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 provides fresh fish and seafood for you to take home or eat hot and battered in the cafe while overlooking the old wharf.
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.
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 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 or at Koru Cafe, which is nestled in the beautiful grounds of Rapaura Watergardens. 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 killed 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 Kuaotunu, 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's 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.
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.