The Top Cheap Eats in Rotorua©
The Top Cheap Eats in Rotorua

The Top Cheap Eats in Rotorua


Where to Find Cheap Food in Rotorua

We all know that Rotorua is packed with adventure, Māori and nature experiences, but the North Island city also has a surprising foodie scene. From traditional Māori food to delicious local wines and craft beers, there’s something in Rotorua to suit all tastes and moods. There are more than 80 eateries in the city alone, and you may even be overwhelmed with the offerings on Rotorua’s dedicated “Eat Street”. However, if you’re trying to stick to a budget while travelling around New Zealand, then this list of cheap food in Rotorua will help you keep things right!

5 Cheap Foodie Experiences in Rotorua

Well get to the cheap stuff, but if you are looking for an experience involving food in Rotorua, then check out these activities:

  1. Enjoy boutique shopping and taste a variety of ethnic cuisine at the Rotorua Night Market (1029 Tutanekai Street) on Thursday nights.
  2. Māori tours like Mitai and Te Pā Tū can offer great value with a traditional hāngī meal included in these comprehensive tours.
  3. Mix award-winning food with excellent views from the Stratosfare Restaurant & Bar (178 Fairy Springs Road) at the top of the Skyline Gondola.
  4. Try some local wines at the Volcanic Hills Winery, also at the top of the Skyline Gondola.
  5. Try some local craft beers at BREW Craft Beer Pub (1103 Tutanekai Street) offering craft beer on tap and bottled.

Don’t forget to check out the 10 Best Foodie Experiences in Rotorua and The Food Guide to Rotorua for more ideas.

The Top Cheap Eats in Rotorua©

Cheap Food in Rotorua – $10 and Under

Keep your Rotorua experience on an uber-tight budget by checking out these eats for NZ$10 and under. You might want to pair them with the 15 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Rotorua. Plus, see more stuff for under NZ$10 in the 10 Activities Under $10 in New Zealand.

Cheap Food Deals in Rotorua

When in doubt, head to Sobar & Cafe (1096 Tutanekai Street – Eat Street)! Their entire menu offers some of the best-value food in Rotorua, with most meals being around NZ$15. But look out for weekly specials on their Facebook Page like “free fries with…” meals, 2-for-1 pizzas, and NZ$1 wings, which will keep you well under $10!

Cheap Sweet Treats in Rotorua

There are plenty of delicious treats at Lady Jane’s Ice Cream Parlour (1092 Tutanekai Street – Eat Street), where you have more than 50 ice cream flavours, Danish waffle cones, sundaes, smoothies and more. Of course, most of the food on the menu is under NZ$10.

Cheap Lunch in Rotorua

For cheap and cheerful cafe food that you can grab straight from the cabinet, try The Coffee Club (Redwood Centre, 5 Tarawera Road) before heading into the Redwood Forest.

Finally, for some of the best savoury pies in New Zealand, stop by Patrick’s Pies (89 Old Taupo Road) for some of Patrick’s Pies! Of course, all these naughty pies are under NZ$10 and these Kiwi specialities are a must-try in New Zealand!

The Top Cheap Eats in Rotorua©

Cheap Food in Rotorua – $11-$20

If you have a little more dough to spare, check out these cheap eats in Rotorua for under NZ$20. Oh, and you might also like the 20 Activities Under $20 in New Zealand.

Cheap Breakfast and Brunch in Rotorua

For a treat-yourself breakfast, don’t miss Picnic Cafe (1174 Whakaue Street) with a mouth-watering breakfast menu mostly under NZ$20. Additionally, Third Place Cafe (35 Lake Road) has amazing views over Lake Rotorua to go with your hearty breakfast menu of eggs benedict, waffles, pancakes and more for under NZ$20.

Alternatively, dive into the huge breakfasts at the Abracadabra Cafe & Bar (1263 Amohia Street) most for under NZ$20. They pride themselves on serving free-range chicken and eggs, organic coffee and raw juices. Or for something to indulge in for lunch/brunch try, Atticus Finch (1106 Tutanekai Street – Eat Street), with its metropolitan bistro vibe, makes it a great place to hang out and choose from some delicious surf, turf and veggie dishes for around NZ$20.

We would tell you about all the other dishes on the Le Cafe De Paris (1206 Hinemoa Street) menu but we’re only going to rave about the crêpes! Crêpes prices range from NZ$12-$20, plenty of those are under the NZ$15 price point, including ham, egg & cheese; ham, cheese & pineapple; chocolate & cream; sugar & butter; honey or jam; and maple syrup.

Cheap International Food in Rotorua

Large portions, friendly owners and flavoursome Tusian cuisine, what’s not to love about Ali Baba’s Tunisian Cuisine (1146 Tutanekai Street)? The cosy ambience and variety of food to try, from handcrafted pizzas to spicy kascrutes.

Unfussy Japanese cuisine can be found at And Rice Japanese Kitchen (1196 Tutanekai Street) with almost all rice and noodle plates staying nicely within the NZ$15-$17 range.

Crave Indian food? Delhi Hut (3/4 Pererika Street, Victoria) is one of your cheapest options in Rotorua. However, many of the locals will tell you that Lovely India (1123 Tutanekai Street) is the best Indian restaurant in Rotorua with a variety of traditional and original dishes. Choose from a wide range of curry meals for under NZ$20.

And for tastes from around the world, but mostly north and south India, BaliwalG Vegetarian Restaurant (1229 Tutanekai Street) boasts an extensive menu of punchy vegetarian flavours.

High Tea in Rotorua

And who doesn’t love high tea?! Try the high tea at the Pavilion Cafe & Restaurant, Distinction Rotorua (corner of Fenton and Sala Streets), starting from NZ$12.50, with a selection of treats including finger sandwiches, quiches, brioche, scones, macaroons, cakes and more.

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Cheap Food in Rotorua – $21-$30

If you’re looking for something more “upmarket” without the upmarket prices, then these eateries in Rotorua provide affordable luxury.

Affordable Gourmet Food in Rotorua

Urbano Bistro (Corner of Grey and Fenton Street) might not exactly be a “cheap eat”, but if you still want that high-end restaurant experience then your best bet is to head there for lunch with plenty of gourmet dishes to gorge on between NZ$20-$30! The restaurant has won countless awards so treat yourself to something special.

Cheap Dinner in Rotorua

Sit down in Rotorua’s most popular and oldest pub, Pig & Whistle (corner of Tutanakai and Haupapa Streets), with a wide menu offering classic “pub meals” (think lamb shank, bangers and mash, burgers, pies and fish & chips). Most meals are under NZ$30, plus, there’s live entertainment every Friday and Saturday, quiz nights on Thursdays, and sports played on the big screens.

More About Rotorua

In between tasting local and international flavours, fill up the rest of your time with these 15 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Rotorua. Otherwise, here are more sightful articles:

Finally, stay in one of the 10 Best Backpacker Hostels in Rotorua or 10 Best Budget Accommodations in Rotorua to save more money


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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