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. 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

  • 2. Fran's Café

    $ | Café

    Snag a table in the main room, the comfy lounge, or the sunny courtyard garden, and enjoy your choice of amazing homemade sandwiches, pasta...Read More

  • 3. Rata Café

    $ | Café

    Sip some of the best coffee in town while sitting on comfy sofas and taking in the local artwork (for sale) hanging on redbrick walls. The basic...Read More

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