New Zealand Vegan

I love traveling and never let being vegan hinder me from going somewhere I want, though I admit food sometimes has driven me to visit certain places.  It’s true some places may be more difficult than others but from my experience it’s always possible to stick to my veganness!  For example today I was taking the only bus that was running from Queenstown to Franz Josef, and for lunch we stopped at “The Salmon Café”.  As usual I had pre-packed food but the driver asked us  if we brought food to “eat it outside”, in the freezing rain…so though the vulgar smell of dead fish would normally be enough to drive me out, I was hungry and the fireplace inside was too tempting.  After reading through the menu there was one vegan item, vegetable soup. I confirmed it had no animal products, made sure to ask for no butter on the bread, and was sold. It was a pretty good bowl of soup and the smell of the fire slowly drowned out that of fish. A few weeks prior another bus trip stopped at a sheep farm for lunch, and another at a Honey Café, both times there was something that I could have veganised. There is always something, and sometimes it’s something really unexpectedly delicious. Like a few places I’ve found in Queenstown last week.

Per usual I jumped on HappyCow to see what was in the area, and I checked out these places.  Luckily I found a few hidden places, including 2 restaurants that use the word ‘vegan’ on their menu and another that has an all vegetarian menu. Though the Mexican food was outrageously expensive ($20 for a burrito) I had to support them for saying ‘vegan options’ on their outdoor advertisement.  Another café makes all their soups vegan every day, has 2 vegan pies, and 90% of their wide range of salads are vegan, score! At Johnny Barrs I spotted an all vegetarian menu. I spoke with the owner and mentioned he should carry tofu or something as a meat substitute, he said they actually usually have tofu to use in soups and was very interested to hear more about items vegans he could carry. He said he’ll add it to the menu so tofu burritos, salads, etc should soon be an option! In bigger cities in New Zealand such as Auckland and Wellington I was spoiled with lots of options, including cupcakes, lasagna, sammies, muffins,  ice cream, and even an entire vegan shop where I got very rare items like vegan condensed milk.

While sometimes I dream of the carrot cake at the middle of nowhere cafés being vegan, fulfilling my nutritional requirements isn’t hard while traveling. Plus if I ever want carrot cake that badly I know that the local store surly sells carrots, flour, sugar and such so I can make my own back at the hostel.  Long story short, I hope you never let being vegan hinder your traveling, it’s very easy to support compassionate choices, even in places like the Salmon Café.

by Jessica C.:

View HappyCow’s list of veg-friendly Queenstown restaurants

Comment via Facebook

About veganjess86

Jessica Carroll has been eating her way through the vegan world for the past year, from the UK to SE Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Originally from CT but living in vegan heaven (Berkeley) for 3 years before traveling. She's worked for organizations In Defense of Animals and Farm Sanctuary, and is passionate about environmental and animal issues.
All articles by