The Best Food Tours and Places to Eat in Whangarei
The Northland city of Whangarei is not all waterfalls and breathtaking coastal scenery (although there is a lot of that too). It’s also a city with its own culture of cuisine, from contemporary New Zealand fine dining restaurants to cultural tours enabling you to make your own Maori hangi! Want to learn more? Dive into this food guide to Whangarei to explore the food tours, places to eat and accommodations for food-lovers.
The 10 Best Places to Eat in Whangarei
What are the best places to eat in Whangarei? Here’s our ultimate list of the best restaurants and cafes with something for all tastes and budgets.
- Tonic Restaurant (239 Kamo Road)
- TopSail (206 Beach Road)
- Split Bar & Restaurant (15 Rathbone Street)
- Biggie Bagels (7 Bank Street)
- Fat Camel (12 Quality Street)
- Suk Jai Thai Restaurant (93 Kamo Road)
- Indian Aroma Restaurant (23-25 Vine Street)
- Serenity Cafe (The Town Basin)
- Cobe Coffee (140 Maunu Road)
- Palate Wholesome Collective (50a John Street)
Scroll down to “About The Best Places to Eat in Whangarei” to learn more about our top picks!
The Best Food Tours in Whangarei
Treat your tastebuds to the local cuisine and enjoy interactive food tours in and around Whangarei. From learning how to prepare traditional Maori dishes to mingling with the producers at the local market, there a few amazing ways to enjoy a gastronomical experience in Whangarei.
Whangarei Maori Food Tour
Your full-day Maori experience with Tu Tika Tours includes morning tea with homemade Maori bread and locally-made condiments, but that’s just the beginning. After learning how to weave, experiencing a traditional welcoming ceremony and more, you’ll spend the rest of the morning preparing and indulging in your own hangi lunch cooked on hot rocks in an underground oven. Find out more about Tu Tika Tours on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Whangarei Growers Market
For something free to do, head down to the Whangarei Growers Market on a Saturday morning to enjoy a true hearty community event. Chat with the friendly locals, pick up some fruit and vegetables, try preserves, honey and olive oil, and enjoy the music from the buskers. Find the market on Water Street.
Pop into the small family-owned honey packing house, Helmsdale Honey, to taste different varieties of Whangarei honey. From MG and UMF-certified manuka to raw bush honey, there’s plenty to taste and purchase. The Helmsdale Honey itself is 100% raw with no added sugars, chemicals, preservatives, pasteurization or processed blending. Find them at 223 Port Road, Port Whangarei.
More Food Tours in Whangarei
- Do a wine tasting at Te Whai Bay Wines
- See tropical fruit plants and indulge in a coffee and cafe treats at the Whangarei Quarry Gardens
- Fish for your dinner on a local fishing charter
- Taste artisan cheese at the Grinning Gecko Cheese Co
- Dine at the city’s delectable restaurants.
Learn more about each experience in the 8 Best Foodie Experiences in Whangarei.
About The Best Places to Eat in Whangarei
Of course, every local has their favourite and no two opinions are the same when it comes to restaurants. However, foodies will find enough variety in Whangarei to suit their tastes, whether it’s a creative bagel or a fine dining affair.
Where to Eat: Fine Dining in Whangarei
For fine dining with a view, check out TopSail (206 Beach Road). The farm-to-table cuisine brings the flavours of New Zealand to life along with French influences. Enjoy a carefully selected wine and beer menu chosen to compliment the food.
For quality New Zealand cuisine, set your sights on Tonic Restaurant (239 Kamo Road) with its perfectly presented plates.
Where to Eat: Restaurants in Whangarei
A trendy setting and awesome garden bar to match, Split Bar & Restaurant (15 Rathbone Street) is a good go-to for Kiwi cuisine and a casual yet classy vibe.
For something even more casual yet a great vibe for family get-togethers, relax with a craft beer and hearty pub grub at The Butter Factory (8 Butter Factory Lane). We also like the stone grill experience of Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack and Craft Bar (117 Bank Street) along with its American-meets-Kiwi menu.
Fat Camel (12 Quality Street) serves flavoursome Israeli cuisine and coffee and entertains with board games. What’s more, there are excellent vegetarian and vegan options. Find them open all day every day, even for lunch and brunch!
If Asian cuisine is more your thing, Suk Jai Thai Restaurant (93 Kamo Road) and Indian Aroma Restaurant (23-25 Vine Street) are a favourite among locals.
Where to Eat: Cafes in Whangarei
Head to the Serenity Cafe (The Town Basin) on the riverside for delicious Kiwi savoury pies and hot breakfasts. Alternatively, get your breakfast or lunch fix from Biggie Bagels (7 Bank Street) boasting mouthwatering sourdough bagels with a unique hip-hop theme.
Another excellent vegan/vegetarian option that’s healthier and more sustainable, Palate Wholesome Collective (50a John Street) offers some diversity for dining in Whangarei.
Walk among the banana trees, see pineapple plants thriving and enjoy the short walks around the stunning Whangarei Quarry Gardens. Once your walk is complete, relax at the light and airy onsite Quail Cafe (Russell Road) and have a browse in the art gallery.
Finally, for all things Vietnamese, try the Vietnamese coffee roasted on-site, bubble tea and street eats of Cobe Coffee (140 Maunu Road).
For some of the cheap eats we recommend, check out The Guide to Whangarei on a Budget.
Alternative Things to Do in Whangarei
While indulging in Northland cuisine is a good way to spend your time in Whangarei, it’s by no means the only way. Be sure to complement your trip with some of the following activities:
- Check out Whangarei Falls and the AH Reed Kauri Park
- Walk the Hatea Loop Walkway
- See a talking tui and a kiwi bird at the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre
- Do a road trip around Whangarei Heads
- Explore Abbey Caves
- See kiwi birds at Kiwi North
- Walk or drive up Mt Parihaka
- Dive, snorkel or kayak at the Poor Knights Islands
- Marvel at the timepieces of Claphams Clocks.
Learn more about each activity in the 15 Best Things to Do in Whangarei.
More About Food in Whangarei
That’s it for our complete food guide to Whangarei, including the best places to eat, food tours and more. For more food fun in Whangarei, check these out:
- 8 Best Foodie Experiences in Whangarei
- 25 Foods You Have to Try in New Zealand
- The Foodie Guide to New Zealand