East Coast and the Volcanic Zone Restaurants

Rotorua has the area's most diverse dining scene. You can order anything from Indian to Japanese fare, or, for true local flavor, try a M?ori h?ngi (a traditional meal cooked in an earth oven or over a steam vent). Hawke's Bay is another hot spot; its winery restaurants emphasize sophisticated preparations and food-and-wine pairings. Around Eastland, which is so laid-back it's nearly horizontal, the choices are simpler, and you'll be treated with the area's characteristic friendliness. One thing you won't find on any menu is fresh trout. Laws prohibit selling this fish, but if you catch a trout, chefs at most lodging establishments will cook it for you.

Dressing up for dinner, or any other meal, is a rarity, expected at only the most high-end lodges and restaurants.

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  • 1. Brantry Restaurant

    $$$$

    The menu is updated seasonally at this converted 1950s town house on a suburban street not far from the shores of Lake Taupo. Owners Prue...Read More

  • 2. The Bistro

    $$$$

    This joint aims for simple but nice and has fittingly become an impressive but unpretentious eatery. Large cylindrical lamp shades brighten the modern interior, creating...Read More

  • 3. The Replete Food Company

    $$

    This café draws the crowds for breakfast and lunch thanks to its outside tables and excellent food. In the morning, try the Complete Replete Breakfast:...Read More

  • 4. Milano

    $$$

    Natural wood floors, half-panelled walls, and a solid wood bar create a warm, inviting atmosphere at this Italian restaurant. The large gas imitation-log fire reflects...Read More

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