Our fav food and drink spots
It might only be a short ferry ride away from Auckland, but Waiheke really is a world of its own. Here are just a few of our favourite spots to eat, drink and chill.
Places to eat
Breakfast island style is a coffee, a pastry and a slow stroll along a golden sand beach – saving room for a long lunch later in the day. If you’re after something more hearty, here are a few brunch spots.
This cosy and casual Italian eatery on the sunny side of the street serves up brunch classics like Eggs Benedict and mushrooms on homemade focaccia. Order a fresh juice and take a seat on the front patio for some people watching.
122a Ocean Beach Road, Oneroa
09 372 8711
Booking recommended in summer
It’s hard to beat the oceanside deck on a sunny morning for breakfast at Ki Maha. Here, they’re levelling up the standard brunch menu with dishes like lemon risotto and smoked snapper frittata – perfect with an expertly prepared peach bellini or ‘Mummosa’.
1 Fourth Ave, Onetangi
09 372 2565
Serving up hot coffee (Allpress Espresso, of course) with loaded bagels, this is a great spot for a quick breakfast bite – the pastrami bagel gets our vote every time. Seating is very limited, so plan to grab and go. Later in the day, their hand-crafted gelato is justifiably famous, with dairy-free options and a dazzling array of classic and unique flavours… if you’re keen for something different, try a scoop of the Pics Peanut Butter gelato.
106b Ocean View Road, Oneroa
This deli-grocer reliably serves the freshest bread and pastries baked daily, along with divine sandwiches. It’s also our go-to when prepping a charcuterie board… don’t miss the cheese counter at the back.
110 Ocean View Road, Oneroa
Palm Beach Store
Another good choice for your morning brew, the Store also has the best toasties on the island. Wander down to the beach with your order and enjoy the morning waves.
39 Palm Road, Palm Beach
The long lunch
A long, languid lunch amidst the vines is the quintessential Waiheke Island experience. And while the world-class vineyards are always a superb option, they’re just the beginning. There’s plenty more on offer, if you know where to look.
Three Seven Two
In our opinion the best beachfront eatery on the Onetangi strip, award-winning Three Seven Two is a real local’s choice. Equally good for lunch, dinner or sharing plates and cocktails, its generous outdoor area offers a superb view of the waves crashing on magnificent Onetangi beach. The chili margarita is a must-try, as are the gin sours – which aren’t on the menu, but just ask the team. Outside of lunch, the snack plates are excellent; we recommend the smoked fish dip and fried cabbage.
21 The Strand, Onetangi
09 372 8711
A must-visit for seafood lovers, this casual bistro in the heart of Oneroa village is always popular for summer lunches. Local oysters freshly harvested from Te Matuku farm are the mainstay of the menu, and the karaage chicken is also a knockout dish. In summer, you might even find celebrity chef/owner Josh Emett shucking oysters in the kitchen. Book early and ask for a spot on the verandah with views over Oneroa Beach below.
124 Ocean View Road, Oneroa
09 372 2222
Nestled amongst the picture-perfect olive groves and vineyards on the Onetangi hillside, this is our favourite Spanish spot on the island. Sample authentic tapas with a sherry or a glass of the Miro red blend. Lively and bustling with groups and families feasting on shared plates and ‘Fiesta’ set menus, it’s not the quietest spot – but that’s all part of its charm.
3 Brown Road, Onetangi
09 372 7854
Come the evening, you’re spoiled for choice. From fine-dining to casual eats, Waiheke’s culinary gems are sprinkled liberally across the island.
This oceanfront eatery makes a great spot for dinner or lunch. Sample some fresh, sustainably harvested seafood or get serious with the lamb shoulder for two. Grab a seat on the deck and a glass of wine to watch the waves as the sun goes down.
1 Fourth Ave, Onetangi
09 372 2565
Fenice is a great little locale for house-made classics like pasta, risotto and wood-fired pizza – fittingly for an Italian eatery, the tiramisu is to die for. If you’re after a takeaway pizza for a night in, this is a good option. Open all year, Fenice is cosy and casual with a roaring fire in winter, while in summertime the outdoor dining spills out into a cheerful garden in the heart of Oneroa village.
122 Oceanview Road, Oneroa
09 372 8711
Tucked away off the main street in central Oneroa, this is hidden gem makes for a great low-key dinner or an aperitivo on the sunny deck. A top choice of locals, The Courtyard keeps things fresh and seasonal with a regularly changing menu, along with excellent staples like crumbed chicken and eggplant parmigiana. From the Oneroa viewing platform, look down to spot the astroturf and festoon lights.
149 Oceanview Road
09 372 9626
Just across the road from our tasting room, Cable Bay has panoramic views across the Hauraki Gulf to Auckland City. Equally welcoming for groups and couples, it’s best for casual dining with a decent drop, and a great option for somewhere close at hand.
12 Nick Johnstone Drive, Oneroa
09 372 5889
Perhaps the island’s most elegant food and wine destination, Tantalus has to be experienced at least once. Immersed amongst the vines on a stunning estate in the heart of Onetangi Valley, its wheelhouse is world-class fine dining, with wine country views to match. Sample an award-winning vintage at the cellar door, or head below the restaurant to Alibi, a cosy brick-walled cellar bar, for excellent craft beer, cocktails and snacks.
70-72 Onetangi Road, Onetangi
09 372 2625
We don’t have Uber Eats on the island – but we do have some tasty options for a delicious night in. If you’re looking for an in-villa chef, supplies or special event catering or cakemaking, just give us a call and we’ll be pleased to help.
Indy's Curry Pot
You’d be hard-pressed to find a local who doesn’t know Indy. Dishing up authentic Sri Lankan favourites cooked from scratch and made with love, you’ll find him at the industrial end of Ostend in a modest little hole in the wall. Check him out on Instagram, where he posts his daily menu, and place your order by text.
18 Erua Road, Ostend (next to Harris Auto Parts)
021 224 2100
Little Oneroa Fish & Chips
Pick up the island’s freshest fish and chips at this little takeaway and head across the road to enjoy them on the beach. We highly recommend the snapper burger, along with a quick stop at the dairy for an ice-cream dessert.
2 Goodwin Avenue, Oneroa
09 372 3288
A permanent fixture on the Little O beachfront during summer, this is street food at its best. Order up a delicious woodfire pizza, find a comfortable spot on the beach and watch the sun set. Delivery for larger groups is sometimes available in summer, with 24 hours’ notice.
Little Oneroa Reserve
021 922 289
Bars & Vineyards
With around 30 vineyards on the island, there’s a plethora of spots to sample the island’s local wines, beers and spirits – from quirky to swanky. Here are some we just can’t help returning to.
The ultimate spot for a sundowner. Perfect for any special moment, Mudbrick’s romantic vineyard and lavender-scented garden setting could almost have you feeling like you’ve landed in the Tuscan countryside – if it weren’t for those iconic ocean views across to Auckland’s twinkling city lights. Depending on your mood, choose from fine-dining, bistro eats, a cellar door tasting session, or just a glass of bubbles in the top garden.
126 Church Bay Road, Oneroa
09 372 9050
Bookings essential for main restaurant.
Alibi Brewers Lounge
You’ll find this cosy, moody underground lounge beneath the restaurant at Tantalus Estate, serving up speakeasy vibes, craft beers, innovative cocktails and delectable bites.
70/72 Onetangi Road, Onetangi
09 372 2625
One of our favourites on a blue-sky day, Batch is perched on one of the island’s highest points – making it the perfect spot for sitting outside with a bottle of Rosé as you watch the sun go down with 360-degree views. If you’re staying at Rangihoua Villa, Batch is conveniently close by.
129 Carsons Road
09 372 3223
You’ll always find locals at Heke, often sampling the lager brewed on site. In summer the easy-going outdoor seating is hard to beat, and in winter there’s an open fire on offer, with ample space for large groups. Woodfired pizza is always a winner and the smash burger is the best on the island. Whisky-lovers can enjoy tastings, tours, and masterclass sessions at their on-site distillery ‘The Boilermaker’.
64 Onetangi Road, Onetangi
09 372 0020
Man O' War
If you’ve got the time, a visit to the rugged eastern side of the island is a must. Man O’ War is the jewel in the east’s crown – but if you’re driving to this spectacular estate, be warned: your car will get dusty! A few steps from the gentle waves of Man O’ War bay, this is Waiheke’s only beachfront vineyard, with a cellar door, restaurant, and frequent live entertainment on summer weekends. We recommend the coach service with pick-up points as noted on their website. For wine fans, the estate offers guided tours on a full suspension e-bikes, followed by a well-earned tasting session.
725 Man O War Bay Road
09 372 9678
Waiheke Gin Distillery
Located on the ridge above Cowes Bay, there’s no doubt the distillery has some of the best views on Waiheke. Grab a bean bag and sip away on a G&T while looking over Pakatoa, Rotoroa, and Ponui Islands. Their Ruby Red Gin is something else, but if you’re not a gin drinker they also have a range of amazing botanical vodkas. Worth the trip, and as a bonus you’ll almost always spot a kākā (native parrot) or two.
258 Cowes Bay Road, Waiheke Island