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The Best 5 Restaurants in Bay of Islands

There is so much more to do here then just enjoy an amazing view, we are also lucky to be home to some of New Zealand's best dinning locations. On your next visit to the Bay of Islands in New Zealand, we highly recommend you go on a short expedition to our lovely local restaurants and cafes.

Discover our owner's top 5 restaurants in the Bay of Islands on your next holiday. This restaurant list covers price ranges while offering a spectrum of culinary interest with as much vibrance as the Bay of Islands:

Alfresco's Restaurant & Bar

Alfresco's Restaurant & Bar is a friendly and welcoming family restaurant, located on the waterfront of Paihia. It has been opened since 2008 and attracts a large number of local and foreign visitors during the season. For most of their dishes, they pick fresh vegetables and herbs from their own restaurant garden. In addition, most other ingredients used in their menus are produced locally (where possible), from the farms in the Northern Region of New Zealand. The restaurant has a licensed bar which sell great wines and beer from across New Zealand, as well as some international flavours. Alfresco's Restaurant & Bar has a friendly and welcoming staff, who take orders and serve quickly and efficiently. Don't be surprised if you run into some of the apartments staff when you visit.

The Wharf Restaurant & Bar

Designed and decorated with a unique sailor theme, this stylish restaurant is located on the waterfront of Russell, overlooking the magnificent view of the bay. A favorite meeting and dining spot in the area, among the locals right around the year, during the summer, the restaurant gets busy with the arrival of local and international visitors. The main dishes served in the restaurant are Kiwi fare, Seafood, grilled meat and local wines. However, they do have special menus to cater to vegetarians and kids. If you are a lover of seafood, then you can be assured the Wharf will be a memorable dinning experience.

35° South Aquarium Restaurant & Bar

Experience the bay in its full glory and be a part of it, watch the sun go down while you leisurely enjoy your meal. 35° South is the ideal location to mark the end of your day, while the boats depart from the bay towards the islands. Enjoy a glass of wine, or their best Toasted Espresso coffee, while you watch the world goes by, at the end of another busy day. Their local cuisines are highlighted with menus focused on seafood, with the fresh fish harvest picked from the bay itself. They also prepare superb meals with oysters picked from close by Orongo Bay, handcrafted Mahoe cheese from Puketona and a wide selection of Australian and New Zealand wine.

Waterfront Restaurant & Bar

Located in the heart of the waterfront of Paihia, overlooking the scenic beauty of the bay is the Waterfront Restaurant & Bar. It’s the perfect place for you to sit for a quick snack, or a full meal, enjoying the stunning view of the sunset, over the bay. The restaurant serves the region’s best cut-meat, seafood, local vegetables and wine, prepared and presented by the most talented chefs in town.

The Gables Restaurant

The history of The Gables goes as far back as 1847. It was the former residence of an immigrant shoemaker called Joseph England and has recently been converted into a restaurant. He sold his house in 1849 for a then substantial price of 60 pounds. It stands today to reveal the glorious culinary culture that evolved with time. This is a rare dining experience that is offered to the locals as well as foreigners. You feel like your dining in a setting that belongs to several decades past, yet is still elegant and sophisticated. Recent additions to the restaurant are the elegantly decorated bar and the modern kitchen. The restaurant is quickly becoming famous for its delicious, authentic seafood dishes.

For more things to do in the Bay of Islands, see our top list of attractions.