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By Fiona Ralph
November 18, 2015
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By Fiona Ralph
November 18, 2015
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Is it WHO's recent ruling that red and processed meats are "probably carcinogenic" to humans? Or the increasing awareness of the disastrous environmental effects of cattle farming? Perhaps you want to go raw for health reasons, or become vegan for your furry friends?

Whichever reason you choose to omit meat – and whether it's for one meal or for a lifetime – you don't have to give up on a delicious Sunday brunch. There are an increasing number of vegan and vegetarian cafes in Auckland. In flagrant disregard for those two other food trends that are so big right now (ahem, paleo and BBQ), we round up eight cafes where the menu reads sans meat.

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(Photo credit: Josh Griggs)

Kokako

You will not regret visiting this coffee specialist, known for their vegetarian, organic and fair trade fare. Housed in a former post office, a feeling of lightness and happiness pervades Kokako, most probably stemming from managing director Mike Murphy's passion for coffee, sustainability and great food. No food allergy is too difficult, and their breakfasts are so tasty that you won't mind forgoing the bacon. May I recommend the simple pleasure of avocado and tomato on sourdough, and of course, something delicious from the brew bar.

537 Great North Road, Grey Lynn

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Tart Bakery

Down the road from Kokako is vegan bakery Tart – a godsend for those who can't imagine giving up on the 'buttery' goodness of a pastry in the morning, or the (non) meaty mouthful that is a pie. You'll also find vegan sausage rolls, breakfast bars, doughnuts, pains au chocolat, pizza made with vegan 'cheese' and more. Owner Philippa Stephenson started out making vegetarian pies, and after prompting from SAFE, expanded her range to include vegan items. Now, nearly all the products at Tart are animal product free, meaning plenty of happy, satisfied Grey Lynn vegans.

555 Great North Road, Grey Lynn

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Revive

Revive

Jeremy Dixon has six cook books, two popular lunch bars, and a US cooking show. What is his secret? Revive's ever-changing roster of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free salads and hot pots, along with smoothies and muesli slices for brunch on the go. It's worth braving the queue of students and office workers at lunch time, for that reliable health kick of a Revive Raw salad with carrot, beetroot and mint, and a side of deliciously 'creamy' Moroccan chickpeas. A simple, but winning formula, that Jeremy has been nailing for over 10 years.

24 Wyndham Street and 33 Lorne Street, CBD

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Little Bird Unbakery

Early adopters of the raw food movement, Little Bird have rightfully developed a cult-like following for their raw cheesecakes, tacos, and bird bowls. They also serve great smoothies, cold brew coffee, sprouted bread and 'grawnola'. Founder Megan May is the poster girl for raw radiance, and with this year's opening of a Britomart take out spot - the company's third location - and the introduction of The Squeezery, a range of tonics, cold-pressed juices and nut milks, Little Bird is certainly winning in Auckland's fast-growing and much-hyped wellness world.

385 New North Road, Kingsland, 1a Summer Street, Ponsonby and 14 Customs Street East, CBD

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Ethos

Vegetarian, organic and super-healthy is the order of the day at the on-site cafe of New Lynn health food superstore East West Organics. It's a popular weekend retreat, with word having spread fast since its opening last year. Worth visiting for an epic omelette or feed of French toast - with a smoothie or juice on the side, for perfect glowing insides of course. Ethos also boasts a salad bar, while the store has an on-site bakery, handy for stocking your pantry as you leave.

34d Portage Road, New Lynn

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Cosset

This cute, retro-style cafe specialises in fair trade, organic, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free fare. They love to support New Zealand brands - the coffee is Kokako, the tea is Kerikeri Organic Tea and the fridge is stocked with All Good Organics. There is also juice from La Ronde orchard, and Cosset's own chai syrup and mocktails. Breakfast options include a delicious array of hotcakes and savoury pinwheel scones, and after you've finished enjoying the cosy vibe, you'll want to take some cake home for later.

1087 New North Road, Mount Albert

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The Raw Kitchen

Another uncooked Ponsonby hotspot, The Raw Kitchen houses Olivia Scott's signature cakes and treats (like raw doughnuts, macaroons and cakes). You will also find smoothies, raw sandwiches, mouth-watering salads, and the genius breakfast bruschetta - all vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free. Having started at the La Cigale markets in 2013, Olivia opened her own stylish spot early this year, and last month saw the opening of a "brother" juice outlet, Well + Good, in the City Works Depot.

267 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby

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Mimosa

Cafe Mimosa

This cafe is owned by the same team as Janken in Herne Bay (which is also known for its excellent vegan and vegetarian options). Since opening a couple of years ago, Mimosa has turned entirely vegetarian, and also specialises in gluten-free and vegan options. Try their new banana and salted caramel pancakes, served with Little Island Nice Cream. We find that lingering in the courtyard provides a nice, quiet alternative to the busy Taka strip.

460 Lake Rd, Takapuna

Published on November 18, 2015 by Fiona Ralph

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