Your Guide to the Best Vegan Food in Wellington

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.


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.


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.


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. 

Wellington’s Best Breakfast Granola Bowls

Whenever people ask me what my favourite meal of the day is – they’re always a little taken aback when I confidently reply breakfast. Sure, dinner is great, but how good is a greasy bacon Eggs Benedict, or a sky-high stack of buttermilk pancakes – or the big English breakfast featuring all of your fried friends. All these options are terrific – especially to a breakfast lover like me – but there is one dish that, in my opinion, ranks above them all – and that is the humble granola.

Why you ask? Well, the beauty of granola, is it can be anything it wants to be. It can be chocolate-y, it can be nutty, it can be fruity, and it can be served with other tasty ingredients like yoghurt, milk, honey, stewed fruit – the list is endless. So, now you know why it’s such a crowd-pleaser, I’m here to shine some light on the cafes in Wellington that are acing this simple but delicious dish.

1. Comes and Goes.

If you’ve had the granola from here before, I’m hoping you’re reading this and nodding your head in agreement when I say that the granola from Comes and Goes has to come number 1. Not only did this beautiful breakfast bowl have the most gorgeous nutty granola I’ve ever tasted – it was topped with a vanilla panna cotta that Mary Berry would’ve been proud of. Along with the tangy berry compote, bittersweet cacao powder and colourful combination of fresh fruit – this granola bowl isn’t just the top of the list for granola, its hand-down got to be the best brunch I’ve tasted to date, ever.

2. Coenes

If you love sweets, chocolate and caramel – you’re going to love this daytime delight. I brunched at Coenes for the first time a few weeks ago, and of course to do a little more research for you guys for this write-up, I simply had to order their granola (although their eggs bene did look divine). Well. All thoughts of food envy & ordering-anxiety left my brain once that stunning plate of granola was place in front of me. Underneath the caramelized granola sat a layer of tart berry yoghurt, which offset the rich flavours of the extra cacao, caramel sauce, butterscotch sauce, and whipped coconut cream. This bowl was a mix between breakfast and an indulgent after-dinner dessert – and I was totally there for it. 

3. The Oatery

Going to a café to get your granola fix is good and all – but what if you want the goodness of granola outside? Well, that’s where the gals at The Oatery have your back – as their fresh, fruit and wholesome granola and porridge bowls come in at third on my list. I had my first Oatery Granola Bowl after a 10km run – and I tell you, it was exactly what I needed to refuel. Every bite of the lusciously fatty Fix & Fogg peanut butter, mixed with tart berry coulis, rich bananas, and nutty granola was to die for – and even though this bowl was massive, I reached the bottom in no time because I couldn’t stop myself digging in for more.

4. Goldmine

Now this one here was a dark horse I never imagined would make my top 5 – but here it is, the granola bowl from Goldmine. I came to this place expecting a nice brunch, nothing out of the ordinary – but instead I was surprised with a bowl of granola that had everything I loved going for it. Crunchy, candied, nutty granola pieces? Check. Soft and sweet poached fruit? Check. Two dairy options (or non-dairy in my case) to make the granola as soft or crunchy you want? Check. Even though this bowl didn’t push the flavour boundaries like the previous two, it executed every single element that a granola bowl should consist of perfectly – which is why it has come number 3 on my list.

5. Beach Babylon

Last – but definitely not least – is the granola bowls from our Oriental bay-side friends, Beach Babylon. Their granola is in fact so good, that they released their recipe to the public after an overload of requests. Of course, no matter how hard we try – our homemade version will never be as good as their beautiful bowl of nutty, oaty, buckwheat bliss. And did I mention it’s all vegan? Oh yeah. They go the extra mile here – serving it up with some good old coconut yoghurt, berry puree & fresh seasonal fruit (with a dash of your favourite milk substitute on the side) – which means everybody can go ahead and enjoy what they’ve got to offer!

5 Wellington Cafes That Are Worth Meddling with Metlink

1. The Botanist

Sitting in the Number 1 spot is potentially one of my favourite cafes in New Zealand, let alone Wellington. This place has pioneered Wellingtons vegan/vegetarian food scene and has even made their meat-free meals favourite dishes for the carnivores among us! For me, there is no better time to hit up The Botanist than brunch – from beastly plant-based breakfast burgers to a forest floor of fresh & fruity muesli – this place has every dish a hungry soul could wish for. Personally, I recommend their pancakes – a 3 story tall stack of the lightest buckwheat pancakes swimming in orange blossom syrup, dollops of caramel cream cheese, poached peaches and a scattering of walnut & pecan crumb – utterly delicious!

Buses that run to Lyall Bay from Manners Street: 3, 2

2. Comes and Goes

Coming in second is of course Comes and Goes – Petone’s crowing café glory! Unbeknown to people who haven’t been in Wellington very long, but forever loved by long-term locals, this place disregards conventional brunch & lunch foods. Instead, Comes and Goes offers dishes inspired from every corner of the globe that make for a morning meal like no other – think bibimbap, bao buns, and my all-time favourite, breakfast panna cotta – a fruity & crunchy clash of all my favourite meals: breakfast granola & dessert.

Trains to catch to Petone from Wellington Station: HVL towards UPPE

3. Beach House & Kiosk

Ranking third on my list of cafes you’d be crazy not to travel out to is this little gem perched on the coast of beautiful Island Bay, Beach House & Kiosk. If you love the sea, you’re gonna love this place. Its nautical theme reflects the stunning seascape views, which can be enjoyed from the comfort of their warm & cozy café dining room. I’ve had many a coffee here, but one of my all-time favourite dishes I dug into was their 2018 WOAP entry –  a soft shell, Furikake & seaweed salad burger encased in a brilliantly light brioche bun, served on a bed of chips. This burger blew my mind, and it really showcased the sheer skill the chefs have here at Beach House & Kiosk. If you’re not a burger fan or are more of a sweet tooth, you’re in luck – they also boast an abundance of home-baked goods that are nothing less than drool-worthy to the eye.

Buses that run to Island Bay from Manners Street: 1, 29,

4. Scorchorama

There’s a common theme emerging here, as my fourth place favourite is yet another beach-side brunch haven – Scorchorama. Scorching Bay is probably the undecided best beach of Wellington – with gorgeous golden sand that attracts families, water-sport addicts, and most importantly, dogs, it’s only natural that there is a fantastic café here to feed all the hungry beach-dwellers. Again, brunch or lunch is the best time to come to Scorchorama as there is no better way to rejuvenate after a dip in Wellington’s famous ice-cold sea than to soak up the sun whilst eating some of the best Eggs Benedict’s our capital has to offer.

Buses that run to Scorching Bay from Manners Street: 2, 18e, 24,

5. Longbeach

And last but definitely not least, is a place that who’s abode is slightly further than a bus ride away, but worth the train trip any day – Longbeach. Again, fitting with our theme of today, this Kapiti beachside café and restaurant that is loved by Wellington locals far and wide. Even though this place is a little more remote than the previous four, it serves up every meal you could wish for – brunch, lunch, breakfast, dinner, pizzas, dessert, cocktails – the list goes on! I have only had their 2019 WOAP burger here, but holy moly if their other meals are anywhere close to how amazing this prawn-packed burger stack, then I’m down to order the whole menu. The best thing about this place is that it’s a stones-throw from Wellington’s Paekaririki walkway, which makes it the perfect place to enjoy a well-deserved lunch or dinner after all those stairs!

Trains to catch to Kapiti from Wellington Station: KPL towards WAIK and the 280 bus from Waikanae Station.