We are serious about food and so love finding the best of the best when it comes to cafes all over. Hamilton’s cafe scene is growing, with plenty of great coffee, local produce and quirky spots. Whether you are on vacay, just passing through or are a local needing to refresh your current cafe roster, here's where to make your brunching and caffeinating almost too easy.
Here are the best cafes in Hamilton.
The Kirk Cafe
Te Aroha Street
The Kirk Cafe is a sweet little spot offering healthy, fresh food that is beautifully presented. A real treat, there are vegetarian and vegan options, the cabinet and menu have plenty to choose from, but our top pick is definitely the breakfast burger—buttermilk fried chicken, bacon, chilli fried egg, chipotle aioli and slaw. Yes. Please.
The River Kitchen
Known for the always perfect cup of coffee, The River Kitchen has you sorted for breaky, lunch, coffee and cake (or all three). Focusing on free range and organic where possible, the food served is top notch. For the sweet tooths, the buckwheat pancakes with vanilla maple pears, spiced syrup and ricotta is a real winner.
Yalla Yalla Cafe
Championing food and drink for the soul, this quirky and homely spot is a feel good and utterly delicious lunchtime stop off. Focusing on fresh, wholesome food made with love, YallaYalla is what plant-based foodie dreams are made of. With breakfasts named The Yalla Big Fulla and Good Stuff On Toast, there is no shortage of creative options to choose from. The lunch menu is just as fun with Sensational Dirty Burgers (BBQ jackfruit, kimslaw and BBQ sauce), tacos, nachos and daily bowls. The cabinet is always stocked with vegan danishes, scones and sweet treats and the coffee machine is always going.
Punnet Eatery is one of Hamilton’s best cafes and let us tell you why. The family-run business is a hot spot for visitors to the Waikato and a real gem among locals. The Strawberry Farm is where it all began, where people would come and pick fresh berries throughout the summer, and soon became such a destination that it was decided the community needed its own gathering spot. Punnet was born and is now a thriving eatery that specialises in rustic, wholesome and simple food. The menu is second to none, the lemongrass and kaffir lime cured prawn omelette with chilli sambal, Asian herbs and crispy shallots is a true masterpiece. For the vegans, there is also a number of tasty options that’ll have you spoilt for choice and struggling to make a decision.
Sugar Bowl Cafe
Always busy, and always good. Sugar Bowl Cafe is a buzzing wee place serving up generous dishes that’ll fuel you up for the day. The cooked breakfast is a small mountain, with all the classics served up in the best kind of way, crispy bacon, perfect eggs, garlicky mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and fresh, fluffy bread. The muffins in the cabinet make the perfect morning tea treat with your coffee, always fresh, always delicious.
Adjoined to the garden centre, Cafe Fresca is a beautiful setting for a bite to eat in nature. With separate breakfast and lunch menus, this makes for a great day time stop off to chill out in a relaxed atmosphere. The array of burger options is right up our alley and you know you’ve found a winner when there is the classic build-your-own toasted sandwich menu. Sometimes it really is the simple things.
Grey Street Kitchen
Definitely, some of the best coffee in Hamilton, Grey Street Kitchen serves up healthy and fresh food along with a seriously good cup of joe. The nourish bowls are a popular choice for a light and tasty lunch, but the baked cabinet goods are hard to surpass with cheesy scones and sweet cakes. The high wooden ceilings, concrete floors and big windows, as well as the beautifully presented food, make this an Instagrammer's heaven.
Popular with locals and for good reason, Cinnamon is on a little street corner spot is right up there with the best cafes in Hamilton. The menu is a choosey person’s dream, with plenty of gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan options as well as a generous sides menu to customise your meal. Among all the eggs benny, loaded bagel and big breaky classics, there are also more extravagant options that'll have you drooling, exhibit A: banoffee hotcake stack with caramelised banana, caramel custard, whipped cream, strawberries and waffle crunch.
This local treasure is warm and welcoming and most importantly serves up some seriously tasty food. The brick walls and modern fit-out give a relaxed vibe and make for a great spot to hang out in with friends. Scotts Epicurean makes choosing difficult with the seasonal breakfast and lunch menus as well as an array of delectable cakes and Allpress coffee. Our favourite from the lunch menu would have to be Scotts’ famous and addictive spaghetti with chilli, garlic, parsley, olive oil and parmesan.
Mavis and Co
Born at the farmers' market and from a love of making bread and pastries, the popularity from locals eventually made this business grow enough to open up a cafe and what a clever move that was. Known for keeping it simple, beautiful and delicious, Mavis now has a made to order catering service as well. At the cafe you can find breakfast and lunch menus, our top pick is the donburi bowl with sweet chilli and teriyaki pork belly with Asian slaw and rice. Yum.
Image Credit: Kirk Cafe, Punnet Eatery, Letfus Photo, Grey Street Kitchen