Get Your Foodie Fix At Hamilton’s Best Healthy Eateries
Sink a superfood smoothie or smash back a vegan feast as you eat your way around Hamilton's wholesome food scene.
Words by: Jess Willemse
Photography by: Neat Places
Dare we say it; sometimes, you just don’t want a burger. In fact, more often than not these days, we’re wanting to have our (raw, wholefood) cake and eat it too. Put simply, brunching with mates or dinner out shouldn’t have to compromise on how you like to eat.
Whether you follow a vegetarian, vegan, gluten or dairy-free diet, or just prefer to choose more whole foods, the great thing is, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to Hamilton’s healthy food scene. So we’ve done the hard work and rounded up our favourite eateries dishing out the nutritious goodness around Hamilton.
220 Tristram Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton
The crew at Frank are all about taking your food from origin to plate with as little fuss as possible. Here it’s all about hearty, wholesome eats made by hand. You’ll find filling, nutritious ingredients to nourish your body and soul, with the added benefit of food that tastes downright delicious. Check out the cabinet for a selection of raw treats and wholefood baking, or smash back a seasonal salad or Vietnamese rice paper roll. Top it all off with a cup of Raglan roast coffee or a superfood smoothie—need we say more?
394 Grey Street, Hamilton East
Yoga and smoothies—name a more iconic duo. The team at Sun Salute Yoga Centre in Lovegrove Lane know what’s up because they’re delivering just that, plus mouth-watering goods, at their in-house vegetarian eatery, Hearth. Simple and uncomplicated, this is food just the way we like it. Climb out of child’s pose and sidle down to pick up a vegan lunch from the team on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which usually consists of a warming soup, filling dahl or a specialty salad. Add a bliss ball for good measure—your sweet tooth will thank you later.
148 Ward Street, Hamilton Central
We'll forgive you for not being across this hidden gem, unsuspectingly tucked away among the bustle of Ward Street. But it's about time to show your vegan mates you really care by booking in at Vegan Buffet for your next feed. Like the name says, it's all about the vegan goods here. Oh, and a tonne of flavour—you'll have a hard time choosing just one dish. Whether it's pan-fried veggie dumplings, a roti pancake with kumara or a protein plate with vegan nuggets, you can't go wrong. And we haven't even mentioned their 'comfort food' section, which stars stacked vegan burgers and roti drenched in creamy mushrooms. Drool.
Photo credit: Toa Heftiba
It goes without saying, Whole Heart is the home of wholesome food in Hamilton. This conscious grocer stocks a slew of organic, local produce as well as pantry staples, self-care items and homewares. BYO container and stock up on dried goods with their bulk-bin section, brimming with nuts, grains and other tasty treats. You’ll also enjoy their rotating selection of fresh bread, from gluten-free numbers to seed-packed loaves. Our advice? Bring a BIG reusable tote bag—you’re going to need it.
375 Grey Street, Hamilton East
For the best bowls around, Amor over on Grey Street is where it’s at. Their line-up of acai superfood bowls is pretty epic, with more than 14 flavours to choose from. You’ll find more traditional takes like a fresh fruit bowl, and dessert-inspired hits like banoffee, oreo and cherry chocolate. Plus, the toppings game is strong—think roasted nuts, nut butter, granola and even dairy-free ice cream. They also dish up plant protein mylk shakes, superfood smoothies, bagels and a next-level toast bar. Unfortunately, your homemade smoothie and toast will never be the same after a trip to Amor.
Fill A Bowl
Centre Place Food Court, Hamilton
Fill A Bowl does what it says on the tin—savoury and sweet bowls stuffed with delicious fresh produce and adorned with eye-catching toppings. On the lunch side, take your pick from the OG Bowls which offer a range of chef-inspired flavours that their regular customers rate. For something lighter but still filling, opt for a Goal Bowl, or for a taste of the classics try a Fam Bowl. Those after a sweet hit can devour a PB&J Brownie or Apple Crumble bowl (drool), or add a smoothie to the mix. We’re hungry just thinking about it.
337 Newell Road, Tamahere, Hamilton
To call Punnet just a café is an understatement—‘foodie destination’ would be more appropriate. Part of The Strawberry Farm in Tamahere, this venue offers a plethora of all things delicious. Pick your own strawbs on a hot summer day, indulge in some ice cream or peruse the artisan foodie goods on offer at The Country Providore. Whether it’s brunching, lunching or a special celebration, the eatery has you covered with a crowd-pleasing menu and function rooms too. Plus, you can also take a taste of Punnet home with their handcrafted frozen meals and desserts—sticky date pud, anyone?
33 Jellicoe Drive, Hamilton East, Hamilton
Hayes Common is an ode to all things we love about neighbourhood eateries; a down-to-earth vibe, locally-sourced ingredients and simple cooking done damn well. All their eggs and meat are free-range, and they even harvest some of their own produce from their kitchen garden. Top bites from the menu include seafood classics like New Zealand oysters and Kingfish crudo, alongside pork belly bao and dry-aged scotch fillet steaks. Pair this with a brew from Hamilton legends Good George, and you've got yourself the perfect night out.
More Hamilton Stories
4 of the best Hand-Pulled Noodle Spots in NZ
Leafa Wilson’s Hamilton
I have been a multimedia performance artist for 30-odd years. I use the name on my birth certificate for my lifelong performative work ‘Olga Krause - Deutsche Kuenstlerin’. Leafa is my given ancestral name from my grandfather. We moved to Kirikiriroa-Hamilton 24 years ago and I have been curator of art at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga for almost 17 of those years. My field of expertise is art in all its manifestations. My husband Craig and I have six children and four (or nine including their siblings) precious mokopuna.
The Trekker and Traveler
Scientists in the Kitchen
Fill Your Cup With Hamilton's Best Creative Boutiques and Galleries
This is one sure-fire way to soak up the city's artistic energy.
Neat Hamilton Places
This cosy cafe has fostered a loyal band of followers with it’s quirky sense of humour and it’s die-hard passion for coffee.
Fox Kennedy Barbers
Fox Kennedy is sprucing up the men of Hamilton.
Bread worth trekking over town for.
Clean, polished and contemporary, there’s no doubt plenty of thought has been put into the swish design of Frank.
We all know what it’s like to try on (what feels like) millions of jeans until you inevitably leave the shop frustrated and hopeless.