Best places to get a bite to eat and drink post-trail
There’s nothing like a day of being active in the outdoors to work up an appetite or thirst.
Lyall Bay and South Coast
Spruce Goose Spruce Goose began its life as the original NAC terminal and for more than 50 years was the home of the Wellington Aero Club and is now a popular seaside café, bar and restaurant. With sweeping views of Lyall Bay, Spruce Goose is the perfect place to head post-trail (or post-swim!) for a drink and a bite to eat.
Queen Sally’s Diamond Deli A retro deli on Queens Drive filled with yummy fresh salads, pies, pastries and deli delights. It’s easy to park your bike outside and keep an eye on it while you enjoy a coffee. Grab a salad or sandwich ‘to go’ and enjoy it later for lunch on your ride.
Maranui A quirky Wellington institution located in the seaside clubrooms of the Maranui Surf Club. With a casual short order menu with a lean towards vegan and natural foods, their cabinet is filled each day with their famous salads and stonkingly good baking. This is the perfect place to fuel your ride around the south coast, or for a post-ride milkshake.
The Botanist The Botanist brings the best in tasty organic vegetarian & vegan fare to Lyall Bay. With views to the sea and a sunny north-facing courtyard, six rotating craft beer taps, botanical cocktails, vegan and organic wines, The Botanist can’t be beat.
Salty Pidgin Feast on hearty comfort food at this hip suburban eatery. There’s a sunny garden bar – the perfect spot to enjoy a pint of local craft beer on a sunny afternoon after a ride through the hills. Salty Pidgin’s menu lends itself to sharing with friends, and makes the most of local produce, meat and seafood – their harissa cauliflower will convert even the most adamant carnivore.
Garage Project Taproom Sample, sip and savour a wide range of Garage Project's craft beer and natural wine, along with delicious snacks, at their Aro Valley bar. It’s a perfect laidback venue – park your bike out front and settle back for a yarn with your mates. Once you’ve found your new favourite beer, you pop across the road to the Cellar Door to stock the fridge at home.
The Pickle Jar In classic neighbourhood pub tradition, The Pickle Jar caters for all tastes and for all occasions and their house specialty is one-metre long pizza, or if you're planning a particularly long ride, book, book in for a two-metre long monster! A favourite post-ride spot for local mountain biking legend, Bryn Dickerson.
One Fat Bird Nestled in Karori, One Fat Bird is a funky freehouse and restaurant combining the great English pub with a Kiwi hospitality twist. With 16 beers on tap, great food and live sport, join them for a pint of craft beer or one of their famous Sunday roasts – the perfect end to a day of riding.
Seashore Cabaret A popular seaside café set in the old Petone Rowing Club fitted out with a funky retro décor and a menu of generously-sized café fare, that’ll please vegans and non-vegans alike. With a top-notch brunch menu, excellent Good Fortune Coffee Co. espresso, Seashore Cabaret is an extremely popular spot for at weekends. But don't let that put you off - it’ll be busy, but Seashore Cab know how to handle a crowd and any wait is entirely worth it. Or pick up some of their bangin' cabinet food and stonkingly good baking for a picnic to take on the trail.
Sprig & Fern Tavern The Sprig & Fern Tavern on Jackson Street in Petone is a purveyor of award-winning craft beers and ciders and a community base for regulars and newcomers alike. Independently-owned, Sprig & Fern pour their Nelson-brewed eponymous beers in a welcoming and unpretentious setting with a focus on conversation. Pop in for a visit and experience the warm and welcoming feel of an authentic local craft beer tavern.
Bellbird Eatery 45 Laings Road, Lower Hutt Located at The Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt, Bellbird Eatery Bellbird Eatery has a modern, upmarket feel with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal fare sourced locally in the Hutt Valley. The tap beer is brewed locally, the coffee is roasted locally and bread is baked locally, too. The menu features an eclectic mix of old school favourites along with some new dishes with a twist.
Zany Zeus 149 Randwick Road, Moera, Lower Hutt Family-run boutique organic dairy god Zany Zeus is the home of Scarlett Johannson’s favourite chocolate cake and arguably the world’s best halloumi. Zany Zeus started out just supplying cafes and restaurants with their award-winning cheese, organic milk, cream and cultured products, and later opened this popular retail store, which is just up the road from their factory. There’s a cabinet bursting with delicious lunch options and their famous made-to-order halloumi sandwiches, but make sure you save room for a scoop of their ice cream, which is only available at their Moera store.
Pepper Mill 4 Norrie Street, Porirua A Porirua favourite since 2006, Peppermill serves up a delicious menu of cabinet food and an à la carte menu with local Tuatara beer on tap. There's a comprehensive brunch menu, including delights such as Belgian waffles topped with locally-made Whittaker's chocolate and Peppermill's own take on the brunch classic, eggs Benedict featuring Māori rewena (potato) bread and pork belly. For lunch, there's a tasty menu featuring bistro-inspired dishes with European influence.
Olde Beach Bakery 3 Ono Street, Waikanae Beach Makers of some of Kāpiti Coast’s best patisserie and baking, Olde Beach Bakery is the perfect spot to stop for some treats to fuel your walk, run or ride. There’s a lovely garden to sit in to enjoy your pastry and coffee.
Sunday Cantina 3 Mahara Place, Waikanae Sunday Cantina’s tagline is local produce, local staff and local beer. The Cantina provides breakfast, lunch or an all-day menu. All their food is produced from local ingredients and their house beer is locally brewed.
Marine Parade Eatery 50 Marine Parade, Paraparaumu Beach Located on the Paraparaumu beach front, Marine Parade Deli is open for breakfast and lunch Wednesday through to Sunday, and for shared dining on Friday evenings. Marine Parade Eatery has a delicious full breakfast and lunch menu, as well as counter food.
Pram Beach 24 Marine Parade, Paraparaumu Positioned with vistas across the ocean, Pram Beach serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner. While there’s a great brunch menu and delicious pizzas, Pram Beach take charcoal cooking seriously and offer a menu of beef, lamb and chicken cooked on their charcoal grill. Pram Beach is a great spot to head post-trail for a relaxing unwind.
The Social 17 Kapiti Lights, Paraparaumu The social is the ideal place to enjoy either a bustling conversation at one of their long, shared pub tables or a more tranquil conversation relaxing in a comfy chair by the fire. The Social has a delicious menu is made of gastro pub classics, plus a menu of local craft beer, wine and cocktails.
Beach Road Deli 5 Beach Road, Paekakariki This is the perfect spot to head to grab a picnic lunch before you set off on the Te Araroa Paekakariki Escarpment Walk. Grab some fresh bread made on site, along with some goodies from the deli’s fridge and a coffee for the road, and you’ll be all set. Pop back once you complete the walk for some of their popular wood-fired pizza.
The Perching Parrot 7 Beach Road, Paekakariki A licenced cafe with outdoor seating and great laidback beachy vibes – and it’s dog-friendly! The Perching Parrot serves great food, using free-range meat and eggs, and where possible local, organic and fair-trade ingredients are used – plus there’s good vegan and gluten-free options.
D4 Raumati 9 Margaret Road, Raumati Beach Following in the footsteps of the flagship D4 in Wellington’s CBD, D4 Raumati brings understated elegance to the beachside village of Raumati. Pouring the best of local and international craft beers and boutique wines alongside a contemporary menu that makes the most of fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. D4 has a lovely outdoor garden area – the perfect spot to sip fine wine or craft beer post-trail.
Waterfront Bar & Kitchen 3 Garden Road, Raumati Beach This popular establishment combines breath-taking ocean views with great food, an extensive beverage menu and winning service. Also has locations at Paraparaumu and Waikanae Beach.
River Café Cottage 3 State Highway 1, Otaki Set in an historical building amongst a beautiful garden, River Cottage Cafe is the ideal stopover in Otaki. Relax in the garden with a coffee and a scone or settle in for lunch or dinner.
Gorge 50 Riverbank Road, Otaki A café and deli serving up the best local and seasonal produce, locally-made bread and small goods and locally roasted Peoples Coffee. In a modern industrial space, Gorge is open for breakfast, lunch and coffees in between and there’s regularly changing specials menu.
The Eatery 435 Queen Street, Masterton Located at The Screening Room, The Eatery takes a fresh and lively approach to modern cuisine that changes with the seasons. Open for both lunch and dinner, The Screening Room's modern dining experience comes to you courtesy of popular Greytown eatery, Salute.
Paper Road Winery & Bistro 7 Wingate Road, Opaki Paper Road is located in the Opaki wine region north of Masterton, on the Classic NZ Wine Trail. The Bistro looks out over Paper Road's vines to the stunning Tararua Ranges. Paper Road are famous for their pizzas available alongside a la carte and kid-friendly menus. Ask for a wine tasting tray, featuring Paper Road's pinot noir and other local wines. The opening hours are seasonal, so check their website before you visit.
Clareville Bakery 3340 State Highway 2, Clareville, Carterton Home of award-winning pies, excellent artisan bread and famously good cronuts (a croissant-doughnut hybrid), the Clareville Bakery is worth seeking out. Open for breakfast and lunch, the Clareville Bakery is fully-licensed and there’s a lovely outdoor garden.
Balter Bar & Kitchen 9 High Street North, Carterton Balter has a menu of a Kiwi take on tapas – small sharing plates comprised of locally sourced produce and ingredients where possible. There’s a full brunch menu Friday through to Sunday, a gourmet burger menu and a thoughtfully selected drinks menu of local Wellington craft beers and ciders, along with New Zealand wine.
Everest Café & Bistro 17 Fitzherbert Street, Featherston Located in the centre of the Featherston township, Everest takes the freshest local produce from around the Wairarapa and turns it into their special brand of ‘pioneering’ cuisine. A popular stop-off along the way for those driving between Wellington and the Wairarapa, Everest is open for breakfast, lunch and snacks in between.
The Tin Hut 1512 State Highway 2, Tauherenikau A cool little country pub with great food, regular live music and an outdoor garden bar located just a few minutes north of Featherston. This beautifully refurbished hotel and restaurant is a peaceful, relaxing place to enjoy a meal, or relax with a drink in the garden bar.