When it comes to Auckland, we really are spoilt for choice due to the fact that around every corner is a new cafe or restaurant that offers everything from avocado on toast to fresh seafood platters. I am however, rather fussy, and eat a pretty much full vegan diet, so finding restaurants that I can call my favourite means visiting them until I know the menu inside out. My favourite foods are usually rather carb-filled, so if you’re looking for something a little more lightweight and waist-belt friendly, then perhaps my list won’t make you run for the inner city with a watering mouth, but when I’m craving something brunchy or lunchy then these are my top picks – enjoy!
Bedford, Soda & Liquor – Ponsonby Central
Cocktails with fresh flowers in them, shoestring fries and the BEST non-meat meatballs I have ever tried!
I have been coming here for the past two years whenever I feel like comfort food washed down with something fruity. Vodka is still acceptable at lunch time..right? And so far, SO good. They have never disappointed. You basically choose your base – salad, risotto, or pasta, your balls – pumpkin for the veggies out there or a meat option, and some sauces. Sounds pretty simple, that probably why it’s also the cheapest place on this list. Seriously, try it out next time you’re in Ponsonby, you won’t be mad that you did!
Mojo Cafe – Auckland CBD
I stumbled across Mojo with a uni friend one day during a break, and I’m not sure whether it was the bright turquoise paint that lured us in, or the fact that we really couldn’t be bothered walking any further! Turns out we stumbled upon a wee gem! I opted for avocado on toast, and added an egg (pre-vegan days), and let me tell you, you haven’t had smashed avo on toast until you’ve had it at Mojo. Avo, chilli, rock salt and lemon are the PERFECT winter pick me up. Try it if you’re ever in town and craving breakfast at 3pm.
The Federal Deli – Federal Street, Auckland
My dad introduced me to The Fed Deli when I first started uni, and it has me hooked. The idea is that you grab a few little dishes and share, my favourites are the fried cauliflower bites and asparagus on quinoa. The deserts are equally as amazing, don’t even bother trying to order them individually, the 3-way is the only choice here! Most of the options aren’t vegan friendly, but they can offer changes to dishes that are just as delicious whilst still catering to your individual needs!
Matakana Kitchen – Matakana
Aside from this cafe being a short drive away from one of my favourite beaches in Auckland, it is also the home to the Matakana markets which offer stalls ranging from home-made almond milk, smoothies, crepes and hand crafted chocolatey treats! The Matakana Kitchen Cafe itself is one of my favourites because of how well they dress up a simple breakfast. Everything is always accompanied by the perfect side salad, the best sautéed mushrooms or strong coffee, and this makes all the difference after the long drive to what in reality is a breakfast spot that Aucklanders’ like to escape to on a Sunday! This will always be one of my favourite breakfast spots – and I can’t reaaally sum up why. I guess you’ll have to go and see for yourself!
Other places worth mentioning..
The Depot – Federal Street, Auckland
Burger Burger – Ponsonby
Mexico – Ellerslie