The sunny city of Napier is an ideal destination for a holiday, deep in the winemaking region of Hawke’s Bay. With miles of gorgeous coastline and charming Art Deco architecture, there’s plenty of attractions and things to do. And when you’re feeling hungry, the Napier restaurants don’t disappoint.
Napier has lots of great places to eat, from gourmet restaurants to chic bistros. There seem to be more opening every day. Whatever cuisine you fancy, you’ll find lots of amazing restaurants and bars to choose from. Vegetarians and vegans won’t struggle to find something suitable on the menu at most of the restaurants and cafes in Napier, too. From central Napier to the Taradale region just a short drive south of the city, here’s our roundup of the best restaurants in Napier
Emporium Eatery and Bar
If you’re looking for an authentic Napier experience, head to the Emporium Eatery, Lounge & Bar. You’ll find Emporium within the iconic Masonic hotel, one of the best examples of Art Deco design in Napier. Take your pick from sitting in the stylish Eatery or the intimate fine dining Lounge.
The Emporium Eatery Bar is stocked with every kind of tipple you could wish for, including some of the best local wines around. Just ask your server for wine pairing recommendations to complement your food. It’s also one of the rare restaurants in Napier that is open all day, every day. Pop in for a quick flat white, grab some cocktails and snacks or linger over a three-course meal. Whatever you go for, you’ll be glad you chose the Emporium bar restaurant.
Indigo is perhaps Napier’s best Indian restaurant. The authentic dishes are consistently delicious, no matter what you go for. There’s a fantastic range of local craft beer to complement your meal and cool your taste buds after a fiery curry. If you’re after a blend of NZ and Indian cuisine, go for the lamb chop masala.
Pacifica is an award-winning restaurant specialising in seafood. You can enjoy fine dining in a traditional beach bungalow, the perfect setting to indulge in delicate fish and seafood dishes. While the food is of an incredible standard, the atmosphere is relaxed, friendly, and welcome. Jeremy Rameka is the genius behind the constantly evolving menus at Pacifica. The dishes vary according to what’s in season locally, and the wine pairings are spot on. If you’re looking for a high-end restaurant in Napier, don’t miss Pacifica!
Mission Estate Winery & Restaurant
The Mission Estate Winery in New Zealand, producing excellent wines right here in Hawke’s Bay. Not only this, but they have an outstanding restaurant where you can dine in luxury. Every meal is cooked to perfection and carefully paired to a particular wine. While you eat, you can take in the stunning views of the garden and the incredible historical setting. You can find Mission Estate just off Church Road in Taradale, a short drive south west from Napier. It’s simply one of the best restaurants in the Napier area and not to be missed, especially for wine lovers.
The Thirsty Whale Restaurant and Bar
The Thirsty Whale Restaurant Bar offers amazing views out over Napier harbour and the ocean beyond. It’s a thriving place to meet friends with drinks or to share a meal. The bar at the Thirsty Whale stocks an impressive variety of drinks from New Zealand and further afield. The restaurant serves up local cuisine and exquisite seafood, fresh from the sea.
You’ll also find plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, too. If you have allergies or are gluten free or dairy free, and the staff are always happy to help. You can visit the Thirsty Whale restaurant bar for breakfast, brunch, lunch. and dinner. You’ll love this vibrant spot right in the centre of Napier!
Restaurant Indonesia first opened its doors in 1983. Since then, it’s earned a respected place among the restaurants and attractions of Napier. In fact, it’s the first recommendation that comes up on TripAdvisor if you search for restaurants Napier! The talented chefs cook up a curious but compelling fusion of Indonesian and Dutch cuisine. If you’re looking for great value for money, this is the right place to come. You’ll get delicious Asian food in a beautiful setting, decked out in vibrant Indonesian decor.
We recommend trying the Rijsttafel, an incredible Indonesian style tapas. You’ll get the opportunity to taste a range of superb dishes from different Indonesian islands. The restaurant offers lots of vegetarian and vegan options, too. Restaurant Indonesia is one of the best Asian restaurants Napier has to offer.
Bistronomy is a fantastic Napier restaurant offering outstanding tasting menus, which change according to what’s in season. At Bistronomy, the food’s always prepared with the freshest local produce, and the innovative, mouth-watering dishes don’t disappoint. It’s open every evening from Weds-Sun, or you can dine at lunchtime from Friday-Sunday. If you prefer a less formal setting, the lunch-time sitting offers delicious food in a more relaxed atmosphere.
There’s something for everyone in Napier, and that includes vegans and vegetarians. One of the best restaurants or cafes for vegan and vegetarian food in Napier is Hapī, where the food is super healthy and so delicious. At Hapī, everything is plant-based and 100% vegan, so you can relax and order anything you fancy off the menu. Check out the nutritious breakfast bowls, order yourself some polenta fries as a snack, or indulge in a refreshing smoothie.
Three Doors Up
Three Doors Up is a stylish restaurant located in the Union Hotel, serving firm favourites like beef brisket or risotto. You’ll have no problem picking a tasty dish off the menu here in this cosy restaurant. Check out the neighbouring 4th Door Lounge Bar for pre- or post-dinner drinks.
If you’re looking for somewhere to grab an affordable but delicious bite to eat, heat to Mister D. A favourite restaurant for locals and visitors alike, this restaurant serves up contemporary/European style food. The decor inside is hip and modern, with industrial touches. Mister D is open every day of the week from 7:30 am – 4 pm, and stays open late from Thurs-Sat. Don’t forget to book, so you’re not disappointed.
You can order a wide range of Hawke’s Bay wines from the green-tiled bar, and the service is always quick and friendly. The main appetisers, starters, and mains are varied and always tasty. But it’s the dessert menu that really steals the show at Mister D. All the pastries and desserts are hits, but we recommend trying the doughnuts with a fun twist. Choose from chocolate, custard, jam, or an alcoholic filling for the adults, and you’ll be presented with a syringe to inject it right into your doughnut.
Lone Star Restaurant and Bar
The Lone Star is a unique mix of New Zealand fare and dishes inspired by the Wild West. On the menus, you’ll find names like Redneck Ribs, Dixie Chicken, and Lassoo of Hug. The team behind Lone Star strongly believe that eating out should be affordable and fun, a winning combination. You’ll also find a great kids menu and some mouth-watering vegetarian dishes, too. One of the best and most unique restaurants/cafes in Napier!
The Wrap Up
Despite being a smaller city, Napier won’t let you down when it comes to restaurants, cafes, and bars! There are so many superb restaurants in the Art Deco City that you can dine out somewhere new for every meal. From fresh seafood to eclectic international food, you’ll find everything on offer in Napier. Now you’ve got our recommendations for restaurants, check out our full guide to the best cafes in Napier too!