Must-see restaurants in Rotorua & the Bay of Plenty

  • Alpino

    Bay of Plenty

    The sea air might easily be Mediterranean at this new restaurant that has brought quality Italian cooking to the Mount. All the accents are Italian, from…

  • Terrace Kitchen

    Rotorua

    Overlooking the village green, this bright and breezy restaurant sources herbs and edible flowers from its own yard. Doors peel back to merge the indoor…

  • Moxi

    Bay of Plenty

    Cobbled together out of shipping containers, but with a very flash louvred roof, this mainly open-air cafe is Ōhope's best. The coffee is first rate and…

  • Me & You

    Tauranga

    Our favourite Tauranga cafe pairs an appealing front deck with hip baristas who really know their way around the coffee machine. A huge array of counter…

  • Macau

    Tauranga

    Zingy pan-Asian, shared-plate flavours take centre stage at Tauranga's top restaurant. The dark booths are ocean deep, and menu highlights include ginger…

  • Eightyeight

    Bay of Plenty

    The savoury muffins, scones and cakes bulging across the counter may distract you from the menu at this ever-popular cafe. Seating is limited inside, but…

  • Abracadabra Cafe & Bar

    Rotorua

    Channelling Mexico and Morocco, sociable Abracadabra is a magical cave of spicy delights, from beef-and-apricot tagine to the grande burrito. There's an…

  • The General

    Bay of Plenty

    Winner of outstanding-cafe-of-the-year awards in 2017 and 2019, this pistachio-green cafe runs an all-day menu that blurs the lines between breakfast and…

  • Artisan Cafe

    Rotorua

    A spinning wheel and a Mary Poppins–style bicycle lend a folksy feel to Rotorua's best cafe. But there's nothing old-fashioned about the town’s most…

  • Fat Cow

    Bay of Plenty

    Blending South American and Tex-Mex influences, this dark-timbered monument to meat has windows that peel back, and steak that comes straight from the…

  • Typical Maori Pounamu with Native Flora Background

    Rotorua Night Market

    Rotorua

    Tutanekai St is closed off on Thursday nights as Rotorua lays out a world of food. Buskers, coffee vans and clothing and jewellery makers are dotted among…

  • Blind Finch

    Rotorua

    This gourmet 'hamburgeria' slaps together a dozen burgers with global flavours, such as the Saigon Smile (pork crackling, pickled carrot, Vietnamese slaw)…

  • Okere Falls Store

    Rotorua & the Bay of Plenty

    Okere Falls, 20km northeast of Rotorua, is a rafting town, so it's not just the fridge full of craft beers that's chilled out here. The food at this store…

  • Third Place

    Rotorua

    This superfriendly cafe is away from the hubbub, with awesome lake views. All-day breakfasts are headlined by a 'mumble jumble' of roast kumara (sweet…

  • Smart India

    Bay of Plenty

    It may not look promising from the outside but this colourful little Indian restaurant serves curries that rival even the lime and orange walls for zing…

  • Tea & Happiness

    Rotorua

    Chiselled into the corner of a supermarket across the highway from Skyline Rotorua, Tea & Happiness has just three tables but 100% devotion to plant-based…

  • Sabroso

    Rotorua

    The love child of Venezuelan-born owner Sarah, this Latin American cantina, adorned with sombreros, guitars and salt-and-pepper shakers made from Corona…

  • Elizabeth Cafe & Larder

    Tauranga

    'Eat, drink, enjoy' at Elizabeth, a hip cafe-bar on the ground floor of a four-storey city-centre office block. Many of the customers drift down from…

  • Grindz Café

    Tauranga

    Side by side with Me & You, Grindz is one half of a well-caffeinated oasis on otherwise scrappy First Ave. It's a roomy, split-level affair – slick and…

  • Roquette

    Bay of Plenty

    Despite its office-like appearance beneath an apartment block, ritzy waterside Roquette serves up refreshing Mediterranean-influenced fare with lots of…

  • Ciabatta Cafe & Bakery

    Rotorua

    This unexpected and welcoming find in an industrial complex near Whakarewarewa keeps things simple – ciabatta sandwiches done well and a well-named 'long…

  • Bobby's Fresh Fish Market

    Tauranga

    This local legend sells fresh fish as well as frying up arguably Tauranga's best fish and chips – you can pick a fresh fillet yourself and have it cooked…

  • Patrick's Pies Gold Star Bakery

    Tauranga

    Winner of NZ’s best pie seven years running. More than 30 types of pie are on offer – mince and cheese is perennially popular but we enjoyed the roast…

  • Harbourside

    Tauranga

    In a wonderfully atmospheric 100-year-old boathouse at the end of the Strand, Harbourside is the place for a romantic dinner, with boats as neighbours and…

  • Capers Epicurean

    Rotorua

    This slick, barn-like delicatessen-cum-cafe is perennially busy, and with good reason. Breakfasts run from potato waffles to slow-cooked chickpeas and the…

  • Ohiwa Oyster Farm

    Bay of Plenty

    Perched over a swampy back-reach of Ohiwa Harbour (serious oyster territory), this classic roadside fish shack is perfect for a fish-and-chip picnic or to…

  • Nourished Eatery

    Tauranga

    Nourished’s slow-cooked jackfruit burger and salted caramel French toast add real panache to this vegan menu. The colour scheme is probably a little too…

  • Tay Street Beach Cafe

    Bay of Plenty

    Around 2km south of Mauao, this beach-facing cafe is removed from the Mount's occasional bustle. Savvy locals crowd in for coffee in bright morning…

  • Eddies & Elspeth

    Bay of Plenty

    A happy marriage of bakery (Elspeth) and brunch parlour (Eddies), this light-filled eatery entices with an inventive menu – Eddie’s eggs Benedict comes…

  • Atticus Finch

    Rotorua

    Named after the righteous lawyer in To Kill a Mockingbird, the hippest spot on Eat Streat plays to a theme with the Scout Sangria and Radley Sour…

  • Le Café de Paris

    Rotorua

    The greeting is très français but this little cafe walks a fine line between a traditional crêperie and the kind of cafe that Kiwi retirees gravitate to…

  • Fish Face

    Bay of Plenty

    A funky fish cartoon sets the scene for this fresh, fun and informal 'seafood and wine bar'. The menu splashes its way through mostly Asian cuisines –…

  • Lime Caffeteria

    Rotorua

    Occupying a quiet corner near the lake, this zesty cafe offers nostalgic breakfasts with a modern twist, such as mince on toasted ciabatta with a poached…

  • Cadera

    Bay of Plenty

    There’s a classic beach vibe on the open back deck of Cadera (despite the intervening car park). It's everything you’d expect of a good Mexican restaurant…

  • The Med

    Tauranga

    Wonder Woman watches approvingly over the scrum of regulars enjoying terrific coffee and scrumptious all-day breakfasts. Order from the blackboard or from…

  • Julian's Berry Farm

    Bay of Plenty

    Join the Kiwi summer tradition of pick-your-own berries, or simply grab a seat on the large sunny cafe terrace at this super-popular berry farm, 6km west…

  • L’Epicerie

    Bay of Plenty

    At this classic French cafe you’ll be greeted with a bonjour, then a menu of crêpes and a display cabinet of croissants and apple-and-blue-cheese tartines…

  • Soulsa

    Bay of Plenty

    Don’t come for the decor – it feels a bit like sitting in a community art gallery – but do come to experience seasonal produce creatively transformed into…

  • Two Fish

    Bay of Plenty

    This retro-fitted cafe serves up robust homemade burgers, toasties, steak sandwiches and salads, with guest appearances by the likes of pulled-pork pita…

  • Bluebiyou

    Bay of Plenty

    Breezy Bluebiyou is a casual, maritime-styled bistro riding high on the dunes and serving big brunches and a mix of meaty and fishy dishes. The beer…