Nifty Nooks: Ours

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Where: 195 Maunganui Rd, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga 311

The Regular: A large soy cappuccino with lots of cinnamon please! Most of the time (ok every time) I’ll choose a cake too, my favourite is the raw carrot cake but this raw raspberry cheesecake was canny too.

Ours is in the main hub of Mount Maunganui, another clean space with yet another impressive cafe menu. The cafe’s here just really do take their jobs seriously. The couple who own the joint are almost always there working hard, pulling shifts in both front and back of house and once you’re a regular there, they’re sure to greet you with genuine warmth each time you return. I have all of the time for hard working people who beam with the passion for what they do.

The main reason I keep going back is, honestly, because it makes for a good work environment. The coffee is good enough, though not my favourite. It isn’t anything lacking from the beautiful Barista’s, the art and temperature and all that jazzy stuff is always top notch, it’s more the beans themselves I guess. Just not my favourite, but still worth sipping whilst you take in the calm vibe and nab a blooming beautiful vegan treat from their cabinet (pssst…go for the raw carrot cake). I’ve seen this place rammed but mostly it’s a quiet little nook. This is a wonderful thing for people like me who get intimidated by busy spaces but I truly hope it picks up a whole bunch. I hear it only recently reopened under new ownership and it deserves all of the crowds. Trust me.

All the bestest, N x

Nifty Nooks: The Nourished Eatery…

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114 Willow St, Tauranga, 3110

Tauranga is a handful of city with a less hectic vibe. There are some halfway there towers of buildings, professionally dressed people dotted about the cafes and a lot of cool projects on the rise. When I feel like I need a little city wonder it doesn’t really do it for me but then there lies the charm of New Zealand, it’s tiny cities and easy flow of life. There is a starbucks in Tauranga and it is the main reason I ever ventured there in the first place. Starbucks has always been my constant as I’ve bummed about travelling, always a familiar mug of coffee in a nearly identical space. But nowadays when I head to Tauranga it’s for this place, The Nourished Eatery. It lies just a two minute walk from the city centre bus stop and first snagged me in because it advertised, not only vegan food but Flight Coffee too. And Flight Coffee is my preferred bean for sure.

They do an Iced Maple latte that you can have with any choice of plant based milk (every single thing here is vegan, not even cow juice is available for the drinks). I always go for rice milk and they serve the components separate so you can chose your own level of caffeineyness. Of course I just chuck all of it in there. I always want to go for one of their smoothies but I can’t get over how good this iced coffee is.

As for food, well, it’s just as impressive. There are the expected raw treats on display which do look yum but me and my sweet tooth always sidetrack them for the good, indulgent, baked stuff. So far I’ve tried their custard passionfruit donut, apple and cinnamon muffin, choc chip cookie and Banana loaf. Now I just always chose the banana loaf. They manage to make all of their cakes so fluffy and light which is always a problem I have when I bake vegan bits myself.

From the menu I’ve only ever tried the avocado on toast, it was insane. They give you so much avocado and the seasoning is wonderful thing. I don’t really have the foodie lingo to truly amp it up I guess but as far as vegan food goes this is a top choice here in New Zealand, definitely one of my favourites and of course it’s a local, independent, business which is always a bonus.

All those compassionate vegan vibes, N x

 

Nifty Nooks: Octopus’s Garden…

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Where: 373 Maunganui Rd, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga 3116

I woke up in an unfamiliar room in a seaside town shrouded by dark clouds, my motivation was trapped between new fresh white sheets and a fully hazy morning head. But I had no coffee waiting in the cupboard and a trip to the supermarket wasn’t a jump out of bed kinda thought. Exploring a new cafe, however, sounded all kinds of promising. My walk into town is a half hour on a main road and by the time I arrived at the first scattering of stores and cafes I couldn’t hold out for the main hub of the mount, this is when I decided to wonder into Octopus’ Garden.

The outside is all clean paint and the highest of hipster cafe aesthetics. The whole little shack and backyard courtyard scream summer and the pure vibrancy of the fresh colour palettes is enough of a selling point without the precious looking machine (I had a pure barista fangirl moment as I gushed with the girl behind the counter about how darn cute it was) I’ve seen none like it. I went for my standard order these days of a cold brew coffee, bitter and black and nothing at all like my heart. If I finish off a black coffee then you know it’s a good blend because I can only drink my life giving nectar sans milk if it’s top notch quality. Would most definitely head here again.

Blissed vibes, N x

 

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Doing Brunch in Darlinghurst…

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It’s not all vegan sadly but they make a darn good go at it. I’ve tried my fair share of fake croissants, all of which have left me a tad disheartened, but this one was scrummy and didn’t taste like “special” food. The jam was super too, very sweet. My travel buddies are not vegan (though thankfully they are open minded) and were able to choose from a few diary and even meat rich options (these options are paleo too if thats your kinda vibe). There was a lot of egg and green stuff on their plates and nothing but crumbs by the end of the meal. Everything on the menu looked to be flavoursome and full of healthiness, with big bowls of salad stuffs and a pretty hefty selection of smoothies. My smoothie was like a chocolate desserty paradise with cocoa, banana, dates, coconut milk and chia seeds but there were fruity ones too as well as some quirky speciality coffees (which I sadly did not get to try) one of which included coconut ice cream. Overall it was a well needed break from asking for salads with no cheese, meat or dressing. I’d love to go again and try some falafel and vegan ice cream.

Ooo and there may have been a raw bounty bite for afters too, rich dark chocolate covered, sweet coconut bliss. Mmmmmmm…