THE EIGHT BEST HEALTHY CAFES IN AUCKLAND
Healthy eating in Auckland city is becoming democratic.
Recent years have seen the class of people doing healthy eating of the raw-vegan-organic variation split up into two poles: that of the no-shaving no-showering vagrant hippies and that of the upper-class gym gear-laden primates of Ponsonby and other affluent suburbs.
Yet in doing so those in the middle and lower classes were left out; a strange stigmatic exclusivity settling on consuming healthy meals and being enthusiastic about said consumption. Indeed it's very hard to be a self-respecting out-in-the-open health enthusiast: try, just try, spontaneously and genuinely proclaiming your love of kale chips in public without sensing a collective eye roll from all present.
And then of course there are other factors that add to that difficulty, most importantly, health privilege: it's hard to be a die-hard all-day every-day lover of all things salubrious with that the slightly higher price bracket of certain hard-to-get ethically and organically grown ingredients, the persistent presence of annoying fully made up girls who are always clad in tight gym gear but who never actually have time for the gym because they're too busy loitering around at the trendy organic cafes du jour, the weird social media coverage of whatever #healthy happens to enter into the digestive tracks of those aforementioned girls, and so on. (See also: Kat Patrick's recent and great think piece for Catalogue on the subject.)
Luckily, we're beginning to see a redistribution of that polar oligopoly. Men who basically live in dirty rugby shorts are learning how to pronounce quinoa ('key-noir'); beacons of affordable middle class suburbia, like Pak 'n' Save, now even sell said superfood in their pick 'n' mix section (just a few doors down from airplanes and rolled oats); and even pillars of cheap, edible grease such as Maccas have started stocking lettuce buns. (Of course, on the flip side, the uptake in demand of rare, wholesome ingredients which are traditionally grown in third world countries present their own issues of sustainability and fair practice, but we'll forego from addressing that argument for another day.)
The point being, these days it's becoming easier to be healthy. Eating highly nutritious meals is no longer something unattainable, something to be judge, but something for all. And after all, we are in the midst of #JuneFreeJune, so find below our favourite salutary cafes where you can treat your body like the one-off temple it is.
An organic dairy-cum-cafe, Zest specialises in easy-to-grab goods that you know are, err, good. Their food and drinks are made fresh daily and they have plenty of gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan and raw treats on offer.
Menu choices at the pastel coloured Sip Kitchen range from healthy to very healthy – and all your favourite friends are invited: kale, coconut milk, cacao etc. As per the usual healthy eatery ratio, they have a small cabinet selection of fresh salads, but a giant range of smoothies and juices.
You like your burgers and your waistline, and for years you’ve been lamenting sacrificing one for the other. Never again. The Food Truck Garage believes that “fast food can be good food”, and they deliver.
The ex-post office is an ethically minded and highly health- and aesthetic-conscious cafe which acts as a refuge for vegetarians and vegans who *gasp* would like to eat something that isn’t rabbit food or bland (because the use of spices and seasoning offends a person who’s decided not to eat flesh, wake up sheeple). They also do damn fine coffee.
Half-convenience store for the organic consumer, half-vegan eatery*, Wise Cicada is truly a one-stop shop for all your health needs. In terms of selection, it’s a bit sparse, but everything is of a high quality. Smugly sit back and know that on top of filling yourself with all sorts of nutrients, no animals were harmed in the making of your meal.
*Note: Everything is basically vegan except if you order your coffee with cow’s milk.
Named after practically everyone’s least favourite day of the week, Mondays is probably Kingsland’s favourite hangout nook. Nourishing food comes served with a side of a Beach Boys soundtrack and a warm blanket, should you feel a little cold sitting in their outdoor ivy courtyard.
By far the sassiest of the health eateries, Wilder oozes cool out into the streets and down into the storm drains. Here a dude in a black puffer jacket and Timberlands will make you some of the best, and most filling smoothies you’ve had in a while. These guys take the paleo approach to health, so there’s something for vegetarians and omnivorous alike.
Created by lovebirds Megan and Jeremy, the chirpy Little Bird serves raw, organic food which is free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar and is largely vegan too. Considering everything it doesn’t have in it, the food is still packed with flavour. Meals available are recognisable – try some Mexican tacos, raw cheesecakes, burgers or even a laksa.