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Cheap and cheerful.
This chipper corner cafe is a real George St fixture, decked out in primary colours with big windows...
A million miles from Bollywood schmaltz, this upmarket place won’t break the bank...
Need a sugar shot? Proceed to day-turns-to-night Café Cuba – the cakes here are for professional chocoholics only. Supreme coffees and traditional cafe fare (risottos, salads, corn fritters) also draw the crowds...
Romantically candlelit Bella’s has been around for a while now, its warm red walls continuing to conjure an inviting atmosphere for a mature crowd...
Angling for an Ali-Baba-and-the-Forty-Thieves vibe, with magic carpets, brass hookahs and funky trans-Bosphorus beats, Halikarnas plates up generous Turkish delights, from lamb shish kebabs to felafels and kick-arse ...
A low-key affair with mellow tunes, spiky green plants, orange plastic chairs and students on the run from the books. Big on coffee, eggs, curries, salads, wraps, muffins and cakes.
A plush, cow-coloured space studded with photos of prize bulls. Chew into ‘The Buster’ prime rib, or ‘The Contender’ Wagyu –the ‘granddaddy of marbled steaks’.
Family-friendly cafe classics (pasta, fish and chips, soups, nachos, steaks, salads and curries) served inside a cavernous, colourful former Masonic Hall (no secret handshake required)...
Simple, fresh, authentic Japanese food cooked by Atsushi Taniyama in an unpretentious suburban house with empty sake bottles lining the window sills. Front-of-house host Barbara comes with a big personality...
Masterton & Around
A local hero saves the town of Carterton (indeed, the region) with a steady stream of live music (Friday and Saturday), local wines, independent beers and Spanish food...
In the middle of Queen Elizabeth Park is the century-old Coronation Hall, home to Café Cecille. Its wraparound veranda and simple but wholesome food make it hard to beat on a sunny day. Divine homemade chips.
Gladstone, 18km south of Masterton, is less a town, more a state of mind...
Loosen that belt and get ready to indulge. Heavenly baking, scrumptious pies, simple sandwiches and cookies of course. Take away or sit down and enjoy your treat with a decent cup of coffee or tea...
One of the best highway pit stops round these parts is this fire-engine red cafe 5km south of Otaki. Inside it’s all warm polished wood, all-day breakfasts, excellent baking and an extensive blackboard menu...
A very ‘Wellington’ cafe, with both light and substantial meals made with relish, such as fish cakes, the BLT, and colourful veggie options. Cake cabinet at full capacity, and great coffee (of course).
A handy highway pit stop in Paraparaumu town, with excellent wood-fired pizza, luscious cakes and gelato – food so good you’ll forget you’re in the middle of a car park.
A welcoming family-run joint with the liveliest evening atmosphere at the beach township. Pasta and other Italian-influenced fare, carne e pesce ...
A beachside chippy with the usual battery of fries as well as good-value dinner deals, eggy brekkies, espresso and Kapiti ice cream. Alfresco tables with views to the blue yonder.
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