Whakatane Cafes, Restaurants, and Dining Guide

Whakatane Harbour from the lookout above Hillcrest Road

Chris Thompson/Flickr/CC BY 2.0


Although a small town, Whakatane in the eastern Bay of Plenty in New Zealand offers some good options for cafe and restaurant dining. Here are some highlights to discover.

Craic Bar

On the corner of the Strand and right in the center of Whakatane, this is a cute Irish pub with a bit of atmosphere. There is a family restaurant, Cobb and Co, next door with a shared entrance. The bar itself has a cozy feel and offers some good pub food, including pizzas and main dishes.

  • Location: 79 The Strand, Whakatane

Global Thai Restaurant

The only Thai restaurant in Whakatane, Global Thai offers a wide range of Thai dishes. There is also a smaller European menu with pasta, salads, and mains. An added bonus is free pick-up for diners by tuk-tuk, a small motorized vehicle that holds a maximum of four passengers. BYO and licensed.

  • Location: Corner of the Strand and Commerce Streets, Whakatane

Indian Aroma

This Indian restaurant must have one of the best settings of any dining establishment in Whakatane. Situated out by the Whakatane harbor heads, there are unobstructed views of the harbor and sea beyond. The fully opening windows make the most of the view on a summer's evening.

The food is good too, reasonably priced and with a wide selection of Indian vegetarian food.

  • Location: 1B Muriwai Drive, Whakatane

Kopeo Indian Restaurant

For visitors to Whakatane, this may be a bit difficult to find; it is not in the main town, but in a shopping suburb called Kopeopeo. Nevertheless, it is well worth seeking out as it has some of the best Indian food around.

The décor is very unassuming, and it divides itself between a restaurant and a busy takeaway. However, when it comes to the food this is an excellent place. Very friendly service and reasonable prices too.

  • Location: 32 King Street, Whakatane

Niko Niko Sushi

This is quite a decent sushi place. The selection is wide and the quality good. You can eat in or takeaway and it is conveniently located a few meters from the entrance to the New World supermarket.

  • Location: 43 Kakahoroa Drive, Whakatane

Peejays Coffee House

This place is also a little hard to find but well worth the effort. It serves excellent food with some of the friendliest service in town. Housed in a building which also contains a check-in center for White Island Tours, you can catch an early breakfast or coffee before boarding the boat for your tour to White Island, New Zealand's largest marine volcano. Open for breakfast, lunches, and snacks.

  • Location: 15 The Strand East, Whakatane

The Quay Cafe, Ohope Beach

The beachside town of Ohope is one of the most popular holiday spots along this part of the coast. There aren't many shops or cafes in the town, but The Quay rates as one of the best cafes in the whole Whakatane district. Open for breakfast and lunch daily, it's right on the main road across from the beach but the traffic won't bother you. There are indoor and outdoor seating areas giving a casual atmosphere. The breakfast and lunch menus are good, but it's the coffee and cakes that are the standout; try the gluten-free honey cake!

  • Location: 22 Pohutukawa Ave, Ohope Beach

Spice Guru Indian Restaurant and Bar

Opposite the Craic Bar at the waterfront end of the main street (and next door to one of Whakatane's best cafe's L'Epicerie), this is a very good Indian restaurant. In fact, it's probably the pick of the Indian places in town. Although not BYO, the wines are very reasonably priced. A nice atmosphere, very friendly staff, and excellent food make this well worth visiting.

  • Location: Corner George Street and The Strand, Whakatane

Turkish Kebab House

This is really a takeaway place, but there are five tables if you wish to dine in. It's very casual and the food is tasty and well priced. There is the usual Turkish fare of kebabs and wraps, although the breakfast menu has more regular choices.

  • Location: 113 The Strand, Whakatane

Gibbo's On the Wharf

No New Zealand town would be complete without a decent fish and chip shop and for the Whakatane, it's Gibbo's that fits the bill. In a great location (just along from the Wharf Shed) it has tables for dining in or you can take away. Best of all, sit outdoors on the wharf side overlooking the water and enjoy the sunset!

  • Location: The Wharf, Whakatane
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