Northland and the Bay of Islands Restaurants

Seafood abounds in the north with scallops and oysters farmed throughout the region, though occasional sewerage scares and algae blooms put them off-limits. Snapper and kingfish are available year-round, and marlin and broad-bill swordfish are abundant between January and June.

The region prides itself on its local produce, and with more skillful chefs arriving in the region, the restaurant food has improved.

People eat earlier in Northland than in the cities, with restaurants filling around 7. Dress is casual—jeans are acceptable in all but the most upscale lodges. From May through September, many restaurants close or reduce their opening hours, some to four nights a week. October sees regular hours resume.

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  • 1. The Wharf

    $$$ | New Zealand

    The prime dining spot in Russell, this waterfront restaurant combines subtly prepared yet flavorsome cuisine with arguably the best restaurant...Read More

  • 2. Boatshed Café and Crafts

    $ | New Zealand

    This café is on the waterfront adjacent to the Rawene supermarket, craft shop, and ferry ramp. It's got a lovely outdoor deck and is a good...Read More

  • 3. Fishbone Café

    $$ | Café

    The coffee is good as is the big range of egg dishes, salads, and sandwiches. The menu for meals changes frequently and is built around seasonal...Read More

  • 4. Sally's

    $$$ | Seafood

    At this restaurant overlooking Kororareka Bay from the Bay of Islands Swordfish Club building, Sally's seafood chowder, packed with fresh mussels...Read More

  • 5. Tahuna Reef Restaurant

    $$$$ | New Zealand

    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...Read More

  • 6. The Sugar Boat

    $$$$ | Mediterranean

    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...Read More

  • 7. Waikokopu Café

    $$ | Café

    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...Read More

  • 8. Waterline Cafe

    $$$ | New Zealand

    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...Read More

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