Almost inevitably, pancakes are the pride of the cafe opposite the Pancake Rocks trail, heaped with bacon, berries, cream and other tasty toppings. Even better are the pizzas, from whitebait to four cheese (with a few good veggie options too). Time a visit for summer open-mic nights from 6pm on Fridays.
There are few food choices in Punakaiki, but fortunately Pancake Rocks Cafe delivers all-hours sustenance. Before 11am they serve good breakfasts ($10 to $24) ranging from bagels to German sausage fry-ups, and the conservatory area – all wooden benches and fairy lights – is a pleasant spot for a drink around sundown.