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. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. HUHU Cafe

    $$$ | New Zealand

    Locals smile quietly when visitors inevitably express surprise that such an urban-chic café exists "way out here in the country." (The moniker...Read More

  • 5. Orca Restaurant and Bar

    $$$ | New Zealand

    This waterside restaurant has big windows and the best views in Raglan—when orca swim into the harbor, you can see them from your table. Brunch...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. Stables Bar and Grill

    $$$ | New Zealand

    With a cozy stone fireplace, three inside bars, a garden bar, and a gaming room, this casual spot aims to please everyone. Its gastropub fare...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. 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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