9 of the Best Plant-Based Eateries in Christchurch
With options ranging from casual cafe grab-and-go options, to full sit down dinners, it’s never been a better time to explore your plant-based options in Christchurch’s food scene.
Words by: Ashlyn Oswalt
A plant-based diet is no longer synonymous with lacklustre tofu dishes and sad fake meat alternatives, and that’s a gosh darn good thing. Even in Christchurch, a city heralded for its proximity to the prolific plains and an agriculture hub, innovative and delicious meat-alternative meals can be found. Trendy plant-based eateries and restaurants are popping up all over town, giving vegans and meat-eaters alike something to agree on - this food is good. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourites so you can spend more time basking in the flavours. Whether you’re already a plant-based eater or you’re willing to dip your toe into the waters, Christchurch leaves you spoiled for choice.
5/2 Papanui Road, Merivale, Christchurch
If you’re ready for your tastebuds to explode, book in an evening at the Gatherings. Originally they offered vegetarian and pescatarian degustation menus, but changed things up post-lockdown to make their food more budget and takeaway friendly. Now, the main option is a whole fish of the day for two and a whole smattering of sides sure to make your heart swoon. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, we can confirm ordering a few of their sides offer drool-worthy alternatives to one main course - plus your dinner mates will be jealous of the variety and savouriness on your plate. It’s up to you if you want to share.
363 St Asaph Street, Christchurch
An institution among the Christchurch plant-friendly scene, Lotus-Heart has been dishing up vegetarian delights since pre-earthquake. Re-located in a brightly coloured and hard to miss building on St Asaph street, Lotus-Heart will entice those ready to take the plunge into plant-based eating. With a mixture of Indian favourites and Western foods, their plant-based meals hardly hesitate to steal the show. From traditional dals and dosas to jackfruit carnitas bowls and nut burger patties, there is something for everyone here.
105 Orbell Street, Sydenham, Christchurch
“Gourmet, plant-based goods” is how Grater Goods sells itself online, but take one step into their lofty Sydenham based cafe and you’ll know there’s a lot more to it. With plant-based takes on meaty favourites, like the KFT burger and the Reuben, you’re forgiven for not realising everything served is vegan. With each dish lovingly prepared and enjoyed in a tres-chic environment, you’ll want to set aside a whole afternoon to linger.
20 Welles Street, Christchurch Central, Christchurch
Nestled into the health-conscious Welder, Barefoot Eatery provides the perfect snack or meal for a virtuous day ahead. Their colourful, wholesome smoothies steal the show, but don’t stop there. Their naturally vegan (and gluten-free) waffles will make you spring out of bed on a Saturday morning, and their Barefoot Burger is good enough to keep you there for lunch. Not to mention, the airy, breezy space will make you feel alive and well in no time.
380 Colombo Street, Sydenham, Christchurch
It’s not often a brewery is heralded for its innovative and sustainable menu, but The Fermentist is. Offering a wide variety of tasty brunch, lunch, and dinner options, the Fermentist focuses their menu on local and seasonal foods, without a single meat-morsel in sight. Their name isn’t just for kicks, either - the menu features in-house fermented items such as kimchi, kombuchas, and more. You won’t find your typical burger and fries dish at this brewery - and for that, we’re thankful.
322 Lincoln Road, Addington, Christchurch
Head down Lincoln Road to find some kiwiana classics made into vegan delights. The speciality cafe and store treats customers to a culinary experience, stretching the limits of plant-based foods. With a great selection of cabinet food and a cosy, wooden interior, you’ll be ready to settle into a nook with your coconut matcha latte.
95 Westminster Street Corner of Cranford Street &, Westminster Street, Saint Albans, Christchurch
Head into the suburbs to find this bright and beautiful cafe in St Albans. The Origin features a small menu, but that means everything on it is carefully thought out and prepared, giving you the best experience possible. With a curated list of speciality teas and coffees, you can linger on some delicious sandwiches and refreshments, all with hearty vegetarian offerings.
84 Cashel Street, Christchurch
We couldn’t leave you hanging without a proper dessert option, could we? Christchurch’s She Universe is a chocolatier that takes their creations seriously. Crafted by Christchurch’s Trade Aid and blended from three origins, Ecuador, Peru, and Dominica, the creations are heavenly. They don’t skimp on their plant-based selections, either, as their vegan menu features plenty of snaps, bars, and dark chocolate goodies. Check them out at their two locations - bustling Riverside Market, and The Tannery.
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