This is a firm favourite with Christchurch locals, and just as good for vegetarians as it is for the meat lovers. The starters are classic greek fare, pita bread, meze board, but there is also the flaming Saganaki, an imported greek cheese that has Metaxa brandy poured over it and flambéed by your server. To start you could go for the popular cheese pastries, the dolmades or the spanakopita. Mains are just as tasty, like the veggie souvlaki, a blend of puréed chickpeas and authentic herbs and spices, flash fried to make it crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Then there’s the spanakopita of Kiani, aromas of freshly baked pastry evoke memories from the village Kiani, experience flaky layers of filo pastry filled with melted feta cheese, steam softened spinach leaves, fresh herbs, and sautéed onions, served with made-in-house tzatziki and village style Greek salad. A proper greek dinner.
Everyone loves Italian food, and it’s pretty vegetarian friendly, and Formaggio’s fits the bill. This cosy Italian restaurant specialises in pizza, with lots of vegetarian friendly pizzas on the menu, and toppings you can mix and match, it’ll satisfy even the pickiest of veggies. Some of our top picks for starters would be arancini siciliani, made with taleggio and red pepper and served with a smoky tomato aioli. One of our favourite smash hit veggie mains is the cannelloni fiorentina, the ricotta just makes it. There’s also the classic vegetarian dish of risotto, here it’s not the usual boring risotto, made from mushrooms, porcini and portobello, with truffle oil, it’s rich with an umami flavour thanks to the truffle and the shrooms.
Experience Vietnamese street food at Le Xom, the owners have created a special place in Christchurch were you’ll feel like you’re on the streets of Hanoi. If you’re trying to be healthy, the Buddha Feast is a feast to behold, with sauteed fresh broccoli, carrot, cabbage, mushroom, baby corn, bell pepper, and tofu stir fried in garlic sauce. There’s the classics like pad thai and nasi goreng, which have vegetarian options, or you can try something new but just as tasty, like the Sunbathe Tofu, which is silken tofu, deep fried, then stir fried in crisp lemongrass sauce and onions. If you’re out for the evening, they do great cocktails to help wash down your veggie feast. Reviewers across the board love La Xom, a hidden gem in Christchurch that everyone will love.
Francesca's Italian Kitchen
Another Italian, we know, but they do such great vegetarian options. They’re so well loved that they even have their own cookbook out. Sometimes you just want to go for a great meal you know is going to be good. The house made potato gnocchi with broad beans, broccoli, gorgonzola, and shaved walnuts, is one of those great meals. Make sure you start with something like the handmade beetroot agnolotti with nut brown sage butter and poppy seeds. Agnolotti are delicious little pasta parcels, slightly smaller than ravioli, and sometimes rectangular in shape, and this filling choice by the team at Francesca’s is just perfect. Plus, they do killer espresso martinis.