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Gisborne summers are long and hot

Between dips in the sea (or just navigating daily life under the sun) there’s nothing better than the opportunity to kick back and relax with a cold beer, wine, smoothie or morning coffee. There is many a café, bar or restaurant in Tairāwhiti that provides just the thing – as well as some very cool atmosphere. We’ve rounded up 11 of the best: 

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Siduri Wine Bar & Deli

This cool and contemporary space is just perfect for trying out organic and biodynamic wines from New Zealand and around the globe including France, Spain and even Japan. The atmosphere is intimate, mood-lit and they play some great vinyl. Sam and his passionate team can help you out with the perfect platters to complement your wine choice – with artisan cheeses, prosciutto, truffles, and dips to die for or for something more substantial they can organise pizza from Neptunes Pizzeria.

The Works

Come here for the cocktails! We love the Espresso Martini, the Cosmopolitan and the Negroni. You’ll love sitting outside this beautiful historic building under the grapevines, or inside with its polished concrete floors, exposed timber ceilings and exposed brick walls. If you’re not up for a cocktail, they also have an extensive wine list. The service is attentive, and cheese platters are great (or order something more substantial – the risotto is amazing).

 

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The Millton Vineyards and Winery

For wine amongst the vines you can’t go past Millton – a gorgeous, understated country vineyard and it’s biodynamic to boot, with huge care going into maintaining the soil and no nasties such as insecticides are used on the vines. Many of these wines have won national and international accolades. The staff are hugely knowledgeable and can tell you all about the history, process, and terroir of each glass of wine or tasting flight.

Puku Ora Eatery 

This local eatery opened late 2020, and has a gorgeous range of real, raw and fresh healthy drinks. The counter has a wide range of vegetables, fruits and protein powders on display, for creating beverages of every type, from fruit spritzers to protein-packed smoothies. There are also salads, burgers (meat or plant-based) and sweet treats on the menu. This eatery specialises in vegan, keto, vegetarian, fermented and gluten free foods, so you know you’re going to come out of there feeling like you had your day’s vitamin hit.

Sunshine Brewery

Surf and beer? Sunshine Brewery is your go-to. This taproom near the beach delivers award-winning cold beer straight from their state-of-the-art steam-powered brewhouse. There is a range of different craft brews on tap, a great atmosphere, informative and friendly staff, and great pizzas on the menu. The brewery’s values are sun, surf, mates and good beer – which says it all. Bottles of your faves are available to purchase and take home.

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Smash Palace

Gizzy locals all go to Smash Palace for good times and good vibes – many a good party night or concert has been held here. Check the website for what’s happening this week, Smash Palace regularly hosts touring musicians and bands, summer music sessions, dance parties, open mic nights, pub quizzes, Pub Choir Gisborne, and more. They have a delicious food and drink menu, and it’s a true local institution here in Gisborne.

Neighbourhood Pizzeria

For a relaxed afternoon of pizza and brews in the beautiful garden with your crew in the Ballance St Village, Neighbourhood Pizzeria have got your covered. Having started out in a popular pizza takeaway container, Neighbourhood Pizzeria have moved up the road (literally) and the new joint is just as popular. Try the pizza of the week, which is sure to be good, sure to be interesting, Sunshine Brewery on tap and live music some nights to add to the already vibrant atmosphere.

The Tata Café

With an incredible view of Tatapouri Bay, this beachfront coffee container serves locally-roasted coffee by Far East Coffee Co – what’s more to want? There are also real fruit ice creams for the kids, and lots of outdoor seating including tables and beanbags. If you’re peckish, they sell homemade cabinet foods from the local Curbside Kitchen. This place is great if you’re day tripping up the Coast (actually, it’s a reason to daytrip to the Coast), or perfect if you’re staying at the campground. It’s open Friday to Sundays, 8am – 2pm.

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The East Cape Manuka Café

For delicious manuka-infused drinks, these guys on the East Cape are the experts! They use locally grown manuka which is filled with antioxidants and other healing properties. They also have special teas such as kawakawa, ginger and lemon. For those with more of a coffee leaning, their barista-made coffee is also good, as well as their food menu. As an added bonus you can learn all about Manuka Oil and honeybees from the staff: they really know their stuff.

The Wharf Bar and Grill

The Wharf Bar & Grill sits overlooking the beautiful Gisborne Inner Harbour offering a great selection of handpicked local and imported beer and wine, that complements their cocktail menu and range of spirits. Relax and unwind for the evening in their large alfresco dining area, while watching the sun set over the harbour.

 

These are just 11 of the many Tairāwhiti has to offer – we’d also recommend trying out Te Puka Tavern for a well-stocked bar with a million-dollar view; the kids will love The Royal at Matawhero for their Narnia-inspired walk-in wardrobe (complete with fur coats and an old key) leading out the playground and for the adults, a beer or Raglan Roast coffee; The Tav for a local hot spot; the Gisborne Wine Centre for vinos in a beautiful part of the inner harbour; and the Gisborne Farmers Market for coffee, orange juice and a wide range of local produce.

It’s going to be a long summer – so here’s to staying hydrated, relaxed and supporting your local.

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