The Food Guide to Rotorua: Places to Eat & Food Tours© Volcanic Hills - Destination Rotorua
The Food Guide to Rotorua: Places to Eat & Food Tours

The Food Guide to Rotorua: Places to Eat & Food Tours šŸ½ļø [2023]

© Volcanic Hills – Destination Rotorua

The Best Food Experiences and Places to Eat in Rotorua

The usual tourist experiences Rotorua with a dip in a hot pool here and a Maori cultural performance there. But there’s so much more to this cultural hub of the North Island… Experience the natural earth ovens powered by geothermal activity, traditional tastes made with indigenous herbs and spices, and try something new on a foodie trip to Rotorua. We’ve put together this food guide to help you discover real New Zealand flavours through food tours, food experiences and the best places to eat in Rotorua. Get your forks at the ready for this ultimate food guide to Rotorua.

The 10 Best Places to Eat in Rotorua

What are the best places to eat in Rotorua? Here’s our ultimate list of the best restaurants and cafes with something for all tastes and budgets.

  1. Atticus Finch (1106 Tutanekai Street, Eat Streat)
  2. The Regent Room (1057 Arawa Street)
  3. Saigon ’60s (1205 Fenton Street)
  4. Ali Baba’s Tunisian Takeaways (1146 Tutanekai Street)
  5. Mexican at El Mexicano Zapata (1148 Tutanekai Street)
  6. Giovanni’s Restaurant & Pizzeria (346 Te Ngae Road)
  7. Mokoia Restaurant (77 Robinson Avenue)
  8. Volcanic Hills Winery (176 Fairy Springs Road – top of Skyline Gondola)
  9. Le Cafe De Paris (1206 Hinemoa Street)
  10. Artisan Cafe (1149 Tutanekai Street, Eat Streat)

Scroll down to “About The Best Places to Eat in Rotorua” to learn more about our top picks!

The Food Guide to Rotorua: Places to Eat & Food Tours©

The Best Food Tours in Rotorua

From Maori cuisine to internationally-inspired foods created by talented artisans, Rotorua’s food tours are vast and varied. A good place to start, however, is with a traditionally-cooked Maori dinner known as a “hāngÄ«”.

Maori Hāngī Feasts and Buffets

A hāngÄ« is food that is cooked in an underground earth oven over a long period of time to create melt-in-your-mouth textures and an earthy taste. Both Mitai Maori Village and Te Pa Tu (formerly Tamaki Maori Village – more info on Viator and Klook) serve hāngÄ« buffets in their evening tours, which also include cultural performances and an insight into their traditions and customs. Alternatively, Whakarewarewa Maori Living Village (on Viator and Klook) and Te Puia (on Klook and KKday) cook their meals in the natural geothermal vents of their villages.

Wine and Craft Beer Tastings

For more European flavours produced locally in Rotorua, head to some of the local tasting rooms, like 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 to go along with the commanding views over Lake Rotorua. If you prefer beer, then don’t miss BREW Craft Beer Pub on Eat Streat, pouring a wide range of local craft beer on tap and bottled.

Blueberry Orchard Tour

Get a behind-the-scenes experience of the local artisans on tours such as the Mamaku Blue Orchard Tour. Tour the 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. The orchard is based in Mamaku, approximately 24km (14 miles) from Rotorua.

More Food Tours in Rotorua

  • Learn about New Zealand farming on the Agrodome Farm Tour
  • Mingle with the locals at the Rotorua Farmers’ Market and Rotorua Night Market
  • Enjoy a cruise with food on Pure Cruise
  • Forage for native ingredients on a wild food tour with Treetops Lodge & Estate
  • Indulge in a Maori-themed lunch at Te Pa Tu
  • Experience Rotorua’s outstanding restaurants…

… For elaboration on each activity, check out the 9 Best Foodie Experiences in Rotorua.

The Food Guide to Rotorua: Places to Eat & Food Tours© Pixabay

About The Best Places to Eat in Rotorua

Dining in Rotorua is kind of a big deal, especially since there is a whole street dedicated to eating called “Eat Streat“. While there is a range of eateries along this street in the city centre, a top name is Atticus Finch (1106 Tutanekai Street, Eat Streat), which specialises in innovative plates designed to be shared. Think fried halloumi, crispy mozzarella risotto balls and ginger sesame fried chicken combined with creative cocktails and craft beer.

Kiwis love their Vietnamese food and you have plenty of choices in Rotorua, including Saigon ’60s (1205 Fenton Street). They serve a range of authentic cuisine on woven plates and flavoursome pho noodle soups. Don’t miss their egg coffee after your meal!

Some other international flavours to indulge in include Mediterranean at Ali Baba’s Tunisian Takeaways (1146 Tutanekai Street), spicy Mexican at El Mexicano Zapata (1148 Tutanekai Street) and the fresh pasta and wood-fired pizza of Giovanni’s (346 Te Ngae Road).

For something more “New Zealand”, head to Mokoia Restaurant (77 Robinson Avenue) at the Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort for local fare prepared with indigenous herbs and spices. At The Regent Room (1057 Arawa Street) of the Regent of Rotorua, try their “Taste Indigenous New Zealand” degustation menu with meals made with the likes of lamb, eel, blue warehou and manuka honey.

For more recommendations, check out fine dining in The Luxury Guide to Rotorua, romantic restaurants in The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Rotorua and street food in the Cheap Eats in Rotorua.

The Food Guide to Rotorua: Places to Eat & Food Tours© Destination Rotorua

Alternative Things to Do in Rotorua

As much as the food tours and places to eat in Rotorua are delectable, you can’t travel all the way here just for the food. You’re in the geothermal and cultural hub of New Zealand! So balance out your stay with some of the alternative activities, such as:

… and much more! Check out the details of these activities and get more inspiration in the 25 Best Things to Do in Rotorua.

More About Rotorua

That’s it for our food guide to Rotorua and the best places to eat in Rotorua, but not the end of our Rotorua advice! Check out these other guides that might not necessarily fall under the “foodie” category, but are still pretty useful:

Finally, discover even more foodie trip tips in The Food Guide to New Zealand and plan your foodie road trip with the North Island Foodie Itinerary: One Week or North Island Foodie Itinerary: Two Weeks.


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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