Where To Eat Healthy in Auckland’s CBD, For Under $10


After a punctual arrival my client sat down in the chair opposite me and crossed his legs, causing one pinstriped pant leg to ride up and expose an insignia on his sock. 

“I’ve lost 5 kgs”, he said, “I’m down two notches on my belt. Might have to buy a couple of new suits if this keeps up!”

“Sounds like the gluten-free trial’s working,” I said. 

“I reckon. The hardest part’s lunch at work though,” he said. “Sometimes it’s 3pm before I get out of the office to eat, and I won’t spend more than $10”. 

He ran a hand through his short, tailored grey hair. 

“It used to be $5 back in the day”. 

I’ve always thought my students and clients classify as continued education. I learn as much from them as they do from me. This particular client had a three-letter job title with annual bonuses he refused to use on a daily lunch budget increase that would cover the cost of gluten-free bread and smashed avo. So, five days out of seven he left the top floor of an air-conditioned office building to walk Auckland’s CBD in search of budget-friendly health food. 

Though it seems like a tall order with the price of your average smoothie bowl, his discoveries satisfy wallets as well as (gluten sensitive) stomachs. 

“For starters St Pierres Sushi do a salmon avocado roll on Tuesdays, 8 pieces for $6”, he said.

The fact that St Pierre’s Sushi Value Of The Day comes in under budget is as much of a bonus as their eco-friendly 30c off BYO lunchbox initiative.

Revive Cafe do a small salad with two options for only $9. I had tofu noodles the other day”, he continued. 

Gluten-free and vegan options for under $10 five days a week. Winning. 

“There’s a new Poke place that’s open on Queens Rise. Quite like Poke. The daily special, $9.90”, he said.

Who doesn’t love a good Poke bowl? I know I do.

“And there’s a little place called I’m Real Juice Cafe that do smoothies and fruit salads, that kind of thing. I get a chicken salad there for under $10.” He said.

The adherence to the health plan as well as the budget was admirable.

“Surely you must stray from the budget time to time?” I said.

“Sure,” he said, “When my daughters come to lunch.” 

I nodded. “That make’s sense,” I said.   

“We go to Misters,” he said, “Great food, but over budget. Otherwise they take me to Remedy.”

“Sounds nice,” I said.

“It is for them, I pay!” he said.

“Haven’t found a daily special that doubles as a father daughter lunch date yet?” I asked.

“Ah, no” my client said, “don’t think I’ll ever get that one into the budget”.

Well, four out of five $10 lunches ain’t bad.