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 Gables Restaurant

    $$$$ | New Zealand

    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...Read More

  • 2. 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

  • 3. Tonic

    $$$$ | French

    Owner-chef Brad O'Connell's seasonal menu may be French-inspired, but it's flavored with New Zealand. You could say it is a form of fusion cooking...Read More

  • 4. à Deco

    $$$$ | New Zealand

    In a faithfully restored art deco house, this restaurant maintains a high standard, its reputation built on straightforward flavors and inventive...Read More

  • 5. Marsden Estate Winery and Restaurant

    $$$ | Eclectic

    Named after the missionary Samuel Marsden, who planted New Zealand's first grapevines in Kerikeri in 1819, this winery is a popular lunch spot...Read More

  • 6. 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

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