Vegetarian restaurant on the south coast of Wellington serving innovative cuisine, local and organic wines, botanical cocktails and craft beer on tap. The restaurant has a sheltered courtyard and views of the bay. Bookings recommended. Open Mon-Sun 9:00am-10:00pm.

Venue map for The Botanist
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77 Reviews

First Review by Wildevegan


Points +829

22 Sep 2023

Great experience, bad marketing

There were so many negative reviews on Google, but we decided to try this place anyway. Apart from one staff, we had a great experience and everyone else were super friendly. Food was amazing, though I think it really depends on what you order. We had the breakfast platter, and it was great! We also had the pancakes which I wouldn't order again..

My one big issue with this place though, is their "vegan" marketing. Everywhere online they're calling themselves "plant-based" yet they serve eggs and are a vegetarian restaurant. If they are a vegetarian restaurant, please just use the word "vegetarian restaurant" on your socials! It's clearly a marketing-ploy, and they are not plant based.

Pros: Great vegan breakfast, Good drink options, Cosy in summer

Cons: Calling themselves plant based but vegetarian, Seem to have an issue with some staff



Points +177

17 Sep 2023

Friendly staff but pancakes way to sweet

The staff was very friendly and helpful. I ordered the Tiramisu pancakes and they were way to sweet because they were drowning in Sirup. I could only eat half of them and when I looked around, most people who had ordered the pancakes couldn’t finish their portion either. But I think I will come back and give it another try and order something else.


Points +84

15 Jun 2023

Everything was excellent

Ordered a soup, a pasta, and a kids burger, and the tiramisu. All were very good or excellent.

Pros: All vegan, Allergens clearly marked, Good coffee


Points +46

13 Jun 2023

Excellent Food 😃

Great options! We had takeaways and I loved the ‘Veganise Me’ - so filling & delicious!

Pros: Dine in or takeaway. , Try ‘Veganise Me’


Points +307

28 Apr 2023

Delicious brunch, best I have ever had.

So good, blew my mind. And a lovely view. Super happy.
Also had a macadamia milk hot chocolate. I would have given them a five but they are vegetarian not vegan.

Pros: Breakfast was flawless , Across the road from the beach , Good options


Points +3706

09 Apr 2023


100% vegan menu
Was very good service
Lovely place right opposite the bay
Generous sized meals, we shared a summer spaghetti and a lemon cheesecake
Really good selection if bites, mains, sides, desserts and a fully vegan wine & beer list

Pros: All vegan


18 Apr 2023

Hi, are you sure this is a vegan restaurant because their menu lists dairy and eggs?


06 May 2023

They said 100% vegan, no eggs, no dairy, nothing on their menu was egg or dairy.


Points +131

01 Apr 2023

Service lacking and freezing

Service was terrible. Staff didn't seem to have any care factor at all. The place was freezing.
Cocktails were delicious. Food ok and good portion sizes.
Lovely decor.

Pros: Most of the menu vegan, Lovely decor, Nice cocktails

Cons: Terrible service, Freezing inside


Points +21572

01 Mar 2023

An A in Phytology

An absolutely stunning place with sea views overlooking Lyall Bay close to the airport and a short bus ride on the no. 3 from central Wellington. Arriving just after 3 we missed out on the lunch and brunch menu so had to gladly make do with a couple of burgers both served with fries or poutine from the reduced afternoon menu. My seitan chicken burger was particularly good with a lovely crisp spicy coating. There are also a wide selection of local craft beers and wines on offer which of course we dipped into to accompany the food.

Pros: Fab location , Great food , Nice interior


Points +646

26 Feb 2023

Nice food, bad service

**no more vegan fish and chips on the menu** (photo on Happy Cow is out of date)

We are not overly excited about The Botanist as the service staff was pretty slow although the restaurant was only about half full. Our two coffees were standing at the counter for quite a while and when I got up to get them myself I was told that those ones were not ours. However, more mintues have passed and eventually one of the staff picked up to same coffees to bring to us. When making her aware that I was told that these ones where not ours she confirmed that suddenly they are and that these ones would be fresh ones...which definitely was a lie to my face as I had observed them clearly. And while we had to wait all this time our waitress obviously even had time to sit done and eat at peak lunch time.

We had the salmon bagel and die Banh Mi Baguette which were yummy.

Pros: Yummy food, Lots of vegan options

Cons: Slow and dishonest service staff


Points +48

25 Feb 2023

Creative and delicious

The dinner menu is fully vegan, and was hard to choose as it all sounded so amazing! I’m a sucker for a bao bun so we shared one of each and then had Tom yum soy chaap thing with noodles, and the “pork belly” main. All so amazing. My friend had the chicken noodle salad and said that was awesome too. Lovely spot by the beach, and good drinks

Updated from previous review on 2023-02-25


Points +56

04 Feb 2023

Dining by the sea

Our friends took us to this, their favourite restaurant, when we visited for a long weekend. Great location by the sea, lovely friendly staff, all the food is vegan and portions were very generous - we took leftovers home and had for lunch the next day. The jalapeño poppers were delicious and went well with my Aperol spritz. Our friends went for burgers but I was happy with a bunch of sides, including the most amazing char-grilled broccoli with a miso-sesame sauce. The edamame gyoza were also a highlight. I would have had dessert if I’d had room! Will definitely go back next time i visit. 😀

Updated from previous review on 2023-02-04

Pros: Delicious food , Good drinks selection , Beautiful location

Roger in PA

Points +276

Mostly Veg
03 Feb 2023

Entirely vegan, imaginative menu, delicious food, nice atmosphere

Five stars. All items are vegan. I had the hot and sour chaap (soy based ‘meat’ with rice noodles, julienned seasonal veg and broccoli), my other half had the broccoli and tofu buckwheat (smoked tofu, charred broccoli steak, roasted sesame sauce, tarragon butter buckwheat), and we shared the cheesecake of the day (chocolate with vanilla 'ice cream'), and thoroughly enjoyed it all. Imaginatively conceived, very tasty, and beautifully presented. Terrific beer selection. Outdoor seating. Pleasant interior atmosphere. We sat inside on a high table at a window in the front — the best seat in the house, where we enjoyed watching the goings-on on the beach and planes landing across the bay into Wellington Airport. The neighborhood, Lyall Bay, is a lively beach town, not (yet) gentrified, and thoroughly pleasant.

Updated from previous review on 2023-02-03

Pros: Really tasty vegan food with generous portions, Good service, Pleasing atmosphere

Cons: Acoustics amplify loud talkers — a minor issue


Points +102

03 Feb 2023

Vegan heaven

Delicious food always!!! Lovely dining experience, amazing staff and the food is so scrumptious, their crème brûlée and cheesecake is to die for and I will always be a regular here.


Points +1488

27 Jan 2023

Beautiful interior and nice staff

Really cosy place just next to the beach. The restaurant is spacious, bright, decorated with plants and has lots of seating both inside and outside. It has a pleasant vibe and lovely staff.

I came there for the "salmon" bagel but on spot decided for the banh mi. It was good and fresh, and the service was quick. They have many vegan options, specially on the brunch menu, so I definitely need to come back to taste more.

Pros: Loads of seating , Cosy interior , Many vegan options


Points +50

13 Dec 2022

Nice vibe and good food

Great food, big portions. Wasn’t very clear what was vegan vs vegetarian. I was under the impression that the whole store was vegan but then I saw eggs on the menu. There was no alternative milk option on the menu either but when I asked they made it vegan.

Pros: Big portions, Nice location

Cons: Unclear menu, Slightly expensive


Points +13723

13 Dec 2022

Pleasant dining experience with a few letdowns

The Botanist was a must-visit for me for a special dinner while on holiday in Wellington. On this occasion, as in the past, the atmosphere was relaxed and the staff pleasant and helpful. For starters we had the salmon pate and the gyoza. The pate was delicious, with a good balance of savoury and sharp flavours, a satisfying start to the dinner. The gyoza were unfortunately a bit overcooked, leaving them slightly soggy but still delicious and garlicky. I enjoyed the Thai chicken noodle salad, and the chicken was tender and the dish had plenty of flavour. My gripe would be that not only were the noodles cut into short lengths - which removes the possibility of grabbing a forkful and enjoying the texture as you bite through them - but the texture was - I’ve been trying to think of a better way way to express it but can’t - just not quite right. The pork belly was not at all what I expected: tough pieces of mock that were bordering on unpleasant, but with some nice flavours from the other ingredients and dressing. The salsa salad was fine: fresh with subtle flavours. We ordered both the Biscoff tiramisu and the peach tartin for dessert. The tartin was fine: light and flaky and fruity as you’d expect. The tiramisu, unfortunately for my taste, was very dense and not creamy as this type of dessert is typically, and I found it pretty heavy, even to share. Despite the slightly uneven quality, I generally enjoyed my experience here this time and would be likely to dine here again on my next visit to Wellington.

Pros: Food generally good , Friendly, helpful staff, Pleasant atmosphere

Cons: Tough mock meat in pork belly dish , Noodles not quite right in Thai salad, Tiramisu too dense


Points +534

30 Oct 2022

Incredible rigatoni

Loved the stuffed jalapeno peppers and rigatoni. Great flavours. Super friendly staff. Separate lunch and dinner menus. Sadly no room for dessert. Four stars as not fully vegan.


Points +375

18 Oct 2022

Fantastic choice available

Extensive lunch and breakfast menu with lots of both vegan and vegetarian options.

Pros: Lots of vegan options, Serves alcohol, Gorgeous location


Points +972

16 Oct 2022

Plant me some flowers so I can make this at home!

Please come to my garden so you can teach me how to grow this delicious spinach and potato! Nice interior and excellent recommendation from my girlfriend. Enjoyed the vegan spudstack greatly


Points +128

11 Sep 2022

Love the variety

Tasty food, good variety of vegan food and delicious cakes. 😋 Loved the sunny garden part, dog friendly too. 🙂


Points +46

05 Jul 2022


Nice vibe, good service, excellent food. Most of the menu was vegan and everything was clearly marked.


Points +120

24 Nov 2021

100% vegan

Kofta bowl is my favourite, with red lentil and quinoa koftas and spiced rice. Lots of items I found too spicy, especially the beef negimaki! About half a dozen dessert options, but the creme brulee is incredible!

Pros: Full of vegan options, Wide variety of dishes and drinks

Cons: Expensive, Not very good value for money


Points +160

02 Aug 2021

Oh wow!

Like the other reviews this place is amazing 👏 "veganise me" was an easy choice 👌


Points +70

19 Jul 2021

Spoilt for choice!

Beautiful food, amazing service and an awesome spot right on the water.

The vegan hash was 👌🏼I added an extra side of facon as well.


Points +2586

10 Apr 2021

So many great options

Hard to choose what to get as so many things on the menu look good. I’ve tried the fish and chips (yum!) and the Sunfed/Green Apple salad - also yum. Full range of drinks available and the premises is in a good spot by the sea, so some tables have a lovely view to top it all off.

Pros: Lots of vege options, Yummy food

Cons: Windows need clean so we can see the view better


Points +1375

03 Mar 2021

Cool spot, delicious food

I liked the place and the choice of vegan dishes. Even the drinks list is labelled, which isn't that frequent.
I had the salad with the Sunfed "chicken" and apples, and it was really delicious. My friend had a beautiful burger, and before that we shared cornbread with a jalapeno spread. Everything was great.


Points +32

17 Jan 2021

Poor service

Waited 20 mins on a table without even being spoken to despite staff seeing me standing there. When I was eventually taken to a table I was told it would be a 40 minute wait on food. They could have told me that to begin with I wouldn't have waited!

Pros: Lots of vegan options on menu

Cons: Huge wait time, One of the bar staff very unfriendly

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