Northland and the Bay of Islands Restaurants

Seafood abounds in the north with scallops and oysters farmed throughout the region, though occasional sewerage scares and algae blooms put them off-limits. Snapper and kingfish are available year-round, and marlin and broad-bill swordfish are abundant between January and June.

The region prides itself on its local produce, and with more skillful chefs arriving in the region, the restaurant food has improved.

People eat earlier in Northland than in the cities, with restaurants filling around 7. Dress is casual—jeans are acceptable in all but the most upscale lodges. From May through September, many restaurants close or reduce their opening hours, some to four nights a week. October sees regular hours resume.

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  • 1. Fishbone Café

    $$$

    The proprietors of this outfit take food, coffee, and hospitality seriously. It's an oasis of superb food and well worth a stop on a trip...Read More

  • 2. The Wharf

    $$$

    The prime dining spot in Russell, this waterfront restaurant combines subtly prepared yet flavorsome cuisine with arguably the best restaurant view in town—especially if you...Read More

  • 3. Soda

    $

    Loved by locals, this café on the outskirts of town is good for coffee and cake—try the pear-and-ginger or apple-and-walnut. The cabinets are full of...Read More

  • 4. Tahuna Reef Restaurant

    $$$$

    The basic menu here focuses on fish and meat. It's not cheap, but you won't leave hungry, especially with plentiful dessert options. Like many restaurants...Read More

  • 5. The Sugar Boat

    $$$$

    High and dry on the banks of the Waitangi River sits this historic kauri sailing vessel, which once carried sugar to a sugar refinery in...Read More

  • 6. Waikokopu Café

    $$

    Set in the bush and with a view straight out to sea, this pleasant spot has a lot going for it. You can sit on...Read More

  • 7. Waterline Cafe

    $$$

    Enjoy waterfront views next to the Kohukohu Wharf. On fine days, jump off the dock for a swim before having a pizza, fish-and-chips, or a...Read More

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