You’ve had an epic day shredding some of Rotorua’s epic mountain bike trails. You nailed those berms on Corners track, got air on Eagle versus Shark. Now that’s all done and dusted for the day, you’ve realized you’ve got a serious thirst and hunger brewing.
Great news: We’ve rounded up eight of our favourite spots to satisfy your après-mountain bike ride cravings, from a bevvie and a Shinny Dip at secret spot that’s no longer a secret, to craft beer and the perfect wood-fired pizza.
With the exception of a couple eateries located on Eat Streat, the rest are near one of the two main mountain biking hubs – Te Pūtake o Tawa, or Waipa – so no matter where you finish your ride, you'll be close enough to remediate the hangries quickly.
Te Pūtake o Tawa – east side of townIf you’ve just finished the awesome new 33km Whakarewarewa Forest Loop at the “Tawa” end, you’ll find these eateries on your way back to town.
Handily located en route on Tarawera Road, it’s easy to whip into Good Eastern Taphouse and enjoying a cold beer or cider within minutes. Hungry? Fill up with delicious food. Note: Their burgers deserve their own blog post.
If you arrive on two wheels, there’s a large outdoor area with plenty of space and bonus: Your trail dog is welcome here too.
Eastwood Café is another spot, both in terms of its handy-dandy location and ambiance. As you’re heading back to town, you’ll take a left onto Tītokorangi Drive, past Redwoods Treewalk and into the Scion complex just past the bottom of Nursery Road. First, marvel at the gorgeous architecture, then take your pick: dine inside, or alfresco on the terrace.
Like Good Eastern, Eastwood has bike racks and welcomes furry companions.
HINT: The Whakarewarewa Forest Loop has a few exit points near Eastwood, so you could even enjoy a mid-ride refresh here.
You know what they say: Life is too short to eat bad burgers! Luckily, the Burger Fuel crew at the Redwood Centre are a well-oiled machine. With built-fresh gourmet burgers served up in a great atmosphere, you can roll in on your bike and satisfy your post-ride cravings. There’s no alcohol here, so cool down with a yummy thickshake instead. Racks out front make securing your bike easy as.
Waipa – south side of townThe OG spot for mountain bikers to connect with the trails is still going strong!
Secret Spot Hot Tubs and the new BaseCamp are tucked away on the edge of the forest, in the Waipa mountain bike hub.
Riders, look for the ‘secret’ mountain bike entrance to the right of the waterfall where you’ll find a rack to secure your bike. From here, you can: relax inside or outside of the BaseCamp safari tent with a cold beverage and a snack; sooth tired legs in a Shinny Dip (free with beverage purchase); hang out in the Eddie Out Chill Zone; and/or book your own freshwater hot tub for a 45-minute full-body soak – swim gear, towels and lockers are available to hire on site.
Trail Kitchen is a family-run business serving up fantastic food with views of the beautiful forest. Fill up on burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, or pies. We rate the poke bowls, too. Trail Kitchen is dog-friendly on the deck outside.
In the central cityHead into town for these great mountain biker-friendly spots.
Funky little Sobar at Eat Streat provides the perfect post-ride atmosphere to enjoy the awesome street-food style menu that includes burgers, pizzas, dumplings, fries and wedges, seafood chowder, chicken wings, mac-n-cheese, poke bowls, fish-n-chips, and the soon-to-be-famous SODOG and gourmet toasties like the one above. Wash it all down with a cold beer or wine.
7. Brew Bar
When you’re done with biking for the day, Brew Bar is an obvious choice for hungry adventurers. Owned by the folks from Croucher Brewery, you’ll find a full range of their delicious craft beers straight from the tap. There’s an epic menu with loaded fries, pizza, fish and chips. With regular live entertainment and a courtyard that looks out onto Eat Streat, just rock on in and make yourself at home.
Just one block up from Eat Streat, on Tutanekai Street, you’ll find Pig & Whistle Historic Pub, a long-time go-to for mountain bikers for off-trail socialising.
Don’t let the name fool you, this iconic spot is anything but old and dusty. Originally the police station for our district, the repurposed building has been beautifully preserved and offers a variety of spaces for enjoying a great range of craft beer and hearty starters and mains. The famous pig-tail curly fries are a must. With big screens and a fully sheltered patio in the back, there’s always a decent group taking in the weekend sport.