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. Angora Cafe and Restaurant

    $$$ | New Zealand

    Turkish classics, like köfte and kebobs, share the menu here with fillet steak, fresh-caught fish, and other Kiwi favorites. Flatbreads and...Read More

  • 2. Stellar

    $$$ | Pizza

    This relaxed restaurant specializes in giant gourmet pizzas with ominous names, like "Ren and Stinky" (lots of mozzarella) and "Foul Play" ...Read More

  • 3. The Big Orange and Ceramic Lounge

    $$$ | New Zealand

    Mingle with the many locals who gather here, be it for their first coffee of the day, a social weekend brunch, lunch or dinner, late-night wine...Read More

  • 4. Yellow House Café

    $$ | Café

    Spread throughout the veranda, garden, and several intimate rooms of this old multicolor villa (it used to be yellow—hence the name) is a cozy...Read More

  • 5. Vega

    $$ | New Zealand

    This restored former warehouse is a stylish spot to sample New Zealand dishes such as roast rack of lamb and premium eye fillet with roast mushrooms...Read More

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