With New Zealand easing out of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, you might be emerging with a hunger for food you haven't cooked yourself. Or maybe a desire to support local businesses. Well, you've come to the right place.
Veganism is on the rise and not only is mother nature celebrating, but all of the vegan foodies are rejoicing too. Over the last few years, Auckland's food scene has had a healthy injection of vegan restaurants that make any mouth water, from life long vegans to curious omnivores.
However, with many great options comes even greater responsibility. How do you choose which local, vegan restaurant to support? Whether you're craving a special sit down dinner, or a grab-and-go takeaway option, there's something for you. Here our list of the best vegan restaurants in Auckland.
Initially starting out as a pop-up restaurant, Forest has found it's forever home on upper Symonds Street, Auckland City. A lesser-known, but a truly worthwhile plant-based restaurant, Forest has values and a menu we can all get behind. Their focus is both creating delicious dishes, and the impact they have on the environment.
Their menu depends on what is locally available and in season and often utilises ingredients and plants that might often go to waste. Forest offers a three-course set menu for $55 per person, and with only 16 diners at a time, it's the perfect eatery for an intimate date night. Be sure to book ahead as they prefer to minimise waste and prepare just the right amount of food for their diners.
Having started out as a food truck that frequented events within the Auckland vegan community, Wise Boys Burgers is now a permanent (and loved) fixture in Grey Lynn. They're your go-to burger joint if you're after a wide and mouth-watering variety of plant-based burgers.
With burgers like the Smoke and Fire tofu, the Crispy Fried Chick, and the Shroomin Show, you'll find a burger for every kind of craving. If you're going all out, complement your burger with a side of fries or tater tots, and creamy soy milkshake. We promise you'll be in a blissful vegan food coma.
Photo credit: WiseBoys Burgers
The Butcher's Son
Their mission statement says it all. The Butcher's Son set out to create food that is 'delicious on your taste buds, easy on your conscience, and better for the environment'. And that's exactly what you'll find at their eatery on Jervois Road in Herne Bay.
They've taken inspiration from around the world to turn classic dishes and old favourites into innovative plant-based meals. Whether you're craving a salad, bowl, burger, or nachos you'll leave The Butcher's Son with satisfied tastebuds and a reservation to go back.
Be sure to check out their impressive, 100% vegan cocktail, beer and wine menu while you're there too.
Photo credit: The Butchers Son
Khu Khu Eatery
If you're craving a Thai-inspired dish that has all of the traditional Thai flavours without all of the animal products then take yourself to Khu Khu Eatery. They knew how hard finding a local, vegan restaurant with delicious and healthy meals can be, so they set out to offer exactly that.
Offering small and large plates they have options to suit any kind of hunger pangs. With dishes like Kumara Spring Rolls, Green Papaya Salad, and Tempeh Pad Thai your taste buds won't be disappointed.
Find them conveniently located on Ponsonby Road, or if don't feel like heading outdoors, they offer free delivery to surrounding suburbs.
Photo credit: Khu Khu Eatery
Lord of the Fries
LOTF is a purpose-driven business and has been a delicious addition to the fast-food vegan options available in Auckland. Although commonly frequented by late-night, plant-based partiers wanting a meal at the end of a night out, Lord of the Fries is worthy of your hunger during day time hours too.
LOTF is the kind of place where you can take an omnivore and they won't notice (or mind) that their burger or hot dog is totally meat-free. Order a side their chunky fries, onion rings or chicken and chips and find yourself transported to vegan fast-food heaven.
Find them in central Auckland on Commerce Street, or St Kevin's Arcade on Karangahape Road.
Photo credit: Lord of the Fries
Little Bird Kitchen
As a veteran of the Auckland plant-based scene, Little Bird Kitchen deserves a special mention.
Originally founded by Megan May and her husband Jeremy to fill a gap in the market for raw, organic, vegan, gluten-free healthy treats and snacks, LBK has become the must-visit plant-based eatery in Auckland.
With an extensive menu that ranges from acai bowls, Vietnamese crepes, kimchi burgers, superfood smoothies, to fresh cold-pressed juices, they truly showcase what delicious and healthy plant-based living can be like.
Plus, if you are there earlier in the day, don't go past their coffee menu that has all the traditional brews as well as some more adventurous, speciality options like the Mocha Maca Mug and the Teeccino Herbal Coffee.
Find them tucked away on Summer Street in Ponsonby.
Photo credit: Little Bird Kitchen
Luntian NZ is a Vegan Filipino Pop Up Kitchen that we had to include in this list, even though they don't have a permanent location.
With admirable cuisine creativity, Luntian marry the flavours of Southeast Asia's hidden foodie gem with the freshness of New Zealand's local produce to bring the unique goodness of Luntian to Aotearoa plates.
Follow them on Instagram for regular vegan inspiration, and to find out where they're popping up next. You'll find some of their recipes using Amino Mantra patties on their Instagram.
Photo credit: Luntian NZ
Have a recommendation?
We'd love to see this list grow and wouldn't want to miss out a worthy vegan restaurant. If you've got a delicious addition to this list then please let us know! Send us a message at email@example.com or track us down on Instagram or Facebook.
We're proud to support other New Zealand Vegan businesses.