Our Pick of the Tastiest Veggie Burgers in Christchurch
Ask a kid what their favourite food is, and you’re bound to get a simple answer: a burger. Ask a grown-up, and who knows what answer you’ll get, but in all honesty, there’s really that kid within most of us who finds digging their teeth into a good burger a satisfaction unlike anything else.
Words by: Petra Nyman
Photos by: Nancy Zhou
The key to a satisfying burger-eating experience is indeed encompassed within the word good, or shall we say great – it’s about more than just a meat patty wrapped within a white bun like what that kid might be happy with. It’s about quality in every bite, about artful stacking and perfectly proportioned sauce-to-patty-to-other-ingredients-ratio. And when you add in the requirement of a meat-free patty that doesn’t taste like old socks, you’ve got yourself a challenge.
Neat Places has done the hard yards for you and found where to get the greatest, the tastiest, the most satisfactory meat-free burgers in Christchurch Ōtautahi. Whether you’re committed to a plant-based diet or want to branch out and take one for the team by going meat-free for a day, these bad boys below will have you licking your lips and asking for more. You’re welcome.
25 Marriner Street, Sumner, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
Bonobo, the vegan oasis a stone’s throw away from the beach in Sumner, offers a good few plant-based burgers to choose from. If you haven’t yet tried any of them, begin with the Boss Burger. A sight for sore eyes and hungry earth-loving people, this beauty features a lightly roasted ciabatta bun with beautifully layered tomato chutney, aioli, caramelised onion, seasonal greens, a herby potato hash, cheese sauce and the star of the show: a house-made rice and vegetable protein patty. This one ranks pretty high amongst the vegan community, but it could also easily convert a carnivore.
105 Orbell Street, Sydenham, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
A gourmet plant-based deli in the up-and-coming east-side-of-the-city neighbourhood of Sydenham, Grater Goods is synonymous with all things vegan. It’s no surprise, then, that it delivers on the burger front too. The go-to here is the Fricken Burger featuring a house-made crumbed chicken-style patty, dill pickles, lettuce and house-made aioli. Pair it with GG’s famous loaded fries, and you’ll have a meal that’s hard to beat. A cherry on top is sitting down for that meal within the comfortable vibe of the industrial-meets-vintage style of this unique spot.
Situated within the bustling Riverside Market, Black Burger is famous first and foremost for its premium wagyu beef patties, but they whip up a darn good meat-free burger as well. Go for the Veggie and dig your teeth into a Grizzly Bun filled with a Brothers Green vegan patty, cheddar cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato and the secret black burger sauce. If you like a bit of heat, chuck in some pickled jalapenos as an extra and feel your taste buds do a little jig as you crunch down on all that goodness. There’s also an option for vegan cheddar if you prefer to go for complete plant power.
The Burger Joint
78 Brighton Mall, New Brighton, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
The hidden gem of burgery goodness on Carnaby Lane in the heart of New Brighton, Burger Joint is a true seaside destination. It’s always a good time dining within this small establishment frequented by locals and hot-pool-goers alike, and your tastebuds will thank you too. This spot’s answer to plant-based goodness is the Spicy Veg burger featuring a black bean and brown rice patty with toasted spices, hummus, in-house-made HP sauce, tomato, onion, pickles and cheese. It’s got just the right amount of spice and plenty of fresh flavours to savour.
Little High Eatery
Now, while the name of this iconic burger spot within The Little High Eatery may not scream vegetarian, don’t be fooled into bypassing it on your hunt for the best plant-based burger in town. Bacon Bros boasts a whole bunch of vegan options, and it does a rather decent job of them too. Keeping in line with what this joint is all about, give their Sweet Sweet Clo burger a go. Filled with coconut bacon (because, of course), kumara, sweet chilli, avocado, hash brown, lettuce, tomato and beetroot, there’s plenty of delicious stuff to chew on.
Moon Under Water
152 Somerfield Street, Somerfield, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
Moon Under Water is a neighbourhood pub tucked in a corner spot in the heart of Somerfield. And, like most self-respecting quality pubs, it also delivers on the burger front, including the veggie burger front, that is. Look for the Frida Avokahlo burger on the menu, and you’ll soon be taking a bite out of a delicious bun filled with a mushroom and black bean patty, vegan chipotle mayo, creamy avocado, slaw, sliced jalapenos and pico de gallo. Now, while Somerfield may not quite feel like you’re grabbing a bite on the streets of Mexico, we reckon this burger transports your taste buds across the Pacific.
Pomeroy's Old Brewery Inn
292 Kilmore Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
A family-owned pub specialising in craft beers and an authentic atmosphere, Pomeroy’s is a favourite destination for a lot of folk here in Ōtautahi. Lucky for the vegetarians amongst us, they also know how to craft up a smashing veggie burger. Pomeroy’s take on this is a Fried Cauliflower Burger with black bean salsa, cheese, pickles, slaw, chipotle mayo and a side of fries. Sounds like a good time, doesn’t it? Accompany your burger with one of the 30+ craft beer options on offer, and settle down to enjoy the relaxed vibe of this quintessentially Christchurch spot.
172 High Street, Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
Burgers are a serious business at Smash Palace. It’s something this iconic Ōtautahi joint thrives to shine at and shine at it it does indeed. Take its Vegematarian burger, for example. Made up of a humble falafel patty, cheese, mayo, lettuce and Smash pickle compiled in perfect proportions – it doesn’t sound like rocket science, but man, oh man, is it a good one. Once you’ve dug your teeth into it, you’ll be coming back for more. Pair your burger with some chippies or slaw, plus a pint of the house beer, and you’ll be in for a good time, and most likely a long time – there doesn’t seem to be such a thing as a quick visit to Smash after all.
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
The stunning purpose-built cafe in The Botanic Gardens is your unlikely destination for an ever-so-delicious vegetarian burger. Beautifully presented, the Ilex Vegan Rye Burger is composed of beetroot, kumara, kiwi quinoa patty, greens and cashew sunflower aioli. Delicious and quite possibly one of the healthiest burgers around, it’s a hearty bite to enjoy in the light-filled cafe or at a sunny spot outdoors surrounded by the greenery of the gardens. Once refuelled, why not meander through the rose gardens and the Cunningham house directly opposite?
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Bonobo: a benevolent primate, a trip-hop artist and more recently a plant-based cuisine destination in the seaside suburb of Sumner.