A Taste of Whangerie (And Other Places)

Whangerie might not be a huge metropolis, thank goodness, but it does have some great local restaurants and we certainly have our favorites. Here’s some of the best food Whangerie has to offer. We’ve also thrown in a couple from Kerikeri too. Stand by for more as we continue tasting our way around the country!

They offer a deliciously varied menu with some pretty unique and tasty items on it. Their craft beer selection is outstanding too. And, the atmosphere is wonderful. It’s actually in a century old building that was once a butter factory. From the sloping floors to the stone walls to the outdoor deck this place exudes character and the staff is super friendly too.

We’re wild about their stone grilled steaks! There’s nothing better than having a big hunk of rump steak served on top of a 400°C stone. Oh yeah….cook it yourself to the perfect doneness! They do have other things on the menu such as ribs, fish, burgers and more. And don’t forget to get a large handle of Tiger or one of their craft beers to wash it down! Jimmy Jack’s is a friendly, fun and tasty place to go. When you stop by, be sure to tell Sonny and the team we said, “Hello”.

Our favorite little Irish pub has the best Guiness Stew in town. Their Bangers and Mash are pretty awesome too. We love to stop in for a pint of Guiness and chat with Amet, the manager. Every Tuesday night they feature an Irish band which is really fun and on Thursdays they do Quiz night too.

Looking for a place to get the best stone grilled pizza or fish and chips? Look no further. Parua Bay Tavern rocks! And the view, oh that view… They are on tucked into the corner of the bay under the majestic Mt. Aubrey and Whangarei Headland. They have a large outside deck and even serve down at the picnic tables on the lawn. There’s a play area for children too. Be sure to make a booking on the weekends, especially if it’s a beautiful day. They will certainly be packed.

Sitting right in the basin at the Whangerie Marina you’ll find this great spot. They have good food and, of course, the view of the boats in the marina can’t be beat. You can get everything from all day breakfast to pizza, burgers or NZ lamb. One of our favorites is their Chicken & Waffles with its zesty chipotle sauce.

This is a favorite lunch spot for us. The staff there is super friendly and always remembers us and our favorites picks. The food is super fresh and delicious. If you stop in, be sure to check their Bar Snacks menu and get their Cajun Crispy Chicken Wings. They are big, extra crispy and super tasty! Oh yeah, don’t forget to get a side of their thin cut fries….they go perfect with the wings.

We simply cannot say enough about Thai Chef. In fact, we go there at least once a week. The staff is incredible and Chef Poonsombat creates spectacular Thai cuisine. Jilly’s favorite….3 Alcoholics. It’s a combination of beef, pork and chicken with their secret sauce, mixed herbs, fresh chillies, carrots, green beans, mushrooms and capsicum. YUMMY! Just a note here….Thai Chef is a chain but don’t be fooled. The one in Whangerie IS THE BEST ONE! We’ve tried others and they don’t even compare. Guess that’s because they don’t have Chef Poonsombat in the galley.

You’d be hard pressed to find this place if we didn’t tell you about it. It’s located in a tiny strip center in the Kamo area. Once you’ve found it we promise you’ll be back. Their food is as amazing as it is beautiful. We celebrated Jilly’s birthday there and it was a huge hit. Oh yes…save room for the Toffee Creme Brûlée. It’s out of this world delicious!

Kerikeri may be a bit of a drive from Whangerie (1.5 hours) but if you want some great food and a day trip is on your agenda, these places are definitely worth the trip.

If you want some authentic Mexican food, this place has it. Chef Liam creates Mexican that’s the closest to authentic Mexican we’ve found in all of New Zealand. The beef burritos are spectacular and reminicent of true Barbacoa. A note though…during the Winter they are only open Wednesday through Saturday. We’ve made more than one trip up to find them closed.

This cozy little pub/restaurant in Kerikeri on the water is tucked back in on a tiny bay with sailboats floating on moorings out front. Their food is terrific and they have a great Sunday roast. If you’re headed out on the weekend be sure to make a booking. This place fills up quickly. As a bonus, right next door is the Mission Station featuring the Stone Store and Kemp House. These historical buildings (two of the oldest in New Zealand) are a treat to check out and if you need to walk off your meal there are some beautiful hiking trails right there as well.