The Sweetest Spots in Porirua

Colourful cupcakes in a white box.

If you’re a sweet tooth looking to expand your horizons, Porirua is a great place to begin.

Words by John Son

Photos by Anna Briggs 

Those familiar with Porirua will know that this unassuming little city is secretly a foodie’s paradise. From top-notch craft breweries and dainty bakeries to an impressive array of ethnic cuisines, the food on offer is as diverse as the city’s population.

And of course, no respectable foodie destination is complete without a comprehensive selection of sweet treats. Wherever you go, you’re bound to find a sugar fix to hit the spot. Here’s a selection to get you started.

The Cake Café Plimmerton

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15B Steyne Avenue, Plimmerton

With a name like The Cake Café Plimmerton, you can rest assured this Plimmerton spot right by the beach has something to sate even the sweetest tooth. In addition to the beautiful custom cakes made to order, cupcakes are among the hottest items dished out by mum-and-daughter team Cate and Natalie, available in every flavour imaginable. With plenty of vegan and gluten-free options too, you truly are spoilt for choice.

The Regal Shortbread Co.

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109 Discovery Drive, Whitby

A micro-bakery hidden away in Whitby, The Regal Shortbread Co. has quietly grown over the years into a household name around Porirua. As the name suggests, owner Anita’s decadent shortbread cookies are her flagship treats, available in six signature flavours. Swing by her little haven to pick up a bag of shortbread, along with the other goods she whips up on the regular, such as her immensely popular ginger nut biscuits and South African milk tart.

Local Authority

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Shop 1/1 Walton Leigh Avenue, Porirua City Centre

We have it on good authority that Local Authority is one of the most popular cafes in Porirua, and one visit will show you why. This pocket-sized coffee spot punches way above its weight, delivering a surprising array of sweet eats ranging from small bites to more substantive meals. The popular toast menu comes with both sweet and savoury options, and the sweet porridges keep locals well-fed and warm in autumn and winter. Check out the donuts and bliss balls too, and wash it all down with one of their fantastic smoothies.

Cafe Kaizen

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17 Parumoana Street

Tucked away inside Pātaka Art + Museum, Cafe Kaizen is the perfect spot to wind down and reflect with a sweet treat after browsing the artworks throughout the space. Flowing seamlessly with the museum and gallery and boasting plenty of seating, you’re welcome to stay for as long or as little as you’d like. If time’s not on your side, just head straight to the cabinet, where a selection of plump cake slices await - the renowned rhubarb shortcake is a popular go-to.

A cream donut from the Urban Bake House in Porirua.

Urban Bake House

25 Ulric Street, Plimmerton

Located in an industrial corner of Plimmerton, Urban Bake House brings some much-needed colour and flavour to this part of town. The bakery might be most famous for its fresh loaves and pies, but its sweet goods have an ardent fan base as well. The Danish pastries are exceptional, and the cabinet is regularly stocked with cakes, muffins, and slices. Take a pack of macarons home as the perfect souvenir for your trip to Plimmerton.

Little Green Olive

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4 Mana Esplanade, Paremata

Perched right on Mana Esplanade, Little Green Olive has fantastic views of the Porirua Harbour - along with some decadent sweet bites designed for grabbing on the go. Based in a refurbished shipping container that offers plenty of seating through smart use of space, the compact spot has turned into a real community hub, thanks largely to the excellent range of bliss balls that draw the crowds. The focus here is squarely on healthy, plant-based food, and the raw slices are another popular pick - choose from chocolate, lemon white chocolate, peppermint, and a whole heap of other tempting flavours.

T Bay Café

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26 Whitehouse Road, Tītahi Bay

A popular Titahi Bay brunch spot, t bay cafe boasts plenty of options that keep the neighbourhood’s sweet tooths coming back for more. For a hearty sit-down sweet fix, check out the delectable brunch menu, which has offerings like granola with a mixed berry compote and double stacked pancakes with passionfruit curd. Alternatively, you can eye up the offerings in the cabinet - the cheesecakes at t bay cafe are highly regarded, and for good reason.

Neat Porirua Places

Abandoned Brewery

The exterior of the Abandoned Brewery with a courtyard out the front.
Place Porirua
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Rising from the ashes of - literally - an abandoned brewery in Lower Hutt, Abandoned Brewery is doing its part to put Porirua on the map as a top beer lover’s destination.

Topor Bistro

Exterior sign at Topor.
Place Porirua
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Those clued up on Polish cuisine will feel right at home at Topor Bistro, with a menu featuring the classics: dig in to pierogi, bigos, and golabki.

Karehana Bay Beach

Looking across the sand covered bay where there are tree covered hills next to the beach.
Place Porirua

Tucked away in a small nook on the north-western end of Plimmerton, Karehana Bay is often overlooked by visitors to Porirua.

Pukerua Bay

View of the bay with hills behind.
Place Porirua
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Looking for a beachside walk that’s not like the others? Hidden gem Pukerua Bay is exactly what you’re after.