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 [2024]

© Volcanic Hills – Destination Rotorua
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
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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 Māori 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 Cuisine (1146 Tutanekai Street)
  5. El Mexicano Zapata Cantina (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© NZPocketGuide.com

The Best Food Tours in Rotorua

From Māori 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 Māori dinner known as a “hāngÄ«”.

Māori Hāngī Feasts and Buffets

A hāngī 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 Māori Village (196 Fairy Springs Road) and Te Pa Tu (Base at 1220 Hinemaru Street) serve hāngī buffets in their evening tours, which also include cultural performances and an insight into their traditions and customs. Alternatively, Whakarewarewa Māori Living Village (17 Tryon Street) and Te Puia (20 Hemo Road) 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 (176 Fairy Springs Road). 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 (1103 Tutanekai Street) 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 (311 Maraeroa Road, Mamaku). 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 24 km (14 mi) 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 Māori-themed lunch at Te Pa Tu
  • Experience Rotorua’s outstanding restaurants…

… For elaboration on each activity, check out the 910 Best Foodie Experiences in Rotorua.

The Food Guide to Rotorua: Places to Eat & Food Tours šŸ½ļø [2024]© NZPocketGuide.com

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“.

Where to Eat: The Best Restaurant in Rotorua

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.

Where to Eat: International Restaurants in Rotorua

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 cuisines 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 the Mediterranean at Ali Baba’s Tunisian Cuisine (1146 Tutanekai Street), spicy El Mexicano Zapata Cantina (1148 Tutanekai Street) and the fresh pasta and wood-fired pizza of Giovanni’s (346 Te Ngae Road).

Where to Eat: New Zealand Restaurants in Rotorua

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 indigenous-inspired degustation menu with meals made with the likes of lamb, eel, blue warehou and manuka honey.

Where to Eat: The Best Cafes in Rotorua

It’s in the name; Artisan Cafe (1149 Tutanekai Street, Eat Streat) focuses on locally sourced ingredients handmade into an array of cabinet treats, along with a creative breakfast, brunch and lunch menu. Local artisan products are also for sale.

Be transported to the streets of Paris with the authentic French cuisine of Le Cafe De Paris (1206 Hinemoa Street). Their crĆŖpes are an obvious go-to, but it’s well worth indulging in buttery pastries, creamy onion soup, tangy lasagna and more. What’s more, your crĆŖpes can be gluten-free.

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.

Sources:

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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