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The Lotus-Heart Restaurant and Tea House

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  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 30 reviews )

Popular Christchurch vegetarian restaurant and tea lounge. Menu features veggie burgers, pizza, masala dosa, soup, coffee and chai. Raw, vegan, and gluten free options. Reservations preferred. Moved here in 2011 from Cathedral Square. Tue-Sun 7:30am-3:00pm, Fri-Sat 5:00pm-9:00pm

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

Reviews (30)

First Review by katinjap

Great place - Edit

This place is awesome. They have an amazing vegan chocolate cake and great pizza. They have a cute little shop that sells food, supplements, gifts, etc as well. The prices are good and the service is always friendly. I go there often.

Pros: Great vegan options, Good service

Cons: Location and parking difficult

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Great atmosphere, tasty food - Edit

An amazing vegetarian cafe with vegan alternatives! The cafe has an amazing atmosphere, decorated beautifully and friendly, attentive staff. We had a cashew milk chai, masala dosa and nachos made vegan with vegan cheese and aioli. Wverything was delicious, not too oily either!!

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Everyones Fav - Edit

If you live anywhere in the south island and have an interest in any vegetarian lifestyle, then this is the place you have to try at least ten times. I have tried just about every vegan option on the main menu and they all taste delicious.

Pros: A range of options, The daily changing menu

Cons: Portions

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Amazing - a must visist - Edit

I have been there a few times and have loved it every single time, the burgers are amazing, with vegan cheese and mayo options available. If you are in Christchurch this is a must visit (I recommend the burger wrap).

Pros: Amazing food, vegan options

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Awesome veg food - Edit

Lotus Heart was such a great visit after traveling in NZ for a couple weeks, without many vegan options. All vegetarian restaurant, with lots of vegan options. Very friendly staff. I ordered lunch and a dinner for take-away since they closed early (3 pm) on Sunday. (They are closed Monday's.) They also have a few delicious vegan desserts. They also have various free classes / lectures / demonstrations if you're lucky enough to join one. I happened to visit the day they were offering a free Tea Tasting and Discussion class which was really great.

Pros: Great food, Good vegan dessert options, Friendly staff and atmosphere

Cons: Close early on Sunday and closed Mondays

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Worth the walk, worth the drive, worth the flight - Edit

In two months of traveling NZ and Australia, and often seeking out "fine dining," this restaurant stands out as one of the top 3 during the whole trip! A sanctuary inside, beautifully decorated, super clean, you walk in and immediately feel good. Vegetarians will be in absolute heaven, and meat eaters "should" really like the food as well. Everything I tried was delicious, so you probably cannot go wrong. Particularly, I remember liking the soups, the veggie burger was really good, and a couple of their baked goods were super delicious. Don't miss this restaurant, especially if you are open to veggie food.

Pros: peaceful and quiet inside, friendly service, super clean and nicely decorated

Cons: about a mile out of town, limited hours, if I remember right

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Beautiful Vegetarian - Edit

Last week was my first visit to the new Lotus-Heart and I was so pleased to see that they have recovered and rebuilt a new restaurant - it is clear to see that they have worked very hard after losing both their former cafe and former restaurant too in the earthquakes and there is a lot of attention to detail and love shining through those efforts. Although there is nothing much around them in the new location, the new restaurant shines alone almost like a temple, and is unique and beautiful. The food is just as good if not better than before. This restaurant is definitely unconventional but that is what I love about it. If you prefer a mainstream, conventional environment and food, then The Lotus-Heart may not be for you ;)

Previous review on Monday July 20, 2009
The Lotus-Heart is a real sanctuary in the heart of Christchurch City. Beautiful atmosphere, beautiful food, beautiful people. The staff are sincere and friendly. I have sampled the breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. Breakfast offers some unique and healthy options. Lunch is more simple and reasonably priced. The dinner menu is lovely. They have an amazing selection of drinks including superfood smoothies, a great selection of quality white, green and black tea, mate, herbal coffee...the list goes on. Clearly a lot of thought and energy has gone into offering a lot of healthy, yet delicious options. Keep up the good work!

Pros: Healthy cuisine, Beautiful environment and atmosphere, Large range of beverages

Cons: I wish they were in Melbourne

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lotus heart. - Edit

the food at the lotus heart is excellent. their dosas are delicious and super huge. as far as their food goes, i have not been disappointed yet. unlike other reviews, i find the atmosphere a bit creepy. it's super clean though and very well presented. their vegan chocolate cake is highly recommended.

Pros: great food, large portions

Cons: a bit cult-like

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Always lovely - Edit

This is a great restaurant. The food is always of a high standard. It's very good for creative and tasty vegan options. They do a wicked chai and a yummy vegan cheesecake. The service is always beautiful and the atmosphere is always serene and peaceful.

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Great experience! - Edit

I went here with my dad for a lunch out and I really enjoyed it. Not only is it difficult to find vegetarian food, let alone vegan food, in a city that has been ravaged by earthquakes, but also good tasting food!I found it here. We ordered ourselves garden salads and they had a lovley tahini sauce, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, celery, carot, cucumber, lettuce, and shredded cabbage. For quite a decent sized dish they only charged $6, and it tasted amazing! I also ordered a green lemonade,which really alerted the senses with a stingy ginger after taste-so good.
A group next to us were celebrating a birthday and a large vegan chocolate cake with candles and sliced almonds ontop arrived, then the Sri Chimonoy cafe staff sang happy birthday and it was very nice.
They also have an adorable wee shop, which sells books, sweets, drinks, packaged foods, clothing and small and pretty knick-knacks.
For my birthday I would like to go there with my friends and book one of the little side rooms and eat some delicious food. I reccommend trying this place out, it's gorgeous, the inside and outside decor is palace-like. Make sure you book in advance, because it can get pretty full on weekends!

Pros: good price, nice vibe, good food

Cons: can get very full

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A perfect night - Edit

Had a wonderful dinner with my wife, and we loved it they were happy that we only wanted to share our dessert and starter, which meant that we could have a full meal without being to full:-) Nice selection of food for all from Raw to vegetarian and its not just from one culture, the place has a really nice feel to it. We considered having coffee after our meal but when we saw the tea menu had tea. Its a real treat the whole thing we had no complaints. If you visit Christchurch and you are looking for something good to eat you will not be disappointed, if you are vegetarian/Vegan this is a great place to eat with non veg friends the food and service stand out. We thought it was very good value we had two mains a starter, starter and 4 drinks and it came in at NZ$70. You need to book for dinner our you may well be disappointed, they must have turned away as many as they served while we were there, with most agreeing to come back at a later time of settling for take away!

Pros: excellent food, Repect all types of Numan eaters

Cons: I live 150 km away:-(

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Oasis - Edit

This is my favourite NZ restaurant but I live in Wellington and only occasionally get to go there. I make a point of going there every time I visit Christchurch. Its not just the food, which is great by the way - true soul food, but the ambiance is just so restful. Truly a haven, oasis call it what you wish.

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One of the better Sri Chimnoy spots - Edit

I had a wonderful lunch here - and wish this place was open for dinner every night. It's not - check the hours carefully before coming. Wonderful, eclectic menu, with baked goods and delicious smoothies. Service was fantastic. Had a lovely soup and bagel with avocado, and a yummy chocolate cake. Beautiful resto and surroundings. Really top of the line!!

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So many choices! - Edit

There were so many dishes I wanted to try. I ended up choosing the spinach and mushroom roulade which was delicious, and a generous portion for the price. The restaurant has lovely decor with lots of plants, and really friendly and knowledgeable staff.

Pros: great range of options, friendly staff, tasty food

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A peaceful place to stop mid-shop - Edit

This is a really cute little cafe in a good location. You can shop down one side of Colombo St, stop in for lunch, then head back up the other side. I would recommend going in after 11, as that is when they start serving burgers and more counter food comes out.
The buns they use for their burgers taste amazing! They are grainy but not coarse, and toasted just enough.

Pros: great burgers, relaxing atmosphere

Cons: not many options before 11am

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Really outstanding Vegan French Toast - Edit

Aside from the amazing view and location the Lotus-Heart has a really great breakfast. The Vegan French Toast and Baked Beans are both amazing. I wish I'd had a chance to try lunch or dinner, but the hours during the week are limited to breakfast and lunch. The vegan hot coco was also amazing. This location has a small store in it as well with various useful organic products.

Pros: french toast, baked beans, hot coco

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central - Edit

very nice location bright and clean and friendly staff.
but even when we was asking to prepare a mild dish we could not finish the dish it was to still too hot.
when we visited it there was not a huge range of vegan dishes and we had to wait quite a while for our food.
for such a good location we were a little dissapointed.

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Reviewer Avatar

don't miss this one!! - Edit

Travelling around the world I have sought out and eaten at vegetarian restaurants in many destinations and have loved many of them! None however, have come close to satisfying me or excelling any expectations like the Lotus-Heart Restaurant did. It is truly an oasis of beauty and peace and a 'must visit' if in Christchurch. The food was absolutely delicious and the service completely remarkable. The attentiveness, sweetness, kindness and service I received from the staff was outstanding in every sense!! A perfect dining experience...

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Tea for two at the Lotus-Heart - Edit

The first comment I have to make about the Lotus-Heart is that they have an incredibly long tea menu. If you are interested in tea, juice, coffee or beverages of any sort I reccommend you go to the Lotus-Heart and check it out. I'm quite in to tea and I was pretty blown away by how much variety they had and how out there some of the stuff on their menu was. I ended up getting a Mate tea which is a Brazilian green tea which has matein instead of caffeine! I'd heard of it but never actually seen it anywhere. The girl who served us was really sweet and told us all about it. All in all I had a really good time, the decor was beautiful, the staff were BEAUTIFUL and I will be going back.

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Lotus Heart in the heart of town - Edit

This is the new LOtus Heart, iot was renovated this year and is much more asthetically pleasing than their other restaurant located on Columba St. and only open MOn - Fri. There is a buffet offered at the Cathedral Lotus Heart on Sundays and it also offers an extensive menu for dinner from 6pm daily. There are all sorts of cuisines offered at dinner time - Italian, Japanese, etc, etc. The menu is literally pages and you can view it by walking into the downstairs of the old post ofice building (outside Starbucks) during the day.
The food at Lotus Herat is quite satisfying but most importantly it is undeniably healthy and they use the most delicate ingredients. This is why, I guess, their prices are a bit high for my taste and one can end up spending 20 dollars on a lunch meal if they order off of the menu and additionally get a smoothie. The portions, for my taste, are small and expensive but it's nice to know they care so much about our health and guess that doesn't come for free. I highly reccommend the smoothies with wheatgrass etc, they have an entire smoothie menu and smoothies that specialize for sertain things e.g immunity, sore muscles, concentration, etc. Also, if you would like a shot of wheatgrass, go to the food court on top of the bus depot on Columbo St. and wheat grass shots are made fresh when you order.

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Delcious dining in style! - Edit

So many choices for dinner! Love the International menu! My favourites are the Barbecued Haloumi, Masala Dosa (the only dosa in Christchurch as far as I know!) and the Chocolate Velvet Cake. (My gluten free friend loved it too!).

A great place to hang out in the city at breakfast and lunch time too - you can sit at the window and watch the world go by...

Love the Indian decor and dinnerware. Lovely gift shop on site too. Beautiful.

Great service and delicious healthy food - would recommend it to all.

Pros: Healthy delicious food, Great service, Beautiful Surrounds

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This place is the best! - Edit

This place is a little haven for the soul and the tastebuds in Christchurch.

The staff are super friendly and the food is superlative. There is a great selection of food - vegan items included. The atmosphere is peaceful and serene.
Absolutely the best vegetarian burger I've tasted in my life. The same can be said of their chai - to die for.
The peaceful and spiritual philosophy of Sri Chinmoy is shining in this gem of a cafe.

Pros: great atmosphere, delicious food, friendly staff

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Wow and Amazing - Edit

Having visited the original Lotus-Heart in Colombo St I didn't think that you could get much better in terms of atmosphere and food. But The Lotus-Heart's latest venture in Cathedral Square has exceeded all my expectations! The new and much bigger location is set in the heart of Christchurch city and boasts a beautiful view over the famed Christchurch Cathedral and "chalice:" sculpture by Neil Dawson. The interior decoration is a stunning achievement in itself. The beautifully framed paintings by Sri Chinmoy create a most peaceful and serene atmosphere and the Indian arches around exude an ancient and mystical ambience. The food is typically delicious of the "old" Lotus-Heart (which is still operating) but to my great delight they have extended their operating hours to include Thursday and Saturday evenings for a full table service. Their dinner menu is truly extensive. I sampled the grilled haloumi - a paradigm of elegant simplicity and truly delicious. An alcohol free establishment. there is an almost inexhaustible list of beverages to choose from. The fresh smoothies are always a winner with me! They have also branched out into breakfasts which are unique and live up to the usual standard of deliciousness. There is a huge variety of vegan and gluten-free options also. I am deeply impressed by the new Lotus-Heart and I wish them all the success.

Pros: friendly staff, great food, wide variety

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Reviewer Avatar

A haven of peace in the middle of the city - Edit

The Lotus-Heart is a beautiful vegetarian cafe in central Christchurch where I was delighted to find a great range of vege and vegan options for a very affordable price and with extremely generous sized servings. It was all delicious and the fair trade organic coffee was also great! It is a beautiful peaceful location and I heard rumours that they will be opening a new restaurant upstairs above Starbucks in Cathedral Square at the start of 2008.

Pros: great service, delicious food, peaceful atmosphere

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Excellent atmosphere and food - unique! - Edit

The Lotus-Heart is my favourite place to eat in New Zealand. Most cafes are all doing the same thing and offering the same style of food. The Lotus-Heart is something unique. Unique in atmosphere and unique in food. The service has the rare quality of being caring and genuinely nice. There was a criticism above of the lack of vegan options. Well for one thing it is not a vegan cafe but I find plenty of vegan options. They handmake organic almond milk for the vegan drinks. I don't know of anywhere else that does this. It is much more delicious than soy milk and much heathier. Daily they make two styles of dal - vegan dal and butter dal even though the butter dal is much more delicious! The food is fresh, tasty, organic where possible, excellent value for money and the service is outstanding. Keep up the good work!

Pros: Excellent food, Healthy Cuisine, Very reasonable prices

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Would eat there everyday if I could... - Edit

Lotus Heart has a great range of vegetarian food and I believe I could eat there everyday and still have a hard time deciding what to choose. The food is imaginitive and yummy, whether you have a quick falafel pita sandwich or a sit-down proper lunch dish. It is possible to eat lunch for about $6, but if you're really hungry it'll be nearer $10 which is a little pricy.
The not-sausage rolls are the best! And the soy-chai latte is the best I've had in Christchurch.

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