Don't leave the Bay without trying...

Spongedrop cheese scones 1

CHEESE SCONES FROM SPONGEDROP

Heaven is a warm, freshly-baked cheese scone and Mount Maunganui’s Spongedrop café make the absolute best. Light and airy, with a little bit of spice and oodles of butter, these scones will simply melt in your mouth. Helpfully, Spongedrop make a gluten-free option as well as their regular recipe so no-one has to miss out.

10 Salisbury Avenue, Mount Maunganui

falafelmetro

FALAFEL FROM FALAFEL METRO

If you haven’t tried authentic falafel before, you’re in for a treat. Your toasted pita pocket will be stuffed full of golden falafel balls (ground chickpeas) topped with a variety of sauces and goodies such as fresh tomatoes, eggplant chutney, Israeli pickles, beetroot, coriander and more. If you don’t fancy a pita pocket, you can enjoy your falafel over shredded lettuce or yellow rice. So good! Check out their Facebook page.

1 Devonport Road, Tauranga

Chideori

RAMEN FROM CHIDORI

This Japanese noodle restaurant on Devonport Road is renowned for its authentic ramen. Their bowls of delicate broth are simmered until they shimmer with fats extracted from chicken or pork bones and take at least 12 hours to prepare. Ramen will nourish and soothe you and features lots of tasty ingredients like bamboo shoots, spring onions and leeks in addition to firm and tasty noodles. This is honest, cheap, delicious food.

130 Devonport Road, Tauranga

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PRAWN TOAST FROM LANTERN

Papamoa’s Lantern restaurant has created quite the buzz since opening in early 2022 and their tiger prawn toast is an absolute winner. Prawns coated in Sriracha cheese sauce are piled high onto toasty chunks of turmeric sourdough, and then topped with sweet chilli and green rice flakes. It’s warm, comforting, crispy and delicate all in one mouthful. You can share a plate but why would you? Order one just for yourself.

20 Domain Road, Papamoa Beach

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FISH & CHIPS FROM BOBBY'S FRESH FISH MARKET

Golden battered fish and crispy chips don’t come any fresher than this. Sit yourself down at a picnic table right beside the wharf at Tauranga’s waterfront and salivate at the crunchy, salty goodness of this Kiwi classic. This is the best fresh fish and seafood in the Bay of Plenty – and the circling seagulls know it! Find out more.

1 Dive Crescent, Tauranga

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CINNAMON BUNS FROM WILDFLOUR

It takes a full two days to handmake one of Wildflour’s famous cinnamon brioche buns – and we reckon it’s well worth the effort. The small batch bakery in Mount Maunganui hand-rolls these soft pillowy buns in top quality cinnamon before they’re baked, dusted with icing sugar and whipped off to stockists like the Tay Street Store. A more perfect cinnamon bun you will not find.

5c Hull Road, Tauranga

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BBL GONZ BURGER FROM SPECIAL MENTION

Special mention must be made of the epic “gonz” cheeseburger at Special Mention Café in Arataki. Forget fast food, this is an experience to savour! This double smash burger is made with organic beef, kosher dill pickles, onion and a secret recipe sauce on a toasted bun. Available from 11am every day on the lunch menu. You’re welcome.

399 Oceanbeach Road, Mount Maunganui

Pearl Kitchen

EGGS BENEDICT FROM PEARL KITCHEN

One of Papamoa’s newest eateries, Pearl Kitchen, is already making waves with its superb eggs benedict. Served with either bacon, salmon gravlax or spinach and mushrooms, they somehow manage to add extra sizzle to their bacon and mouth-melting qualities to their cured salmon and vege sides. Add the perfect dollop of hollandaise on top and you have a winning breakfast dish that will keep you smiling all day long.

20 Coast Boulevard, Papamoa Beach

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HĀNGĪ-STYLE PORK BELLY RAMEN FROM IZAKAI

Given there is already one ramen dish on this ‘must try’ list, you’ll forgive us for adding another. Bayfair’s Māori and Japanese fusion restaurant, Izakai, serves a mind-blowing hāngī-style pork belly and watercress ramen noodle bowl that is incredibly inventive. Featuring egg noodles, applewood smoked pork belly, marinated egg, black garlic and watercress in a pork bone broth, you simply must try it.

19 Girven Road, Mount Maunganui