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. 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

  • 2. The Rivers

    $$$

    A casual place to hoist a few pints while dining on hearty pub fare, the Rivers is popular with Gisborne locals. Stained-glass partitions separate the...Read More

  • 3. The Works Café & Winery

    $$$$

    This eatery in the former Gisborne Freezing Works embraces its industrial roots (note the large driveshaft and pulleys on the brick walls). The menu builds...Read More

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