North Island's West Coast Restaurants

Throughout western North Island, provincial city restaurants and small, tourist-town cafés feature an overall sophistication you might not expect away from major urban centers: think wholesome and hearty fare, local organic produce, good espresso and loose-leaf teas, high-quality New Zealand wines, plus local craft beers. Counter food is generally fresh salads, paninis, filled rolls, sweet or savory pies, and homemade soups.

Dinner menus in the higher-end restaurants include the chef's latest creations using high-quality New Zealand eye fillet of beef (beef tenderloin), fish, lamb racks, pork fillets, and chicken. The best chefs change menus regularly to focus on fresh regional and seasonal ingredients. You will also find Indian, Thai, Malaysian, Japanese, Mexican, Turkish, and Italian restaurants, even in smaller centers. "Smart-casual" is about as formal as attire gets.

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  • 1. Caffe Windsor

    $$$ | New Zealand

    Energizing the café scene in little Inglewood, midway between New Plymouth and Stratford, this eatery occupies a charming building that was...Read More

  • 2. Empire Tea & Coffee

    $ | Café

    This charming spot serves excellent espressos but is best known for its huge range of loose-leaf teas, including jasmine, rose, sunflower, and...Read More

  • 3. Our Place

    $$$ | Eclectic

    Featuring big couches, booths, and a cool outdoor area, this restaurant–cum–cocktail lounge morphs into a club later at night, with DJ music...Read More

  • 4. Snug Lounge

    $$ | Japanese

    The casual yet stylish setup at this Japanese yakitori grill and cocktail bar is designed to bring people together, and it works. The menu focuses...Read More

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