A guide to shopping and dining in Rotorua

Shoppers, this one’s for you. If you’re in need of some retail therapy, with plenty of awesome eateries to keep you going, come to Rotorua for the weekend.

Rotorua has some truly yummy places to find gorgeous treasures, from Rotorua-designed clothing to homewares, garden decor, DIY and interior design items, delightful children’s clothing and toys, and so much more. Here are just a few of recommended places to shop to your heart’s delight, followed by great spots to stop and fuel up with the help of dozens of excellent cafés and restaurants.

Ahu Boutique

Rotorua-based fashion designer Adrienne Whitewood was taught how to sew at the age of 8 by her kuia. Inspired by indigenous art and culture, she’s known for the movement her screen-printed Māori designs give to the gorgeous garments she designs and sells at her shop Ahu Boutique. You’ll also find hats, jewellery and other accessories at this must-stop shop.

Grace & Glory | Living Room Collective

Grace & Glory | Living Room Collective is about celebrating all that makes a home beautiful with homewares, gifts and furniture. They champion the recycled and rescued with a great range of vintage-look paints, mouldings, transfers and hardware – perfect for DIY-ers looking for ways to create bespoke decorative pieces and vignettes.
For the fashionistas, you’ve got a range of beautiful linen clothing, and both designed jewellery and pieces made locally using gorgeous vintage china, beads, crystals and more.

Curiosity Blooms

Combining their passion for interior design and houseplants, the ladies of Curiosity Blooms in Ngongotahā have curated a beautiful and eclectic selection of home décor (pictured at top) and garden wares, one-off creations by New Zealand artists and designers, and even a taxidermist (hint: she’s one of the owners!). There’s seasonal boutique clothing, handbags and accessories to check out, too.
Houseplants are so in and at Curiosity Blooms the prices are so affordable. Grab colourful pots, too, for your plant babies and you’re sorted.

Exotic Imports

For something decorative that’s out of the ordinary, check out Exotic Imports. Here you’ll find unique furniture, lighting, textiles and loads of décor items direct from Mexico, India and Morocco, and perfect for creating an eclectic, rustic, boho or industrial interior.
This is the perfect place to find something that’s a bit quirky and colourful, something possibly recycled, hand-painted and/or hand-carved.

Amokura Glass

If you prefer to support local artists and artisans, and love colourful glass, you must visit Heather Kremen at Amokura Glass. Glass blower extraordinaire and hot glass studio owner and instructor, Heather has been shaping molten glass for more than a decade. Her high-quality items like drinking glasses, vases and bowls and more are not only incredible to display and look at, but they’re functional pieces of art as well.
Pick out a set of wine glasses or an intricately patterned fruit bowl or platter. Visit during Heather’s working hours from 9:30am to 3pm Friday to Monday to see her in action and chat about her craft.

McLeods Booksellers

Bibliolaters will be happy to hear that there are enough like-minded people in Rotorua to support not one, but two independently owned bookshops located in the city centre.
McLeods Booksellers, nearly 80 years old, offers an excellent range of books, including Māori and New Zealand titles, children’s books, journals and more. The hand written book reviews by McLeods’ staff are so helpful! Also helpful is the subscription-based Cleod Crate, a box containing a book and a few other treats that tie in with the book’s theme, and sourced from local businesses.

Atlantis Books

Our second bookshop, Atlantis Books, stocks an epic selection of quality used books and comics. Bring along the books you’ve finished reading and exchange them for store credit, and if there’s a particular tome you’d like to acquire, let the Atlantis crew know and they’ll try to help you out.

Monkey Kids

Isn’t shopping for kiddos fun? A great place to find a treat for your niece, nephew, grandchild or your own children is Monkey Kids.
Everything stocked in-store and online has been specifically selected for quality and style. Toys, games, adorable clothing and outerwear, and everything that educates, engages and ignites exploration.
While you’re out and about, these are some of the cafés and restaurants nearby.

Capers Café + Store

Capers offers fresh, quality food, both in the cabinet and from the menu, and the service is fast and efficient. 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.
Recommended for breakfast, lunch or dinner, daily from 7am.

Pātaka Kai

Start your Sunday with a special treat. Pātaka Kai at Te Puia serves up delicious brunch and all-day breakfast. Plus, it’s probably the only place in the world where you can dine while overlooking an erupting geyser!
The menu is infused with New Zealand flavours and ingredients such as fried bread filled with blackberry and kawakawa compote, and topped with freshly whipped cream, or served with golden syrup and butter; hot smoked Akaroa salmon and hollandaise sauce; roasted pumpkin and barley salad balsamic and horopito vinaigrette; and much more. Their plate of waffles and buttermilk fried chicken is sure to become your favourite.
Recommended for buffet dinners, lunch and Sunday brunch. Check website for days and times.

The Regent Room

If you’re looking for something a bit glam, The Regent Room is just the spot. Offering a delicious, award-winning international menu of sharing plates as well as exquisite mains and tempting desserts and cheeses. The black, white and bling interior and French style is complemented by the view out to the swimming pool and courtyard.
Recommended for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Check website for days and times.

Abracadabra Café & Bar

Abracadabra is not only fun to say, but the café and bar itself is housed inside a fun, colourful and vibrant 1940s house decorated with beautiful, rustic brass and iron lamps shipped directly from Marrakesh.
Their cinnamon brioche French toast is a hit, as are the Moroccan dukkah scrambled eggs, Bus Station Kofta Tagine, and more.
Recommended for breakfast, lunch or dinner, Tuesday to Sunday from 9am.

Poco Tapas and Wine

Poco opened earlier this year and has quickly become one of the best little spots for gathering with friends new and old, and enjoying delicious seasonal food to be shared (if you want to!) and paired with a great wine list in a warm, welcoming atmosphere with excellent service.
Recommended for dinner Tuesday to Sunday from 4pm. Reservations highly recommended.

Sabroso Restaurant

Spice things up with delicious South American dishes and the city’s best margaritas. Though small in size and scale, Sabroso delivers big on flavour and experience.
Born in Venezuela to Kiwi parents, owner Sarah opened Sabroso with her partner John in 2007 to provide guests with a glimpse of the Latino warmth, hospitality and delicious flavours she experienced growing up. ​Inspired by their time spent in the barrios of Latin America, the couple provides excellent service, and delicious food and drinks.
Recommended for dinner Wednesday to Saturday from 5pm. Reservations highly recommended.
**Restaurant days and times were correct at the time this story was written but it always pays to check before you go.

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