This weekend, I’ll be in Wellington for a week. I usually try to get down there at least once a year to catch up with my brother, sister and nephew and because I just love it.

Streets of Wellington
Streets of Wellington

I’ve felt that way ever since I was a teenager and we lived in Haitaitai for a year. I went to Wellington East Girls College, where I discovered Rita Angus, Janet Frame and Feminists. Though when I say “went” I use the term somewhat loosely; many a math class got swapped for an afternoon exploring the steep winding roads of the city, or down at the harbour watching the water in earnest discussions about the meaning of life and how we planned to run the world.

This is the first time I will travel since I started going vegan.

It hit me last night that this might be a different trip. I had a moment of panic, until I remembered that the city streets, Unity Books, the Embassy Theatre and the harbour can all still be enjoyed without any changes required!

Sweet Mother's Apple Pie - sigh - Any chance I could persuade Sweet Mother's to add vegan options to the menu? (c) Trip Advisor
Sweet Mother’s Apple Pie – sigh – Any chance I could persuade Sweet Mother’s to add vegan options to the menu?
(c) Trip Advisor

But what about the food? Eating is one of my joys when visiting Wellington. It is now a family joke, but I admit it, I have something like an addiction to Sweet Mother’s apple pie. I love Sweet Mother’s. I have been told (by people who know) that its claim to serve up the authentic taste of the American Deep South is dubious, but I don’t care. It is delicious and tasty and there is nothing else like it. Sweet Mother’s as a vegetarian was awesome, but as a vegan it is looking a little sad.

So, where can I eat?

Aunty Mena – I’ve been there before and the food is amazing and reasonably priced. It is also vegan – all of it. It’s a little bare bones Malaysian place on Cuba Street. The kind of place you would walk right past if you didn’t know any better.

Vegan chocolate doughnut - Midnight Espresso  (c) Midnight Espresso Wellington Facebook page
Vegan chocolate doughnut – Midnight Espresso
(c) Midnight Espresso Wellington Facebook page

Midnight Expresso Bar – A Wellington institution that has been around since 1988. It is now (fully?) vegan and vegetarian. Anyway, their vegan donuts look too decadent and unhealthy for words! Yum.

Chow – This place is new to me, in Tory Street. They have several clearly marked vegan options on their Asian themed menu that sound delicious. Let’s hope I get to give this one a go.

Deluxe cafe by the Embassy Theatre - please, please have vegan food! (c) New Zealand History - Amy Donald, 2009
Deluxe cafe by the Embassy Theatre – please, please have vegan food!
(c) New Zealand History – Amy Donald, 2009

Deluxe Expresso Bar – Great little place right next to the Embassy Theatre that has been around forever. Good for vegetarians. I went there with my nephew when he was younger for the best spiders in Wellington (according to him anyway). Only a kid can turn ice cream in soda into a gourmet experience!  Not sure if it has any thing I can eat now, but if necessary there is a really good kebab place nearby and I’m sure they can wrap up some salad in flat bread, if necessary.

Not sure how well it will stack up for my new vegan self, but it is next to the really good kebab place that will happily wrap up a great range of salad veges in flat bread for you.

The Meeting Tree – Ethiopian sounds interesting. I have never eaten Ethiopian, not surprising as they advertise themselves as the first. Best of all they have a whole section of the Dinner menu as vegan. The vegan platter, a sampling of all the dishes – excellent!  It is in Te Aro, so fairly easy to get to. It is also available at lunchtime.  Great review of the restaurant.

Pranah in Newtown is vegetarian. One of my colleagues (one of the only two vegans I know) recommended it as vegan. It is a great little cafe, so great excuse to find out if they can do vegan.  They also use Fairtrade coffee.

Another place I absolutely plan to visit is the Wellington Chocolate Factory.  They sound really interesting.

I backed their awesome sounding Kickstarter project.

If anyone knows Wellington and a must visit vegan experience, please let me know. I have a week and I need to build up another list of ‘must dos’ for when I visit.

4 thoughts on “Wellington!”

  1. Thanks for this post. I love Wellington and next time I go I shall check out these places. I, too, have only experienced Wellington so far as a vegetarian. Vegan experience to come…


    1. 🙂 I didn’t get to all the places. However, I can highly recommend the vegan dumplings at House of Dumplings – they are delicious. And they have salads there too, equally delicious and vegan.

      Midnight Espresso had quite a few vegan items on the menu and in the cabinet which are labelled vegan, or just swap our some ingredients. It is typical cafe food. It also made me feel nostalgic because it kind of still feels like an old style 90s cafe, and most wonderful of all they even have an old video game console as one of the tables. You can play PacMan while eating vegan doughnuts, and feel like a kid again. 🙂


      1. Oh and the Wellington Chocolate Factory. They are tucked away, but the chocolate is incredible. I absolutely love this company. They were fundraising for Boganville project when I was there and they had an evening we went to. The explained all about the chocolate and showed us how it was made. They are highly ethical about how they source their chocolate. They also do to-die-for hot chocolate which they make themselves. You can’t buy the powder, so you have to go to the shop. They have soy milk available. I wish they had almond milk.

        Anyway, the chocolate is all vegan and definitely worth the price if like chocolate.


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