Mountmanganui is a relaxed seaside town located in the Prentian Bay area of the North Island, part of the port city of Tauranga. Mountmanganui – known locally as “The Mountain” – is named after its resident, the extinct volcano that beautifully dominates the town’s landscape.
In Mount Muanganui, locals gather in the trendy restaurants and bars that line Mount’s “main street. In a place centered on fresh, organic food, fine wine and an al fresco dining culture, people huddle at street-side tables on long, warm summer evenings and huddle under terrace heaters on crisp, winter nights. Across the bridge in downtown Tauranga, all the restaurants are located on the waterfront, where you always get a small-town vibe and a view of the sunset over the water.
Named after its location on the latitude map, Latitude 37 restaurant has a unique frontage consisting of wood, slate rocks and some street tables placed under the warm light of gas lamps. This theme continues indoors with a stylish décor focused on natural wood and stone, especially the open flames covered by schist. The cuisine is a contemporary New Zealand classic with an innovative twist. Passionate international chefs collaborate to create fresh, seasonal menu items such as the Akaroa Salmon Sticky Rice Bowl, New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels or Montes Beer Frites and Fries. Or smaller shared plates such as polenta fries with truffle aioli, calamari with tomatoes, or sautéed garlic and chili prawns with mango cream. Ocean fresh and local ingredients make up these creative dishes. For drinks, they have an extensive wine list, New Zealand wines, craft beers and cocktails.
181 Maunganui Road
The Pizza Library is a unique and iconic restaurant in Maunganui. This quirky book-themed restaurant specializes in hand-crafted gourmet pizzas that are named after famous novels. Their pizzas are generously broken out, filled with fresh toppings, and offer vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and keto options. Locals know that pizza is the best pizza in New Zealand, and the overwhelming demand for the Pizza Library’s masterpiece pizzas led to the opening of a second restaurant in the Papamoa suburb. They are still the only two Pizza Library restaurants in the country. Some of the themed pizzas on their menu include “Charlotte’s Web” (fresh mozzarella and basil), “Narnia” (smoked bacon, caramelized onions and blue cheese), “Treasure Island ” (pepperoni, champagne ham, mushrooms and pineapple) and “Godfather” (garlic shrimp, Angus steak, mushrooms, caramelized onions and garlic aioli). With a traditional old-fashioned library as a backdrop, the Pizza Library’s unique dining experience draws large crowds. The atmosphere is comfortable, lively and complemented by a friendly, attentive staff.
The decor is unusual and distinctive in an open-air setting. The front counter is carefully crafted from old tables and books, and the dining area features original airplane seating.
314 Maunganui Road
Situated on the corner of Strand Street is Rye, a very popular American-themed restaurant that won the 2020 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award. American classics like fried milk chicken, brisket, Angus Phil steak, and BBQ ribs are paired with the best whiskeys. Or if cocktails are more your thing, there’s a creative drink menu where you can find freshly burnt pineapple mai tais, double cocktails, and blueberry sours. Their wine menu offers a wide variety of wines from the renowned Moorborough and Hawkes Bay wine regions.Rye boasts a spacious and stylish interior with American-inspired and Southern-inspired food truck décor, creating a welcoming atmosphere for couples, groups and families. Creative cooking combined with the comfortable and cozy atmosphere of Rye makes all patrons feel like locals.
19 Wofoo Street
Johnny’s Dumpling House
For street food, head to Johnny’s Dumpling House, found in the trendy Rising Tide Bar. Located overlooking a huge open-air deck on the Green Reserve, Rising Tide is usually packed with people soaking up the weekend sun or having lunch with friends. Inside is the much-loved and popular Johnny’s Dumpling House, which concocts delicious dumplings and steamed buns in abundance to serve. Dumplings on offer include pork and mushroom siu mai, pork and shrimp or BBQ pork buns, or try the pan fried lamb and vegetable and triple mushroom dumplings. If you’re not a dumpling fan, Rising Tide has menu options such as Angus beef burgers, pulled pork burgers, crispy tofu burgers, tacos, and small sharing plates.
107 Newton Street
Munter Social Club
Located in the original downtown Mountains, Mount Social Club offers a gourmet bar and fusion cuisine in a frozen environment. The iconic Mount Social Club was established in the 1970s and their clever and quirky decor was created from recycled building materials. The unique interior features many funky, up-cycled furniture pieces, resulting in a rustic and beachy atmosphere. For brunch, social tapas and dinner, their menu is an eclectic mix of options, such as jejejemu briket Brioche burgers, hand-held fruit, cilantro, lime tacos, lemon pepper crispy calamari, or braised lamb neck truffle mashed potatoes. Mount Social Club is locally famous for its creative vegetarian and vegan menu offerings, such as the Chilean-style pumpkin gratin with cashew cheese, or their vegan fish and French fries – seaweed marinated banana flowers, lemon pancakes with fries.
305 Maunganui Road
Tay Street Cafe
A beach cafe and longtime favorite is the Tay Street Cafe, a local favorite. at Tays Restaurant, the menu offers traditional New Zealand dishes and some Asian fusion dishes. You can choose from healthy breakfast and lunch options, with a dinner menu that extends into the evening and a large selection of vegetarian and vegan offerings. The indoor and outdoor flow creates al fresco dining where there is a laid back atmosphere along with rolling dunes and glimpses of the ocean. They focus on fresh, local ingredients and some of their menu items, such as the vegan granola, are made in-house. Their all-day brunch menu features the famous local “ham and egg muffin” and lunch or dinner options include Portuguese bean soup, Asian green beef bread, and Kiwiana classic, fish and chips.
If you like quality food, along with craft beer, wine and creative cocktails, then tucked away in an alleyway on the main street is a great option. A sun-drenched courtyard by day, it transforms into a sophisticated, lively bar with an edgy and hip vibe by night. On weekends, people socialize around a bonfire and the alleyway is filled with live music. Their menu offers original tasting plates such as karaage chicken with kataya fire mayo, sourdough with whipped cream, balsamic, dukkah, or pumpkin ricotta tortellini with burnt sage butter. Staples include: grilled French-American chicken burger, laksa curry coconut broth and fried fish. The cocktail menu is imaginative, and the wine list features a selection of the best local wines. If you like beer, Hide is the country’s first Moa beer bar, offering a wide variety of tap and craft beers from New Zealand’s largest craft brewery.
147B Maunganui Road
Serving delicious, authentic Vietnamese cuisine, Rice Baby is the newest resident Vietnamese restaurant in Maunganui, reflecting the evolution of the Bay of Plenty foodies. Their funky, modern, colorful decor and plastic street tables make this place resemble dining at an authentic Southeast Asian street vendor. The owner has created a menu based on her traditional Vietnamese family recipes, and the authenticity of each dish is validated by the sheer popularity of Rice Krispies. The atmosphere is casual, fun and vibrantly chill. On the menu, you can find Vietnamese and Asian fusion options such as fresh summer rolls, traditional ground beef, chicken noodle salad, coconut and turmeric prawns. For drinks, there are individually crafted fresh fruit cocktails infused with spirit, as well as a selection of Vietnamese beers, prosecco, fruit roses, Riesling, Merlot, or Sauvignon Blanc wines.
136 Maunganui Road
Astrolabe Beer Bar
Astrolabe is a Mac’ s Brewery bar that has become a famous gastro-bar in Maunganui and is considered the heart of the local community. Its home-away-from-home decor is rustic and vintage, yet ultra-casual with its comfortable lounge chairs, fireplace, and walls decorated with vintage collectibles. Both the indoor bar and social space are designed as a huge, cozy lounge and dining room. astrolabe is popular with the young locals and backpacker community for its culinary specialties and huge outdoor beer garden, and on weekends the atmosphere and music is breathtaking. While equally appealing to families, the spacious family bar-style dining area and its popular children’s menu. They offer an extensive gastro-style menu, including Betty’s world famous Big Beef Burger, Chicken Buddha Bowl, Shaka Salmon Poke Bowls, and Beef Rump Steak, as well as their famous giant half-meter sourdough pizza. They have a selection of New Zealand and Australian craft taps and bottled beers, as well as cocktails and an extensive wine list.
82 Maunganui Road