The Origin

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 24 reviews )
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03-3555939
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95 Westminster St (at Cranford St), Christchurch, New Zealand

Cafe in the suburb of St Albans on the main road north but also close to the city. Modern clean environment in a new building rebuilt after the earthquake. Pure vegetarian (vegan) with no onion and no garlic. Cabinet food with Western items such as scones, wraps, muffins, salads and cakes, plus a menu with Asian Fusion dishes such as dumplings, pancake rolls and spicy noodle soup. Open Tue-Fri 8:00am-4:30pm, Sat-Sun 10:00am-4:30pm. Kitchen closes at 2:30pm.

Categories: Vegan, Western, Take-out, Asian, Catering

24 Reviews

First Review by channellehazel

Fantastic! - Edit

Everything is vegan, my wife was in heaven!
Excellent coffee, and we tried a variety of things from the menu and in the cabinet, all were delicious.

Friendly staff and pleasant modern interior.

Pros: all Vegan

Cons: None

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Cool athmosphere and delicious food - Edit

The interior of The Origin is really cool, minimalistic and puristic. Everything(!) here is vegan.The staff is awesome, I had a really nice chat with Andi, a fellow German. I had the special of the day which was a japanese hashbrown like pancake. Sadly I forgot the name. It was delicious but didn't quite fill me up so I had the dumplings aswell. Also very tasty. Next time I will definately grab a tea aswell as they have very fancy tea-infusors(?).

Pros: Delicious food, cool athmosphere

Cons: Japanese hasbrown-pancakes didn't quite fill me up, but that's generally hard to achieve.

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Where to from here? - Edit

Specialty coffee in a very clean and bright cafe. Okonomyaki was the special of the day, so we ordered that, as well as a chickpea and salad sandwich. The pancake came with typical slatherings of sweet soya sauce, but actually wasn’t as bad as I expected, still tasty with nice pieces of vegetable. The sandwich was also pretty good and well flavoured. The brownie we ordered with (very good) tea and coffee later was very dense, really more of a cake than a brownie, but still pretty good. I’m intrigued to come back and try some other things.

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Delicious food - Edit

Looks like just a coffee shop but the food is outstanding

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Delish food and very friendly staff! - Edit

I had the special (a scrumptious stack with quinoa, veggies and tempe) and my partner had the spicy noodle soup (not spicy, no worries): both were delicious! Our starter was a shared plate of dumplings: excellent as well! Sadly I had no room for the brownie, but I'll be back for that tomorrow! :D

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Amazing coffee, amazing food. - Edit

This place is super modern and trendy, very nice and clean. I had the daily special which was a brown rice base with portabello, veggies, tempeh, hummus, etc and let me tell you, it was one of the best meals I have ever eaten. The flavours were just incredible.

And they also make specialty coffee, they have single origin beans, they do the roasting themselves. With brewing methods such as siphon and pour over, you get coffee that is so smooth without any of the bitterness. Amazing,

Pros: Amazing specialty coffee, amazing beautiful food.

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Great modern spot! - Edit

This place is so clean, sleek and modern. It was such a fresh space that was very popular amongst the locals. I have to say that I think that my coffee was one of the best I've ever had.
Can't wait to go back :)

Pros: Delicious coffee , Loved the decor

Cons: Not much choice for breakfast choices

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HELLO pancakes - Edit

I've never been so excited to drop someone off at the airport before 8am as it meant we could drive here after and get breakfast. What a delightful treat- the fruit pancakes were divine!! My husband had (i believe) some sort of tofu/greens on toast and he said it was delicious.
The coffee was beautiful, so is the actual place- clean/open/inviting and friendly smiling staff even that early in the day! Highly recommend visiting at least once!

Pros: delicious food

Cons: none

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Wonderful - Edit

Really lovely interior (very clean and well kept), and friendly accomodating staff. The cakes and coffees here are well made and taste great. I had a burger off the menu and it was really tasty but awkward to eat/kept falling apart so I had to eat it with my knife and fork, but hey, it was worth it for the taste. I recommend this place!

Pros: Delicious food, Clean and minimalist interior, Nice staff

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george - Edit

Very clean and simple place.
Lots of sun light to be let in friendly staff 10/10

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Delicious, superfriendly, great place! - Edit

I was on a short trip to NZ and stumbled upon this lovely café after it was recommended as being "secretly vegan".

The design of the place is very clean and stylish, yet warm and welcoming and very well lit.

The staff is super nice and forthcoming, and the food and drink is great and has good value.

I had carrot cake and a soy hot chocolate and had to take a second piece of berry cake, it was delicious!

A very nice touch is the amazing artwork created for every cup of coffee (which can be brewed in a variety of techniques) or chocolate.

I'd love to come back sometime and recommend it from the bottom of my heart.

Pros: Great food and drink, Lovely people, Welcoming atmosphere

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Great place - Edit

The staff are nice, the place is cosy, and the cakes and coffee are delicious

Pros: Tasty food, Friendly staff, Cosy

Cons: Dairy milk is available

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Outstanding - Edit

We had the special for the day which was lasagne. It was absolutely divine and the texture was amazing. Great coffee and a wide selection of milks. Chilled out and simple, clean atmosphere. Will definitely be going back!

Pros: Delicious, Great value, Lots of natural light

Cons: A little slow

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Amazing food - Edit

The food was absolutely incredible! I feel like I have a good pancake recipe but the pancakes they have here are next level. So so tasty! All the fruits and nuts are the perfect addition as well. My sister had the tofu scramble which looked amazing. I managed to steal a spoon full of it and the flavours were really delicious. I will 100% be back very soon to try the dumplings!

The only slightly negative thing I would say is that whilst pretty much all of the food is vegan its labelled as pure vegetarian. So just a double check was need to make sure that we could eat it. But honestly, not even a big deal compared to the friendly service and the extremely tasty food :)

EDIT: I'm an idiot and didn't realise that pure vegetarian and vegan is pretty much the same thing! Silly me. Went back to try the dumplings - amazing! Also the savoury scones are next level! Also if you are getting a chai try it on coconut milk. OMG best thing you will ever drink.

Updated from previous review on 2017-03-22

Pros: 1. Amazing chai! , Friendly staff, Lovely atmosphere

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My favourite coffee in Chch! - Edit

The Origin make some of the best coffee in Christchurch. They're the only cafe I've had a decent coconut milk coffee at (their coffee blends nicely into it unlike a lot of places where the coconut flavour overpowers the coffee). I've also had a couple of cabinet treats and the pancakes - delicious. Only downside is they are rather pricy.

Pros: Vegan, Huge choice of non-dairy milks

Cons: Expensive

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💜 - Edit

Favourite menu. Very clean place and friendly staff every thing on the menu is amazing. Their coffee selection is so unique and they are absolutely beautiful my sister and I are both vegan and we could live in this place!
Although they're only open from 8am on weekdays, would be great if they had a 7am opening even on one day so I could go before school!
So awesome to have a fully vegan cafe in Christchurch even though they call themselves vegetarian

Pros: amazing vegan food, great coffee, lovely staff

Cons: not open @ 7am

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Yum - Edit

Scandinavian/IKEA feel. The café looks like something out of instagram. So does the food!!! It was wonderful. I would recommend taking friends who like to share as everything we ordered was delicious.
We had the daily special (curry), noodle soup, crispy rolls and salad of the day (gnocchi).
The menu was on the small side but this is good for me as I can never decide what to order!
Too bad we were too full for dessert- The kumara and beetroot cake looked awesome!

Pros: Delicious food, Nice atmosphere, Fully vegan!

Cons: Location - it's not in the city centre

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Best location in town! - Edit

Very friendly enviroment, delicious food and stunning coffee!

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sun burger - Edit

I had the sunburger with salad sand fries - added vegan cheese and aoli.
It was really tasty but the portion of the veggie pattie and fries were to small.

I would recommend ask for a bigger portion - and they will probebly add it for a small cost .
Staff were super friendly and the environment feels like you are in a yoga place and relaxing .

Pros: friendly

Cons: small portion

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Delicious! - Edit

I had the daily special of the Mushroom Risotto that came with a side of pastry with some kind of paste/beetroot salad dressing, whatever it was it was delicious! The risotto was so flavorsome and creamy and I felt great after eating it. Pricey, but will definitely be going again!

Pros: All food is onion and garlic free , Beautiful clean and minimalist space

Cons: Expensive

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Beautiful. - Edit

I had a beautiful coconut choc latte here and the porridge for breakfast, it was so so tasty and I was satisfied after my early morning drive!! After I had my hair done next door, I went back and got lunch!!! I loved it and cannot wait to return. Friendly staff + good food. Thanks :)

Pros: Excellent food

Cons: No cons

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Great food - Edit

Great food, coffee and friendly staff. Sadly I was too late for their breakfast menu but next time I'm in Christchurch I'll just have to get in earlier! Can't wait to try their pancakes!

Pros: Tummy vegan food. recommended their muffins!

Cons: Should have their breakfast menu run into the afte

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Lovely - Edit

I've been to the Origin about 4 times and thoroughly enjoyed each visit. It has a really nice atmosphere and great food! Little bit expensive but it's all tasty!

Pros: 100% vegan! , Very clean, Nice atmosphere

Cons: Pricey, Not a big range of lunch options

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Style over Substance - Edit

This cafe is beautiful to look at, unfortunately that is about as far as it goes with this place.

The decor is Scandinavian and clean, white, bright - with greenery dotted around the place. It gives the initial sense of being in control and nicely ordered.

The food was rather uninspiring when it arrived, but the pancakes did look beautiful. Which was really sad given the small number of offerings on the menu. Portions are small given the prices as well. Both meals were cool when they arrived, and there was a 15 minute wait between the two meals arriving (ordered at the same time).

Service was odd, staff talked to us across the room from behind the counter. They were friendly, but gave the impression they were not professionals. Nothing arrived promptly, neither the tea, coffee or the food.

Overall we felt it was beautiful, but that more effort had been put into the styling of the premises than the actual food and drink aspects.

This could be a great venue to showcase that vegan food can be just as exciting and as 'acceptable' as mainstream food, but at the moment, it fails to deliver.

They are a new establishment, we have great hopes that they sort out their issues quickly and are able to bring great service, food and drinks to people in their very swish building.


Pros: Beautiful setting, Sustainable produce, Single Source products including Zealong tea.

Cons: Inexperienced staff

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