We all know that Rotorua is the place to go for both adventure and relaxation. From the bubbling mud pools to relaxing at the Polynesian spa, there’s plenty to enjoy. But what’s a holiday without stuffing yourself silly with delicious eats? Fortunately Rotorua is bursting with epic options. From sophisticated fine dining to cheap and cheerful faves, we’re here to point you in the right direction. Grab your finest elasticated pants and get ready to dig into the best cafés and restaurants in Rotorua.
If you’re looking for somewhere epic to feast in Rotorua, look no further than Eat Streat. It’s one of the city’s most vibrant hot spots and for good reason. Located at the lake end of Tutanekai Street, you’ll find a bunch of restaurants, cafés and bars as well as the famous Lady Jane’s Ice Cream Parlour. The central walkway is covered (with a retractable roof) ideal for al fresco dining in all weather. Picnic Café is one of Eat Streat’s most loved cafés and breakfast spots. Not only is the food here on point, the staff are super friendly and will make you feel right at home. The salmon eggs benedict is definitely a highlight as are the customisable smoothies.
If the name doesn’t get you, the food certainly will. Atticus Finch is a culinary destination like no other, the perfect spot to linger over lively conversation and enjoy playful plates. The food here is fresh, innovative, made from scratch and big on flavour. With a menu that’s made to share, you’ll want to bring your mates. Make sure to try the crispy mozzarella risotto balls and the ginger sesame fried chicken. This establishment also specialises in craft beer and delicious cocktails, so plan for an epic night out.
For authentic Italian in the heart of Rotorua, you’ll want to add Leonardo’s to your list of must-visit restaurants. Using a selection of mamma and nonna's recipes, everything is made fresh with an ever-changing menu of different flavours, sustainable and seasonal products. Try their Quatro Formaggi or the ever classic Margarita and prepare to be amazed. It’s clear the team loves their food and pour their hearts into every single dish.
With its gorgeous interior and globally-influenced menu, we can’t think of a more inviting spot than Ambrosia. Located just a stone’s throw from Lake Rotorua, this local mainstay is known for its seasonal specials including mulled wine to help warm your bones on cold winter evenings and its early-bird dinner specials. Head on over between 5pm and 6:30pm and you’ll get three courses for only $29. And yes, that includes dessert. Sold!
Café by day, restaurant by night, Urbano Bistro has been impressing locals and visitors with innovative modern dishes since 2007. The Rotorua favourite uses only the freshest ingredients, which are sourced from all over New Zealand. Try the breakfast burrito or eggs benedict if you’re stopping in for breakfast or brunch. Otherwise, we can’t go past the arancini balls for the perfect pre-dinner snack.
The Regent Room
For those feeling a bit fancy, The Regent Room is an absolute Rotorua must-visit. Sink into their plush leather chairs and choose between the à la carte degustation or opt for one of their delicious mains. The menu is contemporary New Zealand and there are a handful of vegetarian options to be devoured. If you’re a bit of a cocktail lover, you’ll want to try their seasonal creations. Open from morning until night, this is the place to go for a really special meal out.
Abracadabra Café & Bar
Abracadabra focuses on what’s really important, ‘good food and good vibes’. The latter is apparent as soon as you set foot inside the restaurant. Set up in a rustic 1940s building, it’s been beautifully decorated to suit its breezy aesthetic. Pop by for breakfast or lunch and tuck into one of their delectable Mexican or Middle Eastern-style dishes. There are plenty of options for kids, vegetarians and vegans, so everyone wins. The house cocktails are a crowd pleaser and great to enjoy on the verandah. Regular dessert nights are also a thing, great if you’ve got a sweet tooth.
Looking for epic things to do while in you're in town? Check out our round up of the must do activities in Rotorua.
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