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. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. Gannets

    $$$ | French

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

  • 5. 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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