Paloma

Bars key icon. Restaurants key icon.
Bars key icon. Restaurants key icon.

MondayClosed.

Tuesday5:00 – 9:00 pm.

Wednesday5:00 – 9:00 pm.

Thursday5:00 – 9:00 pm.

Friday5:00 – 9:00 pm.

Saturday5:00 – 9:00 pm.

SundayClosed.

28 Helwick Street, Wānaka

03 443 1288

Near the end of Wānaka's The Precinct’s sleek grey laneway, you’ll spy a sign with a friendly pink arrow pointing you in the direction of Paloma. Creators of authentic Mexican fare, Paloma has a simple (but by no means easy) mission: to make the best possible tacos in Wānaka using New Zealand ingredients.

Spanish for both a type of bird and a grapefruit tequila cocktail, Paloma has embraced its original, industrial canvas, skilfully marrying the exposed concrete with bright and fresh Pueblo-esque additions. There’s a wall of tequila housed in a strikingly curved white plaster feature, the floor is terracotta tiled, and hues of their signature grapefruit pink warm the rest of the space, from the custom wire chairs through to the grouting in the tiles at the bar. 

Paloma is the third venture of James Stapley, executive chef and owner of lauded Wānaka establishments Kika and arc. With those genetics, you’d expect nothing less than the finest quality ingredients and service from a baby sister restaurant. James has created something different with Paloma whilst preserving those fine dining principles; a fun, buzzy, not-too-serious dining experience based on the humble tortilla. 

To say that Paloma is all about tacos would be an understatement. Corn tortillas are made from scratch in-house every day, starting with nixtamalization – the traditional Mesoamerican process of soaking corn kernels in lime to make the corn more digestible, nutritious and delicious – using whole corn kernels grown in Napier. The nixtamal is ground into a dough (masa), then fed through Tony, the taco press, who reliably turns out perfect little discs. 

If the taco is the soul of Paloma then the Argentinian parrilla wood fire grill is its heart. Fresh, local ingredients are lovingly grilled over the open flame, ready to crown an authentic taco or complete another Mexican-influenced snack on the menu – yes, there’s more to Paloma than their tasty tacos. The best accompaniment to the three Mexican hot sauces on every table, house-made with interesting dried chillies? Mexico’s favourite cocktail, the Paloma. Choose from a number of different fruit bases, make it a mocktail, or pick another something cold from the extensive drinks offering.

People come here to have fun – birthdays, Tuesdays, anything is occasion enough. Being at Paloma feels like a celebration, any day of the week.

Words by Izzie Thompson & Photography by Nancy Zhou

Information not correct? Report an error

Location

28 Helwick Street, Wānaka

Nearby Places

Burrito Craft

Close up of a person's hands holding a taco.
Place Wānaka
Restaurants key icon.

Easygoing vibes make this permanent food truck a non-pretentious spot to park up and enjoy some food, al fresco style.

Curbside Coffee & Bagels

The courtyard of the Curbside cafe with festoon lights strung in the sky.
Place Wānaka
Cafes key icon.

If the timber letters spelling out ‘Coffee & Bagels’ overhead aren’t an obvious enough announcement of your arrival at Curbside then the aroma of freshly ground coffee and the sounds of a busy barista working the machine will certainly grab your attention.

Fedeli

A male employee holding a pie on a plate.
Place Wānaka
Cafes key icon.

A deli with a difference, Fedeli speaks volumes about creating an aesthetically pleasing space that offers up salads, pastries and coffee done well.

Inside Tattoo

Close up of tattooist drawing design at Inside Tattoo, Wānaka.
Place Wānaka
Services key icon.

Far from your average tattoo parlour, Inside Tattoo is a place to marvel at the artwork, ask questions and have your curiosity sparked.

Similar Places

Burrito Craft

Close up of a person's hands holding a taco.
Place Wānaka
Restaurants key icon.

Easygoing vibes make this permanent food truck a non-pretentious spot to park up and enjoy some food, al fresco style.

Cardrona Hotel

Historic cream and maroon weatherboard frontage of Cardrona Hotel with a vintage cream 1968 Chrysler Model 62 parked in front.
Place Wānaka Editor's Pick
Accommodation key icon. Bars key icon. Restaurants key icon.

Rumoured to be the most photographed building in the country, Cardrona Hotel was built in 1863 first and foremost as a place to stay for hardworking gold miners.

Dripping Bowl

A staff member holds two bowls, made from coconut husks, of acai topped with crunchy coconut, cacao nibs and buckwheat groats.
Place Wānaka
Cafes key icon.

Well known for acai bowls, smoothies, divine soups and a niche coffee menu, Dripping Bowl has nutrition and sustainability at its heart.

Hāwea Hotel

Inside the restaurant where people are dining and looking out the windows over the lake.
Place Wānaka
Accommodation key icon. Bars key icon. Restaurants key icon.

How do you like the idea of enjoying your morning coffee from a private balcony, with uninterrupted views of mountains encircling one of the country’s largest lakes?