In the Bay we love our dogs! We also love our cafés and restaurants.
In fact, we delight in combining the two: walking the pup and dropping in for a coffee in the same outing.
Here’s some of the best dog-friendly cafes here in the Bay of Plenty – long term locals may know many of these, but if you’re new to the region or to dog ownership, you’ll love checking out these places where you can relax with your coffee with your pup happily nearby.
1. SANDBANK FOODTRUCK, PĀPĀMOA BEACH
This cool and funky business operates out of a 1986 Bedford van on Pāpāmoa Beach, and serves amazing smoothies, ice creams and coffee – powered by solar panels. Take your reuseable coffee cup, have a yarn to the friendly baristas, and take pup for an on-leash stroll down Pāpāmoa Beach. Read our writeup on the story behind Sandbank Café here.
2. FRIENDS CAFE
If you’re shopping at Fashion Island, Friends Café, next to BNZ, is a great pit stop. The coffee and food in this Pāpāmoa gem is consistently good (they do an all-day breakfast too), and they have doggy bowls and even doggy treats. Well-behaved pooches are free to roam around the outdoor seating, but there are also places to leash your pup if he’s of the excitable sort.
3. SURF SHACK, WAIHĪ BEACH - BEACH WALK, GARDEN AND DOGGY TREATS
This funky little café has won New Zealand Café of the Year and the Lonely Planet title of possibly the best burgers in the country! Owners Pip and Jo Coombes have created a community-focused café that features vibrant décor, an outdoor garden area and an eclectic menu offering everything from belly-busting breakfasts and flavoursome burgers to delicious street food inspired by the tastes of the world. This delicious eatery is very dog friendly and even offers dog treats. Read more about Surf Shack here.
From the Surf Shack it’s a 15-minute walk to a section of the beach where you can walk your dog off-leash, all year round, which is Albacore Avenue to Plom Road (the rest of Waihī Beach is off limits 16 December until 7 February, 9am-7pm). There is also the Island View Reserve – there are birds nesting here October-March however, so make sure your pup is on a leash.
4. TRINITY WHARF - COFFEE AND COCKTAILS ON THE DECK WITH WATER VIEWS
Trinity Wharf has gorgeous views over tranquil water, amazing food and coffee – they also have a side entrance for your pup access to the deck, so you can enjoy an afternoon cocktail or craft beer overlooking the water with dog in tow.
Cute puppy image courtesy of the team at Trinity Wharf.
5. SUGO TAURANGA - GOURMET ITALIAN FOOD PLUS A GOURMET BICCIE FOR YOUR PUP
Have you been to the new Wharf Street development? What used to be Rye Bar and Grill is now Sugo, an Italian inspired restaurant headed up by award-winning chef Ian Harrison. But what’s best about this place, is your pup gets a free Bacon + Liver house-made doggy biscuit while you enjoy your own meal! Great for weekend lunch with your pooch, on the menu you can expect house-made pasta, pizzas and seasonal dishes packed with local ingredients.
6. SECRET GARDEN, WAIHĪ BEACH
Tucked away on Waihī Beach’s main street, this is a beautiful Bali-inspired garden dotted with thatched huts where you can relax with friends and feel like you’ve travelled to an exotic destination. They have sweet treats in the cabinet, coffee and a gift shop. They often have live music over the summer and long weekends (check their Facebook page) if that’s going to be a good thing or not-so-good thing for your dog.
Well-behaved dogs on leads are also accepted in the outdoor areas of the Beach House café, The Porch, and Rabbit Moon in Waihī Beach. And if you’re thinking of staying overnight, dogs are welcome at selected campsites at Beachaven Top 10 Holiday Park year-round, and at Bowentown Beach Holiday Park from 1 Mar - 30 Nov, also in selected sites (please check specifically with the park managers upon booking).
7. TAY STREET BEACH CAFE, MT MAUNGANUI - BEACH WALK AND COFFEE
This spot is a fave with Mount Maunganui locals – the food is a fusion of traditional and Asian, and for coffee aficionados it’s a great place to get your fix of the coveted Havana coffee. There are outdoor tables and dog bowls, and the staff are extremely dog friendly.
Tay Street is open 7am till 2.30pm. For the safety of our local wildlife, make sure when you walk your dog on the beach, you head towards Pāpāmoa and away from the Main Mount Beach. There are protected and precious birds in the area, such as Little Blue Penguins that live on Moturiki (Leisure Island).
8. NOURISH CAFE - GREAT FOOD, COFFEE AND EXTENSIVE OUTDOOR SEATING
This Te Puna café is very popular and for good reason: the food is amazing. Reviews for breakfast, brunch and coffee are consistently good. Nourish is very dog friendly and has water bowls outside for pooches. Just make sure your pup doesn’t get too excited about the rabbit cages/playground on site – these are for children only (as much as your dog may tell you otherwise!).
You could follow up your meal with a walk through the lovely Te Puna Quarry Park (with dog on leash). It’s amazing to see how local volunteers have transformed this old quarry into a beautiful community asset, featuring walkways, ponds, gardens, sculptures and more.
9. LITTLE MILLIE COFFEE CART, KULIM PARK
The walk from Kulim Park for Fergusson Park, Ōtumoetai, is a staple among Tauranga dog walkers. The path winds around the waterfront, it’s lovely and flat, and you get gorgeous views of the Mount the whole way. Even better, see if Little Millie’s cute caravan is around to serve you up an espresso to put that spring in your step.
10. BEACHED ON BLUE, OMOKOROA
Beached on Blue sits in a prime spot by the ferry terminal at Omokoroa Beach, with great views over the playground and beach. What’s more, dogs are allowed on the upper deck, so you can sip that coffee with pup right there with you.
OTHER DOG-FRIENDLY PLACES TO TAKE YOUR PUPPER TO:
Astrolabe, Mount Maunganui: dogs welcome in the outdoor garden
Bayfair Shopping Centre: park your dog at one of the special “doggy parks” with shade, water and a lockable chain. Bayfair’s dining lane is dog friendly and so is Farm St Larder.
Eddie’s & Elspeth, Mount Maunganui: sit outside, very friendly staff
Flat White café, Waihī Beach: great food, beachside views and a covered area with water bowls for hot doggos!
Henry & Ted, Pāpāmoa: amazing cheese scones, trendy vibe
Kewpie Cruises: if your pup loves being on the open sea, the Kewpie Cruises crew would love to have them aboard!
Orchard Bar, Bethlehem: the staff go out of their way to make sure dogs have water, and they love to hand out pats!
Oropi Hot Pools café and bar: with a lovely outdoor area, pools and a café, this is a great place for the whole family (fur babies included!) to hang out
Pacifica café, Pāpāmoa: outdoor grassy area with water bowls
Patio Rose, Tauriko: on-lead pets welcome
Rain Bar, Pāpāmoa: outdoor seating & doggy water bowls
Whatever you are in the mood for, you’ll find many a dog-friendly establishment in the Bay serving up anything from cocktails to brunch to beachside coffee – and it’s great to walk in and know your precious pooch will always feel welcome.