Homegrown Food Trail

Gather your foodie friends and set out on a seasonal foraging mission around The Coromandel. Stop at roadside orchard stalls and seek out unexpected homegrown delights. Visit boutique producers and meet the people behind the produce. Taste the flavours of the region and enjoy discovering the stories of Coromandel cuisine, proudly homegrown and distinctively local.


Coromandel Oyster Company in Manaia is open year-round, 7 days a week. As well as the eponymous oysters, they sell their own smoked/marinated local mussels, kina and scallops and fish. If you prefer to eat on-site and enjoy a beer or wine match with your kaimoana, they also serve freshly harvested oysters, scallops, cooked fish & chips and flounder. The Mussel Kitchen and The Smoke House Co also offer a great selection of local seafood.

Piako Pete’s in Pipiroa is one side-trip you’ll want to make for ‘direct to the public’ sale of fresh flounder, along with smoked kahawai, snapper, mullet and eel produced from Pete’s smokehouse.

Thames Wholesale Fisheries and The Wharf Cafe provide fresh fish and seafood for you to take home or eat hot and battered in the cafe while overlooking the old wharf. Also in Thames is the Blackbeards Smokehouse in Kōpū, a great stop-off for hand-smoked locally sourced mussels and fish.

Paddock to Plate

A weekend with foodie friends would not be complete without an artfully prepared antipasto and something special to tipple. Gather an eclectic assortment of ingredients to add to the mix, with cheese from Matatoki Cheese Barn, Hereford ‘n’ a Pickle meat and preserves, Cathedral Cove Macadamias and fresh-baked bread from The Thames Market. Hot Water Brewing Co and The Pour House do a flavoursome range of craft beers, while Mercury Bay Estate produces wine varieties from fruit grown at Cooks Beach and from vineyards at Hawkes Bay.

If you’re staying for the weekend and renting a big old bach for all your foodie friends, be sure and start the day with fresh milk from Mercury Bay Creamery and 309 Road Honey on your toast for the complete Coromandel food foraging experience.
Check The Coromandel Food Trail Guide and map your food-lovers' road trip for a fun foraging weekend this winter.

Foodie Roadtrip

If time is on your side, come and experience the flavours of The Coromandel. Navigate your way around the region tasting homegrown produce and culinary delights on our three-day foodie road trip.

Kick things off with morning tea at the Stray Dog Cafe and Art Gallery on the Shorebird Coast, before making your way over the Firth to Thames. Wander around Grahamstown, making sure you stop in at The Depot, the perfect spot to indulge your taste buds where you will find the Coromandel Distilling Company, a micro-distillery carefully crafting Awildian Coromandel Dry Gin. Cafe Melbourne, the Sugar Cafe and Bite Cafe all in Thames offer great options for lunch, be it a quick bite or a slower pace long lunch.
Head up to Coromandel Town, stopping at Waiomu Beach Cafe for a sweet treat. While in Coromandel Town, the Seafood Capital of The Coromandel, we suggest you stop in at the Coromandel Oyster Company, The Mussel Kitchen and The Smoking Co, where you can find a huge selection of local oysters, mussels, smoked fish, scallops, prawns and much more. Great dinner options for the evening are The Pepper Tree Restaurant and Umu Restaurant and Cafe. Start day two at Wharf Road eatery as it offers a divine selection throughout the day, with breakfast being no exception.
For those who have time up their sleeve, take a trip north past Coromandel Town to Colville where you can find a selection of chutneys, pickles, relishes, baked goodies and home grown meats from Hereford 'n' a Pickle. Begin your journey over the hill towards the east coast where you will find a good old Kiwi vibe at Luke’s Kitchen in Kūaotunu, before heading into Whitianga for an indulgence of mixed culture at Blue Ginger, for a casual evening meal or dip and dine at The Lost Spring.  For a boutique eatery with a delicious range of meals to kick off day three, be sure not to pass Café Coghill House or Café Nina in the heart of Whitianga.

If wine is a favourite be sure to pop into Mercury Bay Estate for a quick tasting as you make your way off the beaten track to Cathedral Cove Macadamias, offering a range of spice mixes, oils and fresh nuts prepared and cooked many ways. Definitely add The Pour House and Hot Water Brewing company to the list before venturing to Tairua to Manaia Kitchen and Bar or The Old Mill Cafe, the perfect way to cleanse the palate as a final stop on your journey.

Dining In

Eat Your Way Around The Coromandel
Cafes and restaurants shape the flavour and identity of Coromandel communities, and a trip around the eateries gives ample insight into the diversity of the various towns and villages in the region.

The heartiness of a slow-cooked stew, a velvety red wine and a blazing fireplace will show you why a winter getaway to The Coromandel is a good for your soul dining experience. Falls Retreat, Karangahake Gorge boasts a rustic fireside dining room and an innovative homegrown menu on Friday and Saturday nights; perfect for Sunday lunch after warming up cycling the Hauraki Rail Trail.

Restaurants are mostly owner-operated, and your chance of meeting the restaurateur is highest in winter. Discover their story, enjoy their hospitality. There is less stress and more time to linger longer at your table, time to order the molten fudge lava cake for dessert, time to take a post-dinner stroll on an empty beach under the moonlight.

Dine In

Blue Ginger - Whitianga
Manaia Kitchen & Bar - Tairua
Falls Retreat - Karangahake Gorge
Miha Restaurant at Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort - Pauanui
Tairua Beach Club - Tairua Marina
Camina - Whangamata

Cafe & Caffeine
Hotties - Hot Water Beach
Cafe Melbourne - Thames
Port Road Project - Whangamatā
Two Tides Bakery - Tairua

Lazy Lunch
sixfortysix - Whangamatā
Cafe Melbourne - Thames
Umu - Coromandel Town
The Espy Cafe - Whitianga

Pubs and Hearty Fare
GBD - Thames
The Pour House - Hahei
Hot Water Brewing Company - Whenuakite
Star and Garter - Coromandel Town

A local's Perspective

By Perry Cornish, Opito Bay Salt Co.

Our story begins with a love of the sea and of food. And like all good ideas it started with a bottle of red wine on a cold wet winter night in Auckland. Erin (my salty partner) had been enthusing over an artisan salt she had bought. I had a lifelong interest in food and cooking but had never really thought too much about salt. As things progressed we began to dream…. and then it was the end of corporate life, and relocation to the bach in glorious Opito Bay, to make salt! 

It took a year of experimentation (including Covid lockdowns) and we built our first greenhouse. Now we have 7 greenhouses (and planning more), an online store and stockists through the motu. And gold medals from the 2022 NZ Artisan Food Producer Awards and the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards.

We love the Coromandel and try to source local ingredients to combine with our salt. We love the sun, the pristine clean water and the remoteness of Opito – which all somehow comes together in our hand-crafted sea salt. We are active members of the Coromandel Food Producer Group whose aims are to connect you to foodie offerings across The Coromandel and to promote our unique food-producing community. Let me introduce you to our products and those from some of our standout colleagues.

Opito Bay Salt Co.

Our salt is known across the world as a sel marin. We don’t artificially dry or use any anti-caking agents, flours, iodine or silica. It’s just pure natural sea salt! Its unique flavour comes from all the lovely natural trace elements and minerals present.

Black Beards Smokehouse, Thames

Re-imagined smoked mussels with divine smoked chilli and lime-flavoured kai moana, plus fresh smoked fish and chowders and dips.

Coromandel Oyster Company, Manaia

Plump Pacific oysters and Coromandel mussels are grown in the harbour behind the roadside seafood shack. Stay for a fish burger for lunch, and grab some fresh kai moana to go. 

Omahu Valley Citrus

Winners of the “World’s Best Classic Marmalade” from UK International Marmalade Awards  

Castle Rock Fine Foods, Te Rerenga

These specialty chutneys (think Chilli-Lime), relishes and dressings made with local and homegrown ingredients are found widely across The Coromandel and the Waikato.

Mercury Bay Estate, Cooks Beach

Overlooking the wide blue bay this is the perfect spot for a long lunch and a flight of the winery's finest. Get in quick to sample Lola, the very popular and excellent sparkling rose.

Uncle Dunkles Chilli Sauce, Kūaotunu

Powered by NZ Tea Tree and driven by a wood oven, Kyle Dunkle owner and expert chilli smoker makes one of NZ's finest range of chilli sauces. All natural, mild to mega heat, online store and at markets and regional stockists.

Blue Fridge Brewery, Kūaotunu

Refreshing Coromandel brews such as  “Salty Sea Dog” from local  Adam Coleman-Smith and his fantastic Blue Fridge nano brewery are on tap at Luke's Kitchen and around The Coromandel.

Coromandel Distilling Company, Thames

Award-winning experimental micro-distillery based in The Depot in the heart of Thames. Combining the tradition and art of distillation with the magic of the land and the sea. Home of Awildian. 

Hereford 'n' a Pickle, Colville

A well-stocked farm shop full of meat and homemade preserves and treats. True to their farm-to-plate ethos, all the meat is homegrown.

Matatoki Cheese

Well-known make award-winning organic cheeses and yoghurts along with a cafe that has a cheesy menu and much more besides. On the Hauraki Rail Trail, 5km from Kopu and 10km from Thames.

Chopping Block Butchery, Coromandel Town

Farm to plate, and all you'd expect in care and service from an artisan local butcher. Plus a few specialities like mussel fritters and wakame-flavoured sausages.

Wilderland Organics

Teas, honey, herbal preparations, and organic produce, are all hand-crafted and grown by the volunteers of the Wilderland Charitable Trust. Supporting native forest regeneration and the sustainable living community. Shop on the Whitianga estuary south of town.

 Old Mate Distillery, Whitianga

So-named for its intriguing blend of flavours, evoking the magic and wonder that is The Coromandel – serene, majestic, mysterious – and like a comforting old mate, instantly recognisable.

Hot Water Brewing Company, Whenuakite

Generously hopped Kauri Falls Pale Ale, robust and chocolatey Walkers Porter and refreshing Golden Steamer Ale as well as seasonal and rotating guest taps in the brewpub and restaurant. Bonus: kid's playground.

Cathedral Cove Macadamias, Hahei

Jillian farms 16 acres of macadamias, and she has an on-site shop. The question is whether you opt for au natural or chocolate macadamias.  Jillian also has great dukkah and rubs too.  

Thames Wholesale Fisheries and the Wharf Coffee House and Bar

The freshest catch of the day, cooked to perfection to be savoured by the waterside cafe next door, or wrapped in ice for the trip home.

Coffee Lala

Boutique, artisan coffee roastery in a secluded bush-clad valley in The Coromandel producing local blends to be sipped in cafes around the region. Preferably in your keep cup, or as you dine in.