From Filled Cronuts to Fresh Fare, Here's Your Guide to Rotorua's Foodie Scene

Syrup being poured onto a plate of brunch.

Whether you’re short on time or you’re just eager to go straight to the best, keep scrolling to find out where to eat and what to order in Rotorua.

Eating our way through a city or town is easily one of our favourite ways to experience a new destination, and it is no surprise that this beautiful, geothermal town delivers plenty of options. From mouthwatering cabinet food options to a luxurious seafood buffet, we’ve discovered the best places to eat in Rotorua, and now we’re spilling the secrets.

Whether you’re short on time or you’re just eager to go straight to the best, keep scrolling to find out where to eat and what to order in Rotorua.

Spending the day in Rotorua? Check out our 12 Hour Guide to find out exactly what to see and do to make the most of your stay.

Close-up image of cronuts in a glass cabinet.

Cronuts, Ciabatta Café and Bakery

38 White Street, Fenton Park

Known as the home of cronuts in Rotorua, Ciabatta Café and Bakery offers up delicacies that are so good, even the non-sweet toothed among us will be delighted. The hardest part is deciding which flavour to pick!

Cabinet food, Capers Café + Store

1181 Eruera Street, Rotorua

When you’re on the go, Capers does cabinet food exceptionally well, and won’t leave you feeling like you’ve traded quality for convenience. Try a crumbed chicken sandwich with sweet chilli and aioli for something savoury, or head to their sweets cabinet for a number of decadent cakes, slices and vegan raw treats. Whether you opt to eat in their large dining room with plenty of seating or retreat to your car for a meal on the dashboard, you’ll be well taken care of.

E.W.D. Fried Chicken, Eastwood Café

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End of Titokorangi Drive / Long Mile Road (access off Tarawera Road)

If you’re looking for a dining experience that's a little off the beaten track, head to Eastwood Café. This eatery is located on the ground floor of Scion, a forestry and wood product research centre, where the impressive timber structure is proudly exposed and is the star of the minimalist interiors. You won't want to skip ordering a plate of the E.W.D. Fried Chicken, complete with lemon sour cream, which is totally gluten-free.

Choripapas and the Chimichanga, Sabroso

1184 Haupapa Street, Rotorua

The Choripapas (wedges) with chorizo, feta, chipotle crema, spring onion and roast pepper at Sabroso are the perfect appetiser to start your meal on the right foot, and are, in our opinion, a must-order. For your main, you can’t go wrong with a chimichanga — a cheese-filled fried flour tortilla that will put you into a food coma in the best way possible. We would be remiss not to mention that you should wash all of this down with a margarita — they’re well-loved with regulars and it’s easy to see why.

Buffet, Stratosfare

178 Fairy Springs Road, Fairy Springs, Rotorua

“Award-winning cuisine” and “buffet-style restaurant” may initially seem like an oxymoron, but the dark and glamorous venue that is Stratosfare will prove that theory wrong. You’ll be elated to fill up your plate with their fresh, locally sourced seafood (that ranges from mussels to calamari and prawns), meat and produce, all while enjoying the stunning panoramic views of Lake Rotorua.

Kimcheese Toastie, Okere Falls Store

757A State Highway 33, Okere Falls, Rotorua

The Kimcheese Toastie at Okere Falls Store is far from your average toastie. Boasting homemade kimchi and melted cheese with pickled vegetables atop a warm, toasted bun, it's just the thing to hit the spot after a long afternoon exploring Rotorua. Plus, they have gluten-free and vegan options available, so no one has to miss out. If you’re extra peckish, pair it with something tasty and energising from their smoothie menu. You’ll feel rejuvenated and ready to hit the road again in no time flat.

Fresh sashimi, Yamato

1123 Pukuatua Street, Hillcrest, Rotorua

Park yourself up at the U-shaped bar inside Yamato and watch the chefs slice sashimi made of some of the freshest fish in town. This warm and humble Japanese eatery is all about delivering an authentic experience that will have you returning again and again. (Not to mention, it’s BYO with a small corkage fee!)

Neat Rotorua Places

Ciabatta Café and Bakery

A female chef moves a tray of proving dough rolls.
Place Rotorua Editor's Pick
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Come early enough and you’ll be privy to the glorious sight of fresh pastries being wheeled out of the kitchen and into the display cabinet.

Rotorua Night Market

People standing around at the market.
Place Rotorua
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Every Thursday from 5 pm enjoy shopping street-side at an impressive range of boutique food, arts and produce stalls.

McLeods Booksellers

Close up of cookbooks on a table.
Place Rotorua Editor's Pick

An independent, family-owned bookshop in the heart of Rotorua, celebrating over 75 years in the biz.

The Fainting Goat

Customers dining in the sunny front courtyard of The Fainting Goat bar.
Place Rotorua
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The Fainting Goat is a fun, funky and family-friendly gastropub located in the heart of Rotorua’s CBD, complete with pinball machine.