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. Bella's Café

    $$$$ | International

    Serving a mix of Mediterranean and Pacific Rim dishes, with a touch of Thai flavor, Bella's has been a city favorite for more than a decade...Read More

  • 2. Nero Restaurant

    $$$$ | New Zealand

    In a charming old Victorian-style villa on a quiet inner-city street, Nero consistently wins regional restaurant awards and has received New...Read More

  • 3. Brewer's Apprentice

    $$$ | New Zealand

    Plenty of brick, stone, and timber lend character to this restaurant near the Square, while open fires, a pair of bars, plus a quiet dining...Read More

  • 4. Café Cuba

    $$ | New Zealand

    Just off the Square, funky Café Cuba is a popular local haunt for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and after shows. Laid-back music plays in...Read More

  • 5. The Herb Farm and Cafe

    $$ | Café

    About 10 minutes from the city, this farm café is a worthy lunch stop for those exploring the countryside or returning from a trip to the Te...Read More

  • 6. André L'Escargot

    $$$$ | French

    New Plymouth's oldest commercial building houses what many consider the town's finest restaurant. For 14 years it has been a recipient of the...Read More

  • 7. Déjeuner

    $$$$ | Eclectic

    This well-regarded restaurant in an old character bungalow draws on influences from French to the Pacific Rim. Menus change but the confit duck...Read More

  • 8. Mao Bar

    $$$ | Eclectic

    Based on the philosophy that cuisine evolves as populations change, the goal here is to fuse Eastern and Western cultures. The Malaysia Chicken...Read More

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