The Wholefood Kitchen

Overall rating: 4.0 stars 6 Reviews
Vegetarian whole food eatery situated within the Chantal Food Store in the heart of Napier City. Primarily uses local, ethical, sustainable, and organic wholefood ingredients. All food is produced in its kitchen daily with the aim to provide healthy, seasonal, and balanced meals. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Organic, Western, Take-out

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  • Outdoor seating
  • Wheelchair accessible


First Review by Dmitry
  • vegetarian

Central lunch stop

Posted on 03 / 22 / 2016

I stopped here for lunch mid-way through a self - guided tour of Napier's fantastic art deco architecture (booklet available to purchase from the Art Deco Centre). The Wholefood Kitchen is within Chantal Foods Ltd, in a nice art deco building.

There were several dishes chalked up on the board but also an array of really interesting-looking salads in the chill cabinet. The helpful lady behind the counter explained that you could have a large or small bowl of your choice of salads - mixing as many as you like. I chose smoked eggplant and kasha (buckwheat) salad plus the heirloom tomatoes, pine nuts and rocket salad. I was very thirsty after my walk in the sunshine and asked for tap water. The waitress not only explained where I could find water but also where the chilled water was if I preferred.

After paying, I took a number and found a table outside in the pleasant courtyard through the back. Service was prompt and the salads were really delicious. The aubergine had been cooked to just the right consistency, as had the courgette. Coming from the UK, it was also great to be reminded what tomatoes are supposed to taste like! I had an Americano to finish, which was fine.

There aren't many vegetarian establishments in Napier so this is a great find in a central location. I would come back here if I was in the area for breakfast or lunch.

Pros: Lovely, imaginative salads; both outdoor and indoo
  • vegan

Worth travelling for

Posted on 01 / 21 / 2015

I'm based in Palmy, and often do day trips to Welly to dine at Aunty Menas. This time I did something different and went to Napier.
This place was easy to find, I was served as soon as I had finished browsing their extensive menu, and my takeout food was prepared quickly.
There was a slight hiccup with the order, which was quickly rectified. The food was delicious, and overall, it was an extremely satisfying dining experience. Highly recommended.

Pros: Excellent food, Good portion size, Friendly staff
Cons: Labelling error, check to ensure vegan
  • vegan

Interesting food, great service

Posted on 11 / 19 / 2014

My family and I are visiting from Sydney, and are a little dismayed with the slim pickings in the Hawkes Bay area. That, along with a couple of poor reviews on this page, meant we had low expectations going into this café. We were very pleasantly surprised. I had the vegan meatballs, my husband the vegan pancakes, and daughter the vegetable tofu stack. Each of them were interestingly put together, well presented, and large portions. I'll have to go back to see if there is cake we can eat, because there was no room for it after lunch. The staff were very friendly, and in fact went out of their way to ask if we were happy with our meals. We left very happy, and will probably go back again before we leave Napier.

Pros: Friendly service, Interesting food, well priced
Cons: More vegan options would be great!

  • non-vegetarian

Awful treatment by staff

Posted on 10 / 08 / 2012

Looking for somewhere nice to have lunch with my two sons, I had the misfortune of stepping into the Wholefood Kitchen in Napier. After perusing the food, and knowing it would take my 5 year old a while to choose, I waited in line with my three year old in my arms, on being served, I asked "First up, may I have some change for the parking meter please, then I'll come back and order".

The woman in her early to mid forties with short dark hair simply laughed in my face and said no (without even opening the till).

When I said "Sorry for being such a bother, but don't worry, we won't be eating here now either", she started mumbling something incomprehensible at me, at which point I walked out.

I went next door to Cafe Divine, who instantly gave me change, and asked if they could start making me a coffee while I was off feeding the meter.

Can't believe that Wholefood Kitchen Naper would treat anyone, let alone a parent alone with two children, so poorly.

9 October 2012 approx 12.30pm.

Pros: None that I have been able to find.
Cons: Awful staff., Poor attitude., Not family friendly.
  • WhiteRabbit

    Why am I not surprised with your review. I have been back again since my review and although the food is nice, I once again was not entirely happy with the service. I do hope they improve.

  • Dmitry

    Eat there every week, and don't see any big difference re service with any other cafe in NZ, you are served by ordinary friendly people (Kiwis and sometimes from overseas) who are naturally not robots and serve you the best they can, and sometimes of course they might make mistakes. Writing a negative review for not being given a change for a meter and not bothering to comprehend why is a bit too nasty and simply not nice.
    I'd skip Cafe Divine's, cos going through the menu and seeing piece of meat in almost everything gets me more down then any perceived slight imperfections in service at Wholefood Kitchen, plus some serving girls there are cute.

  • vegan

Interesting experience

Posted on 02 / 25 / 2012

I know I always have trouble enjoying eating out when I take my young children. But this particular day I have decided I must check out this cafe, this cafe has been open for some time now and I needed to see what I have been missing out on. I'm not from Napier, so I made it an important part of my Saturday agenda to go there on a visit to Napier. There are no sole Vegetarian/Vegan cafe's in my home town, which is a crying shame, sure I would love to open one, however I don't have the financial backing yet. In the mean time I will try to experience as many vegetarian cafes as I can.

OK, back to the cafe, I found it very clean and fresh. A homely feel to it, I loved the selection of food. My children had eaten somewhere else (non vegetarian they are), so I chose a pizza and the vegan chocolate brownie to share with my little ones. They were both yummy, my daughter wanted the brownie, she thought it was delicious.

My concerns of the cafe:
As my daughter has a spot of "can't sit still for long" I was chasing her around the store quite a bit, enough so that our food was cleared away before we had finished. My bag was still on the chair, so we hadn't even left. And when I went to the kitchen to ask for it back (seconds after it was cleared away), the lady had a blank expression. I got it back, otherwise I would have had to ask for a replacement! But it doesn't stop there, I felt I was completely invisible at the counter, some people came in while I was waiting to be served, well, I was completely ignored. I lead an extremely busy life and time is of the essence, to be honest, I found it all a very frustrating experience.

I will go back to try it out again, but if I get the same kind of service I wont be back there, which will be a shame as Hawke's Bay needs at least one Vegetarian cafe!

Pros: Great food, Great selection, Affordable
Cons: Vacant Staff, Slow Staff, Staff need to be more allert
  • vegan

Don't miss it if you are in town

Posted on 04 / 13 / 2011

Great 100% vegetarian place in town. It serves a variety of nice salads with rather diverse ingredients (some combinations I found quite interesting and delicious - you can order any selection of them in a medium or large portion) + a couple of hot dishes that may include a wholesome veggie soup, a curry (with a nicely toasted chunk of real non-supermarket bread) + a wide selection of sandwiches/pies (you can have them toasted - again the ingredients are quite diverse and may include fried tofu, tempeh etc). There is about a dozen of different teas - all real leaf, no bags, which they can offer you to smell before you order, some with quite interesting names I never tried before & delightful flavor + lots of home-style yummy cakes and slices to go with. They do serve a variety of cheeses & eggs (I believe mostly organic), but it's not in everything and all the ingredients are listed, so if you are after veggies only, you may still find a reasonable selection to suit your pallet (some teas come with milk on the side, so ask for soy if that's your wish). The food changes regularly, so you are assured of variety, and if you got extra dietary preferences, the range of your options may be wider the next day than today.
Another great thing about the place is heaps of room on large long tables and lots of mags (Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone etc as well as papers), so you can engross yourself in pleasant reading while you eat. There is also a tap of quality drinking water w/glasses at the back to help yourself. The place itself is right inside a large organics shop, where you can stock on variety of organic produce and other useful stuff.
Note the hours - it's open Tue-Sat (for hot dishes the kitchen I believe closes around 2pm on weekdays; the organics shop itself is open on Mon).

Updated from previous review on Wednesday April 13, 2011

Pros: Great variety of food, Friendly stuff, Heaps of mags & room


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Last updated: 2011/01/07


Added: 2011/01/07


Added by: Guest