Please pardon me if I only have mentioned a few groceries in Wellington, New Zealand due to the fact that I only stayed there for three full days. But I’ve come to realise that the value of groceries in New Zealand are no different than the ones in Australia, or in other words, they are both quite expensive especially if you are from the U.S. Perhaps Australian groceries have a better way of labeling ingredients, speaking of salad bars and such.
I.e., I was surprised that Anzac cookies in New Zealand contained animal fat, while in Sydney, most of them do not (after reading ingredients).
Grocery #1: Commonsense Organics
- Street address: 260 Wakefield Street, Wellington 6011 New Zealand. It was within walking distance from Museum of New Zealand and Wellington Harbour.
- Weekdays: 9am-7pm / Weekends: 9am-6pm
- There were other cities as well: Kilbirnie, Kapiti and Hutt.
- They do have an online shop.
It was a very small organic supermarket or grocery store. I do like the fact that it has familiar vegan products such as hummus, tofu, cheese, etc. They carry a small selection of vegan products in the back of the grocery, which you should be looking at in the first place.
I was very amused by the “Marinated New Zealand Tofu”, which looked like a nice package, but I couldn’t even see what it looked like inside. This sort of bothered me. Most of the local vegan New Zealand products (i.e., vegan meat or sausages) are fully packaged with nice labels without any “inside” visuals. I would like to see what they looked like though. For example, I could see what Tofurky deli slice looks like.
Grocery #2: New World Metro on Willis
- 70 Willis Street, Wellington 6011, New Zealand It was near my hotel or Civic Square in Wellington City, about 5 minutes walk. It was like a city supermarket, but very small.
- Monday To Friday 7am-11pm / Sunday 8am-10pm
It was the only nearest grocery store from the hotel I stayed in Wellington. There were some local vegan meat packages that I really want to try. I haven’t tried them because I don’t have a kitchen nor the time to cook during my 3 full-day stay! Unfortunately, I cannot imagine how I can afford these local vegan meat if I am living in Wellington for a few months or so.
There was one of the interesting vegan products I really liked: New Zealand’s Tasty Pot such as Roast Veg HotPot (with sweet potato, pumpkin, chickpeas & chermoula dressing) or All Your Greens (with Asian noodles, broccoli, edamame beans & ginger dressing). For more nutrition and ingredient details, check out Tasty Pot Co.’s website. They do offer meals, salads and soups in cute microwavable pots, plus all of them are refrigerated.
To know if any of these tasty pots are VEGAN, look at the back of the these cute tasty pots and there will be a visible statement: SUITABLE FOR VEGANS, which was pretty helpful. Not all flavours of these vegan tasty pots are available at this grocery. They can also be found at another larger grocery store known as, “New World SuperMarket.” New World Supermarket are pretty large supermarkets, but they offer some different flavours of tasty pots you may not find at Metro at Willis. So be sure to check out “New World SuperMarket”, not just “Metro on Willis.”
I tried Tasty Pot Co.’s Orzo Salad (with spice-roasted carrots, almonds and coriander) and bought it from New World SuperMarket. It tasted really good. There was a strong spice infusion in the orzo salad including the roasted carrots. Fabulous flavour within. I wish I tried more of the varieties of Tasty Pot.
Besides just Tasty Pot Co’s products, there were other interesting local products such as hummus at Metro at Willis. I only tried one of them: Delicious Lebanese Snack, Hummus with Garlic (pictured as below) and it was a bit too tart for me (lemony). It would be good if it was used as a spread on salty bread. I would try the other hummus products, but never had the time to. My stay in Wellington was very limited (3 full days).
I tried some interesting vegan-friendly New Zealand chips. I thought these chips tasted very strong for potatoes. I.e., the salt n’ vinegar chips was so-so, but I couldn’t taste the saltiness of the chips. The sourness of vinegar overpowered the flavour.
If you are looking for some vegan desserts, Metro at Willis offers some dairy-free ice cream or sorbets. I checked the ingredients to ensure there were no eggs, and I figured they are vegan. One of them was Fruju Fruit Whip. They come in different flavours, but one which I found at Metro at Willis: Whipped Pineapple in a Passionfruit Sorbet Shell. I was tempted to buy them, but I don’t have a proper freezer at the hotel.
The other one was New Zealand’s dairy-free Lite Licks ice cream such as “Hokey Pokey” which was also wheat & gluten free. I had regrets for not trying them all, but the prices were already too high for me to afford and consume a bucket of vegan ice cream within a day, especially on a cold chilly day! I would try them if I am back in Wellington!
I also liked these cute local new Zealand beverages, “Charlie’s” My favourite one was Mango-Orange lemonade because it wasn’t too tart or “quench” as these lemonades.
There were other local beverages you should try out:
Grocery #3: New World SuperMarket
- This is the same as the city supermarket, “Metro at Willis”, but they are larger supermarkets. You can find them anywhere in Wellington.
- 7am to Midnight, Everyday