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CLOSED: The Blue Bird Vegetarian Cafe

  • Vegetarian
    ( 30 reviews )
Hours

Closed

Contact 09-623-4900
Find

299 Dominion Road, Mt Eden (at near Valley Rd), Auckland, New Zealand, 1030

Run by members of Sri Chinmoy Meditation Centre in a peaceful atmosphere. The cafe offers both western as well as international food, from sandwiches, muffins, hunza pie, and neat'loaf to hazelnut bake, fresh vegetable and fruit juices to assorted beverages. Food is also available in bowls - you choose a base (rice, potato, etc.) and a topping (curry, vegetables, etc.). Vegan items marked on menu. Also sells a small selection of giftware, books, music, Japanese incense, and pewter products. CONFIRMED CLOSED, JUNE 2016.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, International, Western, Take-out, Catering

Reviews (30)

First Review by Petesternz

Joyous and spiritual - Edit

The chime of the bell as you enter, the bright watercolour Saris on the devoted staff, the sweet chanted tones of the music - the Blue Bird is a refuge for innocence, peace and calm.

It's still a lot of fun, but if you want something a little louder or you want to do something like smoke, then you might want to try Vinyl coffee shop just up the road instead.

As for me, I adore the Blue Bird's food, and I've learned to like the smiling face of Sri Chimnoy on the wall.

There's a glass cabinet of prepared food with adapted Kiwi favourites like the polenta bake, lentil pie, apple crumble and even sausage rolls, but it's the blackboard menu that gets me today. The bowl menu gives you a base option and a topping. They're all good, I've tried the lot: Mexican or African beans on potato, tropical chickpea curry on brown rice and more... but most days I can't go past their decadent peanut satay on baked kumara.

If you don't know it already, kumara is New Zealand's unique and historically important sweet potato, adapted from the Maori staple and available in a few varieties. It's one of those things you have to try while you're in New Zealand. And done right, kumara is delicous.

The portions are generous, especially if you’ve been eyeing up that chocolate cake or pecan slice as well. The superfood smoothies complete the picture, and it’s sometimes hard not to take a raw bliss-ball away for later.

With friends I like to head upstairs and warm up the open and relaxed atmosphere. When I'm alone I like to people-watch the other customers clapping in delight as they order, reading Sri Chimnoy’s quotes on slips of paper around the cafe, or figuring out how the mineral water dispenser works.

Pros: Good character, Chilled out

Cons: Should go fully vegan :-)


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yummy food, friendly staff - Edit

We dropped in for vegan birthday dinner late in the evening, nice selection of mains, but it was the desserts we had come for. Vegan cheese cake and a lovely ginger and orange cake ... We will be back

Pros: nice to be asked with the deserts "would you like


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Peaceful meal - Edit

The volunteers that make and serve the vegetarian and vegan food at Bluebird are very peaceful and friendly. It makes for a pleasant atmosphere. You can choose from various sized bowls with a selection of contents, or from the display cabinet of ready made items. All healthy and tasty and at a reasonable price.

Pros: Ready made tasty meals, Peaceful, Friendly


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Lovely, peaceful, delicious and friendly - Edit

We visited this cafe twice on our holiday in Auckland. It is excellent. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The food is clearly labelled as to whether it is vegan, gluten free etc. The staff are also very knowledgeable about what is in the food. We had nachos and burrito for lunch with tropical smoothies, which were excellent. For dinner we had bowl meals and these were really delicious. Beans in tomato coconut sauce and veggies with peanut sauce, totally scrumptious. Followed by delicious moist vegan chocolate cake. Soy ice cream was available to have with it. If I lived in Auckland this would definitely be a regular. The coffee was not all that great, so I would stick with the fruit smoothies next time.
Updated from previous review on Friday December 27, 2013

Pros: Delicious healthy food, Lovely peaceful vibe and helpful staff, Lots of vegan options clearly labelled


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Lovely atmosphere - Edit

I went to Blue Bird quite a while ago but I have always been meaning to go back again when I'm in the area. The atmosphere is so relaxing and perfect, and the staff are so so lovely, I really enjoyed hearing all about their meditation and reasons for vegetarianism. A couple of the sweet things I ate didn't taste that great but overall it was a really great experience and I would like to go back and try more of their savoury dishes. Even the non-vegetarian friend loved it!


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Sweet experiences - Edit

I got to learn about the Bluebird Cafe from a series of free meditation classes at the Sri Chinmoy Centre in Auckland city, and from the first time I tried a dish there I fell in love with the atmosphere, the smell of the food and coffee, and most of all, the service and the smiles of people who see this place not just as a restaurant, but a haven for vegetarians who want a peaceful place to be in. The food is well served and it has a nice set of variety for vegan options, the music, paintings and books from Sri Chinmoy give the whole place a warm feeling, and the place is very conveniently located near the city centre. A great option, big recommendation!

Pros: Friendly Staff, Nice Vibe, Excellent Food


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The Blue Bird Vegetarian cafe - Edit

This is a great find, an oasis in a mad world. Exceptional service and food. Very reasonable prices considering the ridiculously high rents in the city area, great coffee and a very peaceful dining ambience. Such nice people, you can see they care about getting it just as you like.
Perhaps it's thier guide and mentor, Sri Chinmoy, that gives the cafe a very peaceful vibe and adds to the quality of the food.
Highly recommended.AAA+++
Updated from previous review on Tuesday May 07, 2013

Pros: peaceful dining, greatfood, very reasonable pricing

Cons: Closes occasionally during the year


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Happiness is found here - Edit

The Blue Bird Café offers a paradise for those of us on restricted diets.

I'm vegan, gluten free and sugar free.It's great to find a haven, somewhere delicious to eat, when you are on a restricted diet. Having choices and variety is wonderful!

There are always interesting options and choices.
My current favourite is the Vegan Gluten Free Pizza, it’s delicious.

Food sells out quickly, and new food is being cooked all the time. So everything is fresh, often straight out of the oven.

I’ve noticed I always feel so great after I’ve spent time eating at The Blue Bird Cafe.

Invite your friends, even the meat eating ones, there are plenty of vegetarian options that will appeal to them too.

Pros: Vegan and Gluten Free Options, Fresh Nourishing Food, Happiness is found here


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soul food - Edit

Great little oasis in the middle of busy Mt Eden. I Love the atmosphere and service. The staff there meditate regularly and follow the teachings of Sri Chinmoy which is evident from the food which seems to nourish not just the body but also the soul.

My Favourite is the Silver beat salad and the veggie sausages. The deserts are to die for. Great place for Vegans, Gluten frees, garlic and onion frees and ofcoz vegetarians!!

I recommend this cafe to all my friends, both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.


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A Memorable Destination - Edit

The Blue Bird café/restaurant in Mt. Eden is right up there among my most favorite destinations, and my visits there always offer something memorable – something new and delicious on the menu, perhaps some conversation with a stranger, perhaps something illumining in a book chosen from the ‘help yourself’ shelf at the counter, one of the many titles there by the spiritual master Sri Chinmoy. I like to sink unashamedly into the Blue Bird’s gigantic upstairs blue couch and quieten my thoughts, and the peaceful feeling here is conducive to that.

I’m grateful too for the standard of service – politeness, helpfulness, promptness, something rather scarce these days – and there is a family feeling among the patrons, a friendliness that might be the kinship of fellow vegetarians. Strangers actually smile at you! When I go out to eat, food is less important to me than the intangibles – feeling, friendliness, subtle things that also nourish the spirit.

While nibbling at my lunchtime bowl of salad and nachos today I found and read a charming book by an Auckland writer, a compilation of stories and reminiscences about his years with Sri Chinmoy, who I believe inspired the Blue Bird café’s beginnings over 17 years ago. The book title is called ‘Subarata’, named after the author’s wife - I read all sixty stories, a wonderful compilation of spiritual experiences with a master, a wonderful literary / culinary half hour.

I was sorry to find that the Blue Bird’s upstairs gallery of original paintings by Sri Chinmoy had gone during my absence from Auckland – I really loved looking at these, the peaceful feeling they conveyed. But the great food here always compensates, along with a real genuineness in the friendly and solicitous staff.

Pros: Tasty, fresh food, Super-nice staff, Feeling of spirituality


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Good Food, Good Cafe :) - Edit

My friend and I recently visited the BlueBird cafe and we were both very pleased. The staff was friendly and very welcoming. I had the Hunza Pie (I think this is correct?) with a side salad...it was a very good choice indeed! Mike ordered a medium bowl meal (Hungarian Stroganoff on a base of Mashed Potato) and like me was very happy with his meal. The food was well presented and served to our table promptly. The outstanding thing we found was the atmosphere of the place, we sat upstairs where they have gentle music playing and an abundant of plant life making you feel very much at home :)

I would have no trouble in recommending my friends to enjoy the yummy vegetarian food at this very sweet little cafe in Mt Eden, and if you are game enough to try, they have a great selection of yummy treats in their cabinet downstaris!

Pros: Excellent Food, Friendly Service, Nice atmosphere


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Yum! - Edit

I have just found Happy Cow and am checking out my favourite restaurants - I can't believe that noone has mentioned The Bluebird's fabulously more-ish not-sausage rolls, nor their divine not-bacon and egg pies (which are savory size), both family favourites for take aways. I love hing pie, a delicious savoury rice slice, but I am going through a 'bowl and topping' stage at the moment. When I am working off the excesses of Christmas my topping is steamed veges, when I have been gardening, potato or kumara - both delicious. (And I love the Moroccan!)
Staff are so helpful and kind, ambience so restful - bliss!!

Pros: excellent food, lovely staff, good prices


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Very Average - Edit

I went to Blue Bird tonight and got the Moroccan lentils as a takeaway. Their website said $9 for a small, but when I got there I was charged $11.50 - quite a difference.

Their service was great and the food in the cabinet looked really good, but unfortunately my meal was very average and tasteless. The vegetables in the hot pot were steamed, rather than cooked in the lentils and sauce, which made them rather bland and the lentils lacked flavor. I have heard a lot of good reports about Blue Bird but was very underwhelmed and probably won't go back again unless I'm desperate. Definately not somewhere I would take a meat-eating friend to be convinced that vege food is good.
Updated from previous review on Wednesday February 15, 2012

Pros: Good Service, Clean, Large Selection

Cons: Tasteless Food


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Enjoyable food & atmosphere - Edit

Many things are vegan and everything is labeled and the staff will helpfully point out all the vegan stuff to you. I had a bowl of baked kumara with African beans, which was nice, a Hing (I believe) pie slice with sauce, which was super yum, a spirulina and berry smoothie, a pot of tea, and a kind of vegan bliss ball (with nice chunky dark chocolate inside), and even tried one of their non-vegan cup cakes (which was a bit of a dairy hit). There is also a second floor seating which is very cozy. The ladies are really friendly and wearing kind of beautiful Indian-type dress, even though they look European. Check their website, their menu range is quite extensive and allows them to change food often to keep it interesting (some options are constant and some rotate I believe - all available for takeways and catering), there is even a vegan pizza (!) option, which I would love to try sometime when I am back in Auckland.

Pros: Vegan food, Atmosphere, Very clean & cozy


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Delicious heart warming food! - Edit

Bluebird Cafe has a wide variety of bowl food - you choose a base and a topping from several choices - all very delicious and just warms your heart especially on a cold rainy day like today. It's so relaxing there, and the staff are so friendly and welcoming. We had the mango nectar - really refreshing too. It's such a great place to relax at, and enjoy delicious food. Really enjoyed the experience!!

Pros: Friendly staff, Wide range of yum food, Good value and portions


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Delicious and fresh - Edit

All of the food I have eaten from Blue Bird Cafe has been delicious. From their cakes to their bowl menus to their hot pots. I have tasted their chocolate cake, lasagne and cottage pie. Good, good food and friendly staff.

Pros: Fresh, Food looks delicious, Friendly staff

Cons: Pricier than other vegetarian restaurant


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Yummy - Edit

I can't believe I hadn't been here before! I am definitely heading back soon...it's so wonderful to have such a huge range of vegan food, and always a joy to know absolutely everything in the store is vegetarian. Our party of 5 were all impressed at the generous servings for reasonable prices, loved the colourful salads and delicious desserts. The service was prompt and staff helpful, although not super friendly. The Bali High peanut satay topping and the icing on the cakes were a little rich for my liking, but otherwise a fantastic meal. There were even raw truffles, and it''s always great to see more raw food making it onto the menu.


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Food for Thought - Edit

The cafe is warm and spritual. The staff are friendly, the menu includes both vegetarian and vegan items. A good selection of both savoury and sweet, plus juices and soups. The cafe also sell Loving Earth products which are divine, they have a lot of Sri Chimoy books and resources. The food was nice.


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Wish I'd found this place earlier! - Edit

I've spent the last 2 weeks visiting friends in Auckland and been actively seeking out veg*n places to eat. Foolishly (on my part) I'd been looking in the centre ... if only I'd looked closer to where I was staying I'd have found this fab eatery sooner (not on the eve of my departure!). I had the dahl on baked kumara base which was tasty, hot and very filling. Spoilt for choice I chose two desserts - the boysenberry & apple crumble with soya ice cream and a piece of the banana cake. Not being able to manage it all in one sitting, I had enough for dinner too. My mum always used to tell me "your eyes are bigger than your belly" ... well, I think on this occasion my belly might well have caught up with my eyes! Looking forward to my 48 hour stopover in May when I'll be back to the Bluebird to taste a few more delights! Mmmm!

Pros: huge selection of vegan dishes, friendly & helpful staff, delicious food

Cons: off the tourist track


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it's ok... - Edit

i used to go here a lot and enjoyed it; i even went there for a birdthday lunch and one of the staff brought me a piece of pecan slice with a candle on it..
however, the last few times i have visited it has been disappointing. when i went there last, my two companions ordered two different dishes (stroganoff on potato, black eyed beans on kumara). when the dishes came, the stroganoff was on the kumara and the beans on the potato..I questioned this and they said that the stroganoff dish was actually the black eyed bean dish....BUT I Know what black eyed beans look like! They were wrong, but we couldn't really do anything about it. It is exspensive if you order drinks and things from the cabinet, the best option price-wise is to order a meal from the list of things above the counter. you choose a base (rice/potato/kumara) and then a topping (tofu sauce, spicy beans etc).
Much, but not all, of the food is vegan.
Worth a visit if you're in the area. sit upstairs if you can.


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looked good - Edit

They need to get more staff! Looked great from the outside but had just closed for a 2 week holiday the day before I arrived. Definitely need to call before going.

Pros: looked great

Cons: closed


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Spiritual - Edit

Very chilled out vibes here, I remember sitting upstairs to be the most peaceful experience I've had within an urban environment. Good selection of vegan food and sweets, relaxed and non threatening staff, all in all an extremely pleasant and inviting cafe that I didn't visit often enough.

Pros: Peaceful, good vegan selection


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yummy scrummy - Edit

The Bluebird is my favourite place to go to when I visit Auckland. The ambience is really something special. The workers follow the peaceful and compassionate philosophy of Sri Chinmoy and it shows in their friendly faces and smiles.
By the way the food is great. I particularly enjoy the sausage rolls and the great coffee. They specialise in delicious sweet treats. The vegan carrot cake is truly spectacular.

Pros: friendly staff, great variety of vegan dishes, peaceful ambience


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My first impression - Edit

I had the Gado Gado (Bali High) with roast potato and my partner was brave and went for Tofu Mayo... I really enjoyed mine, but I think the Tofu Mayo was a bit unusual... we will be back again to try something else! The selection is great and we also took a few cakie things home with us. Friendly, patient staff point out the vegan options when asked.

Pros: nice staff, lots of choice, Bali High

Cons: Tofu Mayo!


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This..doesn't have cheese? NO way! - Edit

We stopped by the BlueBird after a long day driving. It was the first time we'd actively sought out a vegetarian restaurant and we weren't sure what to expect. The lady at the counter was very friendly and helpful and pointed us to dishes that had no dairy in. We had a tofu pie 'sausage' roll and banana cake. All of them were so delicious, I've been craving ever since. The prices were good for the portion. Service was fast, decor is great (although a bit chilly sometimes). I honestly thought the tofu pie had creamy cheese inside it was THAT good. The sausage roll was better than meat ones. The banana cake was melt in mouth. They have the BEST snacks and cakes here. The mains are expensive and not as good but still tasty.

Pros: Fantastic snacks & sweets, Great variety, Affordable snacks

Cons: Mains expensive, Mains not as tasty, Staff sometimes absent


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Pretty average - Edit

We ate here in February and found it pretty average overall. The food was bland overall, and the curries not interesting. The rice was simply oversoaked by the gado gado which took away from its appeal.


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