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Wise Cicada Wholefood Cafe

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 19 reviews )
Contact 09-5299529

88 Broadway, Newmarket, Auckland, New Zealand,

A vegan community cafe contained within an organic wholefoods store (which sells meat), bookstore, and naturopathic health clinic all under one roof. Fully vegan since Aug 2016. Relocated from 23 Crowhurst St, June 2016. Mon-Fri 8:00am-7:00pm, Sat-Sun 9:00am-6:00pm

Category: Vegan, Organic, Western, Juice bar, Take-out

Reviews (19)

First Review by Naki Girl

Good place for vegans - Edit

I went here a couple of times. Had a tasty breakfast one time (good coffee with soy mylk too) and had salad for lunch and a dessert both of which were really good.

Cons: Extra charge for plant based mylks

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Lots of choices for vegans - Edit

Really happy to have their hot meals especially their vegan soup because every other place would have cream in their soups. They also have yummy desserts! Convenient location and handy supermarket inside draws me back every time.

Pros: Delicious food, Great variety, Convenient location

Cons: Supermarket not entirely veg

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Pleasant every time - Edit

The Wise Cicada an unlikely refuge in its Newmarket neighbourhood. The busy, car-dominated streets, big-box stores and mainstream retail of the area make this vegan cafe and organic non-veg grocer (and bookstore, and healing center) a bountiful urban oasis.

The strong community sense around this institution is unusual and wonderful for Auckland. You might think that it’s to do with the alternative-minded adjoining bookstore or the pricey but high quality grocery section, or that the staff are knowledgeable and responsive to specialised diets, but my personal theory is that it’s been embraced because the food rocks.

You can come to this place and be served a range of hot prepared meals from a slow-cooker, plus there’s a breakfast buffet and a generous menu of hot drinks, but what stands out is the salad bar.

The selection is dynamic - it changes with the seasons, what’s available and what’s sprouted that day. It’s always fresh, always colourful, and brings juicy new flavours to even the most experienced vegan foodie.

So if you want to experience the Wise Cicada’s glory then get a large (really large) selection of salads, sit at a long table, eat slowly and let yourself fall into a nearby conversation. It’s a very social cafe (especially for NZ) with frequent meetup groups, friendly regular characters, and occasional live musicians.

You won’t struggle to find someone to eat dessert with, and despite my best intentions I don’t think I’ve ever left the Wise Cicada without dessert. Today I had a raw German-style chewy chocolate cake, last week I had a decadent raw cheesecake, but my usual is the chewy coconut-chocolate rough speckled with flecks of tangy dried fruit.

If you like the Wise Cicada (the new-age sense is not for everybody) then this is one place you can return to for a further exploration of what’s on offer.

Pros: Great food, Oasis hideaway from Newmarket

Cons: Occasional variable food quality & size

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Not the full monty - Edit

I went for Sunday brunch, and ordered the 'Wise Cicda Big Hearty Breakfast'

Now it could just be an English thing, but this was pretty bad as breakfasts go - the bread wasn't toasted, the falafel were dry, dull and completely unnecessary, plus they didn't have any chilli sauce.

All I can say is, if you're English, don't go here for their version of a 'greasy spoon' as it totally fails to deliver

Oh and their long black wasn't very good either

Pros: Charming staff, Good ambience

Cons: Poor breakfasts, Bad coffee

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hippeis that sell meat.. - Edit

the food might be vegan but the store sells meat... the guys working in this place seemd kind to yoga hippies and ignores the rest of us and then finally serves some mundane, overpriced falafel...

Cons: meat in store'

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palm oil! - Edit

they serve some great salads and vegan treats as well as a wide range of groceries BUT I know that they use palm oil in their sweets without labelling it on the ingredient lists
I don't get how a shop so 'concerned' about nature and veganism can do something like that

Pros: wide range, good salads

Cons: uses palm oil

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healthy food and pleasant service - Edit

Fantastic store! Encountered many products I had not seen before, e.g., a line of pastas by Explore Asian Authentic Cuisine made from wonderful things like (the one I bought) Organic Edamame & Mung Bean Fettuccine shape; and Mash Tun Crackers by The Bloom Theory, made from recycled brewery grain. Frozen vegan meals. Fresh, organic produce. Household products, cosmetics, t-shirts and other clothing items, books, lots of snack food. Then there’s the deli with several salads and desserts, many raw. All look delicious. I had the Big Hearty Breakfast for $17: sautéed mushrooms, scrambled tofu, home-baked beans, soysage, mini-falafel balls, whole-grain (or gluten-free) toast. Tasty and filling.

Pros: tasty, healthy food

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Cafe great, shop ok - Edit

They have some really good lunch offers, delicious and healthy food, and also very good coffee. I like their main dishes, their salads, as well as their sweet creations. The shop I found a bit uber expensive and quite cheeky with discounts (eg selling juice that had been expired for over 6 months for only $1 off).

Pros: healthy, very yummy

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Humungous breakfast for hungry tourists - Edit

One of the few Auckland veg restaurants that stays open in summer. What a find! The self serve breakfast buffet was great. I started with some delicious creamy porridge. Then had sausages, tofu scramble, mushrooms, baked beans and felafels. Also came with toasted sourdough walnut bread and hummus. Fantastic. We didn't need to eat again until dinner!

Handy having the shop there too. It is huge! We got everything we needed for our road trip down the island. Great service as well.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday January 07, 2014

Pros: Great vegan breakfast , Excellent coffee, Well stocked huge shop

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100% Vegan Organic Breakfast Buffet? Yes, Please! - Edit

Wise Cicada never disappoints; whether you're after freshly made juices, wholesome salads, organic groceries, a plant based buffet or raw food, they can cater for you. Freshly made juice costs at NZD9.50, salads between NZD9.90 and NZD13.90, breakfast for around NZD15.00, and the buffet at NZD25.00. There is also a huge variety of fully raw desserts to choose from, typically around NZD6.00 a serving.

Thanks to its fairly central location, I've had the pleasure of dining here countless times. I vividly remember the first set of salads I had here, one of which was the massaged kale salad that introduced and turned me into a kale lover. Some of the other choices included roasted root vegetable salad, quinoa salad, tofu salad, and a raw beet and carrot salad, all of which were full of flavour and are of course healthy. Another bonus is that anyone who orders salads get free extras such as hummus and toasted nuts and seeds. On one occasion they had raw 'refried beans' as an extra, and it would be an understatement to say that it blew my mind. Absolutely amazing.

On another occasion, I had the luxury of trying out their breakfast buffet, which extends until 1pm on weekends. Here I was introduced to another amazing dish I'd never tried before: millet porridge. Yeah yeah bird food whatever, it was faaantastic with the cashew cream and fresh fruits. The buffet also offers tofu scramble, baked beans, sauteed mushrooms, veg falafels and sausages, wholegrain and gluten free breads, cereals, jams and nut butters. Although everything was delicious, if you aren't very hungry then I'd suggest going for salad instead; in my opinion, the price is a bit steep for the amount of choices available.

The ambiance of the cafe itself is lovely, filled with healthy happy people and friendly chatter. It is always clean, and the service is always top notch thanks to the helpful staff at hand.

Pros: Delicious, healthy, organic, Good ambiance , Friendly staff

Cons: Prices can be steep for some

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Big vegan breakfast - Edit

Ordered the big breakfast - not as big as I expected, given the price. It came with vege sausage, tofu scramble, baked beans, sauteed mushrooms & toast. Also ordered a vegan brownie to go - not the best, but tasty enough! I wish I'd had more time, as Wise Cicada is also a lovely organic grocery store.

Pros: All vegan, Organic grocer

Cons: Price

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Quest for a Vegetarian Lunch lead me here - Edit

Being new to Auckland, I am so grateful for this website and GPS. Anyhow that aside I walked from Parnell to this great store and cafe. I enjoyed a mixed salad. There were plenty of salads to choose from and yummy vegan dressings to top them off. The raw dessert I had was an Apricot and Coconut Cheesecake which I ended up eating later in the day as the salad was very filling. When I did enjoy the cheesecake, it was very fresh tasting, light and fresh. I would recommend this place for sure and would love to go back when I'm next in Auckland to taste more vegan delights.
Updated from previous review on Monday February 20, 2012

Pros: Healthy, Ample portions, Great Tasting

Cons: A little pricey, Only one in NZ! , No outside seating from what I could see

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Great intro to vegan cafe food! - Edit

As the first vegan cafe we visited, wise cicada had a lot to prove. It definately made the grade though. Being a cold and rainy day we both had the soup and bread which was delicious, lived up to the high praise from the entertaining chef! We also had THE most delicious hummus ever (we want the recipe!!) and took 2 sweet treats home with us (vegan "cheese"cake and chocolate biscotti which were both yummy). Its a lovely shop with plenty of wholefoods for sale and friendly, helpful staff. Also a loyalty system which is a bonus. Will definately be making a regular trip here.

Pros: Nice staff, Excellent food, Great selection of wholefoods

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The Wise Cicada is a nice place to hang out & I especially enjoy the raw juice extractions & smoothies, delicious! Its also the only place in town where you can get hemp milk smoothies & mochas, etc. I am disappointed in the change of ownership in the last wks, I loved the previous girl as she made us feel really welcome & had heaps of helpful advice & time to give. Also I have noticed the salads seem now to be laden with fruit syrups & I hear that the food being served now is largely not organic. I was particularly concerned to hear of a low quality palm oil being used in the choc drops, I was under the impression they were made using raw cacau & cacau butter, but found this not be the case. The palm oil isnt even organic & not from a sustainable resource. Also the staff are not informing customers that battery eggs have been used in the brioche being sold, when the customer is under the impression all is organic. This left me with a very sour taste in my mouth due to the integrity being questionable, the lines being blurred. Please keep it organic folks, or if it isnt please inform your customers, I was very unhappy to hear of this misrepresentation & would only go back to the juice bar because I trust the young guy in the juice bar........I definitely wouldnt go back for the food because I dont trust anymore what I am being served.......

Pros: friendly guy, organic juice, hemp milk mochas

Cons: misleading, unsustainable ingredients, deceptive practice

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Excellent, - Edit

Entire menu is vegan and delicious. The cakes are amazing and everything is so healthy. I eat here regularly, there is a new chef now and set prices for food, which is better as the food is great and they use organic produce which isn't cheap, so I'm more comfortable with a set price. Staff are very friendly and they stock a huge range of organic produce. Highly recommend.

Pros: Amazing food, Great staff, Great product range

Cons: Can't think of any!

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Nice food & cakes + organics shop - Edit

It's practically all vegan. I had a curry with 2 side salads, then another selection of 4, a smoothie, a pot of tea and 3(!) vegan cakes - all because I missed breakfast and rolled it into lunch. The staff are extremely friendly and the food was delicious. The place itself is inside a large organics and health store, and the ingredients are organic too - so both vegan and organic, what could be better. The gift payment system cited prior was not on when I was there, which is understandable with the crisis, cost of living going up and using organic ingredients - it may not be sustainable, and I was happy with what I paid. I also grabbed some delicious dark German bread with a bit of beet in it, and from the shop NZ organic hemp oil and unrefined organic sunflower oil which is a rarity here. Also, if you are after mock meaty things (like I am) there were quite a few in the shop's freezer to choose from.

Pros: Nice food, Great vegan cakes, Organics shop

Cons: It's not free?

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Lovin it - Edit

Always smells divine when you walk in. Great food - haven't had a bad meal yet. Good range of fresh salads, beans & grain meals. Their smoothies are excellent. Has a relaxed feel and warm atmosphere with friendly staff. Like being able to pick up a few items for the household at the same time and browsing through the unique range of books at Goodeys (inside Wise Cicada). Took a bit of getting used to when asked what you want to pay (threw the other half into a spin lol!) but it feels good to be part of something unique which adds to the experience.

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