Our Fave Restaurants In The Coastal BOP Right Now

Whether you’ve lived here for years or arrived in the last 24 hours, there’s bound to be a hot restaurant in the Bay that you haven’t tried yet! If you’re passionate about food and wine, there are plenty of mouth-watering options and some seriously cool locations. Here are our top picks of where to dine…

Solera 9 1

SOLERA

Solera’s moody and sophisticated interior creates an intimate, cosy atmosphere. Their menu is designed to share and while tapas is reasonably common now, Solera offers a ‘Chef’s Pass’ experience where you sit at the bar in front of the kitchen to eat while watching the food being prepared. This fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse is an experience in itself! Solera specialises in stocking fine New Zealand wines which can be perfectly matched to your meal. Their wood roasted duck is particularly spectacular.

Solera, 165 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui

PabloClarence26 copy 2

CLARENCE BISTRO

Located inside Tauranga’s historic Post Office building, Clarence has become a firm favourite for fine dining in the Bay. Their sophisticated menu and décor is sure to impress you and the service here is top notch. Clarence Bistro follows cuisine that remains authentic and focused on the essence of fresh ingredients and flavour. Chef Simon Wright will take you on a culinary journey of contemporary Mediterranean dining, paired with exceptional wine.

Clarence Bistro, 51 Willow Street, Tauranga

Roxies 4

ROXIE'S RED HOT CANTINA

This pumping taco joint serves up the best street food from L.A. to the Baja Coast right here in Mount Maunganui. Portions are definitely as big as the flavours. The only way to tackle their epic burgers, tacos, pizza, Koreatown fried chicken and monster nachos (smothered in chilli con carne, melted cheese, avocado, salsa and jalapeños) is with your fingers, so prepare to get messy and dive right in! Make sure you order a frozen margarita while you’re there.

Roxie's Red Hot Cantina, 113 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui

Fife 1

FIFE LANE KITCHEN & BAR

With an impressive six nominations, Fife Lane leads the way in the 2022 Bay Hospitality Awards, and is a finalist in the categories of outstanding restaurant, chef and bartender. Their ambience & design also earned them a nod, and their front of house staff and assistant chef have been recognised too. Fife Lane is famed for its steaks and traditional ‘meat locker’ display, and delivers an all-round classy experience.

Fife Lane, 512 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui

Lantern 3 1

LANTERN

Tucked right at the front of what used to be Pāpāmoa Beach Tavern (now The Island), this southeast Asian restaurant is aglow with beautiful low-slung lanterns and gorgeous food. Plates are designed to share and their tiger prawn toast is hard to go past! Lantern’s roasted duck is also pretty impressive and their cocktail list is a lot of fun – try ‘Hot in Hanoi’ or ‘Ginger Ninja’ to really spice things up.

Lantern, 20 Domain Road, Pāpāmoa

Picnicka JayDrewPhotography2 1

PICNICKA

There’s no doubt that Picnicka is the place to see and be seen right now. This new eatery, on Level 1 of the new Farmers building (aka Elizabeth Towers) is billed as a space to ‘graze and play’. In other words, grab a load of your friends and share some amazing platters of food, tapas-style. The interior styling is pretty special too. Open Monday to Tuesday 12pm until late and Wednesday to Sunday 9am until late.

Picnicka, Level 1 Elizabeth Towers, 38 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga

Alpino 8 Jordan Alexandra

ALPINO

Transport yourself to Italy with the passionate team at Alpino, who will warmly welcome you to their kitchen table. Indulge in authentic Italian pizza and pasta with all the parmesan, basil, olive oil and garlic you can handle. The traditional Italian décor ensures this is an immersive dining experience, offering impressive cocktails that are bound to cause trouble.

Alpino, 16 Pacific Avenue, Mount Maunganui

Cigol 11 v2

CIGOL

Further east in Whakatāne you’ll find Cigol, a modern Korean Pacific fusion restaurant. Their menu is designed to share and is brought out from the kitchen as soon as it’s ready, so you can enjoy a smorgasbord of flavours during the evening. Their take on KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) is fabulous, as is their hāngī-style Korean pork noodle soup. Shaved ice-cream (chocolate or mango) can also be shared for dessert. Cigol’s creative and upbeat vibe makes you feel good as soon as you step through the door.

Cigol, 14 Richardson Street, Whakatāne

Umami 1

UMAMI

It’s not often you think ‘Pyes Pa’ as a dinner location so it’s brilliant to have something special at this end of town. Umami’s trendy fit-out and excellent front-of-house service will set the scene for a great meal. Their modern fusion menu combines flavours of southeast Asian cuisine with a Pacific twist and all meals are beautifully plated and presented. Food is served as soon as it’s ready (rather than all at once), so sit back and enjoy a feast for your eyes and your tastebuds.

Umami, Unit 2/83 Pyes Pa Road, Tauranga

DSC00073 1

SUGO

Based on the newly developed Wharf Street in Tauranga, you'll find Sugo. An Italian inspired restaurant headed by award-winning chef Ian Harrison. Expect exquisite house-made pasta and menu items that will deliver a genuine taste of Italy like you've never tasted before. They also have a separate vegan menu offering items such as a mushroom pappardelle with vegan parmesan, onion ash and rosemary oil... YUM!

Sugo, 19 Wharf Street, Tauranga

Somerset Cottage 3

SOMERSET COTTAGE

You’ll never be disappointed at Somerset Cottage because every single one of their dishes taste incredible! This small, rustic cottage in Bethlehem has been going since 1986 and continues to be run by the incomparable chef, Rick Lowe, and front of house expert, Anne Butcher. Their weekly menu constantly changes but their classics always remain at hand - twice baked cheese soufflé with oven roasted paprika pears is heaven on a plate, and you won’t find a better seared eye fillet anywhere.

Somerset Cottage, 30 Bethlehem Road, Tauranga

Trading Post 2

THE TRADING POST

It may surprise you to find an Italian restaurant in Paengaroa but we promise it’s worth the drive! The Trading Post serves casual Italian cuisine with a focus on local ingredients from a beautiful wooden cottage in the countryside. Savour fresh pastries, fantastic brunch options and an exquisite degustation. Open for brunch Tuesday-Saturday (9am-2.30pm) and dinner Thursday-Friday until 8.30pm.

The Trading Post, 1 Hall Road, Paengaroa

SaltWater 105

SALTWATER - SEAFOOD GRILL & OYSTER BAR

Saltwater is the Mount's hottest new seafood spot, which uses the freshest seafood from around Aotearoa. Watch the chefs in action as they shuck oysters, slice fresh sashimi, and grill whole flounder. Enjoy your fresh catch with one of their superb cocktails from their extensive drinks menu.

Saltwater - Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar203 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui

Izakai restaurant 2

IZAKAI BAR AND EATERY

A unique dining experience blending Māori and Japanese flavours. Enjoy delicious food, handcrafted cocktails, and warm hospitality in an intimate setting. Favourites include hangi pork and watercress ramen, creamed paua and prawn gyoza, and the award-winning mānuka honey roasted kūmara pie.

Izakai Bar and Eatery, 19 Girven Road, Mount Maunganui

Master Kong 1

MASTER KONG

Master Kong has been a hit in Wellington for years, and now Mount Maunganui has a restaurant of its own to drool over. It promises seriously kick-ass Asian street food and boy does it deliver! You haven’t tasted ‘hot’ until you’ve tasted their spicy firecracker chicken – make sure you pay attention to their nunchuck chilli guide or you will regret it! Their bao buns, dumplings and traditional snacks (like Korean fried cauliflower, kong fried chicken wings and popcorn prawns) are so delicious you won’t want to share.

Master Kong, 217 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui

Rice Rice Baby 1

RICE RICE BABY

Casual dining but blockbuster flavours is what you’ll find at Rice Rice Baby. They serve up authentic Vietnamese cuisine and their fresh ingredients (think piles of bean sprouts, coriander, herbs, spring onions) combined with green chilli sauce, sriracha mayo, crushed peanuts or fried shallots, will have your tastebuds singing. Crispy prawn crackers, fresh summer rolls and their noodle soups are always winners.

Rice Rice Baby, 136 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui

EXPLORE THE BAY...