16 August 2022

Top 15 Favourite Foodie Spots in the Wairarapa

The Wairarapa is a stunning part of New Zealand, with popular charming towns, world-class wineries, beautiful countryside and mountain scenery, and it's full to the brim with delicious eateries.

Living in the heart of it this past year, and having frequently visited for years prior, I have many favourite foodie places I visit on a regular basis.

In this post, I share my top personal favourites from each place I recommend, along with a few all-rounders where I couldn't just pick one thing. 

Needless to say, these are all my own opinion and each place has multiple incredible qualities about them. I've also narrowed it down to only fifteen places and there are of course so many more in this wonderful region.

In no particular order, here are some of the best things to eat and where to get them in the Wairarapa:

1. The White Swan

The White Swan is an iconic country hotel and what I would call my local - it's where I want to grab a pint on a Friday arvo. They have two choices of eateries, the Gastro Pub which is more casual and relaxed, and the Captain's Dining Room for more elegant affairs, both offer great seasonal menus that celebrate the best ingredients from the Wairarapa. 

It's hard to pick one favourite thing as the menu changes often, but most recently I loved their Parkvale Mushroom Risotto, and over summer I was obsessed with their Open Steak Sandwich (with bacon jam - yum! I hope they bring it back).

2. Clareville Bakery 

It's hard not to stop at Clareville Bakery every time I drive past - everything in this award-winning cafe/bakery is just divine. My regular must-haves are their mince and cheese pies (pretty sure it's the best I've ever had), cronuts (a-ma-zing) and their freshly baked sourdough bread.

3. Colombo

When I have guests visiting me in the Wairarapa, Colombo in Martinborough is my go-to to take them for lunch. It's the perfect setting, nestled amongst the vines, and their classic Italian-style pizzas are so delicious. Enjoy it with a flight of wine and you can make a great afternoon of it.

4. The French Baker

The French Baker is one of my weekly regulars, it's my favourite place to grab a takeaway Flat White and a fresh-out-of-the-oven pastry. I alternate between their danishes and almond croissants (oh so good - who needs to go to France?).

5. Poppies

If you're after a classic Martinborough lunch platter, Poppies is the place to go for the ultimate one. Made for two people to share, their platters are just epic and brimming with the perfect wine accompaniments. Do a wine tasting beforehand to pick your favourite one to pair with it - perfection!

6. Schoc Chocolates

I can't very well do a foodie recommendation post without Schoc Chocolates on the list! This popular chocolate shop is a haven for chocoholics, selling handmade gourmet chocolates in a large variety of flavours. I love their salted caramel and Turkish delight chocolates.

7. Moy Hall

Another Martinborough goodie, Moy Hall is a fantastic lunch spot set amongst their scenic vineyard. Their menu offers smaller tapas-style plates to share. Their homemade gnocchi is incredible and be sure to try their cellar door too.

8. The Offering

So many places claim they make the best cheese scones, but IMO The Offering is the very best! I've been getting their cheese scones for over five years and they always blow me away with how delicious they are. The Offering is a super popular eatery in Greytown and it's a great spot for coffee and a scone, and they offer a great lunch menu too. 

9. The Neighbourhood Cafe

For the best coffee and milkshakes in Martinborough, head to The Neighbourhood Cafe. It's super trendy (inside and out) with a bit of cool Kiwiana theme. They roast their own coffee and serve yummy cabinet food. Their caramel milkshakes are the bomb!

10. Luna 

Luna Estate is one of my favourite wineries (delicious Pinot Noir) and has an incredible restaurant too. They have an Asian inspired menu and a beautiful outdoor area with a relaxed atmosphere.

11. Pinocchio Greytown

Pinocchio is another gem in Greytown, perfect for a special occasion dinner. The service is always amazing and the food is top-quality. Their 6-hour braised Beef Cheeks to share for two people are melt-in-your-mouth good!

12. Tirohana Estate

Tirohana Estate is a boutique winery and another top spot for an incredible dining experience. They also do a knock-out seasonal menu and if you're not sure what to get, just go with their recommendations and you can't go wrong. Be sure to save room for dessert!

13. C'est Cheese

Photo from cestcheese.co.nz (Need to get my own soon!)

If you like your cheese then C'est Cheese is a must-visit when driving through Featherston. It's an artisan deli specialising in premium New Zealand-made cheeses. There's also a little side-shop with a small cheese-themed menu, including their renowned Mac-n-Cheese.

14. Cuckoo Pizza

Another pizza recommendation? Yes! Cuckoo Pizza in Greytown is fantastic to eat in or takeaway. They serve a delicious range of stoned baked pizza, and even do homemade puddings (love the Tiramisu!).

15. Finom Kitchen

A new but popular cafe in Carterton, Finom serves good coffee and a great selection of savoury and sweet cabinet food. My favourite is their Breakfast Stack - a great way to start the day if you're extra hungry!

16. Meenez

Okay, I wanted it to be fifteen, but here's a bonus number sixteen - Meenez Sweet Treats and Gelato is my go-to place for ice cream (in particular, salted caramel). They also do waffles, milkshakes and smoothies, yum!

Do you have any favourite foodie recommendations of your own in the Wairarapa to add? Leave them in the comments below, I'd love to read them. 

Feel free to follow me on Instagram to keep up to date with my latest adventures and stay tuned for more posts about the Wairarapa coming soon.

Happy travels,



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