Long since having ditched the shadow of its older city sibling Auckland, Hamilton hospitality is on a crusade to ensure its city has its own sense of swagger when it comes to treating customers.

What better place to start than the café scene, where sleepy students, office workers on the run, and cruisy out-of-towners all migrate to start their morning off with a bang. And if there’s one thing Hamilton cafes sure know how to make, it’s a cup of judderingly-good coffee (not surprising for a city built on doers, makers and big thinkers though).

It helps having some smart cookies about the place roasting their own beans too, meaning if you’re drinking a cup of the good stuff in a Hamilton café, the components of it have likely been produced just down the street. 

With plenty of space to create new and exciting ways of eating and drinking, Hamilton cafes are nothing but adventurous when it comes to enticing customers and thinking outside the box to what should appear on the menu. With the perfect number of commuters and locals making this city a buzzing but not overwhelming place, there’s all the more reason to visit and spend a few days getting in as much cafe time as possible, not that you need any encouragement from us - the expertly brewed caffeine, locally made breads and pastries and chipper customer service is a sure way to ensure those who visit Hamilton quickly become very very hooked.

Tucked down laneways, tacked on to office buildings, sharing space with retail shops and nestled in the backstreets, Hamilton cafes aren’t confined to just the status quo when it comes to location - seek out those with the sunny outdoor areas and view of the river for the best of Hamilton.

Hayes Common's Lisa Quarrie on the Future of Hospitality and Adaption

A woman in her cafe posing for the camera.
One of our favourite cafés in Aotearoa is Hayes Common. Occupying a prevalent corner site alongside a river pathway, Hayes Common in Hamilton Kirikiriroa optimises everything you want in a local neighbourhood spot; an inspiring fit-out with multiple rooms, outstanding food and coffee made with care, a well-curated and changing drinks list, appealing events, such as their Meet the Maker series, plus super lovely staff and owners who work their tails off.

Made Hamilton

People hanging outside Made in Hamilton.
Place Hamilton
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Made has quickly become a must-visit destination in Hamilton East, being a hub of bustling retailers, foodies, creators and artisans.

Soul Boul

People hanging outside a cafe with large glass windows and doors.
Place Hamilton
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Searching for a spot where your goals of health and wellness can be achieved without sacrificing flavour and taste? Soul Boul in Hamilton East’s Made is this place...

Hello Rosie

Burgers and thick shakes against a white background.
Place Hamilton
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Tucked away in a corner of Hamilton city is an enchanting little laneway that evokes the charm of Italy, with its pottery and art studios, water fountains, and curated gardens.

Rüdi's Bakehouse

People lining out the door at Rudi's in Hamilton.
Place Hamilton
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In the heart of Hamilton's vibrant Riverbank Lane, with its cosmopolitan Melbourne-like ambience, you'll discover Rüdi’s—a micro-bakery that perfectly...

Weave Eatery

Customers ordering at the counter inside Weave Eatery.
Place Hamilton
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Brought to you by Lisa and Brent Quarrie of Hayes Common, Weave Eatery is a café and catering business providing...

Cream Eatery

An outstretched arm places a plate of bacon and eggs and hollandaise on the pass at Cream Eatery in Hamilton.
Place Hamilton
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From the legends behind cult-favourite eatery Winner Winner Chicken Shop comes a new venture sure to satisfy foodies from all corners of Hamilton.

Sentinel Café

Lighting at Sentinel Cafe in Hamilton.
Place Hamilton
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Sentinel Café is everything you'd want from your weekday coffee spot. Offering an expertly crafted menu, calming decor and even executive meeting rooms for hire, it’s the ideal place for a catch-up with colleagues.

Scotts Epicurean

Close up of halloumi salad on a table at Scotts Epicurean.
Place Hamilton
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For a feast full of heart and soul, you’ll want to send Scotts Epicurean to the top of your brunching list.

Finest Fit Outs: Hamilton’s Most Aesthetically Pleasing Spaces

A customer being served by a staff member at Cafe Kopi.
Hamilton may not boast the same abundance of hotspots as New Zealand's larger urban centres, yet it harbours establishments that stand in a league of their own. Here you’ll find some of the finest fit-outs in the country.

Café Kopi

Seating area at Cafe Kopi.
Place Hamilton
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One thing is for sure—only good things come out of Riverbank Lane. So it’s safe to say when Café Kopi found a home in this community, we were pretty stoked. The vibe of this little caffeine haven is pretty chic, to say the least.

Riverbank Lane

Looking down the lane towards the river.
Place Hamilton
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A place to meet, eat and drink, Riverbank Lane is home to a number of bespoke businesses that together create a charming difference to Hamilton's main street.

Punnet Eatery

The outside of Punnet Eatery surrounded by big green bushes.
Place Hamilton
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Nestled amongst fruit trees, herb bushes and shrubs, Punnet Eatery is a home away from home for visitors thanks to its homely interior, epic kids' playground and family-run ethos.

Lovegrove Lane

Lovegrove Lane in Hamilton.
Place Hamilton Editor's Pick
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Bring your basket, your yoga mat and positive vibes, and walk away charmed by Lovegrove Lane.

Frank

Interior view of the counter and seating area at Frank in Hamilton.
Place Hamilton
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Clean, polished and contemporary, there’s no doubt that plenty of thought has been put into the swish design of Frank.

Zealong Tea Estate

Hand holding tea leaves at Zealong Tea Estate, Hamilton.
Place Hamilton
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A tea estate worth its weight in gold.

A Guide to Crafty Brews and Bites in Hamilton Kirikiriroa

A hand holding a glass of beer inside Bootleg Brewery.
Beers and bites go hand in hand (that’s why we have two, right?!), and Hamilton Kirikiriroa sure knows how to deliver some of the best (beers and bites, that is, not hands).

The Lost Boys

Outside of The Lost Boys, Hamilton.
Place Hamilton
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A café tucked away in the back streets of Frankton.

Manuka Brothers

Man puts coffee on table at Manuka Brothers, Hamilton.
Place Hamilton
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A family business and cafe selling coffee beans roasted over mānuka wood.

Rocket Coffee Roasters

Entrance to Rocket Coffee Roasters.
Place Hamilton Editor's Pick
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A café and roastery that plays by it's own rules, Rocket Coffee really isn't like anything else.

Space Cadet

Wall art and curiosities on the shelf on the bright blue wall at Space Cadet, Hamilton.
Place Hamilton
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A thriving cafe that feels like a retro holiday.

Hayes Common

A woman mixes a drink behind the bar at Hayes Common, Hamilton.
Place Hamilton Editor's Pick
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This restaurant has large tables to fit the whole family as well as cosy nooks to curl up in with a cup of coffee and a good read.

Grey Street Kitchen

Waiter puts burger on the table at Grey Street Kitchen, Hamilton.
Place Hamilton
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An East Hamilton community favourite.

Anne Fern Coffee Shop

Flat white on the table.
Place Hamilton
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An unassuming, simple and stylish cafe.