Cooking workshops, homeware stores part and parcel of a great cafe where to go
Rural cafes with a slick polished menu is a match made in holiday heaven. Koutana is an invitation to bite into a woodfire pizza, from Luke’s Kitchen with local tipple from Blue Fridge Brewery. Together with the estuary, the reputation of ice cream flavours galore from the local dairy and the gold sandy bay, forget catering, enjoy the Coromandel. Covered in sand from the vigorous digging for your spa at Hot Water Beach visit Hot Water Brewing for a chill down. Slurping oysters fresh from the harvest in Coromandel town is joy to seafood lovers and Coromandel Oyster Co will not disappoint with rich seafood chowders, pates and accompanying platters ensuring hunger is kept at bay. And the idea of a cafe, homeware gifts and rustic homecrafted sauces and spices the Coromandel is the perfect Christmas New Year destination.
Check opening hours and sometimes you can be disappointed with the closure and/or change of ownership of a place.
PRIDE OF PLACE – COLENSO
A homeware store folded into a cafe Colenso Cafe grabs your attention as you wind around the bays towards Whitiangi from Auckland. There is a focus on seasonal food, with a kitchen garden in the glorious mandarin orchard. Organic ingredients are guaranteed to please with an array of mouth watering choices for vegetarians and vegans. You might even consider signing up for a cooking workshop. Custom platters can be pre-orered and the thoroughly placed giftware is very tempting as you tuck into foodie treats.
On Pacific Coast Highway Tairua-Whitiangi Rd
895 State Highway 25, Whenuakite 3591
Thames is a detour off the main highway to the Coromandel. As the largest service town in the district and home to museums showcasing the Coromandel’s role in gold mining it is worth taking time to pop into Thames. A drawcard is INGREDIENTS STORE – SAVOUR & SPICE.
Not exactly a cafe, rather an ingredients shop for you to whip up a tantalizing dish with your freshly caught snapper. Aromatic heady scents greet visitors at Savour and Spice. The large range of spices, vinaigrettes, rubs, pastes and chutneys are prepared in the back of the store. Savour and Spice sell online (for the newly addicted) and attend the Greenhithe Market in Auckland monthly. For the hard to please there is beautiful European cooking equipment and glassware.
THAMES – CAFE MELBOURNE
Exposed brick walls, unpretentious decor with a functional feel to the interior breakfast and kiwi styled lunches served well. Prompt service and plenty of room outside Cafe Melbourne is an ideal road stop for visitors travelling onto Auckland.
The town has a strip of shops and cafes catering for state highway 1 travellers as you cross the one way bridge. Northbound travellers view the very large public toilets situated at the edge of a small playground. The inner harbour wraps around SH1 at this point of the journey.
TAIRUA – MARINA BAR AND GRILL
Atmospheric with a tackle shop on the ground floor. Nestled into the Tairua marina the eatery has world class harbour views.
As befitting a marina location with its sweeping panoramic setting offers fishing buffs a ‘cook your catch’ option. The Paku Bay Brewing Co is a delicious accompaniment to your sea to plate dining.
The beer is brewed on-site.
Kid friendly with beautiful fish dishes for children and plenty of action to keep young minds engaged.
TAIRUA – TAIRUA BEACH CLUB
Slow food movement with dedication to sourcing locally including microgreens from the backyard Tairua Beach Club is a great place for a romantic dinner or a adults night out.
Coromandel oysters, Cathedral Cove hazelnuts and more. Each dish is exquistely presented, mouth watering delicious beauty. Of course you have to try the place out to test the option of off site catering with platters and canapes ready to be ordered for a gourmet feast.
Check out Menu for your next dine out with friends.
TAIRUA – FLOCK KITCHEN & BAR
Located on the main highway Flock kitchen & bar is not hard to find.
The Asian fusion menu is fresh, with elements of contemporary NZ fare throughout the menu.
Fancy a traditional pad Thai then Flock will deliver on taste.
The kids menu is not inspiring with chicken nuggets, calamari and fish n chips.
The resort town has a well stocked supermarket, major retail outlets such as GB Whitiangi offering home decorating services, equipment, fittings and homeware to Placemakers selling timber, building materials and fencing.
The town is the major hub for the Coromandel. The permanent population is just over 6,000 swelling to 20,000 in summer. Bars, eateries, pubs and takeaways flourish in the summer season.
WHITIANGI – THE WINDOW BY 97
Breakfast, brunch deliciousness is found at 97 Smoothie bowls and let’s get you excited about the changing instagram worth brekkie Menu. It is fun, alive and contemporary with a good understanding of the transient seasonal market and the need to ensure Whitiangi locals have a breakfast destination.
WHITIANGI – FRENCH FIG CAFE
Missing a scone or brioche while on holiday, well The French Fig has organised that problem for you.
The kids will love you for visiting the French Fig for a takeout breakfast.
The premises is another destination store with giftware and quirky items seemingly displayed along with bakery goods.
The French Fig offers catering services.
KUAOTUNA – LUKES KITCHEN
A rustic pizza cafe and more with Japanese style fried chicken in apple and onion sauce. The Menu — Lukes Kitchen is interesting and will suit most palates including kids.
The kids menu is the usual chicken nuggets which can be easily avoided with simple tomato and cheese topped woodfired pizza or a fresh chicken wrap. The counter food is perfect for your tent catering. You’re sorted and ready to entertain with a little help from Luke’s.
Kuaotuna has laid back holiday spirit with the cafe’s great views of the activity and being a short 10 minute drive from Whitiangi has a loyal local following.
- HAHEI – THE POUR HOUSE
Another craft brewery nestled within a contemporary NZ styled cafe.
The garden provides plenty of outdoor space for large family gatherings who have visited Cathedral Cove or Hahei beach for the day.
The pub / cafe brews have quirky names from Mad Monk or Hahei Doctor. As the only significant cafe / pub in a popular tourist spot booking ahead in the summer season is recommended.
A lively historic town where Victorian architecture, Driving Creek pottery and art gallery, artisans and a summer market are visitor drawcards. There are a number of takeaway outlets and main street cafes.
COROMANDEL TOWN – COROMANDEL OYSTER COMPANY
A picturesque setting with rustic wooden outdoor furniture, sheep in the nearby paddock and coastal views, the Coromandel Oyster Co specialises in seafood. Coromandel Oyster Company is a must for seafood lovers. Highlights include shucked oysters, mussel chowder, paua fritters and freshly harvested scallops. And there is an online store marketing freshly shucked oysters. The kitchen can be closed in the low season, check beforehand to avoid disappointment.
WHANGAMATA – SIXFORTYSIX CAFE
Sixfortysix is superb kiwi cafe cuisine that would not look out of place in Ponsonby Rd, Auckland. The bustling cafe is a local favourite main street destination.
Think of the world fused into Pacifia flavours with bean burritos, zing and pop of Asia and chicken stacked toasted sandwiches. Envisage a towering stack of Best Ugly Bagels, avocado, grilled mushrooms, hallomi cheese and other goodies for brekkie.
Large windows open out onto the main street with outside tables. And do not forget the smoothies, goodness in a jar.
COOKS BEACH – MERCURY BAY ESTATE
Naturally there is a vineyard in the mix with Mercury Bay Estate offering rustic pizzas, sharing platters, vineyard views and the Coromandel Platters. Fish pate, macadamia dukkah, mussels and locally sourced olive oil. Mercury Bay Estate has a classic dessert, robust, sweet affogato – espresso over gelato.
Romance and special occasions or a holiday treat, this is the place to be.
HOT WATER BEACH – HOTTIES CAFE
Hot Water Beach is one of NZ’s well known natural hot water springs. The beach has excellent abulation facilities, a stunning gallery, Moko Artspace featured in Coromandel art weekend trip guide, activities, what to do: Best Bits and the icing on the cake, a great cafe.
Relax after a sandy spa a la natural treatment. Hotties Cafe, or Hot Waves Cafe is nestled in a one acre garden which is perfect for kids to bounce energy off. Hotties makes the day perfect when visiting the beach.
The bonus is, Hotties is a licenced cafe.
Getting to great places to eat and cafes in the Coromandel Peninsula
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