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NZ’s most “beautiful large town” is a town of around 40,000 strong. With recent updates to have more parking available and pedestrian walkways, the town centre is even easier to explore and walk around.
Whether you’ve been shopping at the boutique shops and galleries or venturing through the Taupō region’s stunning outdoors, you must be due for a feed!
This small, big town right in the heart of the North Island has plenty of cafes, restaurants, and bars.
For the hidden gems and big showcases of vegan and vegetarian food, we've got your guide to find delicious & diverse vegetarian and vegan options for when you’re in town. You must check out these places to eat in Taupo.
The giant red cup outside signals the funky décor and eclectic style inside. The next thing you’ll notice is the ultimate care that owners, Grant and Victoria, have put into every detail from the specialty teas (a favorite is Earl Grey) to the fresh takes on their diverse menu.
"Our focus is to cover all the bases and to try to do our bit for the planet” - Victoria (co-owner). Take a seat in the new outdoor seating and try Paul’s Porridge, not your traditional porridge but an indulgent take with quinoa and oats, a tangy plum sauce, and dehydrated mandarins for that perfect crunch. To make this vegan, skip the Mascarpone! For those warmer months, a fully Vegan Protein Smoothie Bowl is almost too pretty to eat.
If you’re more of a lunch person, popular vegetarian options include the Watercress Gnocchi, which takes a local New Zealand ingredient to the next level, and the Glorious Cauliflower with the perfect combination of sweet, salty, and fresh in every bite. You cannot forget Victoria’s cabinet, stocked with favourites like vegan salads and dairy-free desserts.
Hidden in the corner of Suncourt is Taupō’s health haven.
The Cozy Corner specializes in making kiwi classics healthy with fresh and whole ingredients. With extensive gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian and vegan options, you will find whatever you’re looking for.
Our menu is easily adaptable to your liking; we swap eggs for tofu (or whatever you like) and most ingredients are prepared vegan and gluten-free. We offer 4 vegan kinds of milk, and our fryer is gluten free & veganCamilla (owner)
At The Cozy Corner, you won’t be limited to your usual fare of one or two items but welcomed with a myriad of available and customizable options. A few vegan options include hearty tofu scramble, gluten-free banana bread, mixed bean and corn nachos, kumara wedges with plant-based aioli, detox bowls, smoothie bowls, and half of their sweets.
“For us, vegan doesn’t just mean ‘a salad.’” Our menu is body-friendly, and we can adapt most meals to suit vegans and other dietary requirements” - Camilla.
“Kefi” means joy, enthusiasm, passion, and high spirits.
Inspired by Chef Alexi’s background, this Greek-inspired café will certainly inspire joy with uniquely Greek and comforting dishes.
Keto-vegetarian? The Keto Pancakes will ensure you satisfy your sweet tooth. For an even more decadent offering, you must try the Croissant Bread Pudding with caramelized banana – yum!
No one makes falafel better with warm spices in a fresh pita for the perfect vegan lunch, or maybe their vegan specials like the Vegan Flatbread. If you need something to fuel your adventures, feast on the Breakfast Tacos or Green Burrito with enough plant-based protein like tempeh to keep you going all day!
An award-winning café located in the heart of Taupō town’s main Tongariro Street. The café's name speaks for itself and is a popular spot for IronMan, Lake Cycle Challenge racers, and locals alike!
Enjoy the wide range of organic breakfast and lunch options including BodyFuel Favourites like Sweetcorn Fritters, Creamy Mushrooms, and Grilled Haloumi with “Green Eggs.”
Whether you’re soaking up some sun in their new outdoor seating or grabbing a packed lunch before a day in the Taupō outdoors – Bodyfuel is the perfect spot to hit.
Are your way to a hike in the Tongariro National Park or on a bike ride on the Tongariro River Trail?
Raw Balance in Tūrangi should be your next stop!
Serving up 100% vegan new specials every week like West African Peanut Stew, raw carrot cake bikes, and Cape Malay dishes.
This café and vegan deli is a must if you’re looking for uniquely veganized dishes in Tūrangi.
During the cooler winter months, there’s nothing more satisfying than the comforts of rich and decadent curries. In Taupō town lies a treat for all senses, Malabar Beyond Indian. Enjoy the influential blend of Indian, Chinese, and Tibetan cuisines that make up Nepalese cuisine. With fresh and unique spice combinations, their mix of traditional Indian and Nepalese dishes will be the ultimate comfort food as autumn sets in. This is a great restaurant in Taupo to try out.
With plenty of vegetarian options like traditional Indian dishes like Dal Makah or Aagan Jalfreze and traditional Nepalese dishes that are already vegan, you’ll have plenty of choices to warm you up after a day full of adventures.
Serving up fresh and authentic Vietnamese food straight from the street markets of Vietnam to Taupō's main hub.
At Taupō town’s newest addition, they present a whole vegan section called Buddha’s Delight, including comforting stir-fried rice or a fresh noodle salad with tofu! Try the rich strong Vietnamese iced coffee for a caffeine kick on the side.
A highlight is their unique spin on spring rolls with their crunchy vegan spring rolls with vegan floss. Perfect for sharing...or all to yourself.
Sitting at Waterside Restaurant, you’re bound for fantastic food and a front-row seat to Taupō’s legendary sunsets.
For those who love the Kiwi classic, try their Tofu Fush n’ Chips upon request. Their menu is full of clearly labeled options for vegetarian share plates like the Halloumi Sticks, Pumpkin Pinwheel, and their decadent loaded fries. A favourite is the Garlic Cranberry Loaded Fries (skip the bacon).
For your sweet tooth, you have to try their Insta-famous dairy-free Freak Shakes and the vegan Snickers Slice with gooey caramel, dairy-free ice cream and chocolate layer!
Don’t' sleep on the Lake Bistro restaurant inside Suncourte Hotel & Conference Centre. Open to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you will get a lake view no matter what time of day.
All things taste better with a view so savor the meal on their beautiful terrace. Enjoy a glass of wine and Vegan Platter fit to share for two filled with artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, field mushrooms, grilled broccoli, and more!
For the vegetarians, the menu includes Grilled halloumi burgers, small plates like Cauliflower & Shitake Arancini, and Herb-baked portobello mushrooms. The Cheese Platter is a great way to unwind and relish Taupō’s scenery whether this is a pit stop along a lakefront walk or your final destination for the night.
100% plant-based food truck at the Market Central Taupō on Sundays, The Purple Cat stands out with a color that stands up to its name.
It’ll be hard to miss as you’re scanning the stalls. For the late summer season, fill up on some bright Raw Rainbow Pizza, and in winter, warm up with hearty soups.
The Purple Cat specializes in 100% plant-based smoothies, juices, and delicious raw sweet treats that are gluten-free and natural. Pick from the endless cabinet of raw desserts like their Black Forest Gateaux or their Banoffee Pie or special order a whole raw vegan cake for that special occasion.
On a warm morning, if you crave something both refreshing and satisfying, stop at the Positive Kaibration Café cart.
The wholesome and refreshing poke bowls with tofu, chicken, and fresh fish will set you up for an amazing Sunday.
For every other day, visit the Positive Kaibration Café serving popular dishes like AVO Smash on OMG Bread, the Buddah Bowl, and the Middle Easter Platter.
“Our menu is completely vegan/ vegetarian and most dishes have a vegan option, offering some meat/ fish add on’s if wished. Our cabinet is also predominantly plant-based with a few vegetarian, meat and fish options” -Lillith (co-owner).
While Taupo might be a bit smaller than a city, there’s no fear of missing out when it comes to world-class food and wine.