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.
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!
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.
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.
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.