It is very easy to be vegan in New Zealand. Vegan options at restaurants are plentiful, and both vegan and vegetarian restaurants across the country are growing in number. While Wanaka in New Zealand’s South Island didn’t have any vegan or vegetarian restaurants when we traveled there, we didn’t come close to starving. On the contrary, there are many Wanaka vegan friendly establishments all over town. I’m going to show you exactly what we ate during our two days in Wanaka.
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Wanaka Vegan Options: Jack Rabbit Restaurant
The Jack Rabbit Restaurant and Bar is one of the best restaurants in Wanaka that’s a quick drive from downtown. It’s right next to a cinema and an indoor rock climbing facility, if the mood strikes you for either of those activities. Jack Rabbit is a really large restaurant, so I could see it being fantastic for larger parties and gatherings. However, even though it was just the two of us, we received impeccable service. The food was super yummy, too!
There’s a separate vegan section of the menu with two pizzas (vegan margarita and “vegan rabbit pizza” with loads of veggies) and a vegan burger. You will want to scroll through the entire menu though. There are other meals marked “VG” on the menu that are also vegan, including a dessert. We also noticed some specials posted on the walls, like a vegan cheesecake. If you’re looking for Wanaka vegan friendly restaurants, Jack Rabbit is one of your best bets.
Wanaka Restaurants: Kai Whakapai
Kai Whakapai is a relaxed cafe and restaurant – the name of the restaurant means “food made good”. It’s a great addition to this vegan Wanaka guide as you’ve got quite a few choices for meals, coffee, tea, and beer. Kai Whakapai is right in town, just a quick jaunt from the lake. They’ve also got a great patio outside if the weather is nice.
There are a few vegan pizzas on the menu, and we each opted for the tofu noodle bowl. Paired with a beer, it totally hit the spot! The staff are very aware of the term “vegan” and went the extra mile to ensure that we were happy with our meal. It’s one of the Wanaka restaurants that you don’t want to miss for its great atmosphere and vibes, in addition to the yummy food.
Places to Eat in Wanaka: Dripping Bowl
The Dripping Bowl in downtown Wanaka is one of several food trailers all in one place. They serve healthy and whole food options that are about 80% vegan. It’s the closest thing that you’ll find to a Wanaka vegan restaurant with very few animal products on the menu.
You’ll find smoothies, smoothie bowls, soups, coffee, and raw desserts. The Dripping Bowl is a fabulous little breakfast or lunch spot in town. I recommend starting your day off by dining here. I devoured my acai smoothie bowl made with coconut milk.
Vegan Wanaka: Burrito Craft
Burrito Craft is right across from Dripping Bowl in the food truck area. Did I mention that I was super impressed with the food trailer space in Wanaka? There are several food trailers here and they’ve all got you covered with vegan options.
Burrito Craft has vegan burritos all day long, including a breakfast burrito in the morning. They also offer vegetarian and vegan options like a mushroom filling and smoky jackfruit. For quick bites, it’s one of the top Wanaka restaurants for sure.
Grocery / Natural Food Shop: Soulfood
Soulfood is a great little grocery store and natural food shop in the middle of town. You’ll be able to find all sorts of vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, organic, and options geared towards allergies or dietary restrictions. This place is the best if you happen to have access to a kitchen at your accommodation (spoiler alert: our accommodation had an amazing kitchen in a massive common area! Check out where we stayed down below). Soulfood also has lots of raw desserts and yummy treats that are vegan, too. If you’re looking for Wanaka food shops, be sure to shop at Soulfood.
Vegan Honorable Mentions
Still searching for where to eat in Wanaka? Here are the places to eat in Wanaka that I didn’t get a chance to visit on this last trip. I’d love to try these ones next time as they have delicious veg options, too. They’re all fantastic choices in this Wanaka vegan restaurant guide. You’ll have to let me know if you try them out!
Big Fig is “slow food served fast” and I love the concept of filling your plate with home cooked deliciousness. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner with other options available all day long. Big Fig is a Wanaka vegan friendly establishment where the staff are well aware of the term “vegan”. They’ve got vegan tagines, stuffed veggies, stews, salads, and so much more. Big Fig uses fresh and local ingredients where possible. They are also an eco-friendly restaurant that’s committed to reducing their impact on the planet.
Charlie Brown’s Crepes
Charlie Brown’s Crepes is a food trailer in the same area as the Dripping Bowl and Burrito Craft. I believe just about every trailer in this corner of Wanaka has vegan options on their menu, so don’t miss the food trailers when you travel there. Charlie Brown’s Crepes has an entire vegan menu that includes a buckwheat crepe made with vegan and gluten-free batter. The vegan crepes are:
- Pomme D’Amour (caramelized apples, maple syrup)
- Charlie Brown (banana, maple syrup, walnuts)
- Gourmande (banana, chocolate sauce, almonds)
- Nutty (peanut butter, dark chocolate chips, almonds, walnuts)
- Fruity (banana, caramelized apples, blueberries)
- Sweet Breakfast (banana, blueberries, almonds, walnuts, maple syrup)
- Classic Toppings (choice of peanut butter, jam, golden syrup or maple syrup)
The Spice Room
The Spice Room is an Indian restaurant in Wanaka with vegan items clearly labeled on the menu. You can choose from onion and spinach bhajji, a cashew nut salad, and you can request that anything on the “Vegetarian Delight” menu be prepared vegan.
Fedeli Cafe is a takeaway deli in Wanaka with lots of vegan food on the menu. They’ve got a vegan baked potato (with chipotle and vegan cheese), vegan sandwiches, and vegan cakes. While the restaurant does serve meat, they do a great job in advertising their vegan menu options online. This one was high on my list of places to eat in Wanaka, but we simply ran out of time. I’ll be heading here first the next time we’re in town.
Amigos Mexican Grill
While we ate Mexican food at Burrito Craft, there are more Wanaka restaurants serving up Mexican eats. Amigos Mexican Grill has their vegan choices marked “Vg” on the menu. You can choose from chips ‘n dips, nachos, a tortilla bowl, and two soft tacos. I personally can’t get enough of Mexican food, so be sure to add this one to your list of restaurants in Wanaka New Zealand.
Where to Stay in Wanaka
Looking for where to stay in Wanaka? We recommend a truly unique and memorable accommodation: Oasis Yurt Lodge. Oasis Yurts is one of the best places to stay in Wanaka for nature lovers. It’s a bit like “glamping”, but a little bit cooler, in my opinion.
Your hut is far more luxurious than camping because you have a comfortable bed and it doesn’t require any setting up on your part. Unlike regular city hotels, you can step outside your front door and look up to the stars at night. Your yurt is closer to the great outdoors than a traditional hotel room, and it’s a very peaceful place to stay. Furthermore, it’s an eco-friendly, sustainable, and responsible place to stay in Wanaka, aligning perfectly with a vegan lifestyle.
With so many Wanaka vegan friendly restaurants, you’ll have trouble deciding where to eat when you’re in town. If you’re planning to visit the nearby town of Queenstown, be sure to check out my vegan guide to Queenstown. I also have a fabulous one day itinerary for Queenstown that you should consider stealing for yourself!
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