The Wholefood Kitchen

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 15 reviews )
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06-8358036
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45 Hastings St, Napier, New Zealand

Vegetarian whole food eatery situated within the Chantal Food Store in the heart of Napier City. Primarily uses local, ethical, sustainable, and organic wholefood ingredients. All food is produced in its kitchen daily with the aim to provide healthy, seasonal, and balanced meals. Breakfast served from 8am and lunch from 11:30am. Open Mon-Sun 8:00am-4:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Organic, Western, Take-out

15 Reviews

First Review by Dmitry

A mixed experience - Edit

We came here for lunch and the cafe was busy. I chose the Gone burger and my companion the Loaded wedges, both of which we shared. I also had a berry smoothie,: very nice with chunky goji berries to add chewiness. I liked the burger, which actually had flavour but was smallish for $20 and came on too small a plate so that half of it fell on to the table when I tried to cut it. The wedges ($17.50) were not good at all. The potato and kumara wedges were soggy (as were the ones with the burger) but the dish itself was dry, with the beans and co-yo not adding any moistness, and having little flavour, and the cashew cheese barely noticeable. After lunch I had a nice hot coffee and breakfast cookie, which was nice and chewy and nutty. I would come back to try some other items in the cabinet and on the menu.

Pros: Delicious smoothie, Nice cookie, Tasty burger

Cons: Loaded wedges soggy and dry with little flavour, Burger size small for price

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Disappointing - Edit

We actively sought this restaurant and shop out and were sadly disappointed. Starters, mains, desserts, drinks were all disgusting and the staff are arrogant and appear to hate working with people. Even the staff in the health shop are quite snobbish.

Pros: Fairly easy to find parking.

Cons: Tasteless.

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Tasty and big plates - Edit

We had te mata mushrooms (fancy mushrooms on toast), tofu baguette, 3 salad combo and espresso slice cake. The baguette was dry but the other stuff was really tasty, the mushrooms especially. They also have vegan tacos with cashew mayo which I'll try next time.

Good portion sizes and price appropriate. The cafe is attached to a whole foods shop with world foods and vegan alternatives. Some of it isn't cheap but they have nz apples (fancy ones like fuji and rose) for cheaper than supermarkets- buy pre packaged and they're even cheaper. I also got a big tub of end of life coconut yogurt on special.

Pros: Tasty vegan food, Good portion size

Cons: Vegan choices could be improved

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Always worth a visit..... - Edit

Vegan breakfast menu options & always plenty of cabinet vegan salad choices on offer here with a good range of vegan desserts too. A tasty 4 salad multi-choice large bowl for lunch today ~ It was very good!  Vegetarian options looked varied as well. Friendly & helpful staff.

Pros: Great variety and good portion sizes, Friendly & helpful staff, Good prices

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Divine Breakfast - Edit

Just enoyed muesli, OJ, garden bowl and coffee. All superb.

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Breakfast - Edit

We had a delicious breakfast at The Wholefood Kitchen. The meals were huge and very satisfying - as well as tasty.

Pros: Easy to find, Lots of options, Also a shop to browse around

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lovely place - Edit

my bf and i loved it here. went there multiple times and preferred it over ujazi and hapi because of its many options, better sitting opportunities and great atmosphere inside and outside. everything we ordered was to our liking, savory and sweet :)

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A great place for a vegan lunch - Edit

We had a delicious vegan lunch yesterday and I can highly recommend The Kitchen! It has a great atmosphere and excellent food. There is a lot of choice in vegan lunch options, from the counter and freshly prepared. We had tostadas which were superb! The staff is very friendly and welcoming and the organic shop has numerous vegan products. The restaurant is now named The Kitchen and the shop Chantal, which I found slightly confusing.

Updated from previous review on 2017-01-22

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Excellent - Edit

Excellent food, service, atmosphere and value. I had the black bean tacos and a salad (mix of celeriac, apple & celery and endamame, noodle and tofu, etc). Thoroughly recommend this place

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Central lunch stop - Edit

I stopped here for lunch mid-way through a self - guided tour of Napier's fantastic art deco architecture (booklet available to purchase from the Art Deco Centre). The Wholefood Kitchen is within Chantal Foods Ltd, in a nice art deco building.

There were several dishes chalked up on the board but also an array of really interesting-looking salads in the chill cabinet. The helpful lady behind the counter explained that you could have a large or small bowl of your choice of salads - mixing as many as you like. I chose smoked eggplant and kasha (buckwheat) salad plus the heirloom tomatoes, pine nuts and rocket salad. I was very thirsty after my walk in the sunshine and asked for tap water. The waitress not only explained where I could find water but also where the chilled water was if I preferred.

After paying, I took a number and found a table outside in the pleasant courtyard through the back. Service was prompt and the salads were really delicious. The aubergine had been cooked to just the right consistency, as had the courgette. Coming from the UK, it was also great to be reminded what tomatoes are supposed to taste like! I had an Americano to finish, which was fine.

There aren't many vegetarian establishments in Napier so this is a great find in a central location. I would come back here if I was in the area for breakfast or lunch.

Pros: Lovely, imaginative salads; both outdoor and indoo

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Worth travelling for - Edit

I'm based in Palmy, and often do day trips to Welly to dine at Aunty Menas. This time I did something different and went to Napier.
This place was easy to find, I was served as soon as I had finished browsing their extensive menu, and my takeout food was prepared quickly.
There was a slight hiccup with the order, which was quickly rectified. The food was delicious, and overall, it was an extremely satisfying dining experience. Highly recommended.

Pros: Excellent food, Good portion size, Friendly staff

Cons: Labelling error, check to ensure vegan

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Interesting food, great service - Edit

My family and I are visiting from Sydney, and are a little dismayed with the slim pickings in the Hawkes Bay area. That, along with a couple of poor reviews on this page, meant we had low expectations going into this café. We were very pleasantly surprised. I had the vegan meatballs, my husband the vegan pancakes, and daughter the vegetable tofu stack. Each of them were interestingly put together, well presented, and large portions. I'll have to go back to see if there is cake we can eat, because there was no room for it after lunch. The staff were very friendly, and in fact went out of their way to ask if we were happy with our meals. We left very happy, and will probably go back again before we leave Napier.

Pros: Friendly service, Interesting food, well priced

Cons: More vegan options would be great!

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Awful treatment by staff - Edit

Looking for somewhere nice to have lunch with my two sons, I had the misfortune of stepping into the Wholefood Kitchen in Napier. After perusing the food, and knowing it would take my 5 year old a while to choose, I waited in line with my three year old in my arms, on being served, I asked "First up, may I have some change for the parking meter please, then I'll come back and order".

The woman in her early to mid forties with short dark hair simply laughed in my face and said no (without even opening the till).

When I said "Sorry for being such a bother, but don't worry, we won't be eating here now either", she started mumbling something incomprehensible at me, at which point I walked out.

I went next door to Cafe Divine, who instantly gave me change, and asked if they could start making me a coffee while I was off feeding the meter.

Can't believe that Wholefood Kitchen Naper would treat anyone, let alone a parent alone with two children, so poorly.

Fail.
9 October 2012 approx 12.30pm.

Pros: None that I have been able to find.

Cons: Awful staff., Poor attitude., Not family friendly.

2 Responses
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WhiteRabbit 12 Feb 2013 - Why am I not surprised with your review. I have been back again since my review and although the food is nice, I once again was not entirely happy with the service. I do hope they improve.  


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Dmitry 05 May 2013 - Eat there every week, and don't see any big difference re service with any other cafe in NZ, you are served by ordinary friendly people (Kiwis and sometimes from overseas) who are naturally not robots and serve you the best they can, and sometimes of course they might make mistakes. Writing a negative review for not being given a change for a meter and not bothering to comprehend why is a bit too nasty and simply not nice.
I'd skip Cafe Divine's, cos going through the menu and seeing piece of meat in almost everything gets me more down then any perceived slight imperfections in service at Wholefood Kitchen, plus some serving girls there are cute.  


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Interesting experience - Edit

I know I always have trouble enjoying eating out when I take my young children. But this particular day I have decided I must check out this cafe, this cafe has been open for some time now and I needed to see what I have been missing out on. I'm not from Napier, so I made it an important part of my Saturday agenda to go there on a visit to Napier. There are no sole Vegetarian/Vegan cafe's in my home town, which is a crying shame, sure I would love to open one, however I don't have the financial backing yet. In the mean time I will try to experience as many vegetarian cafes as I can.

OK, back to the cafe, I found it very clean and fresh. A homely feel to it, I loved the selection of food. My children had eaten somewhere else (non vegetarian they are), so I chose a pizza and the vegan chocolate brownie to share with my little ones. They were both yummy, my daughter wanted the brownie, she thought it was delicious.

My concerns of the cafe:
As my daughter has a spot of "can't sit still for long" I was chasing her around the store quite a bit, enough so that our food was cleared away before we had finished. My bag was still on the chair, so we hadn't even left. And when I went to the kitchen to ask for it back (seconds after it was cleared away), the lady had a blank expression. I got it back, otherwise I would have had to ask for a replacement! But it doesn't stop there, I felt I was completely invisible at the counter, some people came in while I was waiting to be served, well, I was completely ignored. I lead an extremely busy life and time is of the essence, to be honest, I found it all a very frustrating experience.

I will go back to try it out again, but if I get the same kind of service I wont be back there, which will be a shame as Hawke's Bay needs at least one Vegetarian cafe!

Pros: Great food, Great selection, Affordable

Cons: Vacant Staff, Slow Staff, Staff need to be more allert

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Don't miss it if you are in town - Edit

Great 100% vegetarian place in town. It serves a variety of nice salads with rather diverse ingredients (some combinations I found quite interesting and delicious - you can order any selection of them in a medium or large portion) + a couple of hot dishes that may include a wholesome veggie soup, a curry (with a nicely toasted chunk of real non-supermarket bread) + a wide selection of sandwiches/pies (you can have them toasted - again the ingredients are quite diverse and may include fried tofu, tempeh etc). There is about a dozen of different teas - all real leaf, no bags, which they can offer you to smell before you order, some with quite interesting names I never tried before & delightful flavor + lots of home-style yummy cakes and slices to go with. They do serve a variety of cheeses & eggs (I believe mostly organic), but it's not in everything and all the ingredients are listed, so if you are after veggies only, you may still find a reasonable selection to suit your pallet (some teas come with milk on the side, so ask for soy if that's your wish). The food changes regularly, so you are assured of variety, and if you got extra dietary preferences, the range of your options may be wider the next day than today.
Another great thing about the place is heaps of room on large long tables and lots of mags (Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone etc as well as papers), so you can engross yourself in pleasant reading while you eat. There is also a tap of quality drinking water w/glasses at the back to help yourself. The place itself is right inside a large organics shop, where you can stock on variety of organic produce and other useful stuff.
Note the hours - it's open Tue-Sat (for hot dishes the kitchen I believe closes around 2pm on weekdays; the organics shop itself is open on Mon).


Updated from previous review on Wednesday April 13, 2011

Pros: Great variety of food, Friendly stuff, Heaps of mags & room

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