Cure Weekend Brunching with 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 are the spots to hit up for your brunch needs.

Words by: Johnny Gibson

Photography by: Nancy Zhou

It’s hard to know if time in Ōamaru moves backwards, forwards or stands still all in the same moment. But luckily the food scene has had a real upgrade in recent years thanks to some forward thinkers, passionate locals and a real emphasis to showcase what’s grown in the regional food basket of Waitaki. 

Tees St

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3 Tees Street, South Hill, Oamaru

If you’re a regular to Ōamaru or have just passed through enough times to cotton on to Tees Street, you’ll agree that this spot has set a new standard for the region. Forget your ‘same old, same old’ brunch plates, the options here are reborn and made with local ingredients and flavours of South America, Asia and the Mediterranean. Picture huevos rancheros, sticky pork bao buns or fried chicken tacos. These dishes have been winning over big brekkie traditionalists since 2016. Supreme beans and bomboloni doughnuts will most definitely round out your brunch experience. 

Badger & Mackerel

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175 Thames Street, Oamaru

A hub for great food, excellent service and a refreshing mix of big brekkie classics and modern brunch plates. Badger & Mackerel does a full breakfast-brunch menu. The standout dish is the pork belly eggs benny made with local free-range eggs, twelve-hour slow-roasted pork belly, a dash of hollandaise and a bit of chilli on the side for those who like heat. Alongside the menu, there’s also a cabinet that brings the ‘wow’ factor, there’s just so much to choose from and it’s all homemade - even the pies. Don’t fret if you’re gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian - Badger & Mackerel does it all.

Riverstone Kitchen

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1431 Glenavy-Hilderthorpe Road, Waitaki Bridge

A remarkable foodie's destination just off Highway 1, 20 minutes north of Oamaru, is Riverstone Kitchen. Their menu changes with the seasons, and it’s no wonder why once you stroll through the beautiful surrounding gardens. On the breakfast menu, expect to see a breakfast bowl, something creative using local smoked salmon and your essential egg options. Celebrating and plating up beautiful, honest and most importantly delicious representations of Waitaki, it’s no wonder this place is generally heaving. 

Neat Ōamaru & Waitaki Places

Victoria Lounge and Eatery

Plush blue seating set against a dark green wall filled with portraits of queens
Place Ōamaru & Waitaki
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Victoria Lounge and Eatery in the heart of Ōamaru is a welcome addition to the burgeoning hospitality scene in this small town brimming with charm and character.

Del Mar

Looking across the indoor dining area and out to the water and beach at Del Mar.
Place Ōamaru & Waitaki
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Perfectly positioned by the sea, Del Mar Eatery and Beach Bar in Ōamaru takes full advantage of its waterside views.

Valley Views Glamping

A bedroom set inside a Glamping pod with a wooden panelled floor.
Place Ōamaru & Waitaki Editor's Pick
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Glamping with sweeping views of the Waitaki Valley, and hosts who know its every nook and cranny including the best summer swimming holes. Honeymoon, stay-cation, reunion, whatever the occasion, it’ll be best had here.

Hot Tubs Omarama

View of hot tub outside at Hot Tubs Omarama.
Place Ōamaru & Waitaki
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Weary travellers mustn't miss Hot Tubs Omarama place, where you can soak in a cedar tub in the stunning North Otago landscape. Tubs fit up to eight people and are filled with fresh mountain water for each booking.