The People Behind the Places: Meet the Food & Drink Heroes of Kāpiti Coast

A woman holding dutch pancakes in front of a white caravan.

While Kāpiti Coast might be more commonly associated with a holiday destination where the classic fish n’ chips on the beach scenario is a fit-for-purpose culinary experience, scratch the surface, and you’ll find the region brimming with food and drink locations that will have you toss away the thought of eating off paper.

Words by: Petra Nyman

Photos by: Anna Briggs

From wholefoods goodness to authentic Italian, modern Kiwi cuisine to Dutch delicacies, sustainably focussed roasters to imaginative gin distillers and foodie empires that sprawl across the region, there are loads to discover here and plenty of good people behind these local hospitality businesses.

Sunday Cantina

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31 Poplar Avenue, Raumati South, Paraparaumu, Kāpiti Coast

Fi Greig of Sunday Cantina is a woman with a passion for whole foods, community and educating others. Her friendly and fun eatery in Raumati South is a gathering ground for local foodies who flock to devour the delicious, fresh goodness created in the kitchen. The prolific chef has released two cookbooks so far, The Fi Greig Method and Sunday Cantina, and also hosts regular ever-popular cooking classes at, where else than, Sunday Cantina.

50-50

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22 MacLean Street, Paraparaumu Beach, Kāpiti Coast

Chef extraordinaire, wahine toa, owner-operator of 50-50, Helen Turnbull, is on a mission to create dishes that reflect our island nation and contribute towards building a stronger sense of what modern New Zealand cuisine really is. She likes to experiment with seasonal produce and create dishes that surprise and intrigue, yet also nourish and comfort. A dining experience at 50-50 is unlike any other, a journey into Helen’s world of wondrous hospitality.

Passo

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159 Kapiti Road, Paraparaumu, Kāpiti Coast

Michele Passarello hails from Agricento, Sicily, a city famous for its culinary culture. It’s no surprise then, that his restaurant, Passo, showcases modern Italian fare with a Sicilian twist. Michele grew up in a family of cooks and is passionate about sharing his heritage with the people of Kāpiti Coast. This is your destination for authentic, made-from-scratch Italian food that will have your senses celebrating.

A woman smiling to camera with a hand in her apron pocket.

Montfoort

It all started with a taste of fresh stroopwafel at a Dutch market for Eloise van Wynbergen. The daughter of a Dutchman, Eloise grew up with the flavours of the European nation, but it wasn’t until she tasted the good stuff straight from the source that she realised what New Zealanders were missing. In the business of showcasing authentic sweet Dutch street food, you can find Eloise and partner Andrew cooking up their tasty treats direct from their cute caravan cookery Montfoort.

Dark Horse

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4a Sheffield Street, Paraparaumu, Kāpiti Coast

Dark Horse Coffee Co. grew out of a passion for artisan coffee and consistent roasting quality. Matthew Payne, the man behind the business, began roasting in 2016, and since then, the business has grown immensely. Now sporting a state-of-the-art Loring hot-air roaster, which creates 80% less emissions than regular roasters, Dark Horse Coffee Co. is on a mission to keep an eye on its environmental impact as well as spread its wings across Te Ika-a-Māui.

 

Foodfolk Collective

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Waikanae

At the heart of everything at Foodfolk Collective is connectedness. The connectedness of people and the natural world, the food, and where it comes from. The collective's gardens grow the majority of the produce used in the various kitchens of its Kāpiti-wide foodie empire that includes Salty's, Olde Beach Bakery, Salt & Wood BBQ and Longbeach Café & Tavern, and while its brewery, North End, supplies beverages to keep its clients quenched. Head to any of Foodfolk's restaurants, and feel the commitment to community, good food and good times.

Duncan's Brewing Company

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4B Sheffield Street, Paraparaumu, Kāpiti Coast

One half, and namesake of Duncan’s Brewing Company, George Duncan, is a man on a mission to create the wackiest beer flavours you’ve ever come across. It’s as much about an untapped niche as it is about a personal interest in creating out-of-the-box beverages that surprise and evoke curiosity. That’s exactly what Duncan’s Brewing Co is now known for, an array of fun ice cream sours that are appropriately adorned in psychedelic art.

Neat Kāpiti Coast Places

Beach Road Deli

The brightly lit interior of Beach Road Deli on a sunny day.
Place Kāpiti Coast Paekākāriki Editor's Pick
Cafes key icon.

On the main street of the cute seaside township of Paekākāriki, you’ll find Beach Road Deli – a bright and beachy café offering great coffee and quality...

Passo

A colourful mural on the wall inside Passo.
Place Kāpiti Coast Paraparaumu
Restaurants key icon.

You wouldn’t necessarily expect to stumble upon an authentic Sicilian restaurant serving up mouthwatering dishes in the heart of Paraparaumu, but Passo is here to...

Long Beach Tavern

Graffiti art on an exterior wall.
Place Kāpiti Coast
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The ultimate community restaurant, Long Beach, is a Waikanae institution.

Toi MAHARA

Weaved bags and mats on display inside a gallery.
Place Kāpiti Coast
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Toi MAHARA is the district public gallery for the Kāpiti Coast. It stands in pride of place in the heart of Waikanae in a purpose-built building designed by Athfield Architects.