We're spoilt for choice with great cafés and coffee bars in New Zealand. Neat Places has visited them all, and this is our pick of the best.

No stranger to a good cup of coffee, New Zealand plays host to a huge variety of coffee houses, tearooms, slick cafés and roasteries, all joint in their effort to bring you the finest cup of caffeine you’ll have that day.

Whether you’re city hopping from North to South, or driving through some of New Zealand’s smaller towns, you’re sure to find coffee at every stop. That’s because our small population has never been an excuse for a non-quality brew, and as more and more spots pop up around the country, Kiwis are simply spoilt for choice when it comes to soaking up a bit of café culture.

Leading the charge in the North is the super city Auckland, where most of New Zealand’s coffee drinkers reside. Slick, modern and confident in their ability to bring you the best, Auckland’s café scene is something not to be missed.

Further down the country Wellington is also known for its love of caffeine, and true to its hip and arty scene, coffee shops here are eclectic, quirky and full of colourful characters behind the counter.

Christchurch is no stranger to the party either, and a growing reputation as a city well worth its weight in coffee bean gold means visitors here will be impressed with both the number and quality of fun and creative coffee stops.

The further South you go, the more pleased you will be to hear a good hot cup of coffee is not hard to come by, and for people of Dunedin who face some of the coolest temperatures in the country, something to warm your hands on that also tastes bloody good is something worth celebrating. Proud of their city, fashion and food scene, Dunedin locals have let their passion for coffee infiltrate the streets, meaning within a stone’s throw of the Octagon are any number of cafés and eateries that are serving up quality cups of the good stuff.

Not to be missed too are the smaller towns dotted around the country, who may be less in population but certainly aren’t less in their love of hospitality. Cosy up at an old school tearoom with a lamington or custard square, or pop into an easy-going café that knows its locals by name – a New Zealand experience in itself, small town and rural sections of the country will perhaps make you feel more welcome than anywhere else.

A Place in the Sun: Best Al Fresco Dining in Hastings and Havelock North

A couple dining outside a black barn on a sunny day.
Commonly referred to as the ‘fruit bowl of New Zealand’, Hawke’s Bay is something of a paradise for culinary enthusiasts and wine connoisseurs alike. The region’s temperate climate lends itself to many an outside meal, and with an abundance of charming outdoor spaces on offer, al fresco dining is a concept most locals are more than just a little familiar with.

St Martha

The bright and beautiful counter at St Martha In Havelock North.
Place Hastings
Cafes key icon. Restaurants key icon.

The Havelock North dining scene continues to trend positively, fuelled recently by its latest addition, St Martha.

Lot 2

The bright interior of Lot 2 cafe in Havelock North.
Place Hastings
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Havelock North’s Lot 2 is a laid back, unpretentious eatery that starts each day as a café, before transforming into an intimate evening destination.


Customers sitting at high black tables inside the cafe.
Place Hastings Editor's Pick
Cafes key icon.

Hidden down a laneway on Joll Road in Havelock North, you will come across caffeine superstars Workroom.

Hawthorne Coffee Roastery & Espresso Bar

A barista working behind a small hole-in-the-wall window.
Place Hastings
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Morning coffee places don’t get any better than the Hawthorne Coffee Roastery & Espresso Bar in Havelock North.

Birdwoods Gallery & Café

The eclectic interior of Birdwoods Gallery in Hastings.
Place Hastings
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Birdwoods Gallery & Café is a unique and special place in the heart of rural Havelock North.