Ode to Long Lunches

People having a long lunch at Tussock Hill Vineyard, Christchurch.
Is there anything more satisfying than a lingering long lunch?

Cucina

Birdseye view of people sharing plates of food at Cucina in Ōamaru.
Place Ōamaru & Waitaki
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Argentinian, Italian and Spanish flavours meet Kiwi hospitality at Cucina. Owners Yanina and Pablo, moved their family to Ōamaru in 2008, and celebrate the cuisine they grew up with through Waitaki's best ingredients.

Wild Sage Café

White booth with green wall backrop at Wild Sage Café in Kurow, Waitaki.
Place Ōamaru & Waitaki
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Touted as an eclectic, cosy nook in the heart of beautiful Kurow, Wild Sage specialises in home-style kai and proudly serves delicious Common Ground coffee.

Whitestone Cheese Co.

Exterior view of Whitestone Cheese Co in Ōamaru.
Place Ōamaru & Waitaki
Cafes icon

After 35 years and counting, Whitestone Cheese are still seriously good cheese people and their cheeses are still handmade with what they believe to be the best raw material on earth, North Otago milk. A tour of the artisanal factory, a few samples in the café, and you’ll definitely agree.

Vinbrux Bakery

Baker making bread in the kitchen at Vinbrux Bakery in Ōamaru.
Place Ōamaru & Waitaki
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Vinbrux is home to stunning patisserie, organic German style sourdough and excellent brunch. Everything is 100% homemade by the family, often with produce from their farm, and is served in an atmosphere that’s as jovial as the food is delicious.

Tees St

Counter with woman behind at Tees St Café in Ōamaru.
Place Ōamaru & Waitaki
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Cucina’s day time counterpart with colourful, tasty brunch plates. The huevos rancheros have been winning ‘big brekkie’ traditionalists over since 2016 and the bombolino doughnuts are the mid-day treat you deserve.

The FishWife

Wooden board with three cooked lobster on top at the FishWife in Moeraki.
Place Ōamaru & Waitaki

Owned by a fourth-generation Moeraki fisherman, this dockside restaurant is the real deal. Snag a crayfish with chips for a meal that’s simple but supremely delicious, or go for the pāua patty which will have you renouncing beef burgers altogether. Whatever you go for, it’s all caught right here.

River-T Estate Wines

3 wine bottles on top of a wine barrel River-T Estate in Kurow.
Place Ōamaru & Waitaki
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River-T Estate vineyard and tasting room has the ‘largest selection of Waitaki wine in the world’. Sit inside or amongst the rows, sip a glass and get stuck into any of their locally sourced platters.

The Vintners Drop

Close up of wine and a couple of books kept in a safe at Vinters Drop in Kurow, Waitaki.
Place Ōamaru & Waitaki
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Nestled on the main street of Kurow in what was once the local post office building, Vintners Drop is the cellar door of boutique winery Ostler Vineyards.

The Fort Enfield

Local patron raising a drink at The Fort Enfield in Waitaki.
Place Ōamaru & Waitaki
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A classic Kiwi pub reimagined — Speights and craft pours plus simple and delicious kai — pub fare as it should be. Drive or bike the 12km from Ōamaru and reward yourself with the best steak and chips around.

Fleurs Place

Framed pictures on the wall at Fleurs Place in Moeraki.
Place Ōamaru & Waitaki
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A foodie destination in its own right, Fleurs is a place to ‘rest by day’. It’s an exploration of ingredients normally overlooked, a celebration of kaimoana and a restaurant where every meal is magical.

Harbour Street Collective

Piano and seating area at Harbour Street Collective in Ōamaru.
Place Ōamaru & Waitaki
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With coffee, cabinet food, all day brekkie, a playground, art gallery, vintage shop and in-house sushi bar, there’s truly something for everyone. The cinnamon scrolls, for one, fly out the door every morning, so don’t wait!

Craftwork Brewery

Drinks and cheese board on a table at Craftwork Brewery in Ōamaru.
Place Ōamaru & Waitaki
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Ōamaru’s Heritage Precinct is an ode to tradition. In this way it only makes sense that it’s home to Craftwork - an award winning, small scale, Belgian brewery run by brewing couple, Lee-Ann Scotti and Michael O’Brien.

Cure Weekend Brunching with 6 of the Best Cafés in Ōamaru

Birdseye view of brunch from Tees Street.
If you catch yourself in Ōamaru in some form of the morning, here’s the spots to hit up for your brunch needs.

Badger & Mackerel

Interior view of Badger and Mackerel in Ōamaru.
Place Ōamaru & Waitaki
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This messhall’s band of regulars come back for top-notch coffee, the eggs benedict and above all, the handmade pies. Find them in the cabinet amongst an unbelievable array of treats, both sweet and savoury, and all homemade.

Riverstone Kitchen

Bevan Smith in the gardens at Riverstone Kitchen in Waitaki.
Place Ōamaru & Waitaki
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Riverstone Kitchen has been working with Waitaki producers and growing their own ingredients since day one. Their simple, seasonal approach has earned a huge following and heaps of awards, so wander the veggie gardens, enjoy a meal and stay awhile.

Where to get Down with Donuts

A tray of doughnuts from Baked.
Doughnuts or donuts--who really cares? We've rounded up the best doughy deliciousness you can find in NZ.

Get Around Good Grub, Here's the Best Things to Eat in the Waitaki Region

Waiter at Cucina holding a cauliflower dish.
These dishes come from some of the area’s most loved dining establishments and all represent the region in a uniquely different way.