Your Guide to the Best Vegan Food in Wellington

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Even though the plant-based diet isn’t so much a commodity anymore, it can still be hard finding a place to eat that ticks all the boxes for a good vegan meal (no, we don’t want avocado toast AGAIN.). Luckily, I’ve taste-tested my fair share of vegan-friendly cafes & restaurants so you can learn where to get the most plant-based bang for your buck.

Boquita

My absolute go-to for a cheeky cheap vegan dinner. At Boquita, they believe food should be nourishing for you, for the planet and for everyone involved in making their food. Here they offer a range of delicious, plant-based Mexican meals, perfect for a delicious and nutritious speedy lunch, a family favourite take-home meal, or easy eat-in dinner. Even though it sounds too good to be true, believe me, this place prides themselves on no nasties, no short-cuts and no compromise on flavour.

CCL Supreme Menu Suggestion: You might think I’ve got the wrong cuisine, but believe me – Boquita proves that falafel does in fact belong in tacos.

Check out the menu here.

Mockingbird

Courtenay Place’s answer to a vegan/vegetarian’s “where should we eat?” dilemma! Formerly the swainish-inspired rooftop bar, Mockingbird was transformed into a bold, hip new dining hub that offers plant-based burgers, bowls, tacos, loaded fries and more. Not only have they introduced a huge variety of unbelievably tasty vegetarian/vegan food, they also pride themselves on their 13 rotating craft beer taps, vegan wines, and a range of diversely delicious sangrias. Oh, did I mention they also run bottomless brunches on weekends? What’s not to love!

  • CCL Supreme Menu Suggestion: Available anytime (until 3pm), any day – it’s their bountiful brunch bowl. Why? Hash browns, obviously.  

Check out their menu here. 

Sweet Release

Everybody’s favourite comfort food made vegan! From saucy stacked rib burgers to ooey gooey Mac and Cheese, Sweet Release are an all vegan cafe that is taking the vegan community of Wellington by storm. Not only are they the new Manner’s street hangout that’s taking all my money, but they’re also the organisers behind the all-vegan monthly night market called The Vegan Vault and the team behind Not a Butcher, a vegan meat subscription service. Not vegan but do have a few pesky allergies? Don’t worry – they don’t serve dairy, eggs, meat or nuts anywhere.

CCL Supreme Menu Suggestion: Not-Rib Burger – I’ve never tasted real ribs before, but now I don’t need to knowing I’ve got this mouthwatering meat-alternative to sink my teeth into!

Check out the menu here.

Willis Kitchen

Sometimes it can be hard finding a place that promises good food for vegans and non vegans alike – but not here! Willis Kitchen is the place where you & your mates can tuck into ‘Fakon and Ekks’ or “Bacon and Eggs’ at the same table. For them, the most important principle is to create delicious food (both plant-based and not) for everyone to enjoy, and change the mindset towards vegan food.

  • CCL Supreme Menu Suggestion: Some would argue its not a meal, but I reckon you’d have the best night of your life tucking into their vegan family-sized tiramisu! 

Check out their menu here. 

Aunty Menas

Sometimes you never know whether that vegetarian fried noodle dish you ordered is gonna contain some secret meat, but rest assured knowing you can be safe from any imposter-meats here. Aunty Mena’s is a bustling upper Cuba Street kitchen that serves up your go-to Asian/Malaysian classics but with a vegan twist. Whether it be breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, this place never stops serving up hearty portions of beautifully balanced food that don’t break the bank – or your vegan diet!

CCL Supreme Menu Suggestion: The curry noodle – this dish is so spectacular it made my meat-lovin’ mate who absolutely despise vegetables fall in love with tofu. 

Check out the menu here.

Aroha Plant Based Cuisine

Beautiful bowls made up of plant-based bliss! At Aroha, they believe plant-based food does not have to forfeit it’s flavour. We want to show you how we subvert the stereotype, to demonstrate vegan and vegetarian foods not only healthier but also can be very creative and delicious. From succulent superfood salads to cosy chickpea-laden curry’s, this upmarket food hall joint serves up high-hitting healthy workday lunches that’ll keep your brain juice running for days!

CCL Supreme Menu Suggestion: Basically, every single salad they offer mixed together for maximum flavour impact!

Check out the menu here.

Hare Krishna

These guys are the pioneers of Wellington’s vegan business lunch. Situated in the heart of Wellington City, Higher Taste Hare Krishna restaurant is a pure vegetarian/vegan restaurant providing a divine eating experience. Originally Inspired by the streets of India, but also influenced by the ways of the North and West, Higher Taste knows exactly what Curries, Chaats and cult-favourites to serve up to either get you through your 9-5, or as a little dinnertime treat.

CCL Supreme Menu Suggestion: Basically any of their curries will fill your tummy, but if you’re feeling especially naughty (or feel like you deserve a mid-day treat), then get a syrupy serving of their gorgeous Gulab jamun. 

Check out the menu here.

Hillside

A vegan take on fabulous fine dining degustations. Vegetarian, Vegan, Plant Based, Meatless, call it what you will, for them, their main focus is simply serving up good food – taste wise, and health wise. Their menus offer a creative, inclusive style of cuisine that pushes the boundaries of modern New Zealand dining experiences. Rather than trying to trick people into eating meat substitutes, they’re focused on celebrating ingredients in their own right, and work closely with local suppliers and producers to create dishes that boast the beautiful flavours of vegetables in the best way.

  • CCL Supreme Menu Suggestion: Get the non-alcoholic drink match with your degustation, and prepare yourself for some seriously sobering but outstanding concoctions.

Check out their menu here.

Pranah Cafe

Your one-stop plant-based coffee shop. Pranah is a small cafe in the heart of Newtown that dishes up delicious homemade food that’s all vegetarian/vegan, so people from all walks of diet can enjoy! On the surface the food & drink look hearty and humble, but once you tuck into one of their towering pancakes stacks, boss-ass burgers or even just one of their sweet-treats, you’ll unleash a pandora’s box of beautifully balanced flavours that get you coming back for more & more.

  • CCL Supreme Menu Suggestion: Satay + Tofu + Pie Crust = heaven. Trust me. (And it’s freaking vegan!

Check out their menu here.

The Botanist

Do you love mouthwatering vegan meals, superb hospitality staff, and long walks along the beach? Well, swipe right to this bad-boy because here you can can get all that and more. The Botanist brings the best in innovative plant based cuisine to the stunning south coast of Wellington. Views to the sea, with a sheltered sunny courtyard, six rotating craft beer taps, botanical cocktails, local & organic wines. 

  • CCL Supreme Menu Suggestion: The pancakes!! And if the image below isn’t enough to convince you to dive into this terrifically good tower, maybe knowing that these are 241 on Tuesday’s will?

Check out their menu here. 

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