The best meat-free munchies around town

By Nuha Anas

Kia Ora & Salams to my UC lovelies.

I was quite the nomad during my youthful uni years (I’m in my 6th year, ew); usually ditching the campus bubble to stick my feelers out into the city. My aimless explorations led me to uncover HEAPS of interesting and delicious outlets. These would range from nostalgic Sri Lankan food like my Umma makes to the hottest veg/vegan delights with pretty harbour sights.   

So, without further ado, here are some of my greatest discoveries:

Afghan Restaurant


316 Lincoln Road, Addington 

Okay, so with this place all I can say is you’re in for a ride… if you can catch the shop open. It’s so elusive that there is even a 2,000 strong Facebook group called “Is AFG open?”. Any place that has a cult following FB group has to be good, right? Well it ding-dong-diddly IS! If you are lucky enough to find it open then strap yourself in because there is only one question the chef will be asking: “How many people?”. There are no menus, there are no choices, only good times and FANTASTIC food prepared by the one man show Abdul (the chef/waiter/entertainer).  

Dosa Kitchen

(veg/vegan options)  

Riverside Market, Oxford Terrace, CBD 

Have you ever wondered whether there is more to Indian cuisine than your local butter chicken and garlic naan? Well here’s the short answer; of course, there is dummy. But there is a longer answer that may interest you –– imagine a giant savoury crepe-style pancake that is rolled and measures about half a metre long with fillings in the middle –– this is a Dosa. You will find an abundance of these big bois at Dosa Kitchen, ranging from their popular Masala Dosa (Vegan + my fave) to fillings of more of a meaty disposition. GO GET UR GIANT PANCAKE TODAY! 

Ceylon Kitchen

(veg options)

The Yard, 173 Saint Asaph Street, CBD 

Close to my big ol’ heart is Ceylon Kitchen; another one man show that banishes hunger and the homesickness of some with every dish. Sri Lanka is known as the pearl of the Indian ocean. Ceylon Kitchen, in my eyes, is the pearl of St Asaph street (RIP Engineers). Sudath (the chef) serves traditional Sri Lankan food such as Kottu Roti (curried strips of Roti topped with meat or vegetables) and String Hoppers (think thin rice noodles in pikelet form) among other DELICIOSO Sri Lankan yummies sure to spice up your life 

Thai Container

(vegan/veg options) 

151 Bealey Avenue, CBD 

When I get home tired from Uni or just being tired from lying on the couch (Shout out to L3), then Thai Container saves the day. The container serves up steaming hot dishes packed with flavour such as their creamy Penang Curry or Tom Yum soup as well as literally 50 other eatables on the menu. The beauty of the wee Thai Container’s menu is that almost anything can be flipped to be Vegetarian or Vegan if you decide to give the flesh a rest. You may be waiting out in the cold while your food is prepared but once it’s done, your puku will never be warmer. 

Rollickin Gelato 

(vegan/DF options) 

37/35 New Regent Street or 98 Cashel Street

I really don’t feel like I have to explain this place, y’all know where this is AND that there are other locations on Cashel Street and the Arts Centre. This place will fill any void you have with sweetness, and it works. For example, post accidental killing of your beloved Minecraft parrots (RIP Pablo & Pablo II) OR for totally normal, non-Minecraft related reasons too of course. That got weird, fast. 

Chi Chi Kitchen

(veg options) 

270 St Asaph St, CBD 

Think traditional Italian pasta and sauce with a Korean spin. The chef Eugene is a dear pal of mine and cooks up some of the best pasta dishes ever to grace my palette. Not even actually going to Italy changed my mind, no sir. Settle in and be ready to get transported to Eugene’s version of Italy. 

The Lotus-Heart Vegetarian Restaurant


363 Saint Asaph Street, CBD 

Opposite the rock n’ roll of the Darkroom is a beautiful oasis of a restaurant. Not only serving hearty meals but also (humbly) boasts an organic food shop, gifts, and a world instrument store! 100% vegetarian, but even the most exclusive consumers of meat will find something they fancy. I personally ADORE their humming burger that uses a patty made of nuts and is stuffed with pickled vegetables and cheese. You will arrive peckish and leave enlightened.  

The Shroom Room Cafe


48 London Street, Lyttelton 

Cannot. Stress. How. Much. I. Love. This. Place.Yummo. Another fully vegan/vegocafe offering up a scrumptiously different vibe on meatless eating. As someone with a sweet tooth, my mouth enjoys all of the beaut raw desserts that this establishment provides. Just try the Raw Snickers Slice –– a true natural high.  

Red Snapper 

(veg options)

25 Wakefield Avenue, Sumner 

Blasphemous against Patron St Capt. Ben, but this has to be my favourite Fish n’ Chip shop in Christchurch. It has everything you desire: fish AND chips among all the other super obscure crap you find on chip shop menus. It even has a fish breed poster on the wall for your visual enjoyment! But wait, there’s more! On a sunny day you can stroll down to the beach and (attempt) to have a picnic there before the seagulls assault you. What more can one want? 

Honourable Mentions:

Prince of Persia – Riccarton Rd, Riccarton 

Child Sister – Manchester St, CBD 

Utopia Ice – Sumner/High Street CBD 

Black Betty’s – Madras St (Moorhouse end) CBD 

Izmir Delight – Riverside Market, Oxford Tce CBD 

Empire Chicken – Riverside Market, Oxford Tce CBD 

Under the Red Verandah – Tancred St, Linwood 

SUPER – Norwich Quay, Lyttleton


I’m SUPER (I crack myself up) paranoid that I have missed some real diamonds on this list. In that case, you guys will have to do some exploring and uncover your own new favourite eating locations! 

Salams and Ciao for now xo