Vegetarian Restaurants  Vegetarian Friendly Restaurants


Vegetarianism is becoming more popular

Over 2% (more than 86,000) of New Zealanders follow a vegetarian diet.  It is also generally accepted that far greater numbers regularly have at least one or two meatless meals a week.


What is a Vegetarian?

A vegetarian eats mostly plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains, peas (including chickpeas), beans, lentils, nuts and seeds.

Most vegetarians are lacto-ovo vegetarians, which means that free-range eggs and dairy products are also acceptable to them.

A vegan is a vegetarian who also does not eat eggs, dairy products or honey (i.e. no animal products).  A vegan diet is purely plant based.

A vegetarian does not eat:

  • meat
  • chicken or any other poultry
  • game
  • fish
  • shellfish or crustacean
  • by-products of the slaughterhouse e.g. gelatine, rennet and animal fats.

The good news is that catering for a vegetarian is easy if you follow a few simple guidelines.

What Vegetarians Want

  • dishes free of meat, fish, chicken and other poultry, seafood and hidden “animal” ingredients or “animal by-products”.
  • dishes using alternative protein such as peas, beans and lentils
  • clearly marked vegetarian and vegan options
  • colourful, freshly-prepared, nutritious dishes
  • lighter, healthy options that avoid an over reliance on cheese

What Vegetarians Don’t Want

  • bland and boring food
  • cheese that may have been produced using animal rennet
  • animal fat.  Shortening, lard, tallow, suet and dripping are not acceptable.
  • fish of any kind, including shellfish and crustacea, including any of these    ingredients hidden in sauces
  • aspic, caviar, chitin (from crab shells), cochineal (E120)
  • gelatine (gelling agent derived from animal bones and skin)
  • a vegetable platter or any other main course dish with no  protein.

Some Suggestions

  • look out for hidden ingredients, such as animal fat, gelatine and anchovies, which could be in some products, including ice cream, margarine, stocks, soups, pastry, biscuits, bread products and Worcester sauce.
  • where possible, use free range eggs
  • meat substitutes are now readily available and can be used to make vegetarian versions of traditional dishes
  • meat is not the only source of protein.  Please consider using beans, peas, nuts, tofu, tempeh and meat substitutes.
  • try using vegetarian cheese.   It is made with non-animal rennet and is now widely available.  (Animal rennet is an enzyme taken from the stomach of a slaughtered calf and used to curdle cheese)

You may like to check out further ideas at:

UK Vegetarian Society

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