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Good Places To Eat

Want to find the healthiest restaurants and cafes to dine out at? We give the hot spots a taste test to find good places to eat from Auckland to Los Angeles.


Claire Chitham

All The Love: For the smoothy ‘n’ creamy coconut milk coffee from Dizengoff in Ponsonby

All The Love: For the smoothy ‘n’ creamy coconut milk coffee from Dizengoff in Ponsonby

We’re big fans of drinking dairy-free coffee, which is why we’ve been on a bit of a caffeine treasure hunt around Auckland cafes to discover (and taste) 10 of the best coconut milk coffees. The GFU crew travelled right around the isthmus from Ponsonby to Piha, Dizengoff to Kokako, all in search of the ultimate coconut milk espressos. The reason we chose to focus on coconut milk for this article? It’s the drop we both prefer in our morning cup o’ joe and we like to only recommend what we actually drink. 

Did you know that coffee (in moderation) is actually really good for you? Coffee gives you a boost of antioxidants and essential nutrients, protects your liver, improves performance and can help you live longer. This is because coffee is rich in a polyphenol called chlorogenic acid. Polyphenols are a group of naturally occurring micronutrients in plants and when we eat plants with these in them, we get the same health benefits. The cool thing about chlorogenic acid is is that it gets converted to caffeic acid and ferulic acid in the body. These potent antioxidants activate an enzyme responsible for longevity and have an anti-inflammation effect on the body. 

These are the 10 Auckland cafes we recommend for a cup of coconut milk coffee.

  1. Honey Bones, Grey Lynn - Tucked in the West Lynn shops on Richmond Rd, Honey Bones is a Grey Lynn cafe run by three friends and serving killer Supreme coffee with coconut milk. Their house smoked salmon is also amazing.

  2. The Piha Store, Piha - Drive as far West as the sun sets and, before your feet hit the black sands of Piha beach, get to the local store and grab an AllPress Espresso with Little Island coconut milk. If we want a real treat, we’ll ask for chocolate milk - mocha madness!

  3. Major Sprout, Auckland CBD - When we’re working in Auckland’s CBD this is our go-to spot. Major Sprout rocks a fantastic coconut milk coffee using coffee beans from Wellington wonders Flight Coffee. A sister to Dear Jervois in Herne Bay, they also serve up some pretty sweet smoothies, if you want a fruity blend. 

  4. Nomad, Pt Chev - West of the city lies Nomad, a local Pt Chev restaurant that also serves a mean, fatty, creamy coconut milk flat white using Supreme beans.

  5. Little Bird Organics, Ponsonby - When we head to yoga class, this is our go-to fuel spot. The coolest thing about Little Bird Organics coffee is that it’s served with homemade coconut and cashew milk. It’s real-deal nuts blended with filtered water and whizzed up for wholefood lovers. There’s a little grit from the nuts but that’s how you know it’s handmade!

  6. Kokako, Grey Lynn - Slamming down some of the best coffee in Auckland since forever, Kokako do an excellent organic brew of their own creation. Yep, these guys are coffee specialists and they know how to pair their beautiful beans with the creamiest coconut milk. Plus there’s usually good parking right outside.

  7. Dizengoff, Ponsonby - One of the most well-known brunch cafes in Auckland, Dizengoff in Ponsonby has been rocking since 1995 and is now serving coconut milk with its famous coffee made from Allpress Espresso. 

  8. Sip Kitchen, Mairangi Bay and Newmarket - If you’re dairy-free or gluten-free, Sip Kitchen is a great little find. Their first cafe opened in Mairangi Bay and two years ago, they opened a second premise in Newmarket. Sip Kitchen serve an excellent dairy-free brew with the option of either coconut milk, homemade cashew milk or almond milk. Delish!

  9. Big Sur, Grey Lynn - An all-time favourite of ours because the name reminds us of good travels up the California coast, Big Sur is a good spot to stop for a terrific takeaway coconut milk coffee with Supreme beans.

  10. Allpress Espresso, Ponsonby - Another best-in-the-business coffee roastery, Allpress Espresso’s flagship drop-in spot in Ponsonby has also recently started serving coconut milk flat whites with their famous crema.

Do you have a cafe in Auckland serving dairy-free coffee you love? Share what's #goodforyou and tag us on Facebook or Instagram so we can all discover it too!

Yours In Health and Happiness, CC and KB x


Claire Chitham

There's a great little organics and fruit and vegetable store nestled in Te Atatu Peninsula, beyond the last roundabout. It's a spot I only discovered this week and it's packed to the gunnels with the good stuff - Ceres Organics products, Pukka organic teas (my favourite) and lots of lovely, delicious, spray-free, in-season vegetables and fruit. 

Rainbow 5+ A Day: There's an array of colourful, in-season, spray-free fruit and veges at Greens.

Rainbow 5+ A Day: There's an array of colourful, in-season, spray-free fruit and veges at Greens.

I'm a sucker for a good health food store, especially if it's locally owned, championed by those in the neighbourhood and created with passion for produce. Greens ticks all these boxes and more. After chatting with the owner, I realised I was pretty behind the eight ball on finding this organic food store in Te Atatu. It's been doing business in the Peninsula for the past seven years.

Greens Grocer: The ultimate "local", this organic food store in Te Atatu Peninsula is a real find.

Greens Grocer: The ultimate "local", this organic food store in Te Atatu Peninsula is a real find.

I discovered a few products that I haven't seen anywhere else. In particular, I picked up a delicious, refreshing, caffeine-free rooibos (red bush) and honeysuckle tea. The longer my husband and I are married (10 years and counting), the more tea has become a bonding ritual for us. And the reason we love a good cuppa rooibos is because this South African tea is not only tasty and one that you can drink at night but it's also really good for you. It's packed with antioxidants and has lots of the anti-inflammatory flavonoid (plant pigment) quercetin, which is used to stop arteries hardening, prevent cardiovascular disease, assist with circulation problems and help tame inflammatory conditions, such as hay fever, asthma and gout.

Next time you head to West Auckland, check out this great local organic food store.

Good For... health-conscious Westies

Good For... supporting an established local organic food store

Good For... buying a wide selection of tasty teas

Yours In Health and Happiness, KB xx

Discover Greens at 572B Te Atatu Rd, Te Atatu Peninsula, Auckland 0610



Claire Chitham

For many years in my early magazine career, I used to have Friday breakfast once a fortnight at an Auckland cafe that always had street parking outside and served up a delicious eggs bene.

Fast forward a decade and I'm standing outside Rabbit Cafe - the vegetarian eatery that's moved into the same famous premises on St Benedicts Street. Angel Food has kindly offered to take me to lunch to try out their new plant-powered menu. When I walk in, the place is transformed. Rabbit is a patchwork of colour and cosiness, paying homage to nature with hand-painted leaves on the tables.

Pull Up The Quilt: Rabbit Cafe's interior helps cocoon you away from the worries of the world.


From the moment you enter off the windy street, it feels like you've walked into a homely haven - one fuelled by a very good-looking cabinet of vegan baking (dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free) and salads and soups to go. The other really cool thing about Rabbit? They cater to those with very specific food tastes. In fact, you can DIY a dish with anything from their menu. 

But today, we're all ears for the main event - their all-day breakfast or lunch menu.

V For Vege: There's a whole lot of plant power on the menu at Eden Terrace cafe, Rabbit.

While I'd normally dig the DIY concept, I'm dining with a local vegan business owner, who has already worked her way around their menu. She recommends the creamy walnut mushrooms on The Midnight Baker's seeded gluten-free loaf with a zesty gremolata. I go with her vegan and gluten-free recommendation. And the dish? The definition of dreamy. The mushrooms create rich and earthy undertones while the walnuts provide texture and the gremolata, the mouth party on top. Alice, my lunch date, opts for the Tunisian spiced lentils (which you can also order DIY) with roasted carrots and coconut yoghurt on toast. 

Big props to the clever couple who created Rabbit for also allowing diners to select from a wide range of uncomplicated, healthy options. Got children with allergies? This Eden Terrace cafe will cater to their specific needs. You can choose from yoghurt, coconut yoghurt and cow's milk feta, as well as homemade peanut and cashew butter.

Good For... vegans, vegetarians and people who are gluten-free or dairy-free

Good For... doing business with a healthy bite 

Good For... a good-for-you treat

Yours In Health and Happiness, KB xx

Discover Rabbit Cafe at 30 St Benedict's Street, Eden Terrace, Newton






Claire Chitham


We enjoyed an awesome night at Auckland eatery Major Sprout with Australian chef and clean living expert Luke Hines. We love his book Eat Clean With Luke Hines because it shows you how to use lots of lovely ingredients to create tasty food that's really good for you. It's all gluten-free, dairy free and refined sugar-free and Luke proves that eating this healthy should be not only nutritious but also really delicious.

We were stoked to enjoy a three-course meal at Major Sprout - a chic, botanical-filled cafe in Graham Street in the Auckland CBD. Their smoothies (did someone say activated charcoal-meets-blueberries and the as-ridiculously-good-as-its-name-sounds Peanut Buttercup, hell yeah!) were absolutely next level. In fact, their smoothie action is so smooth that Major Sprout is now a regular fuel spot for the GFU crew.

Luke's main course of grilled ginger trout with kale salad was fresh-as, followed by an out-of-this-world, too-good-to-be-true blackforest cake topped with coconut cream. The healthy dishes left us feeling clean and energised afterwards and are the perfect example of why eating food that's really good for you can also taste pretty darn incredible too. We were also stoked to be joined by our first-ever Good For You winners and to listen to the inspirational words of both Luke and Wellington-based functional nutritionist and "health detective" Shelley Gawith, whose story about her road from ill health to optimal wellness is the definition of inspirational.

We've also been back to Major Sprout numerous times since that first, heady date. We love the fact it's a little nook of goodness tucked away in an unassuming corner of the city. 

Good for... Smoothie lovers (try their peanut butter one - it's basically a meal!)

Good for... Feeling fresh and clean air. The whole place is full of indoor plants that help purify the space, making it a perfect oasis from the city's hustle and bustle. 

Good for... Eating with the seasons. The chefs here are inspired by nature and serve up dishes that are locally grown.

Yours in Health and Happiness, CC and KB x

Looking for more awesome clean living tips on cooking, training mindfulness and easy 'n' quick recipes? Go no further than the clever, charming yet perfectly practical Luke Hines.

For Shelley's amazing transformation and her inspirational road to recovery, check out her story

Discover Major Sprout at 21 Graham Street, Auckland CBD.



Claire Chitham

I don't travel into town much these days but recently I went on a dining expedition with great expectations. You see, Orphans Kitchen has been the Ponsonby Rd restaurant that's been popping off with praise ever since it opened its doors in mid-2013. The brainchild of two good mates - chef Tom Hishon and sommelier Josh Helm, who works front of house - Orphans has become known as Auckland's ultimate paddock-to-plate experience. It's a place where regulars rave about the "things Tom does" with more unusual cuts of meat such wild boar, ox cheek and tuna belly.

Buzzed Up: Owner and head chef Tom Hishon keeps bee hives on the roof to create honey for the restaurant and more bees round his local.  Photo credit: Lottie Hedley

Buzzed Up: Owner and head chef Tom Hishon keeps bee hives on the roof to create honey for the restaurant and more bees round his local. Photo credit: Lottie Hedley

The reason I was so keen to try Orphans, however, was because of the pair's passion for bringing sustainable, seasonal and local foods to Auckland's table. In fact, Tom's so keen to cut food miles and source sustainably that the Ponsonby restaurant even has its own beehives on the roof. I also love the fact that Tom and Josh have created an establishment that while uber-hip also feels welcoming, like your neighbourhood local.

This vibe pays homage to the Christmas dinners the pair used to host for their friends with no family when they were both living in London. In fact, it was during one of those dinners that they came up with the idea to open Orphans Kitchen.

Needless to say, my mouth was watering as soon as walked through the doors of this comforting, healthy hot spot and my senses weren't at all disappointed. We enjoyed a fish entree and lamb main. But in true Orphans style it was the veges that stole the show, with a simple side dish of broccoli that was both so good and really good for you. 

Plating Perfection: Tom lets the honeycomb straight from the hive steal the show.   Photo credit: Lottie Hedley

Plating Perfection: Tom lets the honeycomb straight from the hive steal the show. 
Photo credit: Lottie Hedley

I also love the fact that the team are masters in serving up real New Zealand food in clever and unique ways. When I close my eyes, I can still taste the fresh, clean finish my favourite dish -  a kahawai ceviche with avocado, radish, watermelon and dill - on my tongue. No wonder, this will be the first of many great dates with this Ponsonby Rd pearler.

Sustainably Sensational: Orphans kahawai ceviche is a light, delicate, healthy mouth party.  Photo credit: Kylie Bailey

Sustainably Sensational: Orphans kahawai ceviche is a light, delicate, healthy mouth party. Photo credit: Kylie Bailey

Open for brunch from Monday to Friday from 7.30am and dinner Tuesday to Saturday from 4.30pm, bookings can be made online at Orphans Kitchen 

(PS. Don't miss their sweet-as open test kitchen deal - the first Tuesday of every month pay just $60 for 4 courses).

Good For... Ethical eats

Good For... Indulging in fine wines

Good For... Live music on a Friday arvo.

Yours In Health and Happiness, KB

Discover Orphans Kitchen at 118 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby.



Claire Chitham


In amongst the huddle of the cute West Lynn shops is a café that’s become a favourite hang of mine of late. Named after the Jack Kerouac novel (and thus its Californian coastline namesake) Big Sur was opened at the beginning of this year and has quietly been growing a loyal following.
Offering a vegetarian menu that’s more colourful and diverse than a non-veggie might assume, I still haven’t made it through everything on the list here. My brekky/brunch desires are taken care of with delish granola, seeded toasts, free-range eggs options (the Portobello Bene is great) and the always enticing Cacao Crepes. However, I always have a hard time deciding between that and their lunches - like Vietnamese Coconut Crepes,  Kimchi Bowl,  the vege ‘meatballs’ with courgette noodles or the yellow split pea ‘Upma’ with poached egg.  Big Sur in Grey Lynn also comes up trumps for organic options with awesome organic juices. I also love their locally made almond milk in my flat white. 

Like the drinks, the vibe is just as chill. Cali cool. There’s a beautiful big bookcase stocked with secondhand books (many from the personal shelves of Elliot, the tall, humble owner who’s probably serving you from behind his shy smile at the counter) and you're welcome to take one to read or borrow while you’re there. 

There’s wifi available, excellent taste in Spotify playlists and a gorgeous courtyard out the back with some umbrella coverage for killer sunny days. It's perfect for the ‘peace and quiet’ vibe - whether you want to get some work done or just hang in the sun, read a book and watch the Grey Lynn world wander by. 

Good For... vegetarians

Good For... book-lovers

Good For... sitting in the sunshine

- Yours In Health and Happiness, CC

Discover Big Sur at 423 Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn