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Eat & Drink

Hamilton 7 great cafes where to go

  • 3 minutes


Day trip shopping in Hamilton, of course you need a pick up

Hamilton’s majestic Waikato River is a year round scenic highlight. In winter, morning mists add a touch of mystery to the day. Summer the wide river and green pastoral countryside is a beautiful backdrop for riverside cafes.

Cafes and Hamilton the place is bursting with great places to eat and drink. The list is not exhaustive or is it the best cafes in Hamilton. Rather it is about a few great cafes with excellent reviews. Enjoy a cafe break on your day exploring what Hamilton has to offer visitors.


Want to stay awhile in Hamilton to visit Waitomo Caves?

  1. The Sugar Bowl

The Sugar Bowl Cafe is a stalwart of the Hamilton cafe scene. A neighbourhood cafe with a difference, well worth the trip to Maeroa for brunch or lunch. There is a new cafe in Grandview opened in 2018. The Menu is an exciting twist on old favs. And who said vegan food is tasty cardboard has not visited the Sugar Bowl. Imagine and let the taste buds sing with toasted buckwheat granola with mango and banana coconut yoghurt, topped w/ almond butter, fresh banana, Whittakers vegan chocolate stars, berries & saffron (v). The coffee is Weka, a firm favourite of the owners.


Caters for functions, drinks and dinners.

Hobbiton, Waikato is 50.1 km or 50 minute drive from Hamilton. Hobbiton attraction, things to do and what to see – Best Bits is only accessible on a guided tour.

  1. Rocket Coffee

The scent of freshly roasted coffee and gleaming steel, steamy coffee machines is cool especially when it is accompanied by yummy eats. Rocket Coffee has created an enticing roasting facility with caffeine buffs drawn to the location. Want to become a coffee expert in two hours? The management runs a two-hour training course, Espresso – The Very Basics, on Thursdays from 1pm to 3pm. Rocket also sells espresso machines. Rocket Coffee is about coffee and does not offer a full service menu. Counter food supports the coffee not the other way around.

  1. Miltons Canteen

An Australian and New Zealand classic is morning tea with a scone. Miltons Canteen does the tradition proud with a date and citrus version with yoghourt infused toppings, butter and other goodness accompanying the light crunchy scone. Counter food is packed with sweet treats and savoury bites to accompany coffee or tea. There is a sit down / takeout menu where delicious meets traditional. Who knew crumpets could be served with peanut butter mousse and jam. Heaven and how about contemporary chia with raw date caramel, toasted sprouts + seeds w poached fruit.

  1. GG’s Hamilton

The interior’S vibe is the family bach with mismatched 1970’s vinyl covered chairs, scratched wooden tables and nick nacks galore. It is a delight to enter GG’s as it is kiwiana in a cafe setting. Nana would feel right at home especially with a cafe where great coffee is also served with a wide variety of herbal and classic teas. In a pot with hot water on the side. GG’s has got it right as well as 1970’s scones. Hamilton definitely is rapidly becoming the scone capital of NZ. Remember chocolate lamingtons and sigh. Now there is no need to miss out as GG’s have scored the lamington prize. The cafe, gg’s – Hamilton is fun with a toastie menu, delicious handmade soups, pyrony pies and vegan options. There is a very wide selection of craft juices and drinks available.

  1. Cafe Fresca

Garden centres are pleasant places to be with the joy of growing in every seedling. Cafe Fresca, as part of a garden centre complex, is scenic. The beautiful setting is matched with an array of burger options and the classic best-loved toasted sandwich with build your own ingredients. Simple options done well are a winner especially in a garden setting. Cafe Fresco pulled it all together.

  1. Demi-Urgos

Functional, the ascetic is not a winner at Demi-Urgos however it does not matter when the scone is superlative and a biscuit based yummy goodness called ‘raw pinky slice’ Demi-Urgos is not a brunch/ lunch location rather a pick up me coffee / juice / snack destination that is superb with what it offers. The place is quirky and fun and merchandises home brew equipment. Remember to try cheddar mozzarella toasties, cheese melting in the mouth together with a juice or hot drink. Surprisingly the kids will love the place, especially the crafted bliss balls. Healthy sweet raw options for kids, yum.

  1. River Kitchen

A classic cafe with all the trimmings, including scones as it is Hamilton after all. Close to the Waikato River. There is a wide variety of counter food tempting customers together with a substantial menu with potato hash combined to make mouth watering breakfast options. The pancakes are kids friendly and vegan friendly with a diverse range of toppings. Selecting a salad accompanied by a cooked option gives you a boost for a Hamilton shop and go day trip. The stripped down wooden floors, cane backed chairs and cosy padded booths are atmospheric and comfortable. Children are welcome at The River Kitchen.

Getting to Hamilton great cafes


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