The citizens of Rotorua place a lot of emphasis on their heritage and the hangi, a traditional Maori feast, is a prime example of the pride and respect they hold for this unique culture. Beginning with a meal which is cooked in an earthen oven and consists of beef, chicken, lamb, pork and venison as well as pumpkin and kumara. Traditionally, all the ingredients were placed in baskets made from flax and steamed in an earth oven in the ground which was lined with stones and leaves. The good news is that today as we’re sure you’ll be happy to hear all the food is cooked above the ground. And, once you’ve partaken of this delicious feast prepare to party the night away as the hangi is almost always followed by a traditional Maori concert where it’s compulsory that the audience join in.
Unfortunately, the hangi is not ideally suited to the vegetarian travellers among you but there’s not great cause for concern. The Rotorua region is home to numerous lakes and rivers and trout in particular is a specialty in the region. Many places, expect you to catch your own and take it to the restaurant where they will cook it to your particular tastes. This way there’s no room for complaint.
As well as the more traditional specialties, however, the number of international restaurants in Rotorua is increasing dramatically all the time and cuisine from most parts of the planet can now be found on one street or another throughout the town. As well as the choice which you have when it comes to the types of food on offer, the variety in eating establishments and price is also extensive so shop around before making your decision – particularly those of you who intend sticking to your budget.
69 Arawa Street, Rotorua, New Zealand
Extremely popular backpacker haunt thanks to huge portions of pasta, meat and fish dishes, pies, curries and legendary cakes and deserts. The quirky interior adds further to its appeal so check this one out.
1148 Tutanekai Street, Rotorua, New Zealand
Authentic Japanese dishes prepared by a specially imported chef. Try the Sushi, Teriyaki or Tempura and wash it all down with the variety of Sake, beer or wine on offer. Also has a takeaway service.
1118 Tutanekai Street, Rotorua, New Zealand
Another restaurant serving up quality Oriental food at reasonable prices. Fully licensed and has excellent value menus for groups of two or more where you can mix and match to suit everyone.
1243 Amohia Street, Rotorua, New Zealand
Thereâ€™s one in every town or city on the planet and Rotorua is no exception. Tasty Italian specialties with fresh pasta made daily on the premises catering for both meat eaters and vegetarians. A popular choice.
1213 Fenton Street, Rotorua, New Zealand
Those of you partial to enchiladas, fajitas, tortillas and the like will appreciate this Tex Mex establishment in the town centre. Bright and colourful as all Mexican eateries are making it a great place to begin your night out.
209 Fenton Street, Rotorua, New Zealand
Excellent seafood restaurant dishing up the best in fresh fish specialties on a daily basis. A little more expensive than some of the aforementioned but still reasonable for fresh seafood and a really good place to treat yourself.
Lake end of Tutanekai Street, Rotorua, New Zealand
Buffet restaurant where you can choose from a wide variety of hot and cold foods. Good choice for the fussier eaters out there are you can create your own meal that you know youâ€™re going to enjoy.
1197 Fenton Street, Rotorua, New Zealand
With an excellent selection of pizzas on offer, this is an extremely popular haunt among budget travellers thanks to its reasonable prices. Also has a take out service.
1280 Eruera Street, Rotorua, New Zealand
Mediterranean cafÃ© and bar which is open for lunch and dinner and serves a wonderful mix of food from the northern hemisphere. Fully licensed serving a selection of wines, beers and spirits.
1114 Tutanekai Street, Rotorua, New Zealand
Widely regarded as one of the countryâ€™s best Indonesian restaurants which should tell you something about the quality of this place. You bring your own wine but Bintang Indonesian beer is available.