3 Best Restaurants in Northland and the Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Marsden Estate Winery and Restaurant

$$$$ Fodor's choice

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.

The Gables Restaurant

$$$$ Fodor's choice
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.

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 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.

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