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4 Feb

A million places to eat (whoa!)

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I should say, a million GREAT places to eat. You be excused for thinking Waiheke was all flash vineyards and not much else, but you’d also be wrong. Lets take a look.

Pete Rees for WL

1::  Cafes + restaurants

OYSTER INN || Oneroa

My partner and I can’t agree on this one.  I love the Oyster Inn. Him? Not so much. But then I love the seaside slightly glammed-up (to coin a phrase) feel about the place, without having to go to the bother of a vineyard + I’m a big fan of raw oysters on ice.  And he’s allergic to shellfish.  So I go there with my BFF’s. Which is fine with me. And him.

WAI KITCHEN || Oneroa 

Best views on the island. Nice. Excellent range of home baking to complement their cooked cuisine breakfasts. Child and baby friendly. I like the quiet atmosphere.

SPICE || Oneroa

True cafe style for a relaxed breakfast or coffee and newspaper. A real locals hangout. My man’s fav coffee.

DELIGHT || Oneroa

Views, coffee and great menu. Child friendly.

FRENCHOT || Surfdale

The newest little cafe on the island. French (naturally) with great baked goods and french style coffee.

FENICE || Oneroa

First cafe to open in the morning; good for early rises (um, won’t be seeing me there).  Great range of Italian style breakfast and coffee.  Relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere. Fine Italian cuisine. A favourite with locals. Booking advised, particularly in summer and on weekends.

RED CRAB || Oneroa

Lovely, light and tasty Thai. Always great after a day in the sun. Eat in or take-away.

STEFANOS  || Surfdale

Pizza for the whole family. Thin crust with a great range of true Italian style toppings. Good for low key large groups and celebrations.

 AJADZ  || Oneroa

Hankering for Indian?  It will hit the spot. Great for the whole family.


Great little local’s pub restaurant.   Amazing on a good day cos you feel like you are sitting on the beach.  Great kiddies menu too.

2::  Takeaways + fastish type foods:

FISH & CHIPS || Palm beach

Palm beach Fish and Chips are a little greasy for my liking, but very handy if you are at the beach.  Eat in or take-away 372 2988

FISH & CHIPS || Little Oneroa

My fav F & C’s on the island. Park the kiddies at the playground and go get dinner. Or grab on the way through to Big Oneroa beach where it’s a little less hectic.


These guys have won awards for good reason.  Well priced, great food.  Something to suit (almost) everyone (my little miss 4 won’t eat pizza or salad or beans – can you imagine!).  I can’t recommend these guys highly enough.


Our quite famous Ana has opened a gelato, bagel and coffee place in the main street (just keep walking, you can’t miss it. Seriously!!).  Super funky, super awesome.  I can’t confess to having eaten from there yet, but next time I’m in town…..hello!!

3::  Other interesting, fun, memorable places that are hard to categorize:


Achery, clay bird shooting, boutique brewery, fabulous adventure playground.  Great for corporate and family groups.


Up on Te Whau Drive, go down the drive by the red letter box.  AMAZING baked goods and coffee.  Paddy is world famous on Waiheke for his Lavash and other mouth watering artisan baking.  Only open from 8.30am – 11am.

4::  And lastly (cos we already know they are not least) vineyards:


One of Conda Naste Magazine’s top 10 places to get married in the world (Bonjour world!).  Magnificent views.  World class experience.  Do I have to say it?  Bookings advised.


Ta da! Winner of numerous wine awards. Relaxed atmosphere in the heart of Waiheke Wine country. Once again, bookings advised.


Food to die for. Every time a donut. Views back over the vineyards and out across Onetangi beach.  Booking essential.


Award winning restaurant, which could have fooled me. I was completely underwhelmed, but I’ve heard so many good reports I’m pretty sure we struck an unusually bad day.


Set in one of Waiheke’s best spots with a dramatic view back to Auckland.  Chopper in (la de da) or take the road.


Down the other end of the Island, Man o War is a gem of a tasting room.  They offer platters for lunch.  Fabulous on a nice day.  Take the whole family and relax in the beach side setting.  Stay for the afternoon and totally unwind.


This little darling of a place is out of the way but so worth the effort. Great place to take wee ones if you want a touch of sophistication but no hassle.  Great option for a grim day.


I haven’t been there (damn it!) but it’s on the list.  Have heard loads of good reports.

Happy eating friends.




Credits:  Photo by Pete Rees.

About the author

Emma Wright

at http://emmawright.co.nz

I want to live in a world where Art is big, holidays are long, and forgiveness is taught in schools. I play every day with colour, my kids + my partner. I play to smile, to giggle, to take myself less seriously. I paint about commitment + the choices we make. Which really means I paint about making the world a better place. Which really means I paint about LOVE. The basic facts & figures: I’ve sold over 500 paintings, to people all around the world. I've been featured in magazines and newspapers in 4 different countries. I've been published in the infamous 'New Zealand's favourite Artists'. The NZ Embassy in Haymarket, London has my art on display.

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