Dining out with young children doesn’t have to be difficult – Rotorua has a great selection of eateries that are family-friendly in various ways.
Two cafés that immediately come to mind are Capers Café + Store and Third Place Café as both have indoor play areas for kids to hang out if they’re bursting with energy while you wait for your meals to arrive.
Capers offers great dishes both in the cabinet and from the menu, and the service is fast, friendly and efficient. The Kids Anytime Menu includes a breakfast plate, mac and cheese, and more. The Crunchy Munchy Picnic Plate is a crowd favourite.
The playroom is perfect to keep the little ones entertained, with interactive toys, G-rated movies, and colouring books.
While you’re there, check out the Capers store which is predominantly stocked with New Zealand artisan and organic goodies including oils, preserves, chocolates, T2 boutique tea and much more – sure to appeal to the everyday home chef, gift hunter and discerning foodie.
On sunny days, grab a seat out on the patio or inside near the windows for beautiful views over steaming Ōhinemutu Village, Lake Rotorua and Mokoia Island.
A separate play room keeps busy little ones occupied.
Skyline Rotorua where a Gondola ride takes you up the side of Mt Ngongotahā to the Skyline café and restaurant with the best views over the city.
Market Kitchen Café serves up the best of international and local cuisine, with everything from gourmet pies and bakery food, to pizza, fish and chips, deli selections, ice cream and, of course, great coffee. Indoor and outdoor dining allow you to enjoy the incredible views over Lake Rotorua, Mokoia Island and the city, and a great space for the kids to explore.
For lunch or dinner, the award-winning buffet at Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar offers an amazing array of freshly prepared and cooked-to-order dishes highlighting locally sourced seafood, meat and produce. Reservations recommended.
While you’re up the mountain, be sure to take advantage of racing downhill on a Rotorua invention called the Luge. There’s also the Skyswing, Zoom Ziplines, Jelly Belly Museum and more.
If the kids are old enough to venture out on their own, parents can duck into Volcanic Hills Winery to enjoy a wine tasting while the kids go for another Luge ride.
Freshly made cabinet foods are equally tasty if you’ve had a wee sleep-in and need to get in and out to make the most of your day.
Multi-award winning Scope Rotorua is known for their motto “wild about flavour”. Their hunting-themed café features cabinet and menu items such as a venison burger, spicy squid salad, sirloin steak sandwich, crispy chicken burger and daily chef’s specials – all roaring with flavour. Not to worry if you’re not a carnivore, there are plenty of dishes for vegetarians too, as well as gluten-free options. To round out your meal, each dish has a wine and beer match suggestion, too, so you can really savour your afternoon break. The interior is cosy and bright, and there are outdoor tables as well.
Another great spot for family, friends – and furry family members, too – found at the end of Tītokorangi Drive (formerly Longmile Road). A huge grassy lawn is perfect for kids and pup to let off some steam before or after eating. Pups are welcome at the outside tables, and doggy water bowls are dotted around the patio. Options include brunch items and bites, to wood-fired, house-made, sourdough-based pizzas to die for, famous fried chicken tenders, and a loaded food cabinet. Must-tries are Funghi pizza and TK fried chicken with Sichuan glaze.
Lady Janes – all in one spot a city block long. The covered central walkway makes this the perfect all-weather alfresco spot. In the evenings, live music and the changing colourful lighting makes Eat Streat a unique and vibrant place to enjoy.
Rotorua has so many more eateries, many of which can be found here on our website. Days and hours vary, so be sure to check before you go.