Northland and the Bay of Islands Restaurants

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Northland and the Bay of Islands - browse our top choices for Restaurants during your stay.

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  • 1. Fishbone Café

    $$$

    The proprietors of this outfit take food, coffee, and hospitality seriously. It's an oasis of superb food and well worth a stop on a trip...

    The proprietors of this outfit take food, coffee, and hospitality seriously. It's an oasis of superb food and well worth a stop on a trip through the North. The coffee is especially good, as is the big range of egg dishes, salads, and sandwiches. The menu for meals changes frequently and is built around seasonal produce, much of it from local suppliers. The wine list has local and international offerings. Check the website for pop-up food events.

    88 Kerikeri Rd., Kerikeri, Northland, 0230, New Zealand
    64-09-407–6065

    Known For

    • Excellent coffee
    • Great wine list
    • Local charm

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No dinner
  • 2. Marsden Estate Winery and Restaurant

    $$$$

    Named after the missionary Samuel Marsden, who planted New Zealand's first grapevines in Kerikeri in 1819, this family-run winery is a popular breakfast and lunch...

    Named after the missionary Samuel Marsden, who planted New Zealand's first grapevines in Kerikeri in 1819, this family-run winery is a popular breakfast and lunch spot and for good reason. The seasonal menu is eclectic and is built around fresh, local produce. On a fine day ask for a table on the terrace. It's also a great place for breakfast, with vegan and gluten-free options available, or a leisurely lunch. The winery offers tastings for $8 (refundable on buying a bottle) and will ship to anywhere in the world.

    Wiroa Rd., Kerikeri, Northland, 0293, New Zealand
    64-09-407–9398

    Known For

    • Excellent seasonal cuisine
    • High-quality wine
    • Terrace seating

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No dinner
  • 3. The Gables Restaurant

    $$$$

    One of Russell's oldest buildings (built in 1847) is home to an up-to-the-minute kitchen, serving the finest cuts of meat, fresh fish, and imaginative vegetarian...

    One of Russell's oldest buildings (built in 1847) is home to an up-to-the-minute kitchen, serving the finest cuts of meat, fresh fish, and imaginative vegetarian options. The atmosphere is calm, the wine list decent, and the service is on point. In for lunch? Try the chowder or the open steak sandwich. In the evening, slow-cooked oxtail or baked snapper are excellent options.

    19 The Strand, Russell, Northland, Russell 0202, New Zealand
    64-09-403--7670

    Known For

    • Smart seasonal cooking
    • Lively atmosphere
    • Great seafood
  • 4. Tonic

    $$$$

    This eatery draws diners with cuisine that fuses fresh local produce with an international flair. The local love for Tonic is intense, so be prepared...

    This eatery draws diners with cuisine that fuses fresh local produce with an international flair. The local love for Tonic is intense, so be prepared to wait for a table.

    239a Kamo Rd., Whangarei, Northland, 0112, New Zealand
    09-437–5558

    Known For

    • Innovative cuisine
    • Great NZ-heavy wine list
    • Big local crowds

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No lunch
  • 5. Charlotte's Kitchen

    $$$$

    This busy restaurant is named after Charlotte Badger, one of the first European women to live in New Zealand; legend says she was actually a...

    This busy restaurant is named after Charlotte Badger, one of the first European women to live in New Zealand; legend says she was actually a pirate. It's pricey, but worth it for the delicious Japan-inspired seafood, seasonal vegetables, wood-fired pizza, and also gorgeous views from its location at the end of the wharf.

    69 Marsden Rd., Paihia, Northland, 0200, New Zealand
    64-09-402–8296

    Known For

    • Excellent oysters
    • Good pizza selection
    • Tasty cocktails
  • Recommended Fodor’s Video

  • 6. The Wharf

    $$$
    Closed Permanently

    The prime dining spot in Russell, this waterfront restaurant combines subtly prepared yet flavorsome cuisine with arguably the best restaurant view in town—especially if you...

    The prime dining spot in Russell, this waterfront restaurant combines subtly prepared yet flavorsome cuisine with arguably the best restaurant view in town—especially if you nab a table up front. It specializes in cooking on very hot stones—everything from fish and steak to chicken and vegetables. There are tables across the road from the kitchen on the waterfront. It gets very busy in the holiday periods so book ahead.

    29 The Strand, Russell, Northland, 0202, New Zealand
    09-403–7771

    Known For

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    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon, Credit cards accepted
  • 7. à Deco

    $$$$
    Closed Permanently

    In a faithfully restored art deco house, this restaurant maintains a high standard, its reputation built on straightforward flavors and inventive twists using fresh, often...

    In a faithfully restored art deco house, this restaurant maintains a high standard, its reputation built on straightforward flavors and inventive twists using fresh, often organic, Northland ingredients. The ever-changing tasting menu includes either five or seven courses, each matched with local wine. The restaurant is closed for about two weeks over the Christmas break.

    70 Kamo Rd., Whangarei, Northland, 0112, New Zealand
    09-459–4957

    Known For

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon., Credit cards accepted
  • 8. Gannets

    $$$
    Closed Permanently

    German chefs Fabian and René combine classic French cuisine with local flavors. You might find prawns on mashed kūmara, flavored with lime, and served with...

    German chefs Fabian and René combine classic French cuisine with local flavors. You might find prawns on mashed kūmara, flavored with lime, and served with roast peppers and mesclun greens in a mustard vinaigrette. Seafood is prevalent—try the tuna on red-and-white jasmine rice or vegetable-filled cannelloni drizzled with tamarillo sauce. Homemade vodka infusions include a lemongrass version that is particularly refreshing at an outdoor table on a balmy evening.

    York and Chapel Sts., Russell, Northland, 0202, New Zealand
    09-403–7990

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No lunch, Credit cards accepted
  • 9. Soda

    $
    Closed Permanently

    Loved by locals, this café on the outskirts of town is good for coffee and cake—try the pear-and-ginger or apple-and-walnut. The cabinets are full of...

    Loved by locals, this café on the outskirts of town is good for coffee and cake—try the pear-and-ginger or apple-and-walnut. The cabinets are full of freshly made panini and sandwiches. Its location makes it a good place to refuel with bacon and eggs, French toast, or corn fritters before heading to the Bay of Islands or farther afield.

    505 Kamo Rd., Whangarei, Northland, 0112, New Zealand
    09-435–1910

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted, Closed Sun. No dinner
  • 10. Tahuna Reef Restaurant

    $$$$
    Closed Permanently

    The basic menu here focuses on fish and meat. It's not cheap, but you won't leave hungry, especially with plentiful dessert options. Like many restaurants...

    The basic menu here focuses on fish and meat. It's not cheap, but you won't leave hungry, especially with plentiful dessert options. Like many restaurants in the area the kitchen closes for main courses around nine, so you'll need to get there early, especially on weekends when the place fills up. Ask for a table on the mezzanine or balcony for the best views.

    Whangarei, Northland, 0110, New Zealand
    09-438–6873

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted
  • 11. The Sugar Boat

    $$$$
    Closed Permanently

    High and dry on the banks of the Waitangi River sits this historic kauri sailing vessel, which once carried sugar to a sugar refinery in...

    High and dry on the banks of the Waitangi River sits this historic kauri sailing vessel, which once carried sugar to a sugar refinery in Auckland. On deck is the Cuban-inspired Cubar, serving cocktails and lunch—such as blackened fish tacos and Cuban sandwiches—and providing DJs, live music, and dancing by night; dinner is served below deck on kauri tables inset with relics that the famous New Zealand diver Kelly Tarlton salvaged from wrecks. Dishes might include ostrich fillet served with gnocchi, roasted goat cheese, char-grilled zucchini, and cherry tomatoes in a port-and-cranberry jus.

    Paihia, Northland, 0293, New Zealand
    09-402–5054

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted
  • 12. Waikokopu Café

    $$
    Closed Permanently

    Set in the bush and with a view straight out to sea, this pleasant spot has a lot going for it. You can sit on...

    Set in the bush and with a view straight out to sea, this pleasant spot has a lot going for it. You can sit on the deck or the lawn and enjoy chunky sandwiches, delicious cakes, and other goodies. For something hot, try the fish and chips or the popular Bliniville—a kūmara-and-garbanzo blini served with pumpkin, ras el hanout (an Iranian spice blend), grilled eggplant, and fig vincotto (a slow-cooked grape reduction).

    Tau Henare Dr., Waitangi, Northland, 0293, New Zealand
    09-402–6275

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No dinner, Credit cards accepted
  • 13. Waterline Cafe

    $$$
    Closed Permanently

    Enjoy waterfront views next to the Kohukohu Wharf. On fine days, jump off the dock for a swim before having a pizza, fish-and-chips, or a...

    Enjoy waterfront views next to the Kohukohu Wharf. On fine days, jump off the dock for a swim before having a pizza, fish-and-chips, or a sandwich under the shade sails, or stop in for coffee and some chocolate macadamia fudge on your way out of town to the Rawene–Kohukohu ferry.

    2 Beach Rd., Northland, 0491, New Zealand
    09-405–5552

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No dinner Sun.–Thurs., Credit cards accepted

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