A Taste of Whangarei (And Other Places)

Whangerei 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 Whangerei 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.

Looking for a cool pub with a great local vibe? Frings is the place to go. It’s literally steps from the Town Basin Marina and it’s filled with great food and really awesome locals who will make you feel just like part of the family. Frings was a regular stopping point for us during our time in Whangarei. We made many wonderful friends here and had a lot of fantastic times. If you want to get to know the locals, be sure to stop at Frings…the pub that’s shaped like a ship!

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”.

Roost is fairly new to Whangarei as of 2022 but we absolutely love this place! Mike, the owner, goes above and beyond to make it a truly great pub with great food. The food is a Kiwi take on American style classics like fried chicken. If you stop in….be sure to get the spicy chicken. It’s THE BOMB! And, if you like American sports you might just find that they have on a football or baseball game to remind Americans of home. It’s walking distance from Town Basin Marina and definitely worth a trip.

Looking for a great little spot for some good food and amazing cocktails that’s right in the Town Basin Marina’s front yard? Loco is the spot to go. Located right on the quay it’s got great views of the marina and the new Hundertwasser Museum. Jemma and her brother Ollie manage the place and they are absolutely AMAZING! We’ve had many fun times there in our time here and we highly recommend it. The Taquitos are to die for too!!! Let them know Dan and Jilly sent you.

Our dear friend, Jemma….she will take great care of you! And…you can even get a Pacifico with lime. What could be better than that?

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.

Sitting right in the basin at the Whangerei 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.

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, this place is definitely worth the trip.

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.