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. The Gables Restaurant

    $$$$

    One of Russell's oldest buildings (built in 1847) is home to an up-to-the-minute kitchen, serving the finest cuts of meat, fresh fish, and imaginative vegetarian...Read More

  • 2. Tonic

    $$$$

    This eatery draws diners with cuisine that fuses fresh local produce with an international flair. The local love for Tonic is intense, so be prepared...Read More

  • 3. Charlotte's Kitchen

    $$$$

    This busy restaurant is named after Charlotte Badger, one of the first European women to live in New Zealand; legend says she was actually a...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. à Deco

    $$$$

    In a faithfully restored art deco house, this restaurant maintains a high standard, its reputation built on straightforward flavors and inventive twists using fresh, often...Read More

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