East St Vegetarian Cafe and Bar

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 15 reviews )
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039700575
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8 Church St, Nelson, New Zealand, 7010

Refurbished and re-opened Dec 2015. A funky kitsch cafe. Many dishes are gluten-free and can be made vegan. Sometimes live music. Was originally at 335 Trafalgar Square E. Open Tue-Wed 11:30am-9:00pm, Thu-Fri 11:30am-12:00am, Sat 11:30am-3:00am, Sun 5:00pm-9:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Organic, Western, Juice bar, Beer/Wine, Fusion, Australian

15 Reviews

First Review by Gertrude225

Best restaurant in Nelson - Edit

Love love love this place! Been going here for years, and always take my non veggie family / friends here and they love it too. Great menu, lovely atmosphere and the staff are always friendly.

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Awesome - Edit

Had the vegan sandwich and chunky chips. Came back later for the Black Forrest desert.
Food was lovely, excellent service.
Will definitely come back, great Kiwi cafe vibe

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Best Meal This Year - Edit

Wow! Totally delicious food and friendly staff. I went with a meat-eating friend who eats lots of vegetarian but never vegan. He was not enthused by the fact that nearly all the dinner menu choices were vegan. He thought it would be boring. In fact, he hoovered up his vegan dish and tried to steal mine. Yummy dinner in a lovely atmosphere.

Pros: Variety of fresh ingredients. Great chef

Cons: Music was a bit loud

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Plenty of vegan options - a little bit fancy - Edit

Great food, well plated, still a little pricey. Had a quesadilla with a creamy vegan sauce, as well as a fishy dish featuring tofu with nori. All washed down with a very pleasant chocolate mousse. Note that from 3-5 the selection is limited as they switch to the snack menu - though what's there looked good from what we saw.

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vegan meal but smokers suck - Edit

Had a nice meal outside but unfortunately they allow smoking at the table.
Despite that we enjoyed our lunch in the sun and the atmosphere of the cafe is really nice with live music starting at 3pm. Looking forward to have dinner here in the next days! :)

Pros: vegan very delicious meal, cool atmosphere!, nice staff :-)

Cons: smoking allowed at the table in the outside area

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Finally in Nelson - Edit

A completely vegetarian cafe and bar,with people who know what they are doing in the kitchen. Saturday night no booking no room till later but we were 3 keen vegetarians so we toughed it out till 8.30pm.Live music duo and a very varied crowd of hipsters,hippies,old and young. Interesting art on the walls and a good vibe.
We had three really excellent mains(entrees) they had kitchie names to them but were basically a burger, with texture to it not mush,a vegetable stack and a dahl.All were attractive to look at and a good size.We finished evary bite. No photos too busy eating!
Good wine list(Greenhough pinot recommended).
An atmosphere of adult dining without pretension or too much worthness.Medium price range.Our mains were $15 to $24 I want to ship it over to my city.

Pros: All vegetarian/vegan., Well prepared, Funky

Cons: 7 hours from where I live.

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Tasty Vegan choices..... worth a visit - Edit

We went here last night for dinner and we both had great meals. The menu is clearly marked with what is gluten free, organic and/or vegan. Everything served here is at least vegetarian which is always a great dining experience.

Portions are generous and well presented. Definitely something for all tastes & moods on offer including a burger and fries, vege stacks, dahl, risotto, tofu dishes, breads & tasty dips, stuffed mushrooms, etc.

A nice selection of starters and entrees and the dessert menu looked great.

The restaurant has a well stocked bar with plenty of choices. We tried a couple of local ciders that were a nice compliment to our meals.

Prices are moderate with mains averaging $20 - $24.

My only criticism is that they closed the kitchen for new orders at 8.45pm without saying anything so when I tried to order the apricot slice and ice cream....I got told I couldn't! Disappointed but maybe next time then!

Great food, great decor, a vibrant and friendly atmosphere.....worth checking out if you're in lovely Nelson.
Updated from previous review on Friday April 08, 2016

Pros: Great variety of starters, entrees & mains, Friendly staff, A relaxed and casual dining atmosphere

Cons: Kitchen closed too early

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Do it - Edit

Yeah, do it. Go here. Eat breakfast. Eat lunch. Drink all the drinks.
Beautiful interior, recently refurbished. Permanent stage set up. Even the tables looked interesting. This place is cool enough that they don't even need to say vegetarian on the building. Service was great.
I had the tofu Burger with salad side. It was choice. Gone before I could get a photo of it. We followed up with a bowl of home style chips.

Pros: Lots of vegan options , Beautiful interior, food and staff

Cons: Nelson is a bit far from home for me.

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vegan choices galore - Edit

We stopped by and they were super friendly trying to fit us in. So we came back an hour later, table waiting. Super cool atmosphere; the design, music - a DJ playing on the night - nice bar with beer on tap. First funky vego place - where you'd actually wanna hang out on a Friday night - I've been to. Food's been great. Plenty vegan and also GF options. Highly recommend!

Pros: atmosphere, drinks, vegan options!!!

Cons: not cheap but well-priced

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good food, great atmosphere - Edit

Stopped in for dinner here tonight. Great food and an excellent selection for vegans. Friendly staff and a DJ playing for a good vibe.

Even better is the range of house mixed non-alcoholic soda mixers.

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Excellent vegetarian food - Edit

We really enjoyed East St. Vegetarian Cafe. We went there twice in a week, and both of us had very good to excellent food both times, covering both regular menu dishes and specials. Nice local craft beer selection as well. We see on their Facebook page that they've just moved to a new location at 8 Church St. to get more space (a need generated by the old place getting too crowded - a good sign!) - hope they're successful there as well.

Pros: Excellent food, Good variety of choices, Friendly and helpful servers

Cons: None for us

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Must-go in Nelson! - Edit

Located in a backyard, not so easy to find, except there was a removable billboard outside pointing it out.
Since I had no high expectations, this place was astonishing in a good way. First they have a cosy retro (but also kind of creepy) furnishing inside, all kind of stuff ragtag. The menu cards are all made out of various LP covers, what's a hip idea which works well.
There are also a number of outside sitting options.
I had a daily special menu which included a burger with chips and a beer (respectively wine (red/white)). Totally gorgeous burger, seriously, crispy and appetizing, simply awesome!
Stuff was friendly, no long waiting times, relaxed atmosphere and chill interior, that results absolutely in five cows!

Pros: tasty food +++, chill furnishing, lovely place

Cons: (they don't have open 24/7)

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really annoying - Edit

So annoying when you go to a cafe and find it closed. The hours advertised on the door said it should have been open. The people in the hostel who share the same building said it should have been open. But it wasn't. I had a felafel instead at an excellent place around the corner in Hardy St but basically left Nelson annoyed and disappointed as I specially made a detour so as to try this cafe.

Cons: not open when it should be, hard to find, no menu in window

2 Responses
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Viks Bornrad 29 Nov 2014 - Hi yolanda

Yes I remember you coming to the cafe and we were closed. I saw how disappointed you were when I told you we were closed. Our sign on the door did infact say we were closed and my apologies for being misinformed by the backpackers. As we are a separate business whoever said that may have been new or not understood our hours. I would just also like to say thankyou as you commmented that on google our hours said we were open, indeed they did as we were having problems with it changing and I had already made contact several times to remedy this. Im glad you got some great food in the end and hope that one day you do come back we can look after you.

Kindly Vikki and Tejas  


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Yolanda 02 Aug 2015 - I have to eat my hat because the last time I went to Nelson, I tried East St again and hallelujah, it was open. I have to say, it was worth the wait. We had an excellent meal - really tasty. Loved the funky décor, nice staff and lots of vegan options. I'll be back.  


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Excellent - Edit

A great find. Tasty veggie and vegan food, a mix of styles from European to South American to Asian. Good range of starters mains and desserts with lots of vegan options. Real ale and wine (veg*n labelled).

Also sophisticated, cosy atmosphere and decor. Shares the building with a backpackers hostel and bar, so lively, but also nice for romantic dinners/family meals.

Pros: tasty food, atmosphere, good drinks selection

Cons: a bit hidden away off the main streets

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East street Vegetarian Cafe and Bar - Edit

What a find! Relax and enjoy fabulous food of the non-animal kind in a friendly and welcoming environment. Well priced and well worth the visit. Luck Nelsonites in New Zealand to have such a great cafe in their city.

Pros: Great food, Staff are vegetarian, Vibrant friendly atmosphere

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