A culinary journey through Rotorua’s autumn and winter delights

As the cooler autumn days approach, there's no better time to explore Rotorua’s cosy and inviting eateries.

The city, known for its geothermal wonders, Māori culture and incredible natural scenery, is also a haven for culinary enthusiasts seeking warmth and comfort during the cooler months. Join us on a gastronomic journey through some of the city’s most delightful dining establishments, each offering a unique blend of flavours and ambience that captures the essence of autumn and winter.

Volcanic Hills Winery

Our first stop is the Volcanic Hills Winery, perched on the slopes of Mt Ngongotahā. The winery not only boasts breath-taking views of the city and Lake Rotorua but also serves as a haven for wine connoisseurs seeking a cosy spot to unwind. Indulge in a tasting flight featuring their renowned Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, perfectly complemented by a platter of local cheeses and charcuterie.

Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar

Following your wine-tasting experience, you might find a hearty appetite has consumed you. This is a very easy problem to sort quickly by walking over to Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar also perched atop Mt Ngongotahā at Skyline Rotorua. Similar to the winery, Stratosfare offers floor-to-ceiling windows framing the stunning landscape outside. The buffet at Stratosfare is world-famous for its diverse selection of dishes, from succulent meats to fresh seafood, salads, soups, desserts and more, all showcasing the best of New Zealand’s produce.

Spa City Noodle Bar

For those craving the comforting allure of Asian cuisine, the brand-new Spa City Noodle Bar beckons with its aromatic broths and vibrant flavours. Tucked into the heart of Rotorua, this noodle bar is a gem offering a respite from chilly weather. Step inside to the inviting aroma of simmering soups and savoury spices and grab a table or take a seat at the bar overlooking the kitchen. An array of noodle dishes, from traditional ramen to spicy Thai soups, provide a symphony of tastes sure to warm you up.

The Fainting Goat

Nestled in the heart of Rotorua's dining district, The Fainting Goat (pictured at top) offers a great escape. A cosy industrial vibe and comfy seating welcome you to select from the tapas style dishes, shared boards, gourmet pizzas by the foot, and sweets and cheeses. Pair your meal with a craft beer, glass of wine or signature cocktail, and let The Fainting Goat wrap you in a culinary embrace.


Head down to the Eat Streat dining precinct and you'll find Brew, a laid-back and inviting atmosphere for those seeking a casual dining experience. The rustic charm of exposed brick walls and wooden furnishings add to the warmth of the venue. Brew's menu is a fusion of international flavours, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. From wood-fired pizzas to hearty burgers, each dish is crafted with care, making Brew a go-to spot for a relaxed meal with friends and family during the colder months.

Pātaka Kai

For a taste of indigenous Māori cuisine with a view of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest active geyser, Pātaka Kai is the destination of choice. Located within the Te Puia cultural complex, this buffet restaurant showcases the unique flavours and culinary traditions of the Māori people. The menu features dishes such as hāngī-cooked meats, rewana bread, and kawakawa-infused desserts. Pātaka Kai offers not only a culinary experience but also a connection to the rich heritage of the region, making it a truly special dining destination in Rotorua.

The Mains

Last but far from least, be sure to book in for a special dinner at The Mains at On the Point. Nestled along the edge of Lake Rotorua, The Mains is a charming restaurant that captures the essence of autumn and winter with its inviting atmosphere. The expansive windows frame breath-taking views of the lake, creating a serene backdrop for your dining experience. The menu at The Mains features a blend of New Zealand and international flavours, with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients. From seafood platters to slow-cooked meats, each dish is a celebration of the region’s culinary diversity. The Mains provides a perfect setting for a romantic dinner or a gathering with loved ones, where the beauty of the lake and the warmth of the interior combine to create a memorable dining experience.

You might also be interested in...