Foodie Experiences in Rotorua© Volcanic Hills - Destination Rotorua
Foodie Experiences in Rotorua

10 Best Foodie Experiences in Rotorua 🍴 [2024]

© Volcanic Hills – Destination Rotorua
Article Single Pages©
Article Single Pages©
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The Top Food Experiences in Rotorua

Rotorua is famous for being a cultural hub of New Zealand and any foodie knows that a strong way to connect with a culture is through its food. With Māori dinner nights, foodie bush trails and local markets, there are plenty of ways to experience Rotorua through its fare. You can also enjoy the tastes of international-style wines, beers and locally sourced ingredients through the various restaurants, as well as the local winery and craft beer bar. So get ready for a menu of gastronomical offerings in this list of the best foodie experiences in Rotorua.

Plus, for more advice on planning the best foodie trip ever, check out The Food Guide to Rotorua: Places to Eat & Food Tours.

1. Try a Traditional Māori Hāngī

It would almost be a crime to travel all the way to the cultural hub of Rotorua and not try the traditionally cooked Māori dinner known as a “hāngī”. Food is cooked in an underground oven over many hours to create melt-in-your-mouth textures and an earthy taste. Both Mitai Māori Village and Te Pā Tū (formerly Tamaki Maori Village) serve hāngī buffets in their evening tours, which also include cultural performances and insight into their traditions and customs.

Location: Te Pā Tū provides transport from 1220 Hinemaru Street, Rotorua city centre. Mitai Māori Village offers transfers from Rotorua accommodations.

8 Things to Do in Rotorua for Foodies©

2. Sample Geothermally Cooked Cuisine

Another way the local Māori prepare meals, perhaps uniquely to Rotorua, is by utilising the geothermal activity the area is famous for. Whakarewarewa Living Māori Village not only demonstrates steam cooking on their guided tour but serves meals at their Geyser Cafe with geothermally steamed corn on the cob. Alternatively, guided tours at the geothermal park and cultural centre of Te Puia touch on their local cooking pools and steam vents. See more Māori foodie experiences in Rotorua listed in the 10 Best Māori Tours in New Zealand.

Location: Whakawerawera Living Maori Village – 17 Tryon Street, approximately 4 km (2 mi) from Rotorua city centre. Te Puia – Hemo Road, Tihiotonga, approximately 4 km (2 mi) from Rotorua city centre.

10 Best Foodie Experiences in Rotorua 🍴 [2024]© Destination Rotorua

3. Tour a Blueberry Orchard at Mamaku Blue

Get a behind-the-scenes foodie experience of the local artisans in Rotorua on tours such as the Mamaku Blue Orchard Tour. Tour the blueberry orchard, the sorting and packing shed and the blueberry wine-making department to learn all about their story from bush to market. There’s also a shop and cafe on-site where you can taste some of their creations.

Location: 311 Maraeroa Road, Mamaku, approximately 24 km (14 mi) from Rotorua.

8 Best Foodie Experiences in Rotorua© Mamaku Blue

4. Do Tastings at the Local Winery or Craft Beer Pub

If you prefer your wines more, well, grapey, then head to the tasting room of Volcanic Hills Winery. Based at the top of the Skyline Gondola, Volcanic Hills Winery provides wines made in Rotorua with grapes from all over New Zealand, available to sip to the commanding views over Lake Rotorua. And if you’re more of a beer sort of person, then don’t miss BREW Craft Beer Pub on Eat Streat, pouring a wide range of local craft beer on tap and bottled.

Location: Volcanic Hills Winery – Take the gondola from 178 Fairy Springs Road, approximately 5 km (3 mi) from Rotorua city centre. BREW Craft Beer Pub – 1103 Tutanekai Street, Eat Streat, Rotorua city centre.

8 Things to Do in Rotorua for Foodies© Volcanic Hills - Destination Rotorua

5. Learn About New Zealand Farming on the Agrodome Farm Tour

Hop on the tractor and get a glimpse into all kinds of farming in New Zealand! While primarily a working sheep farm, Agrodome also has cattle, deer, llamas, alpacas, emus and ostriches where you can learn more about New Zealand’s diverse farming landscape. After you’ve fed some of the farm animals, there’s the opportunity to feed yourself at the organic fruit orchard with honey, kiwifruit wine or juice tastings. Find out more about Agrodome on Viator and KKday. See more experiences like this in the 20 Things to Do in Rotorua with Kids.

Location: 141 Western Road, approximately 10 km (6 mi) from Rotorua city centre.

Foodie Experiences in Rotorua© Agrodome Rotorua - Destination Rotorua

6. Mingle with the Locals and Experience the Street Eats at the Markets

There are a couple of excellent weekly opportunities to buy local artisan goodies, fresh produce and fully prepared meals from food trucks. We simply can’t miss them out on this list of foodie experiences in Rotorua! Kuirau Park Saturday Market is a must on a Saturday morning (7 am to 1:30 pm) where you can pick up local honey, gelato, artisan bread, organic fruit and vegetables and sample ready-made hot food. What’s more, it’s the only market with free geothermal foot pools, boiling mud pools and a steamy lake to explore!

Can’t make it to the Saturday market? Head to the Rotorua Night Market on Thursday nights (4:30 pm to 8:30 pm in winter and 5 pm to 9 pm in summer) to try international cuisine and local kai (the Māori word for food). Check out similarly affordable experiences like the markets in the 15 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Rotorua.

Location: Kuirau Park Saturday Market – Kuirau Street, Rotorua city centre. Rotorua Night Market – 1029 Tutanekai Street, Rotorua city centre.

Foodie Experiences in Rotorua© Destination Rotorua

7. Join a Māori Food Tour at Te Pā Tū

Experience the flavours of New Zealand’s indigenous culture on a lunch or early dinner foodie experience with Te Pā Tū (formerly Tamaki Maori Village). Their “Kai o te Rā” lunch or “Kai pō Awahi” early dinner starts with a traditional welcome before touring the Māori village while sipping on kawakawa tea (chilled in summer). Immerse in a kapa haka performance then tuck into a hāngī basket of traditional ingredients cooked in an earth oven. Ask about these exclusive tours directly.

Location: Te Pā Tū provides transport from 1220 Hinemaru Street and transfers from Rotorua accommodation.

10 Best Foodie Experiences in Rotorua 🍴 [2024]© Miles Holden - RotoruaNZ

8. Forage for Native Foods in a Wild Food Cooking School

Another superb interactive foodie experience in Rotorua is with Treetops Lodge & Estate. Stay at the luxury lodge and have a choice of two cooking experiences: the “Wild Food Cooking School” and the “Māori Food Trail”. Either way, you’ll be foraging for indigenous ingredients to learn to cook yourself or have them professionally prepared by the lodge’s chefs.

Location: 351 Kearoa Road, RD1, Horohoro, approximately 19 km (12 mi) from Rotorua city centre.

8 Best Foodie Experiences in Rotorua©

9. Enjoy a Lake Cruise with Food

Sightseeing while eating? It’s the perfect combo! Gourmet dining can be experienced with Pure Cruise on their unique Airstream trailer-turned-pontoon vessel sailing Lake Rotoiti. The cruise company has a full list of catering options along with New Zealand wine, beer and spirits to indulge in. As for the lake tour itself, find out more about the cruise in the 10 Best Luxury Experiences in Rotorua.

Location: Transfers are available from Rotorua accommodations.

10 Best Foodie Experiences in Rotorua 🍴 [2024]© Unsplash

10. Experience Rotorua’s Outstanding Restaurants

Dining in Rotorua is kind of a big deal, especially since there is a whole street dedicated to eating called “Eat Streat“. A top name on such street is Atticus Finch, which specialises in innovative plates designed to be shared. To share Kiwis’ love for Vietnamese food, head to Saigon ’60s for authentic pho noodle soups and egg coffee. For something more “New Zealand”, head to Mokoia Restaurant at the Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort for local fare prepared with indigenous herbs and spices. At The Regent Room in the Regent of Rotorua, try their indigenous-inspired Degustation Menu. For more recommendations, head over to The Food Guide to Rotorua: Places to Eat & Food Tours and The Top Cheap Eats in Rotorua.

Location: Atticus Finch – 1106 Tutanekai Street, Eat Street. Saigon 60s – 1205 Fenton Street. Mokoia Restaurant – 77 Robinson Avenue. The Regent – 1057 Arawa Street.

10 Best Foodie Experiences in Rotorua 🍴 [2024]© RotoruaNZ

More Foodie Experiences in Rotorua

That’s it for the best foodie experiences in Rotorua. For more experiences that don’t necessarily fall under the “foodie” category but are just as wonderful, check out the following guides:

We hope you found this list of the best foodie experiences in Rotorua useful. Finally, plan more of your foodie road trip with the North Island Food Itinerary: One Week or North Island Food Itinerary: Two Weeks.


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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