Family-friendly dining in Rotorua

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 Café + Store

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.

Third Place Café

Our first-place vote here goes to Third Place’s Roasted Kumara Mumble Jumble for breakfast, available until 2.30pm, and anything sweet from the cabinet. The all-day breakfast menu is popular and the lunch menu extensive. If you’re celebrating or enjoy a wee tipple with your meal, the wine list offers a good variety to choose from. For kids, there are chicken nuggets, baked beans on toast, mini hot dogs and more.
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.

Market Kitchen Café & Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar

Head over to 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.

Arts Village Café

Eggs bene, Belgium waffles, big Kiwi breakfasts and more from Arts Village Café will start your day right. While you wait for brekky to be served, send the kids out back to run around the huge lush lawns while you peruse the art-covered walls.
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.

Scope Rotorua

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.

Pig & Whistle Historic Pub

More than your average pub, Pig & Whistle is housed in a gorgeous building that’s part of Rotorua history, being the original police station for our district. It’s been beautifully maintained over the years and offers a variety of characterful spaces for enjoying a huge menu of up-market pub fare, including loads of options for children. Their famous curly fries are a must. Choose from a great range of craft beer and ciders on tap, and head out to the sunny covered patio where big screen TVs make this a great spot for taking in the weekend sport.

Pātaka Kai

If you’re after a special, home-style, meat-and-three-vege feast, head to Pātaka Kai at Te Puia for their delicious hāngī lunch and dinner buffets that offer an array of global cuisines and cooking styles. There’s definitely something for the whole family, including an amazing dessert buffet complete with steamed pudding. Savour sophisticated dishes infused with fresh and flavourful indigenous herbs and spices such as horopito, piko piko, watercress, karengo, kawakawa and more. An added bonus is every seat has views of the world-famous Pōhutu Geyser and geothermal valley, whether you’re seated inside and on the covered patio.

Eat Streat

Found at the lake end of Tutanekai Street, you’ll satisfy any craving at Eat Streat. This bustling dining precinct boasts a dozen or so restaurants and bars – plus the best ice cream parlour in town, 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.

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