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Sunflower Thai Vegetarian Restaurant

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  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 42 reviews )
Contact 09-3020616

50 High St, Shop 6, Auckland, New Zealand,

Serves Thai food, vegetables dishes, and a variety of mock meats. Originally was Sunflower Cafe and changed management in 2013 with modified menu and full table service. Mon-Sat 11:00am-3:00pm, Mon-Sat 5:00pm-9:00pm

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Chinese, Thai, Take-out

Reviews (42)

First Review by studioahimsa

Best Thai food and service! - Edit

We visited this restaurant not too long ago. Being travellers from Canada, we weren't familiar with the area. We finally found it and were greeted and seated quickly. The atmosphere was basic but comfortable and welcoming, but don't let the simplicity of decor fool you. This is hands down the best Thai food I have ever had!

I was also happy to see the chefs exit the kitchen to get the fresh ingredients for our meals.

It didn't take too long to fet our meals , but it was obviouilsy not rushed either. You can tell they take pride in their dishes.

We enjoyed every bite of it!

Unfortunately, they dont take credit cards, which was a bit surprising as they are very close to many hotels in the area.

I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone.

Pros: Service, Taste , Cost

Cons: Too kind

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good for lunch - Edit

not just thai but some chinese too - it used to be a chinese vege restaurant before they took over so i think some of the menu is carried over from that.
they do a really nice chinese hot and sour soup- fantastic in winter and my favourite is spicy basil with mock chicken.
nice staff- i wish them all the best

Pros: cheapish, fresh

Cons: can be slow at peak times

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Delicious Vegan Thai Food - Edit

Sunflower has a great selection from their menu, everything from dumplings to curries and sizzling hot plates.

I really like their Massman Curry and dumplings.

If you're not a fan of meat substitutes then this might not be the place for you.

Many non vegans have been impressed by this place, great friendly service and relaxing casual environment.

Pros: Reasonably Priced, All vegan, Lots of options

Cons: Parking can be difficult

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Best in NZ! - Edit

Having been to every vegan eatery in the country, and most vegetarian ones too I can say with confidence that Sunflower stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Pros: Everything is vegan Cosy environment Friendly staf

Cons: Ruins other vegan/vegetarian restaurants

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Simple restaurant but yummy vegan food - Edit

Love that place. Simple, but so much options. Loved the curry, the Samosas and very rich menu. Asian food but tasty and cheap.

Pros: Lots of options. Vegan and veg.

Cons: Simple restaurant. But also cheap

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my favorite in the city centre - Edit

Introduced by friends and been back plenty of times. Great place to go before a show. Love having Thai food and knowing it won't have seafood in it (that might kill me). I find it weird to call stuff after meat, but always found something I like on TLD menu.

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Meh - Edit

Think there's a bit too much fake meat for me, but if you like fake meat and Thai food this is the place for you!
I wasn't overly impressed by what I ate, but it tends to be open a bit later than other places in the centre and is, well, pretty central!
Updated from previous review on Thursday March 24, 2016

Pros: Inexpensive, Central

Cons: Too much fake meat for me

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I love the choice here! - Edit

There's just so many delicious dishes here at Sunflower. Have always eaten here during University days and now work days. I love their dumplings and their noodle dishes. The decor makes the place quite homey and relaxing too.

Pros: Delicious food, Great variety, Good value for money

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I'm obsessed! :D - Edit

If you haven't been to sunflower, go there asap!!!
Amazing "chicken" burger and peanut satay curry!! Oh their dumplings! Devine!!!! Full vege menu which is just so groundbreaking :)

Pros: Everything

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Making ethical normal - Edit

A great asian-style, all plant-based and cheap option. I didn't believe it was vegan when I looked at the menu... I had to ask again and confirm. It's strange but great to be able to order from a menu that seems normal. I took a whole bunch of omnivore mates there and they loved it too. We all ordered things and shared. So nice to have that option! Love LOVE LOOOVVVEEE Sunflower. If you REALLY like spice go for the Lamb-like skewers. The duck-like dishes are great... actually everything is pretty awesome.

Pros: Cheap, Great to take everyone to, Food

Cons: Not 'up market', Sometimes don't have everything

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A legend in the making - Edit

You might be walking down High Street when suddenly you see it - a sign for Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant hidden down the back of a ground floor corridor. That’s how I found it - randomly - and in those days the shy staff would play classical music and bring you peppery rich marinated tofu with fluffy rice and chewy noodles. The restaurant is still clean, and the menu is mostly unchanged, but the staff have livened up and the place feels a little bit warmer as the years have passed.

Sunflower are the first choice of take-away food in my house. It’s got good size servings of delicious, simple Asian food for decent prices, and that’s a winning combination.

Pros: Cheerful vegan chow, Novelty value

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Delicious Thai!! - Edit

everything is vegan! delicious mock meat meals -- i got the peanut chicken -- GREAT! spring rolls were great too -- just make sure to ask if something is GF, a lot of the 'meats' are breaded! cant wait to go back!!

Cons: none!!

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Just about... average - Edit

I have been to Sunflower Thai a few times and it is pretty average. It is not just a Thai restaurant as the name implies, it has many Asian dishes.

Pros: Not too pricey

Cons: Can get gelatonous food

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It's allright - Edit

I went to Sunflower on my last worktrip to Auckland. I'm not a big fan of mock meats/fake meats, but I wanted to try this place because I love thai food and it was conveniently located within walking distance of my hotel.
I ordered a dumpling soup and the green curry. Where the dumpling soup was lacking flavor, the curry was bursting with flavor. I do like spicy food, but this was too much, even for me. If you don't like spicy food, definitely don't order the curry. It also doesn't come with rice, you have to order it seperately.
The service was allright. The waitress was friendly enough, but 30 seconds after she gave me the menu and I was still busy reading it she already came over and asked what I wanted.
The decor is definitely lacking. Don't go here thinking you'll be in a warm and cozy environment. It had more of a cheap look and feeling to it.

Pros: Central location

Cons: Average food

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Sunflower Thai Vegetarian Restaurant - Edit

Located in downtown and quite nicely done up. Lots of interesting quotes on the walls, lots of space to sit and good vibes. About the colour I was not sure, the walls are painted in a bit sickish green, but that's a matter of taste.
The menu is more about quality and selected taste than quantity (as far as you can say this about a more or less quickly serving Chinese middle-class restaurant). I had a great soy duck with some fried vegetables and rice, that I enjoyed quite a lot.
The staff was very friendly, the prices were absolutely decent and it didn't smell as oily as in other similar places.
Only they should replace the much-thumbed menu cards and the should get some tablecloths since the tables are stained to an extend you cannot wipe it entirely clean anymore. That's really no hard thing to do, but would make a big difference.
Good choice even for a bit more sophisticated standards (regarding the food, not necessarily the cleanliness).
One slightly odd thing happened there to me: At the beginning the waitress explained to me, that "Sunflower" is a vegan restaurant. But since I have studied the menu, I find that hard to believe. Most certainly she meant vegetarian. The odd thing about that is that you wouldn't expect a vegetarian restaurant to confuse these two terms.
Updated from previous review on Thursday January 15, 2015

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Dismal in more ways than one - Edit

I love Thai cusine so was looking forward to this, but unfortunately this was one of the worst dining experiences I've had.

Walking in the feel of this place is "cheap & cheery", so we didn't expect fine dining, but given the good reviews still expected good food. Apparently cold water or ice was out of the question, which is fine for such a casual venue.

The menu is quite small and aimed at a lunchtime crowd with lots of dishes coming with rice or noodles. They were also quite heavy on dishes with eggplant (not my thing personally). Which is fine, however when we ordered we were told that they couldn't do vegan versions as they had run out of certain vegan mock meats and were using egg ones. This was surprising given both menu and signage indicated this was a vegan restaurant. They also couldn't specify which dishes they could do vegan until we ordered again.

Eventually we had to call back the waitress to take our second order- roast "duck" with vegetables and a curry. The "duck" arrived and quite simply it lacked all flavour. It didn't taste bad, it simply tasted of nothing- none of the herbs or flavours you associate with Thai cusine. Or any cuisine.

After 15 minutes we asked where the curry was, hoping that it also wouldn't be a dud. The waitress said, "I didn't think you wanted it" as if somehow confirming the order she read back to us and cancelling half the order were the same thing. No apology, no effort to get it made.

We decided to bail, and I asked what type of sauce they used on the "duck" because it was very bland. I was told it was barbecue sauce and everyone liked it. Apparently the customer is always wrong here.

I'd give this place negative stars if I could. Avoid at all costs.

Cons: Staff incompetent , Terrible food

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Nice place with lots of variety - Edit

Huge menu with many interesting vegan things on it. Excellent vegan pad thai. Reasonable prices. Somewhat odd opening hours.

Pros: Great variety, Tasty food, Reasonable prices

Cons: Odd opening hours

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Really, Really Tasty And Fresh! - Edit

Really flavourful and fresh ingredients with subtle blends of spices. Everything we ordered was delicious... and vegan!

Pros: Friendly Service, Great Food

Cons: Closed On Monday, A Little Hard To Find Location

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My new favorite place - Edit

We ate here during a recent visit to Auckland and were blown away. The food was so delicious! The menu states that they use no animal products and I didn't see anything that looked non-vegan. We had some spring rolls, pad thai with "chicken" and fried noodles with "chicken". The portions were very generous and the price was reasonable. My only complaint is that we couldn't eat there again since they are closed on Sundays.

Pros: delicious, good value, vegan

Cons: closed Sundays

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Delicious! - Edit

During a visit to Auckland I stopped in at Sunflower Thai and had the vegan pad Thai for an early dinner. So delicious! I wish I could eat here every day! The restaurant was a bit hard to find as it was located behind a Chinese dumpling restaurant, but just walk toward the back of the building, around the Chinese restaurant, and you'll find it. Such a great restaurant for vegans and vegetarians!

Pros: Delicious Food, Friendly Service, Good Value

Cons: Interior is a bit dark

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Best Vegan In Auckland - Edit

I can't rave enough about this restaurant. It's my absolute favourite. I eat here at least once a week, and often buy takeaways for dinner. The food is delicious, the prices reasonable, and the staff are very friendly. I highly recommend the fish cakes (not fishy at all, totally vegan, with a sauce that is to die for), and the spicy chicken. Don't let the names put you off, it's all vegan. I bring guests and friends regularly, and they're always impressed. You will be, too! (Easiest to park in Victoria St carpark, and take elevator down to ground floor. Come out and turn right. Entrance is a few shops up on your right, restaurant is at the back.)

Pros: Excellent food, Friendly staff, affordable

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Best in Auckland! - Edit

I love Sunflower! The staff are friendly and the food is great! I go here two to three times a week for lunch, favorites include the pan friend dumplings, money bags, spicy chicken and the green curry. The portions are generous and include rice. There is a good mixture on the menu of healthy soups, noodles, stir fry veg and mock meat/tofu. Mains are $10 - $12, almost impossible to match that in the CBD! I can't recommend Sunflower more, it's so refreshing to have an entirely veggie place so conveniently located!

Pros: excllent food, friendly staff, good value

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My favorite veggie place in Downtown - Edit

This place is the best! Walking distance from home in Downtown Central Auckland, this is probably my favorite place, not just for a vegetarian dinner but in general. I love the people working there, their smiles and attention, and the food is glorious. Many options in the menu. Try the Almond tea! A great and yummy way of eating out and eating healthy

Pros: Food, Friendly Staff, Nice Vibe

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Excellent choice - Edit

I went to the Sunflower Cafe today. We found it by accident as we were walking up High St and they had their sign out. What a great treat to find a whole cafe full of like minded people committed to a Vegan diet. Fantastic.

The menu is extensive and there are loads of choices. I spoke to the owner who is a Thai gentlemen. He bought the restaurant from the original owners who were Taiwanese, plenty of Vegan food there. They are committed to being Vegan and have introduced some Thai dishes on the menu as well.

It is well worth a look.

Pros: Good Food, Good Prices, Simple Cafe

Cons: A little bit hard to find, but worth it.

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A very pleasant meal - Edit

This was probably the heartiest and cheapest meal we had during our trip to Auckland. The food was very good value: the usual Asian vegetarian style, not too greasy. The staff were extremely friendly. The video playing in the background (of some kooky young Japanese reporters sampling the restaurant's wares) was fun, but got annoying after about the third run through. It might be better for atmosphere not to have the TV.

Pros: Good simple food, friendly staff, inexpensive

Cons: Video player

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Lovely little place - Edit

Great food, great company (I was by myself), and great staff. The lady who served me was so helpful, I was in a particularly indecisive mood, but she explained what everything was and even showed pictures of the selections on a computer, which was terribly helpful. The fish fillet was small but it tasted soo good. It was of course pretend fish. Also she suggested I had some plum tea, which was absolutely delightful. I sort of want to go back, but there are so many other places to try...

Pros: Friendly staff, Delicious food, Tasty tea

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Best Veg in downtown AKL - Edit

This place was great a couple of years ago when it was run by an old Taiwanese couple. They sold it and the current owners have simplified the menu.

Its still pretty good for dim sum and basic noodle soups etc.

There lunch buffet can be good if they have seasonal veggies they have prepared from their farm.

Pros: Vegan Food, won tons, dim sum

Cons: not very flavorful, simple menu, pricey for quality

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Handy - Edit

I worked in the city for a while and this was handy and great place for a single person to go and eat.
Love the seasonal vege dumpling soup, Vege chicken burger, crunchie Vege pork, Guabao. They also have a lunch time buffet and reduced the price for a month to encourage people to donate to the Christchurch earthquake appeal. I wonder who did ha ha. The buffet was so worth it at that price, it tasted sooo much better. When they stopped I went back to the menu.

Pros: good for single people, cheap enough, variety no onion & garlic

Cons: sweet & sour bottled sauce

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Ho-hum for me. Woah-yum for my mates. - Edit

Sunflower Cafe/Fortune has improved from a few years back. Everything use to be covered in MSG which I'm allergic to so I could only ever have the deep fried 'chicken' nuggets and chips. Now they don't use MSG (except for the dumplings) so I have a greater range to choose from. I'm far from being crazy about the place, I much prefer Golden Age in terms of taste, but a fair few of my friends absolutely swear by Sunflower Cafe. It is much cheaper than Golden Age so it's a good place to go with a lot of mates and not spend too many dollars. But when I'm hungry and on my own, I wouldn't choose to dine there, plenty of other places around town.

Pros: cheap, central location

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Excellent foood!!!!!!!! - Edit

I really enjoyed my dining experience at Sunflower Cafe. The range is extensive and the staff, yes, were extremely welcoming and friendly. The pricing is appropriate. The rice and noodle dishes have so much vegs and mockmeat in them. Really satisfied!

Pros: Great range of food, Inexpensive, Friendly staff

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Not bad - Edit

It's practially vegan as they said there only 2 items in their extensive menu that weren't. I had very nice boiled dumplings, laver (seaweed) and ham soup, which was OK (the "ham" tasted sort of pickled-ish), pickled veges and beef (with a kind of noodles), which would have been quite yummy if it hadn't been rather hot and hotter as I got to the bottom of the bowl (say that you'd like it mild if it matters to you). I also had a couple of nice juices, one of which was made of few layers of different kinds, which was tasty. I thought I detected a slight tiny wiff of tap water in their free water bottles (probably filtered), and I advised them to consider cheap bottled spring water instead (less eco-friendly for some). I had my meal while reading NZ vegetarian mag and overall it was not bad at all. The service was quick and the staff very friendly. I popped in Sat morning it was open, but the lady said actually they were not, so check the hours.

Pros: practically vegan, good food, friendly staff

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So much variety- hard to choose!! - Edit

Aaaagh! The sweet smell of vegetarian food! The first thing I noticed about Sunflower vegetarian restaurant was that the staff were really really friendly:) and the food was really really good:) I ordered this spicy vegetarian chicken with rice meal while my friend ordered Miso soup. The mock meat was sooooo nice, it had a nice tangy spicy flavour:) :) I am definitly going back, and this time I'm going to have the wontons!!
Updated from previous review on Wednesday December 22, 2010
Updated from previous review on Wednesday December 29, 2010

Pros: The food:) obviously! , Friendly staff, good value for money

Cons: The toilet (it's way too small) , The restaurant looks a bit dull

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Don't expect gourmet cuisine - Edit

We first started going to the sunflower about 3 years ago. It was easy to miss, a dingy back room of a run down mall.The menu was so vast that it would take 10 minutes just to go from cover to cover. Luckily they have brightened up the interior since then and cleaned up. Food safety is vastly improved (I did once see a cockroach underneath a fridge). The other great thing is that they have reduced their menu to just 2 pages since their early days. Sunflower vegetarian is junk food. I mean that in the nicest possible sense. When I want an indulgent, greasy chinese takeout this is my go to restaurant. You won't find health food here. Sunflower excels with their fried rice dishes which are comfort food to the max, the 'ribs' being my favourite as well as any sweet and sour type dish. The good thing is they do put a lot of vegetables in with the food unlike other chinese restaurants in the area. They make the best wontons, ask for extra sweet chili sauce. I keep going back because they do try to improve, the staff are friendly and the food is good, if not amazing. You get quite a lot of food for the money. Also it's best to avoid rush hour as they only have 1 chef who can get a bit slow at times. Call in advance to see how busy they are. One time we waited for 45 minutes. If you combined a fried rice (they do an excellent fake egg stir fry rice) from here with the sticky pork from Golden Age you'd have the best of both worlds! Not very practical but hey.

Pros: good value, friendly staff, lots of choice

Cons: a bit greasy, service can be slow

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Struggling to see the beauty - Edit

I've read the reviews, but just don't get them. I have eaten here twice, and yet to experience even a decent meal. In fairness, I did try to get the dumplings, which I've seen someone else order (takeaway), and they were out. The food I've had was greasy and bland. The buffet looked uninspiring, and my tastes of a friend's meal confirmed the look. In a location where strong other vegan offerings abound (Raw Power, Revive), I don't see the appeal of this place. Stay away in particular from the soups, which turn out to be water, oil and noodles.

Cons: the food

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Happy Fortune - Edit

I've never knew the actual name of this place, we just call it 'Fortune' for some reason. I've been going here for years, this place is simply the best! Value for money, great friendly staff, awesome food and a menu that doesn't seem to end. The dumplings are always good, steamed buns with red bean paste, banana sago pudding, chicken fried rice, the noodle dishes, the curry... I could go on. The decor is a little basic but who cares, there was always a big group of us dining here when I was in Auckland. Damn I miss that chicken fried rice! 谢谢你

Pros: Tasty, cheap, friendly staff

Cons: not open 24 hrs

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Reviewer Avatar

The best - Edit

This place is great, I always eat here when passing through Auckland. There is so much variety and you get reasonable amount. I always get their wontons, dumplings and noodles - always great. The steam bread with barbecue pork and pickle is truly delicious, and so is the coconut sago desert! The owners are really lovely aswell.

Pros: Massive variety, Wontons/dumplings/noodles, coconut sago desert

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Asian style- authentic - Edit

Despite the elevator music, a nice place to sit and lots of options on the menu. Staff very friendly and helpful. They checked with me about dairy in one of the options I had ordered, which was much appreciated. Lots of mock meats, good for the non-vegos that were with me, they were satisfied and happy with thier meals. Non-BYO or licenced.

Pros: Food, service

Cons: that, elevator, music!

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good place! - Edit

i have been here for 3 weeks and have been to vegetarian cafe 4 times! i ove their dumplings and spring rolls most. a lot of their stuff has fake ham which i hate but its a good place for a snack.

Pros: cheap, good location, good hours

Cons: fake ham, non-fake meat dishes smal, NOT SPICY

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