Food & Drink

The Best Restaurants In Napier, Hastings And Havelock North In Hawke’s Bay

By Urban List Writers

A delicious looking dish at Central Fire Station by kirsten.simcox.photography

Tell anyone you’re heading to Napier and the wider Hawke’s Bay region for some R&R and they’ll be insanely jealous. Kiwis from all over the country know just how good the Bay is.

With its world-class wineries, gorgeous Art Deco architecture, and delicious dining options, there’s never a bad time to visit Hawke’s Bay.

So, whether you’re a local looking to switch it up with a new dining spot or you're a visitor to this fine region, we’ve done the legwork and know our way around all the best establishments in the Bay.

Here are the best restaurants in Napier, Hastings, and Havelock North in Hawke’s Bay. 

The Best Restaurants In Napier

The chef prepares a dish at Mission Estate Winery, one of the best restaurants in Napier.Mission Estate

Napier

Mission Estate is an iconic Hawke’s Bay landmark and one of the region's premier restaurants. It offers elegant, lovingly restored classic surroundings, magnificent views, world-class cuisine and wine and exceptional service. Nestled into the side of the Taradale Hills, Mission Estate is situated only 10 minutes from the city centre but is surrounded by green hills, farmland and vineyards. It gives the impression that this outstanding facility is far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city.  Executive Chef Ricky Littleton leads a committed team in the kitchen. They produce beautifully presented, modern New Zealand food from fresh seasonal produce to a consistently high standard. If that isn't enough, Mission Estate has a longstanding reputation for producing quality award-winning wines as New Zealand's oldest winery.

Pacifica

Napier

Set in a weathered blue beach bungalow, Pacifica Restaurant is a must-visit for any discerning foodie. This establishment is one-of-a-kind and chef Jeremy Rameka's approach guarantees Michelin-quality food in a relaxed Pacific-style environment. Pacifica’s focus is on quality and every dish is dynamic. The menu changes daily depending on what ingredients are available, so every visit is a completely new experience. You can, however, expect a set degustation menu consisting of five courses every evening. Diners choose between two menus, one is predominantly seafood-based and the other is a mix of fresh seafood and premium New Zealand meat. If you’re looking for somewhere extra special to go, Pacifica is an incredible option.

The exterior of Hunger Monger shows a dining room packed with guests.Hunger Monger

Napier

Seafood is their game and tasty is their name. Hunger Monger is a fiercely proud local establishment that’s focused on showcasing the very best of the Hawke’s Bay region and East Coast of the North Island from Gisborne down to the Wairarapa. The menu is crammed with so many varieties of seafood, from small snacks to classics like chowder, fish tacos plus you guessed it, fish and chips. Their signature morsels include grilled fish, kumara miso mash and bouillabaisse. Always following the seasons, this is strictly a seafood-only affair so you know they do it well. 

Cone & Flower

Eskdale

This wonderous garden bar is in the world-renowned Esk Valley wine-growing region and beside the picturesque Esk River. A mere 15-minute drive from Napier, Cone & Flower is adjacent to Zeelandt Brewery and nestled amongst the vines of Petane Vineyard; a great place to relax with friends and family. The menu is inspired by cooking on the grill and the concept of sharing focused on simplicity and beautiful flavour pairings. Head Chef Sebastián combines Argentinian Asado from his homeland with the finesse and skills gained from working in some of the best kitchens in New Zealand. The seasonal, dynamic menu constantly changes with the best produce the East Coast has to offer. Go here if your group has a mix of wine and beer drinkers. A great one for kids too, as the garden bar has an epic playground that has been designed to be explored without parental help. Score.

Sai Thai

Napier and coming soon to Havelock North

Sai Eatery is the sister restaurant to Sai Thai Table and Tea in Old Bar, Australia so you know you're onto a good thing. Freshness and flavour are never compromised with the delicious, vibrant menu being matched with stunning decor and excellent service. Sai is passing on the food experience and culture of the Thai table for everyone to appreciate and gosh we love them for it.

Chefs plate up at Central Fire Station, one of Napier's best restaurants.Central Fire Station Bistro

Napier

Recently awarded two Hats in the Cuisine Good Food Awards, Central Fire Station Bistro has an ever-evolving menu that puts beautiful Hawke's Bay produce at the heart of what they do. Executive Chef and proprietor Sam Clark believes the region's fertile soil and abundant sea delivers the very best New Zealand has to offer. Sam and his team work closely with small, independent suppliers to present seasonal, fresh and delicious French and Italian-inspired food and you can definitely taste the love poured into each dish.

Boat Ramp Eatery

Ahuriri, Napier

Newly opened in Ahuriri, Boat Ramp Eatery offers a gorgeous waterfront location, with relaxed alfresco dining and delicious meals made of fresh, locally sourced produce. The stunning wine list heroes local winemakers and producers. To top it all off, the views that look out across Ahuriri Harbour and the Ruahine Ranges make it a real Hawke’s Bay experience.

Market St

Napier

Market St is a modern city bar and eatery. Owners Steve and Sarah are enthusiastic foodies who are driven to create an environment that is “fun not fussy” and offer something in the market that is unique and special for everyone to enjoy. A mouthwatering menu with an emphasis on the finest fresh ingredients. Market St offers a world-class bar, serves great food and live music. Housed on a pedestrianised street, this bar will be your next go-to lunch spot in Napier's CBD.

The Best Restaurants In Hastings

Yummy Asian fusion fare sits on a table at Funbuns, one of the best restaurants in Hastings.Funbuns

Hastings

You’re in for a treat at Funbuns in Hastings. It’s hard not to get excited when walking into this Asian fusion eatery in all its Art Deco glory. The interior is as fun as the name with kitschy decor and plenty of neon. And don’t even get us started on the menu… From the best baos in town (they’ve got an entire bao menu, no big deal) to the loaded fries and insane cocktails, it’s the kind of place we want to take all our friends. The menu is always changing, just to keep us on our toes, but we’re partial to tofu butter ‘chicken’ bao and the saucy side dishes like pork katsu, which consists of panko fried pork teamed with not one but two doses of sauce, katsu and tonkatsu.

Craft & Social

Hastings

Brand new and located in the heart of Hastings CBD, Craft and Social Bar + Eatery offers a colourful, warm, and social vibe inside the historic Toitoi—Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre. The restored heritage building is a happy mix of Art Deco and modern styles. This girl is industrial underneath, no changing that. They’ve just taken her shopping for new shoes and a dress and she can’t stop smiling.

Sazio

Hastings

Sazio Pasta Bar is a busy and vibrant restaurant located in Hastings, in the middle of the 200 block. Specialising in handmade pasta, it is crafted using the freshest Hawke’s Bay ingredients. Sazio, translating to “full” and “satisfied”, embraces the idea of fullness and makes sure you are filled to the brim with authentic Mediterranean food.

The Best Restaurants In Havelock North

The interior of Mary's wine bar in Havelock North showing a classy bar with tall chairs. No wonder this is one of the best restaurants in Havelock North.Mary's

Havelock North

New from Craggy Range is Mary’s ─ a neighbourhood restaurant collaboration between a local family, an iconic Hawke's Bay winery and a world-class chef. Opened in late November 2020 and under the direction of hatted chef Casey McDonald, Mary’s is an instant hit.

Piku

Havelock North

Piku Restaurant and Cocktail Bar is an Izakaya-style spot offering fresh and exciting Japanese cuisine inspired by the London Japanese scene. Piku serves fresh and delicious Japanese sharing plate cuisine, with a cocktail bar that is the perfect spot for a beautifully made cocktail, local wine or beer.

People tuck into an amazing looking platter at Craggy Range with glasses of rose on hand. One of the best restaurants in Havelock North.Craggy Range Restaurant

Havelock North

You can’t go to Hawke’s Bay without dining at Craggy Range Restaurant. Not only was it named Winery Restaurant of the Year at the 2022/23 Cuisine Good Food Awards, it’s consistently one of the warmest and most memorable dining experiences in the Bay area. A mere 25 minutes' drive from Napier and looking out on the spectacular backdrop of Te Mata Peak, the dining room is elegant and understated. It's the kind of place to spend a special occasion, like a birthday or anniversary. The team closely collaborates with local suppliers, allowing the seasons to guide their menu. Open for both lunch and dinner seven days a week, book ahead and you won’t be disappointed.

Malo

Havelock North

Malo takes the best of what the big city has to offer and gives it a fresh, Hawke’s Bay vibe. Honest food with a sophisticated, modern twist and an emphasis on local, seasonal flavours. Created by a vibrant young team of rising stars, Malo is a place to gather and enjoy Havelock North’s finest hospitality.

An outrageously good looking pizza at Pipi cafe and truck, one of the best restaurants in Havelock North.Pipi Cafe And Truck

Havelock North

There’s a reason why Pipi’s is an institution, the pizzas are incredible and the wine is always flowing. Located on the corner of Joll Road in Havelock North, its iconic pink exterior is hard to miss. After being well established as a restaurant, they made the excellent decision to expand as a food truck. This bad boy makes its rounds in the Bay area, so make sure to follow their Facebook page for regular updates. Order any of their legendary pizzas and prepare to be delighted. Margherita is a classic, but the funghi, which is made with mozzarella base, mushrooms, blue cheese and herbs is equally delicious. For dessert, make sure you order the chocolate cheesecake (it’s worth saving room for).

St Georges Restaurant

Havelock North

St Georges' passion is to deliver a truly unique dining experience, with original, beautifully-crafted food inspired by nature, texture, intensity and purity. Just five minutes from Havelock North or Hastings, it's the perfect place to enjoy exceptional food and genuine hospitality. Dine in the provincial charm of the restaurant, or outdoors under the vines in their sunny courtyard. Multi-award winning chef, Francky Godinho uses only the freshest ingredients, with more than 90% of the produce grown, nurtured and hand-picked from his on-site organic garden.

A delicious looking dessert at Deliciosa, one of the best restaurants in Havelock North.Deliciosa

Havelock North

Deliciosa settles across a delicious space designed to embrace the essence of its host region. Lazy beanbags on the front lawn lie next to a stunning vine-dappled terrace. This enters into a long slender wine-up bar alongside a festive banquette setting, which flows through to the leather cosiness of the intimate green room. Capacity is restricted to 100 to balance a lazy village vibe with attentive hosting. The Deliciosa experience encompasses completeness, and an award-winning ingredient is the guests themselves. A go-to for village regulars, tired thirsty winemakers, the region’s hospo industry and well-informed out-of-towners. This is not the place for home delivery, this is the place to reboot one’s pleasure settings. This is the place just to be.

Whet your whistle with a visit to one of the best bars in Hawke's Bay

Image credit: Main image Kirsten Simcox Photography for Central Fire Station Bistro, Mission Estate Winery, Hunger Monger, Central Fire Station Bistro, Funbuns, Mary's, Craggy Range Restaurant, Pipi Cafe And Truck, Deliciosa.

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