A Guide to Sustainable Restaurants in Auckland
Whet your appetite and save the planet at these eco-friendly eateries.
June 28, 2017
Leading an eco-friendly life is becoming more of an everyday focus. When it comes to food, it's sometimes easier to make these choices for oneself at home. However, choosing to live consciously shouldn't mean you're a homebody destined to eat nothing but organic carrots. We have complied a list of delicious and environmentally-friendly restaurants on offer in Auckland, to pique one's organic senses and satisfy your cravings at the same time.
Ed and Laura Verner's Pasture has a strong focus on sustainability; the core ethos of the Parnell restaurant is nature-inspired eating. The restaurant offers a six-course tasting menu which allows the team to be more conscious about they produce they're using and minimise food waste. In collaboration with suppliers and growers, the menu is led by what's in season and enhanced by preserving what is plentiful at the time for later use. Many of the ingredients are foraged for, and as much of the food and drink as possible is made from scratch — including sourdough bread made with locally-grown flour and grains which are ground in a granite mill daily. No shortcuts are taken here.
235 Parnell Road, Parnell
Open all day, this little organic gem is located in the inner city. Subbing as a florist, organic store, and cafe/restaurant, Scarecrow can easily become your one-stop shop for all the guilt-free organic goods. Pitching themselves as an urban market and contemporary kitchen, they celebrate and promote the best local produce. The stock of goods also consists of over 100 Auckland regional artisan suppliers, which is one hell of a way to support local. They also make a point of using the produce they sell in all the food they make in the kitchen.
33 Victoria Street East, CBD
Orphans Kitchen is a popular spot that has quickly turned into a Ponsonby regular for many. Known for their rustic, organic flair, owners Tom Hishon and Josh Helm make a real point to adhere to sustainable practices. You only need to look on the roof to find the restaurant's own beehive and herb garden. As we live in a fickle climate where weather is highly unpredictable, Orphans have chosen to embrace this fact when it comes to the produce they procure, never getting too bogged down with what can't be obtained. They are known for using unconventional native ingredients like karengo seaweed and kawakawa, and serve Whangapiro buffalo milk with coffee and tea.
118 Ponsonby Road, Grey Lynn
Eating meat isn't often considered to be a sustainable practise. Balmoral's Cazador has been proving that theory wrong for 30 years. Run by second-generation family owners Dariush Lolaiy and Rebecca Smidt, the restaurant specialises in sustainable nose-to-tail cooking, with a focus on game and free-farmed meats and produce sourced from local hunters and producers. The ever-changing menu regularly features unconventional proteins like hare, quail, pheasant, and offal — which can often be sampled across a five-course game feast. Vegetarians should tread lightly in the taxidermy-lined dining room.
854 Dominion Road, Balmoral
Hip Group can't help but make the cut with their own farm in Kumeu supplying the produce for all 11 of their outlets. One of the Group's newer openings, Amano, proudly supports locally grown and organic produce — priding themselves on fresh-made pasta and bread topped off the delicious and fresh vegetables and protein. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the food is more than enough to entice you in, with the stunning decor of dried flowers paired with industrial design, keeping you there for a cosy well-fed occasion.
66-68, Tyler Street, Britomart
Situated in a once abandoned and derelict warehouse, Clooney has been expertly redesigned to create a modern atmosphere. This is definitely the spot to come to if you want to take your conscious self for a fine dining experience. Clooney makes a point to only use local ingredients that are in season and they assure all the protein is free-range. This goes as far to include seafood that comes from suppliers who use sustainable fishing practices that don't upset the ecosystem, and they attempt to catch heartier protein from the wild — like venison and hare — so that farming does not factor in. New chef Jacob Kear — who comes from Copenhagen's Michelin-star restaurant Noma — has a staunch philosophy on sustainability, believing that nothing should go to waste and foraging for his own ingredients.
33 Sale Street, Freemans Bay
Another of the Hip Group's offerings, Ortolana has stood pride of place in the Britomart area since the downtown area's resurgence. Now considered a staple classic where you can get your fresh fix, with seasonal and organic produce, there is always something uniquely tantalising and interesting sitting on the often-changing menu to tuck into.
33 Tyler Street, Auckland
An Auckland haunt known for its prestige — also making the top restaurant list a few times I might add — The French Cafe takes a holistic approach to its menu with seasonal and fresh produce on offer. If you're after a conscious-friendly fine dining experience, this is the place to head to. Beautiful menu options are available in either a la carte or degustation, and come presented in a refined and elegant setting. It's quite common to see these fine dining establishments take pride in where their produce comes from, and The French Cafe is leading the charge. The freshest of ingredients are taken from the edible garden in the restaurant's courtyard.
210 Symonds Street, Eden Terrace
Despite being a hotel restaurant, do not second guess this little gem of sustainability. Set in a seven-storey atrium, Hectors puts an importance on dietary requirements, (especially vegan and vegetarian) alongside using sustainable practices for the planet. Most produce is obtained locally — in a 50km radius to be exact — which subsequently reduces their carbon footprint and supports local produce suppliers. Not only are they intent on being a conscious restaurant, they also cook up a delicious variety of menus that change seasonally, including a high tea option.
Heritage Hotel 35 Hobson St, Auckland
A small underrated spot serving up Asian fusion cuisine on Jervois Road, Janken has been a low-key haunt for locals for years. Owned by a Japanese couple, the pair choose to take a healthy twist on Japanese cuisine, combining western flare with their heritage. They make a point to only use organic and free-range produce from their vegetables to their meats and eggs, alongside make an conscious effort to abide by environmentally-friendly options and practices. They also cater to a range of dietary requirements, with vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free being welcomed with open arms.
158 Jervois Road, Herne Bay
More on the casual side, Bird On A Wire has been around for a wee while, and now serves delicious organic fare in three Auckland locations. Well known for organic free-range rotisserie cooked chicken with fresh bread, potato, fries and salad options for the taking, it's a great spot to take a group when you want to simply chow down on something delectably good for you. For the vegetarians, they can easily switch out the chicken in any of their sandwiches, salads and meals to organic tofu, marinated in some secret-tasty recipe no doubt.
136/146 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby // 40 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna // 234b Orakei Road, Remuera
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