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. Capers Epicurean

    $$$

    The pleasing scent of spices may entice you into this large, open restaurant, which serves sustaining meals like chicken shiitake linguine (a grilled chicken breast...Read More

  • 3. Pacifica Restaurant

    $$$$

    Enter this weathered blue bungalow to experience the innovative cooking and fresh produce Pacifica brings to the New Zealand dining scene. The five-course degustation menus...Read More

  • 4. Terroir Restaurant

    $$$$

    The massive cedar doors, high circular roof, and open wood fire give this well-regarded restaurant at Craggy Range Winery a rustic character. Although the menu...Read More

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

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