The Lotus-Heart is one of the best vegetarian/vegan restaurants in New Zealand. Some of the food is Indian, and some things are what I would call ‘western imitation,’ for example, ‘hamburgers’ made with chickpea and almond patties (made on site) using home-made bread for the buns. The salads are unique, because they always feature a few shreds of raw pumpkin, or perhaps cubes of pumpkin, plus sesame and sunflower seeds. You can get dahl for about $14, or a burger and salad for $14. The main dishes are reasonably priced and I also recommend buying a drink.
Despite the earthquake, The Lotus-Heart reopened on St Asaph Street, and it has very good interior design, with Trade Aid board games and crafts decorating the dining area. The Lotus-Heart makes smoothies, various juice blends, and incredible vegan desserts. They also sell Gingerella, a Fairtrade ginger beer product. There are many things worth checking out, and it’s just a 15 minute walk from the current bus exchange.