• Water Drop Vege Cafe at Fo Guang Shan Temple

  • (22)
  • White Vegetarian

Cafe at the temple serves tea, coffee,, and Buddhist vegetarian food including Asian soups and some western type faux meat. Decorated with Buddhist art. Also sells gifts. Open Tue-Sun 9:00am-2:00pm.

Venue map for Water Drop Vege Cafe at Fo Guang Shan Temple
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22 Reviews

First Review by yvonnz


Points +122

04 Jan 2023

Not the best

The vibe wasn’t great perhaps due to covid and the food was incredibly oily. Prices were decent for the portion but not something write home about. Not many vegan options as they scaled down the menu that day.



Points +13

01 Sep 2022

Best vege place in Auckland

My favourite place to eat in all of NZ

Pros: Gorgeous temple location, Lots of mock meat options, Temple food

Cons: Closes early


Points +18

26 Jul 2022

Lunch menu

My husband and I regularly come to the temple in the weekends to worship and then go to the Cafe to have our lunch. Since we are vegetarians, we love the wide variety of items on the menu. Our favorites are the Laksa, Fried Noodles, Barbecue Rice , and Spring rolls. Not all varieties on the menu are available always but there are many other options.
Good place to go especially if you are vegans

Pros: Prompt service , Reasonably priced , Delicious food

Cons: Not all items stated on the menu are available alw


Points +13

Mostly Veg
06 Aug 2021

Love this place

Love the bbq wonton noodles. Gotta have them everytime


Points +270

17 May 2021


Great selection of food. I couldn't decide, so tried a few different things. My faves were the BBQ wonton noodles, and the laksa. Omg, the laksa 🤤!!! The spring rolls were also yummy! I'm going to slowly make my way down the list I think, as there is a lot to choose from! Good selection, and very welcoming staff too. I wish they also opened in the evenings!

Pros: Delicious fresh food. The laksa!!


Points +297

03 Oct 2020

Beautiful cafe yummy food

We loved it and will be back again ASAP. We had the rendang, curry roti and hot pot. They were all delicious. The hot pot was quite sweet. Lovely environment.

Pros: Lots of vegan options, Affordable , Delicious


Points +18

18 Sep 2020

Delicious food and wonderful servers!

The staff is amazing. The food is absolutely delicious and I love the atmosphere in the cafe

Pros: Cheapish , Lots of vegan options , Only vegetarian foods


Points +18

27 Jan 2020

The best place to eat

Go there often, friendly staff the food is the best, made with love totally recommend! Cant go wrong with choosing anything off the menu 😋

Pros: Good for vegetarians and vegans, Prices are good too.


Points +1478

15 Oct 2019

Tastes like home

I've been missing some really great Chinese cooking since becoming vegan and I have to say, the food here replicates the flavours I used to know very well - pleasantly surprised. The only gripe is that most of the food are made to resemble actual meat and it's off-putting which is a shame.
I love the tofu drumsticks and the crunch of them.
One of the dish came out cold, I think that was definitely how it was supposed to be served but that shocked our systems a bit; tasted fine though.
Nice place and was super busy.
Lovely temple!

Pros: Tastes like childhood!

Cons: Tries to look like actual meat...


Points +1078

13 Jan 2019


Serenity is the main reason when I go here for lunch. The temple grounds are beautiful and well-maintained. There's a large range of scrumptious food. The menu is ovo-lacto-vegetarian, so make sure to ask them for vegan food, which they're happy to do. Their laksa is actually curry mee, not authentic laksa, but still good. BBQ wonton noodles was OK, siu mai and tom yum rice were authentic, highly recommended. All in all, a great experience and everyone should definitely check out this place if they haven't already.

Pros: Reasonably priced food, Ample, easy parking, Beautiful temple grounds

Cons: Can get superrrr busy


Points +86

30 Mar 2018


This temple makes absolutely delicious vegan meals!!


Points +1615

10 Feb 2018

Great food at the Buddhist temple

This is an awesome eatery that is part of the Buddhist temple in Auckland. The food is fresh, healthful, an delicious. Their daily set menu is also a really good value—you get rice plus three or four accompaniments, usually with a mix a mock meats and veggies. The environs are also beautiful, calm, and inviting. I highly recommend this place.

Pros: Lovely space, Good value, Great food


Points +318

15 Feb 2017

Great vegan food!

I come to Auckland every couple of years and I always make sure to make time for this cafe. Everyone loves it!

Pros: Location - beautiful temple. , Reasonably priced., Great flavours

Cons: They run out of food quick!, Service can be a little bit slow.


Points +16

15 Dec 2016

Beautifully cooked and a mostly vegan menu

Went yesterday for lunch and was overwhelmed by the choice of vegan options on the menu. I ordered the BBQ Soy Wonton Soup which was amazing, the BBQ pieces had great texture and flavour, I'm not usually a fan of BBQ because of the powerful smokey flavour it often has, but I took a gamble ordering this and I'm glad I did, it was more of a sticky sweet BBQ.
I also had the coriander pancake with potatos and cauliflower in a curry gravy as a side, which was equally as yummy. The curry gravy was rather spicy but just right when eaten with the pancake.

Good fast service, the staff knew which dishes were vegan and which weren't which meant ordering was hassle free.

Similarly, I went with a family member who cannot eat garlic and luckily they use no garlic or onion in any of their cooking, so this made the trip there even more simpler.

The only non-vegan items found in the food (from what I could tell) was egg/egg noodles and cheese in some items.

Pros: Well Priced , Fast Service, Lots of Vegan Options


Points +101

15 Dec 2016

Superb vegan (mostly) food and cheap too

Visited the Water Drop Cafe yesterday for lunch. The choice of food on the menu is enormous and the majority of it is vegan. The staff also know what vegan means so you won't have any trouble changing items that aren't vegan (like egg noodles for vegan noodles).

I had a dish called Lohan - which was mushrooms and other fungus with beancurd and vegetables in a pot. Very flavoursome and lots of different types of fungus that I'd not eaten before.

Also shared a curry roti with one of my companions, which came as the roti with a little bowl of curry containing potatoes and cauliflower, very tasty.

Another companion had BBQ Soy with noodles and wantons. Lots of good flavours and textures.

Others had the vege patty meal, which is basically steak and chips - a seitan patty with chips and vegetables.

After lunch we had a wander around the gardens and the temple, very interesting and amazing to find this in a suburb of Auckland.

Overall cost was very good - two mains, a shared starter and drinks came to $38, for the quality of the food this is a very good price.

Updated from previous review on 2016-12-15

Pros: Excellent tasty vegan food, Cheap, Nice staff


Points +314

17 Apr 2016

Have a nice lunch and visit the temple!

My husband is crazy for the laksa. I like to try something new every time. Great selection, some western as well as eastern style dishes. Nice atmosphere and the temple is an extra treat before or after your meal.

Pros: good selection, nice atmosphere, reasonably priced

Cons: some staff members have limited English, can be quite busy at times


Points +39

14 Mar 2016

Botany favourite

I've visited twice here and both times I have enjoyed all of the dishes!!
A vegetarian / vegan cafe is a rare occurrence in Auckland and this temple cafe delivers! Gorgeous soy coffees, tea, rice and noodle dishes!

Pros: Big selection of dishes, Great prices , Yummy faux meats


Points +311

14 Mar 2016

Is this real?

It’s amazing that this is on the outskirts of Auckland.

Fo Guang Shan is a gorgeous and genuine Buddhist temple in East Auckland. This is a rare find in New Zealand - traditional Chinese architecture, elegant gardens tended by monks in saffron robes, heavy bells and solid statues. It is supremely peaceful, delightfully interactive, and leaves you with a light serenity as much as it excites your imagination.

The temple features worship rooms, a large open space for gentle strolling, incense for burning, a gift shop and the Waterdrop Vegetarian Cafe.

There’s no question: of the Asian-variety fake-meat restaurants in Auckland, Fo Guang Shan’s is the most beautiful. The atmosphere, plant life, hardwood furniture and outdoor seating option are a welcome and relaxing contrast to the inner city’s tucked-away secret tofu-fryers. The food is different too - still a focus on fake meat but with more attention to variety than others. Unlike most fake-meat places, the focus is on what it is, rather than what it’s not. The menu takes pride in its pickled vegetables and chewy moist mushrooms. Not everything is vegan - but the staff are able to fill you in on what’s good. I’m a fiend for a good laksa, and its smooth herbaceous broth is a good match for the setting. The extensive menu also includes rotis, hot-pots, and a wide selection of fragrant teas. If this temple was much, much nearer my house I would know every one of the staff.

The prices are reasonable, and you get the feeling that any profit is going to a pretty good place. Visiting the water-drop is a great day-out on a bicycle (although on some heavy trafficed roads this might compete with your inner-peace), or alternatively a half-day out by public transport or driving. Its southerly location means it’s accessible by detour while driving out of Auckland. And if you’re heading on a road trip, dropping in might be a good move.

Pros: Stunning location, Fun menu


Points +21

05 Jan 2014

Definitely need to go there

I frequently go here for lunch, wonderful menu and great range of authentic Asian meals. The atmosphere is so beautiful and well priced. Must try the Laksa or the Vermicelli clay pot. However, can be very busy during lunch at weekends so pays to go a little earlier or a little later then peak lunch time. Volunteers that work there are very friendly and helpful. Varieties of teas available, do try the kumquat tea especially if you have a cold. Have taken friends and co-workers and they loved it. Plenty of parking.
Their Wednesday special lunch is also a great dish...with plenty of veges and tofu. Steamed dumplings are also very delicious.

Pros: delicious food, value for money, very friendly and courtoes staff

Cons: can be very busy in weekends, some dishes do contain eggs


Points +22

31 Dec 2013

Beautiful experience and Laksa to die for!

This place is the complete package.

Vibrant little cafe full of vegan and vegetarian mock meat / traditional Chinese style food, cute gift shop and stunning temple grounds complete with two art exhibitions.

I had the Laksa as recommended to me by a number of other Auckland vegans. It was amazing (to be honest I've never had a laksa before but if there's one in existence that's better than that I'll keel over and die of amazement). Gorgeous flavours and just enough of a kick for me. Warning: Lotus tea is very mild - probably go for another flavour.

Service was a little brusque and there was a bit of a wait for the food and then between the food and the arrival of the tea, but the busyness of the cafe and the language barrier are things I take into consideration so I didn't mind. You need to order at the counter, just grab a menu and then find yourself a table once you've ordered. The girl at the counter knew exactly what I meant when I asked about vegan options which I appreciated. I went straight for the Laksa so couldn't say what percentage of the menu is vegan / what other options there are but I'd say there'd be a variety of choices.

Once you've had your meal go for a stroll in the temple and view the art. You completely forget you're a three-minute drive away from a bustling mall and retail district.

Loved it and will be back.

Pros: Setting - divine

Cons: Somewhat average service


Points +200

04 Jun 2011

Feast for the eyes and stomach

That's a delightful Chinese Buddhist temple - huge, immaculately built with a huge golden Buddha statue inside and other beautifully made statues, a large courtyard with fancy trimmed grass squares and a "wishing bell" that you can ring to make a wish (with a few chants and bows that are written beside it - to do it properly). Entrance is free and you can wonder around (taking you shoes off inside the main temple & please taking pictures from the outside only) - there is a second floor with Buddhist art. There is a gift shop with lots of big and small statues (some quite intricately carved), pendants etc. And there is a cafe, which IMO is more like a restaurant - there is a huge menu folder with pictures of dishes, most to me appeared to be fairly vegan. I had fried soy pieces on wooden sticks, a spring roll, a veggie meat dumplings soup - all as entrees (there are multiple other soups as main portions), not bad tasting, and rather yummy vegetarian mince on rice with tofu slices, a lotus tea (though the flavor was a bit too subtle for me - next time I'll try a rose one), then I had a kind of a citrus/plum-tasting fruit tea in a tall wine-like glass (with real fruit inside) with a shortbread, which inside had something a bit like Turkish delight, sweet, but not too sweet, which was nice. All in all - the huge temple, the shop, the cafe are a window into 2000+ year old Chinese culture (some of those guys are from Taiwan) - not to be missed. Check the temple website, there is a service schedule and if you can get into one that might be quite an interesting experience too (I was given a sheet with chants in Chinese characters spelled out in English and some translation - though generally could not keep up as the language was so quick and pronunciation subtle).

Pros: Temple, Gift shop, Food

Cons: None really


Points +18

18 Feb 2011

Fo gang Shan Temple

It is a fair while since my husband and I ate here but at the time we loved the surroundings and the fact we could eat vegetarian food without worrying about whether or not it contained animal products. I was not quite sure if the biscuits and all the noodles had eggs so we avoided those items. Overall it was nice to go there to eat in quite exotic surroundings that were quiet and peaceful. We knew we were in a special place where people respected the food they were serving and the feeling of being in an ancient Chinese temple in the middle of Auckland added to the experience.

Pros: lovely environment, good food, good value

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