A Wine and Food Lover's Guide to Hastings and Havelock North

Plate of food on a terrazzo table inside Mary's Havelock North.

Wine and Dine Your Way Around Hastings and Havelock North.

Delicious food and a perfect glass of wine all start from the same beginning, using the highest quality ingredients. The wider Hawke’s Bay is home to some of the best produce in the country, making destinations like Hastings and Havelock North a wine and food lover’s dream. From fruit orchards to vineyards to some of the best industry minds working in the region, all work together in harmony to create a stellar hospitality scene.

Words by: Julia Rutherford

Photos by: Anna Briggs

Whether you are wanting a fine dining experience with all the trimmings, a luxurious wine tasting that will please your palate or a more relaxed, casual affair, there’s something to suit all preferences.

This is our wine and food lover’s guide to Hastings and Havelock North.

Smith & Sheth

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4 Te Aute Road, 2 the Courtyard Village, Exchange, Havelock North

A village cellar door, a place for wine enthusiasts to meet up and a boutique wine tasting like no other. This is what Smith & Sheth in Havelock North is all about.

The company was founded as a celebration of wine, and their physical space in the village is carrying this out. Their oenothèque (or wine library) is somewhere you can come, do a casual tasting and have discussions about wine with like-minded folks. If you want a truly memorable experience, book into their Heretaunga Wine Studio, a longer-form showcase tasting that will transport you to another world.

Deliciosa

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21 Napier Road, Havelock North

When you’re visiting somewhere it’s always a good idea to take note of where the local favourites are, and for the many winemakers in Havelock North one of their hangouts is Deliciosa.

Packing big punchy flavours and an excellent wine list since 2007, this popular spot is known for their sharing plate style and impeccable service led by owner Sarah. So choose a bunch of options from the menu to share with friends, order a bottle of whatever takes your fancy and enjoy dining in this warm and welcoming environment.

Fresh fruit and vegetables on display at Bellatino's Havelock North.

Bellatino's

2A Treachers Lane, Havelock North

Bellatino’s is a gourmet foodie’s heaven! A self-described food lover’s market, it’s where you need to go in Havelock North to stock up on the best local produce, fine wines and artisanal food. They also specialise in hard-to-find Italian and other imported ingredients, so if you are wanting to whip up a multi-course Italian-inspired feast, this is the place to shop.

One of the best things about Bellatino’s is their freshly made sandwiches, salads and other cabinet goodies - perfect for picking up if you need a quick lunch that you know will taste amazing.

Two plates of food and glasses of rose on a table.

Craggy Range Restaurant

53 Waimarama Road, Havelock North

Craggy Range is held in high regard, not only throughout New Zealand but in wine circles across the world. Their winemaking skills have earned them many accolades over the years, and it is one of the most in-demand wineries to visit across Hawke’s Bay. 

As a lover of fine wine and food, a visit to their award-winning restaurant is an absolute must. Taking inspiration from local seasonal produce and the wines of Craggy Range, head chef Casey McDonald creates menus and dishes that you will be thinking about long after enjoying them.

With the stunning backdrop of Te Mata Peak and a full complement of Craggy Range wines to match your meal, there is a reason this restaurant is the recipient of two hats.

Image supplied by Craggy Range. 

Sazio

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215 Heretaunga Street East, Hastings

When the name of a restaurant quite literally translates to mean ‘satisfied’, you know it has to be good. This is definitely the case with neighbourhood pasta bar Sazio, found in the heart of Hastings.

The mood and atmosphere here are one of friendliness and joy, and this is all enhanced by the large open kitchen to one side of the dining room. In our opinion, the best seat in the house is up at the bar that overlooks the chefs at work. Their focaccia is a must, as is the beef ragu with pappardelle and a glass of whatever takes your fancy from the wine list. Great pasta enjoyed with great company, it’s the way life should be.

Cellar 495

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319 Heretaunga Street East, Hastings

Michael Henley is the world’s 495th Master of Wine and only the 16th New Zealander to achieve this honour. The name of his wine bar in the heart of Hastings’ revamped Toitoi - the Hawke's Bay Arts & Events Centre, is a homage to this accomplishment. Cellar 495 is the place to come to branch out and try different wines.

Michael stocks vintages and bottles from all around the region, country and the world. Be guided by his expertise and you might just discover a brand-new wine you love! There’s also a grazing-style menu to tempt you as you sip and taste, so settle into your table and enjoy an afternoon or evening at Cellar 495.

Te Awanga Estate vineyards on a sunny day.

Te Awanga Estate

376 Parkhill Road, Hastings

Te Awanga Estate commands one of the most picturesque locations in the region and is home to an award-winning range of wines by renowned winemaker Rod McDonald.

Visiting the cellar door will take your breath away, with stunning views across the vineyard and out to the Pacific Ocean. Partake in a tasting and following this, order yourself a well-curated platter and a glass of Wildsong Rosé to enjoy outside, basking in the Hawke’s Bay sunshine.

Image supplied by Te Awanga Estate. 

Pipi Pizza Café

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16 Joll Road, Havelock North

A well-made pizza can be hard to beat, and that is certainly the case when it comes to Pipi Pizza Café in Havelock North. The café is an icon in the village, with its fuchsia pink facade and mobile pizza truck that is often at events around town.

The casual and homey vibes at Pipi add to the charm of the place, and it’s the perfect spot to spend a couple of hours with friends. Share a bottle of wine and order a couple of pizzas, and why not branch out from your standard pick and choose something creative like the wilted greens with caramelised onion, walnuts, garlic butter and parmesan, how good! Top it all off with the homemade tiramisu, and you’ll leave with one happy and content stomach.

Mary's

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15 Joll Road, Havelock North

If you make one dinner reservation for your time in Havelock North, make sure it is at Mary’s. This elevated neighbourhood bistro is a collaboration between award-winning Craggy Range winery and head chef Casey McDonald, and there are elements of the famed winery all around.

To start, the wine list is exclusively Craggy Range, alongside a cocktail game that is second to none. With Casey McDonald leading the charge in the kitchen, the food is phenomenal, and the bistro-style dishes have been taken up an extra notch or two in the flavour department. Combine all this with a chic interior and amazing service, and you won’t want to leave at the end of your meal.

A woman holding a glass of red in two hands.

Decibel

101 Warren Street S., Hastings

Daniel Brennan is the man and winemaker behind Decibel. When he moved to New Zealand from the USA in 2007, he had the vision to create wines utilising classic practices with minimal intervention that reflect the community.

Daniel has a wine shop come cellar door in the centre of Hastings known as Decibel Central, where you can pick up a bottle of wine for dinner, do a quick tasting and say hi to the resident doggo. However, if you are passionate about wine, it is well worth doing the guided tasting session. You will spend 45 minutes trying different Decibel wines and learning plenty from Daniel along the way.

Neat Hastings Places

Funbuns

The colourful, Asian-inspired interior of FunBuns in Hastings.
Place Hastings
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What do you get when you combine delicious food + the best cocktails in town + good vibes and atmosphere… it’s Funbuns in the centre of Hastings! 

Sazio

Two chefs working inside the open kitchen at Sazio in Hastings.
Place Hastings
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In the heart of Hastings, neighbourhood pasta bar Sazio is driven by the philosophy of “Eat with the people you love. Eat well. Eat often. Eat pasta.”.

St Martha

The bright and beautiful counter at St Martha In Havelock North.
Place Hastings
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The Havelock North dining scene continues to trend positively, fuelled recently by its latest addition, St Martha.

Birdwoods Gallery & Café

The eclectic interior of Birdwoods Gallery in Hastings.
Place Hastings
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Birdwoods Gallery & Café is a unique and special place in the heart of rural Havelock North.