevin’s Arcade it’s one of the best vegan-friendly eateries around. Feast on everything from kūmara pide with za’atar and braised beetroot, to smokey aubergine babaganouj and falafel for days.
Ralph’s Bar And Eatery
225B Dominion Road, Mount Eden, Auckland
Image credit: Ralphs | Instagram
A bit of a Dom Road institution, the crew at Ralph’s aren’t messing around when it comes to serving a seriously punchy veggie burger. American-style and complete with curly or straight-cut fries, their Veggie Mac can be made vegan on request and it’s a 100% must-try.
Durham Street East, Auckland CBD
If you’re yet to venture into Mezze Bar, you should bump it to the top of your list. Serving lip-smackingly good mezze, dips and more, this Mediterranean restaurant is one of Auckland’s best and plant-based diners will not be disappointed thanks to a totally separate (but no less delicious) vegan menu.
374 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD
Image credit: Coco’s Cantina | Instagram
Vegan and vegetarian Italian food exists. Enter Coco’s Cantina, where you can score yourself a bowlful of pasta pomodoro for just fifteen bucks as part of their famed Happy Hour. All their sides and salads are vegan and they also do a wicked pepperonata pasta and vegan margarita pizza. Hot damn.
1 Rocklands Avenue, Mount Eden, Auckland
At this neon-lit delight, the steamed buns come packed with fried tofu with mayo, crispy white cabbage, coriander and a Bangkok-style sauce that’s a real stand-out. Plant-based punters need only ask for Kiss Kiss’ more classic dishes to be made vegetarian too, including their perfectly saucy Pad Thai.
Punchy fresh flavours, satisfying crunch and all the cheese, with a round or five of margaritas await you at Mexico. From crispy green bean tacos with yellow salsa, to jackfruit quesadillas, the “plant-based option” is anything but subpar.
10/26 Jellicoe Street, North Wharf, Wynyard Quarter
Italian lends itself to vegetarian fare pretty darn well and at Baduzzi you can plunge your fork into the best of the best, including the balls. Yes, siree, their ‘polpette vegetariane’ is a fine concoction of mushroom, black olives, cavolo nero and lentil ragu.
24 Wyndham Street, Auckland CBD
One of Auckland’s oldest, and undoubtedly best vegan cafes, is Revive. Aptly named, the massive range of kai on offer—from hot pots and sides to bangin’ salads—are as vibrant as they are good for soul and body. This is a top-notch option for healthy food on the go.
Little Bird Kitchen
Summer Street & Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland
Plant-based before it was cool, Little Bird Kitchen offers an entirely vegan menu loaded with things like antioxidant bowls, house-made granola, hotcakes, matcha waffles, and kimchi pancakes. Don’t even get us started on their absolute unicorn of a cabinet that’s packed with dreamy raw sweet treats.
460 Lake Road, Takapuna, Auckland
A cosy spot for plant-based foodies, Mimosa serves organic, fair trade, eco-friendly realness in the form of dishes like French Toast, tan tan noodles, and mushroom crepes. Mimosa’s cabinet game is also hella strong with an array of vegan goodness from fresh sandwiches to decadent tarts for a grab-and-go pick-me-up.
KIND Cafe & Eatery
16 McDonald Street, Morningside, Auckland
Image credit: KIND | Instagram
Sustainably-minded, quality-focused cafe KIND is an eco-conscious heavyweight champ but their goodness isn’t just behind-the-scenes. The kai itself is top-tier delicious and almost too pretty to eat-emphasis on the almost. Oh, and they do a mean banoffee pancake stack. Make it a double stack. (You’re welcome.)
The GF Depot
139 Meadowbank Road, Meadowbank, Auckland
Being plant-based is one thing, but it can be hella tricky if you’ve been blessed with having multiple dietary requirements, intolerances or allergies until The GF Depot popped up, that is. As the name suggests, everything here is gluten-free, and most menu items can be made vegetarian, vegan, or whatever else you need them to be. Cheers to that.
480 Richmond Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland
Fit for your regular brunch rotation (we’d feast here on the daily if we could), Honey Bones doesn’t take bookings, but they’re sure worth waiting for. Their Istanbul scrambled and cilibir eggs are a great place to start and most if not everything on this menu is available as vegetarian or vegan, and you’ll want to slam all of it.
The Breakfast Club
1179 Great North Road, Point Chevalier, Auckland
Dedicated to the best meal of the day, there’s some show-stopping plant-based fare at The Breakfast Club, including triple-stacked vegan and vegetarian pancakes, creamy coco oats, the essential avo on sourdough, and a pretty freakin’ impressive Club Vegebowl you might just dream about.
537 Great North Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland
A bustling cafe inside the old Grey Lynn Post Office, Postal Service’s menu is plant-based with a drool-worthy selection of vegan eats from a bowl of zucchini fritters with all the trimmings, to matcha waffles topped with chia berry jam, popcorn and white chocolate crumble. They even do a vegan omelette. Respect.
City Works Depot, 90 Wellesley Street, Auckland CBD
A culinary staple. Iconic, even. Odettes Eatery is as perfect for brunch as it is a romantic dinner with ample vegetarian and non-vegetarian offerings on hand with the likes of fried brioche, green pea koftas, and burrata.
Britomart, 5B Gore Street, Auckland
Did someone say ricotta hotcakes? Oh, wait. We did. Find this, creamy gouda mushrooms, macadamia almond granola with yoghurt mousse, and more, at The Store Britomart. Head’s up—you definitely won’t want to share.
158 Jervois Road, Herne Bay, Auckland
Serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and on Friday nights—dinner, swing by Janken for plant-based Japanese fare at its absolute best with loads of vegan dishes to get amongst. Mochi tofu benedict, plant-based lasagne, breakfast panna cotta, black sesame and cacao waffles… Best to take the whole crew so you can try all the things.
234 Jervois Road, Herne Bay, Auckland
Plant-based diners (and everyone else too) will dig the matcha waffles at Dear Jervois. Decked out with nice cream, quinoa crunch, raspberry mascarpone and maple syrup, it couldn’t possibly disappoint. And for more of a classic big brekky option, their mushroom and potato rosti stack gets a big thumbs up from us.
90 Dominion Road, Mount Eden, Auckland
With animal welfare at the forefront of this weekday cafe, all animal products used are free range, and the team does their best to operate in as sustainable a way as possible. So if you’re more of an earth-lovin flexitarian, you might just love Forage.
Maison Des Lys Pâtisserie
567 Great North Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland
Image credit: Maison Des Lys | Instagram
Live the full French pastry fantasy at Maison Des Lys a.k.a. your new favourite hangout and one of Auckland’s best vegan eateries. Almond croissants, mille feuille, almond and hazelnut praline-stuffed cruffins, they’re the perfect tonic for a resolution to eat healthier this year.
555 Great North Road, Grey Lynn & Commercial Bay, 7 Queen Street, Auckland
Tart’s pies and pastries have been the talk of the town for what feels like aeons. ‘Mince’ and ‘cheese’ pies, lemon ‘chicken’ subs, ‘sausage’ rolls, glazed berry danishes, peanut butter brownies, and cinnamon scrolls. We guarantee you’ll be walking out one very happy herbivore.
Sometimes life just calls for donuts and you can rest easy knowing Grownup Donuts are slingin’ some seriously good ones you’re sure to froth over. Decadent for all the right reasons, the crew always have a vegan flavour or two in their weekly rotation.
Duck Island Ice Cream
Newmarket, Ponsonby & Takapuna
There’s run-of-the-mill vegan ice cream and then there’s Duck Island which is the complete opposite. Pop to your local scoop shop for vegan flavours like peanut butter cookie dough, strawberry coconut and lime leaf, chocolate cherry chunk and black sticky rice. Fancy your frozen treats in ice cream sandwich form? They can do that too. Delish.
119 Main Highway, Ellerslie, Auckland
Image credit: Richoux Patisserie | Instagram
If you haven’t heard of Richoux Patisserie you need to right that wrong, stat, and preferably by way of shoving one of their award-winning vegan pies down your gob. While this spot isn’t fully vegan, their plant-based pies are the stuff of dreams. Vegan butter chicken pie anyone?
Neat Cakes & The Lophie Project
218 Dominion Road, Mount Eden, Auckland & Online
If you’ve got a hankering for baked goods, Neat Cakes and The Lophie Project are for you. Between them, they’ve got multi-tiered cakes and cake tubs, custard squares, glazed cinnamon twists, and sausage rolls covered, plus a whole lot more. Order online for pick up.
The Vegan Treatory
Cruelty-free cookies ahoy. With a touch of a button, The Vegan Treatory will send THICCC (that’s right, with three cs), gooey AF cookies hurtling towards your door. The very meaning of life? Absolutely.
Charlie Mia Connective
For soft, spongey doughnuts that puff with cream and raspberry jam when you bite into them, order from Charlie Mia Connective. Do it right now. While you’re at it, why not add a cheeky almond croissant, pain aux raisin, sausage roll, or all of the above? Devilish, and we’re here for it.
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Main image credit: Khu Khu Eatery
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