Dine Around the World At Palmerston North’s Best Eateries

Interior view of Libre, Palmerston North.

If there’s one thing we miss about globe-trotting, it’s the food. Nothing beats picking up a Bánh Mì on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City or sidling into a cosy Izakaya down a Tokyo alleyway. 

And while travel has been off the table, taking your tastebuds on a global tour is right on the doorstep of Palmerston North locals. Whether you’re after melt-in-your-mouth meats grilled to perfection or blissfully fluffy pork steamed buns, we’ve got you covered. Ready yourself with stretchy pants, these are Palmy’s eight best international eateries. 

Mexico

Libre

9 George Street, Palmerston North

Add a bit of spice to your foodie outing and make Mexican-inspired restaurant Libre your destination. The bold blue facade, high-energy artwork and bustling vibes are a clear indication of the wild ride your tastebuds are about to enjoy. Kick-start things with a snack selection including elotes—charred corn with chipotle mayo, or a stack of tortilla chips with house-made guac and black bean dip. Given the lavish metallic bar, it’s no surprise their drinks list packs a punch. Enjoy a discerning selection of tequila and mezcal as well as ‘Gram-worthy cocktails and classic frozen margs. 

South Africa

Little Savanna

45/47 Princess Street, Palmerston North

There are few better scents in this world than the smell of a South African ‘braai’—otherwise known as a BBQ to Kiwis. Little Savanna marries the best of New Zealand’s meat and veg with traditional flame-grilled cooking methods to produce truly memorable bites. You can’t really go wrong here, from indulgent smokey pork ribs to Portuguese-style skewered sirloin, it’s the definition of mouth-watering. Paired with a tipple from their thoughtfully curated wine list and you’ve got yourself a winner. What’s more, the fit-out is truly top-notch, so your evening is bound to feel super special.

Vietnam

Saigon Corner

54 Princess Street, Palmerston North

Bright, light and full of spice, Saigon Corner will steal any foodie’s heart in a flash. You’ll find this sweet little spot on Princess Street, decked out in white, wood and green tones. Our advice? Come hungry because you’ll be ordering up large. From the best-selling salt and pepper squid to roast duck coconut curry and the all-important beef Pho soup, you’re spoilt for choice. Traditional Vietnamese coffee is also on the list for those in need of a caffeine hit.

Japan

Yatai Japanese Izakaya

316 Featherston Street, Palmerston North

Offering a true taste of Japanese authenticity, you’ll find Yatai Japanese Izakaya unsuspectingly tucked away in a humble abode down Featherston Street. Upon walking through the traditional-style entrance, you’ll more than likely be greeted by owner Barbara Taniyama. Settle down and enjoy your feast share-plate style, because, with more than 80 dishes on the menu, there’s sure to be a few that strike your fancy. From fresh sashimi to beef and tuna tataki and crispy karaage chicken, good luck narrowing down your dinner order.

Cambodia

Angkor

4 Coleman Place, Palmerston North

Picture this; vibrant plates piled high with fresh produce and soul-awakening flavours. This is what you’ll find at Angkor, the home of Cambodian cuisine in Palmy. Specifically, Cambodian (or Khmer) food brings together notes from Chinese, Indian and French cuisines, so it truly is one-of-a-kind. A meal at Angkor dives deep into these complex flavours, with a clear appreciation for heroing seasonal produce through simple techniques. From sizzling hot plates to colourful noodle dishes, one thing is for sure, dining here is a feast for the eyes.

China

Tasty Restaurant

700 Main Street, Palmerston North

Tasty Restaurant does what it says on the tin—serves damn tasty traditional Chinese dim sum. You’ll find all your favourites on their extensive menu; steamed BBQ pork buns, wonton noodle soup, deep-fried prawns and congee. Their BBQ menu on the other hand offers lip-smacking meats like Peking duck, roast pork and crispy chicken—drool. From hot plates to hot pot, chef’s specials and seafood, this place really does have it all. 

New Zealand

Nero

36 Amesbury Street, Palmerston North

For a taste of New Zealand at its best, you can’t go past booking in an evening at Nero. More than twenty years in the making, this humble bistro punches well above its weight by getting the simple things right; stellar service and mouth-watering meals. Local produce is at the core of what they do, heroing a list of curated Kiwi suppliers like Coastal Spring Lamb and Ocean Beef. Expertly prepared meats are complemented by an array of seasonal plant-based dishes and an extensive wine list. If you’re already drooling—we bet you are—book a night at Nero stat.