I spent about 24 hours in Tauranga last April for work. I wasn’t expecting much food-wise – I thought I’d probably get by on conference food and bagels with avocado. What I’d forgotten about was the town’s alternative beachcomber, surfie, new-agey side. It shouldn’t have surprised me that there’s a health conscious food scene in Tauranga, or that these days it’s quite vegan-friendly.
I found lots to eat. Here’s my quick visitor’s guide to what’s vegan in Tauranga:
Grindz Café had lots of vegan options on its menu and in the cabinet, and offered six different non-animal milks for coffee. Their Facebook page shows that Grindz caters for all sorts of eaters, but particularly seems to be making an effort to create different vegan options (lately: a fry-up, stuffed portabellos, asparagus pizza).
When I visited, I had a big breakfast: a plate of toast, avocado, amazing potatoes & various vegetables.
Grindz is at 50 First Avenue in central Tauranga.
Wild Earth Organics is a big, well-stocked organic grocery, where you can find fresh locally-grown produce, non-dairy milk products, bulk bin grains & nuts, makeup and bathroom products, and various packaged treats.
At the back of the shop is a café that is entirely vegan (all food is also gluten free, and “made with love”). Wild Earth’s café serves a range of salads, meals, snacks and treats from its cabinet, and makes fresh juices, smoothies, teas and coffee.
When I visited, I had a slice of pizza & a tofu rissole from the cabinet, and a fresh juice.
Wild Earth Organics is at 777 Cameron Road in central Tauranga. It’s open Monday to Saturday.
Another place to find groceries is the Gluten & Allergy Free Shop on Cameron Road. Every product in-store has clear labelling to help shoppers find products that suit their eating needs; everything that’s vegan friendly has a green sticker next to its price label.
The Gluten & Allergy Free Shop is at 435 Cameron Road. They also offer online ordering & delivery around New Zealand.
Other places you could try
Bethlehem Health & Tea is another health food grocery that has groceries, snacks and supplements. It’s at 229c State Highway 2 in Bethlehem.
Clean Eats is a health food café at 332 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui that describes itself as vegan-friendly.
Burgerfuel has two outlets in the area: 4/602-610 Cameron Road in central Tauranga, and 330 Maunganui Road in Mount Maunganui.
Hell Pizza has a couple of outlets locally, too: 245 State Highway 2 in Bethlehem, and 30 Gravatt Road in Papamoa.