A simple fried egg on supermarket-white toast just doesn’t cut it anymore. As the cafe scene continues to grow and thrive in New Zealand, the offerings just keep getting better and better—and so it is with Tauranga and The Mount. Think Turkish eggs, fried eggplant, labne and spiced sausage to granola with saffron-poached pear, seeds, seasonal fruit and coconut yoghurt.
The coffee and food in this harbour city and beach town are seriously good—so here’s where you should head to next.
So without further ado, here are the 13 best cafes in Tauranga and The Mount.
Just one look at their Instagram page and you’ll discover exactly what Pearl Kitchen is best known for in Papamoa—their beautifully crafted pizzas, cocktails and scrummy desserts. Pearl Kitchen is a big hit amongst Tauranga locals and visitors alike, particularly with the recent release of their new menu and Friday Night Specials series, bringing you a new special pizza and cocktail every Friday night. Pull up a seat with your friends for brunch and treat yourself to a mini eggs bene or their Mexican-style huevos rancheros (house-made Mexican Black Beans, Fried Egg, Avocado, Tomato Salsa, Tostada - yum!) paired with a hot Organico coffee. Later for lunch, you’ll see options like their Crispy Pork Belly Taco or a sticky chicken salad to fuel your afternoon—or keep an eye on their social media for the latest Friday special to celebrate the end of the week. Voted as the Bay of Plenty’s most outstanding cafe for 2022, come and see what the hype is all about, you won’t be disappointed.
Love Rosie Eatery
Love Rosie is the perfect combination of cafe and bakery in Tauranga. With a wide selection of baked goods and cabinet food, your taste buds will be dancing. Not only can you enjoy one of their delicious salads—such as the Love Rosie Waldorf with fresh orange dressing— you can even purchase a full, freshly baked cake from the bakery. Choose from a range of mouthwatering flavours, including Chocolate Hazelnut Orange Cake, Ladies Sponge Cake or the popular Man Cake. Get the best of both worlds when you visit the heart of Tauranga.
Mixture Eatery provides a delicious array of New Zealand cuisine from the comfort of their rustic cafe, using years of family recipes passed down through generations, with new twists and trends. Try one of their vegan quesadillas, seared tuna or house-made french bread with berries, caramelized banana, raspberry coulis, chocolate mousse and maple. There’s also a wide range of freshly baked goods on offer, including their ‘can’t miss’ muffin of the week—like blueberry banana and cream cheese or apple, caramel, cream cheese and walnut. Pair your choice with a delicious barista coffee or tea for a fulfilling breakfast or brunch.
If you’re looking for a chic cafe to spend a morning of work or brunch with the guys or girls—Double Teaspoons is a must-visit. You’ll find them at the Papamoa Plaza where their homemade Middle-Eastern pies, a great selection of cakes, and their famous bamboloni (custard-filled sugar-coated doughnuts, but better) will draw you in. Grab a seat in one of the comfy couches, or in their outdoor area and bask in the Bay of Plenty sun while you enjoy a hot coffee and brunch. While you’re there, why not treat yourself to a bag of @sacredgroundstauponz coffee to take home with you?
Don’t be fooled by the exterior, this cute little cafe has fresh treats that you don’t want to miss. If smoothies and bliss bowls are your thing, a stop at Vitality Organics needs to be on your to-do list while you’re in town. Try their Cannabliss Smoothie Bowl or a classic Acai Bowl served in a coconut shell, or a fresh pick-me-up like their Maca Mocha or Goodness Greens smoothies—perfect treats while you’re in the sunshine capital of the Bay. For cooler days, they have hot coffee with your choice of milk, and an array of speciality Elixirs—like Matcha Mocha with Shrooms or a Tumeric Latte—for a warming super boost.
Known as the cafe with the pink door, Gather Papamoa is another stellar cafe to visit in Papamoa. The cute pink cafe furnished with homey, cosy couches is just a short walk from Papamoa beach. The menu boasts a delicious spin on classic brunch meals, like wildflower granola with seasonal fruits and bee pollen, eggs bene with pork belly and caramelized onion, or gingerbread with ricotta whip, honey butter and pistachio crumbs. Our favourite right now is the mango sorbet and coconut yoghurt with crunchy macadamia and tahini granola—it’s vegan, gluten and sugar-free, and super yummy! Gather Papamoa just may become your new home away from home.
The Nourished Eatery
The Nourished Eatery is one of the best cafes in Tauranga. It’s all in the food for owner Shar McElligot, striving to provide the Bay with kind food and great coffee. Their delicious plant-based eats are presented to impress, and taste as good as they look. We highly recommend picking up any one of their baked goods, such as one of their classic vegan cheese scones for an on-the-go snack, or their Nourished Fry Up if you’re in the mood for something more substantial. Pair any of their great food options with a hot Flight Coffee or a fresh smoothie for a guilt-free morning pick-me-up. While you visit, you can purchase a copy of their cookbook to make your own friendly food treats at home.
Henry & Ted
Henry & Ted do the classics, and they do them well—so much so you must give them a visit when you’re in Papamoa. This big and bright, stylish yellow-themed cafe has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating for the whole crew for a weekend catch-up. When you see the menu, you’re sure to be impressed—with options like coconut cream and banana pancakes with berry coulis, creme fraiche and syrup for a sweet treat, or ‘The Beast’ (their version of a big brekkie with eggs, bacon and the works) to cure your hunger. Henry & Ted caters for all dietary requirements and is well worth a stop on your way to the beach or a day out exploring the Bay.
Outside of Alimento Eatery, a café that’s found its home in the historic former Masonic lodge, is a menu that states, “All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.” We couldn’t agree more. The baked goods are a crowd favourite at Alimento, with one of the owners being a skilled pastry chef, so we recommend starting—or finishing—with a sweet treat. Their menu also has fantastic breakfast options like French Toast or sauteed mushrooms with miso butter. For a meal later in the day try the grilled salmon fattoush salad or huli huli tofu salad to try something new. The best part? They source their coffee beans from different places in New Zealand, using beans from Underground Coffee Roasters in the South Island, making their coffees top of the line. On a warm day, sit outside under the canopy of the Karaka tree and indulge in a little people-watching.
After a morning swim in the ocean, stroll to brunch at the award-winning café, The General, located on Pacific Avenue in Mount Maunganui. The locals keep this place busy and open seven days a week, coming back for the house-smoked salmon and spinach, beetroot, quinoa and a soft egg on sourdough, or for lunch try the Canguu bowl for some Asian flavours. The General use their own mix of roasted beans for coffee—with the result being smooth and well-balanced—so you won’t be able to try it anywhere else. The service is warm and friendly and the décor is coastal chic.
Tay Street Beach Cafe
For breakfast and coffee with a sea breeze—Tay Street Beach Café has got you covered. The menu is fresh and seasonal, and a lot of the produce is sourced from the local market. For breakfast, enjoy their scrambled eggs with chilli and spring onions or asparagus with avocado and radish. The beer-battered market fish served with a green salad, fries and roast garlic aioli is our choice for lunch. There’s indoor and outdoor seating at this café that’s right across from the well-known Tay Street surfing break—just remember to wait 30 minutes after your meal if you decide to head out for a wave.
Half cafe, half bakery—Elspeth Bakery on Maunganui Road is a crowd favourite in Tauranga. Self-styled as “not your average cafe”, each item is attentively made entirely from scratch, with all ingredients sourced from New Zealand’s best artisan producers—and you can definitely taste the difference. If beautiful photos of their tasty treats on Instagram don’t draw you in, the smell of baked goods and coffee soon will. Banana waffles with caramelised pineapple and mandarin and baked eggs with sweetcorn, bacon and tomato jam are some of our favourites—paired with a fresh Supreme coffee. If it’s an afternoon visit, the Japanese fried chicken burger with kimchi mayo and coriander slaw is not to be missed. On your way out be sure to pick up one of their famous almond croissants or loaf of freshly baked bread to enjoy later.
Recognisable by the hanging bananas above the bar, George Cafe is a cosy, laid-back cafe with a beachy vibe—you could literally walk in barefoot and still feel welcome. Owners Clair and Luke source most of their own produce, so you know you’re getting the freshest fruit, vegetables and eggs in town. They’re located on Omanu, just out of The Mount, and just a five-minute walk from the beach. Vegans are well catered here with most of their food options being plant-based, and all of it delicious. Try a tasty grilled omelette with broccoli and cheese, one of their famous smoothie bowls, or one of their revamped custard tarts or strawberry tiramisu. It’s a great spot to grab a bite and an Allpress Organic coffee and then take a stroll along the beach.
Now you're feeling full, find out what else there is to do in Tauranga and The Mount.
Image credit: The General, Pearl Kitchen, Double Teaspoons, Gather Cafe, Henry & Ted, The General, Elspeth Cafe.