If you’re visiting Rotorua for a quick break or an extended holiday, you need to know where to eat.  We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 Rotorua restaurants and eateries in 2021, so you don’t need to stress about finding a delicious dinner diner.  Enjoy – or, to borrow a Māori phrase, kia mākona!

Rotorua’s Top 10 Restaurants

Atticus Finch

atticus finch fine dining rotorua
Fennel salt-crusted pork belly with parsnip puree and roasted pear, parsnip, carrot and fennel salad.

3010/1106 Tutanekai Street, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

23 minutes from Ramada Resort by Wyndham Rotorua Marama

A classic blend of al fresco and indoor dining, Atticus Finch strikes a balance between sleek urban bistro and casual bar.  Dining here is a group experience – the Atticus Finch team preps ‘share plates’, designed to be consumed with a heady combination of beer, wine and cocktails.  Embrace your high school English memories with drinks like ‘Harper Lee’ (gin mixed with apple syrup, lemon juice, thyme and apple cider) and ‘Scout Sangria’ (vodka and sugar syrup with mixed berries, orange, lemon and rose).  Alternatively, knock back a Croucher Low Rider while snacking on lamb rump with smoked aubergine and feta.

Ambrosia Restaurant & Bar

ambrosia dessert rotorua
Ambrosia’s delectable Lemon Drop.

1096 Tutanekai Street, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

23 minutes from Ramada Resort by Wyndham Rotorua Marama

It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, but Ambrosia holds the honour of being the first licensed restaurant in Rotorua, which definitely makes it worth a visit.  Varnished furniture and timber flooring are offset by white-washed walls, lending this classic Kiwi diner a traditional ambience.  Choose from an upscale menu populated by dishes like Vietnamese spiced duck breast, bacon-wrapped eye fillets and parmesan gnocchi.  It’s a great option for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and includes a selection of bar snacks and tapas for something more casual.

Abracadabra Café & Bar

moroccan dish

1263 Amohia Street, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

22 minutes from Ramada Resort by Wyndham Rotorua Marama

Abracadabra is casual dining done right.  Embracing a white-washed, beachside aesthetic, it offers diners an internationally-influenced selection, drawing inspiration from places like Morocco, Mexico and Tunisia.  Sample creative combinations like bus-station kefta tagine and chargrilled mushroom chicken, or go classic with options like the Abracadabra steak.  True to its café spirit, it also offers brunch, dessert and tapas, as well as a great selection of hot and cold drinks.

Mokoia Restaurant

seafood platter

77 Robinson Avenue, Holdens Bay, Rotorua 3012, New Zealand

12 minutes from Ramada Resort by Wyndham Rotorua Marama

One of Rotorua’s best fine dining restaurants, Mokoia Restaurant combines bold flavours with exquisite plating.  Its focus on its Māori heritage has produced an exceptional a la carte menu, spanning a spectrum of classic New Zealand offerings.  Although dishes like fettuccine and Caesar salad are still up for grabs, you can also sample treats like the playful Mokoia salad (vegetables, mandarin pieces and greens tossed with coriander sesame dressing) and the formidable Ora king salmon.  Our favourite?  Their to-share seafood platter – at NZD45, it’s not cheap, but the combination of mussels, squid, prawns, scallops and pan-fried salmon is exceptional.

Mamma Rosa

mamma rosa antipasti
A selection of antipasti from Mamma Rosa.

1176 Pukaki Street, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

23 minutes from Ramada Resort by Wyndham Rotorua Marama

Pizza might often be bastardised and tainted with ingredients like pineapple, but it’s pretty hard to beat a traditional wood-fired pizza.  Mamma Rosa is authentic Italian, made using fresh, local ingredients and hand-rolled dough.  It’s run by local New Zealand chef Deep Kumar, making a stop there perfect for experiencing the town’s trademark hospitality.  From frutti de mare (seafood) and carne (meat) pizza to antipasti, vegan and vegetarian options, Mamma Rosa has a great selection of dinner offerings. They also do delivery, so, if you’re exhausted from a hard day exploring, you can enjoy a quiet Italian dinner in your room at Ramada Resort by Wyndham Rotorua Marama.

Skyline Stratosfare Restaurant & Bar

skyline restuarant view of lake
A view of Lake Rotorua at breakfast.

178 Fairy Springs Road, Fairy Springs, Rotorua 3015, New Zealand

21 minutes from Ramada Resort by Wyndham Rotorua Marama

This fine dining restaurant’s play on words is almost as delicious as its food.  Hugging the slopes of Mount Ngongotaha, Skyline Stratosfare’s main selling point is its incredible views of Lake Rotorua, but award-winning cuisine comes a close second.  Open for both lunch and dinner, it offers guests a pared-down menu saturated with Mediterranean and Asian influences.  Choose from seasonal soups, finely-plated salads and locally-sourced seafood, or go big with their truly impressive buffet.  Dining here does come with a price tag – a dinner and the requisite gondola ride will set you back NZ$75 – but it’s a great way to cap off your Rotorua holiday.

CBK Craft Bar & Kitchen

rotorua beer

1115 Tutanekai Street, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

23 minutes from Ramada Resort by Wyndham Rotorua Marama

What’s CBK stand for?  Craft Bar & Kitchen.  It’s a name that’s simple and effective, just like their food.  Their website says they’re “a comfortable venue where people [feel] they [can] kick their shoes off and fully relax without sacrificing the quality of their meal or the choice available in terms of drinks”, and it’s a pretty accurate description.  It’s the kind of hip joint that feels upmarket without being pretentious, and offers a range of hand-smoked meats and stone-grilled meals.  It’s also home to 60+ beer varieties, so don’t feel like you need to BYO.

Te Po Indigenous Evening Tour

traditional rotorua maori hangi

A visit to Rotorua wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the region’s thriving Māori culture.  The Te Pō Indigenous Evening Tour combines a waka boat ride through geothermal springs with a range of traditional Māori performances, including a hāngī.  If you haven’t experienced a hāngī before, you’re in for a treat.  Cooked in underground ovens, it’s a feast that includes mussels, corn, rewana bread, chicken, lamb and more, so, if experiencing New Zealand’s traditional culture is on your bucket-list, then this tour is a must-do.

Kinaki Food Tours

uncurling new zealand fern

This one isn’t technically a restaurant, but we included it here because it’s something different and uniquely Kiwi, and definitely worth consideration.  Kinaki is a company founded by Charles Royal, one of New Zealand’s indigenous cooking experts – it aims to promote the usage of traditional herbs and plants in modern cooking, and combines sustainability with the revitalisation of ancient Māori harvesting practices.  You can visit their shop in Rotorua, or you can embark on a Kinaki Food Tour around the shores of Lake Rotomā (which is just under half an hour’s drive from Wyndham Rotorua Marama).


sabroso dinner rotorua
A feast at Sabroso!

1184 Haupapa Street, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

22 minutes from Ramada Resort by Wyndham Rotorua Marama

Last but not least is Sabroso, right in the heart of the Rotorua township.  Its menu features classic Latin American and Caribbean offerings, so don’t come here expecting Kiwi cuisine.  With everything from moqueca de camaroes (Brazilian-inspired spicy prawn stew) to Sabroso’s signature chili con carne, it’s is a great way to spice up an evening in Rotorua.  There are vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free options, as well as a range of specialty cocktails that includes their signature margarita.

Did you enjoy learning about Rotorua’s top restaurants and eateries?  We publish content like this on a regular basis, so, if you’d like to learn more about food and drink in exotic places, subscribe to this blog!  You won’t regret it (we promise).


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