Delve off the beaten track on your travels around New Zealand and you’ll come across some hidden culinary gems tucked away in unknown pockets. Here are a few that you need to put on your bucket list:
1. Foredeck, Bay of Many Coves, Marlborough Sounds
Part of the Bay of Many Coves Resort, Foredeck’s unique setting amidst the Marlborough Sounds welcomes tranquillity, romance and is the ideal spot for candle-lit conversations over beautiful food. The menu boasts an array of delights from the sea and wholesome New Zealand beef and lamb.
2. Pitches Store, Ophir, Otago
This little diamond in the rough is located on the Otago Rail Trail and is accompanied by six simple yet indulgent guest rooms. Priding themselves on innovative menus with regionally inspired cuisine – make a weekend of it and get on ya bike!
3. Te Koha Lodge, Te Ngaere Bay, Northland
If you find yourself longing for some luxury, Te Koha Lodge in the winterless north is just the ticket. With an inhouse restaurant, chef Wayne Olsen is committed to showcasing New Zealand’s world class producers and growers with a big emphasis on using local, sustainable food from the land, sea and earth. Dishes on the menu feature produce grown in the kitchen garden – could you get any more local?
4. Whistling Frog, The Catlins
With a more casual vibe, the Whistling Frog offers a wide selection of hearty sandwiches, with menu options including all of the major proteins including beef and lamb, big tick! Once again, chef Tom Peake is big on ‘local’ and uses fresh, seasonal produce grown in their kitchen garden along with other homemade ingredients. Stop by and enjoy the live music and comedy they often have on offer.
5. Poppies Cafe, Twizel
Set amongst the Southern Alps and just a stone’s throw from Mt Cook this family friendly spot describes itself as contemporary and funky. With extensive gardens, Poppies is alfresco dining at its best. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and being fully licensed, Poppies couldn’t be any more accommodating. Serving up Canterbury lamb rack, fillet steak and lamb curry to name a few.
6. Harakeke Restaurant, Awaroa Lodge, Abel Tasman National Park
Surrounded by pristine waterways and native forest, Awaroa Lodge has been constructed to make the most of its secluded location which is not accessible by road. It’s definitely worth making the trip out to the Lodge to spend time unwinding in the Abel Tasman National Park. Whatever activities you choose to do, you can relax in the evening and be replenished by the delicious food served at Harakeke Restaurant.
7. Wharekauhau, Wairarapa
Tucked away in a remote spot in the Wairarapa overlooking green pastures and the Pacific Ocean, Wharekauhau is located 1.5 hours drive from Wellington. Luxury would be an understatement and the food is no exception. With Head Chef, Marc Soper not only in charge of the culinary fare but also offering cooking classes to guests, this is the ultimate spot for those foodies wanting to learn from the best.
8. Stoney River Boutique Hotel, Okato, Taranaki
Serving European influenced food with a twist of Kiwi, Stoney River has plenty of character. The menu includes Wagyu rump and lamb neck along with many European delights, some even prepared in their own smoke house. On Wednesday nights they have live music – just the right time to head along and enjoy a hearty meal and a stein!