Planning a mini-vacation or looking for your next big celebration venue? Waiheke Island is the place to be! Just a ferry ride (or heli ride if you're feeling fancy) away from Auckland's CBD and neighbouring marinas and you're on an island paradise of sun, sand, and great food. While known particularly for their wine, there's plenty more to the island's cuisine that you may think.
Cheeseboards, authentic Italian, Spanish-Mediterranean fusion, burger joints, wood-fired pizza, and of course fresh seafood – there's something for everyone on Waiheke. And, to make it even easier to pick your ideal spot, we've rounded up the ultimate list of everyone good to eat on Waiheke Island!
Know of a great spot that should be added to the list? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Three Seven Two
Tucked around the north-facing side of the island, Three Seven Two has made a name for themselves with their welcoming nature, modern set-up, and unreal dishes. Firstly, the restaurant sits front and centre on the beach, with never-ending visuals of the South Pacific Ocean, giving the restaurant a one in a million view. The menu, created by Head Chef Bronwyn Laight, changes sporadically to utilise the freshest produce that day; meaning you never quite know what you're going to get, but you can trust it will be some of the freshest food on the island. Head in for a picture-perfect lunch at one of their crisp white tables or make a night of it and head into the tropical garden bar for cocktails. Make sure you get a good look at their handblown glasses, one of our favourite tiny details!
Cable Bay Vineyards
As one of Waiheke’s top vineyards, Cable Bay attracts visitors from across the globe. The infamous lawn overlooks the Hauraki Gulf, opening up the restaurant to the perfect indoor-outdoor flow. This is the perfect spot to spend a sunny day, dining on Cable Bay's hot wood-fired pizzas and curated cheeseboards and platters in good company. Taste your way through Cable Bay's very own wine, complete with a tour through the cellar door, before hitting the cocktail bar for gin and tonics and espresso martinis all round.
A top pick for one of the most romantic spots on Waiheke (and that's a big call) Tantalus Estate is a fairytale from the interior to the cascading vineyards behind. While expansive, a dinner for two is made to feel private and intimate, with some of the best service and dishes on the island. With an on-site brewery, cellar door, and secret brewer’s lounge, you can spend hours indulging in the exciting offerings before taking a wander around the vineyard’s grounds. It’s the special touches you find along the way, that make Tantalus truly special.
Over on the lesser travelled side of Waiheke are where some of the best gems are hidden–Casita Miro being a prime example. Enter the Casita Miro’s terrace and you’re transported to the Spanish countryside overlooking the vineyard and Waiheke landscape. Following in suit, the menu is Spanish and Mediterranean-inspired, with a hard focus on tapas and sharing plates. You’ll find Spanish classics like Casita Miro’s Paella with saffron rice, as well as incorporating Kiwi produce like their Te Matuku oysters with shallots and verjus.
Bringing a fresh younger energy to Waiheke Island, The Courtyard is an electric spot for a casual afternoon of dinner and drinks. The garden bar is the perfect spot to enjoy your plates cocktail-style, while witnessing Waiheke's pink sky sunsets for yourself. Otherwise, get cosy inside and dine on The Courtyard's array of contemporary take on Italian dishes. Additionally, their brand new brunch introduction makes it the ideal spot to indulge in a lush brunch before heading off for a day of activities.
Man O' War
One of the most famous places belonging to Waiheke, Man O' War Bay. Sitting on the upper east coast of the island, Man O' War is truely magical – like something out of a movie. The crystal clear water and sparkling sand is only one of its gleaming features. An outdoor table is always the best choice, providing the best environment to devour some infamous Man O' War wine and decadent creations from the kitchen.
Wild Estate Restaurant
Enjoy a family day out at the wonderful Wild On Waiheke. The more laidback vineyard of the bunch, but still equally as luxurious and attentive as any other. Undergoing a recent renovation, Wild Estate has made their beloved restaurant more flexible for both the summer and winter months, providing plenty of breezy outdoor loungers, an adults only deck, and a fireplace and booths to cosy up in. Their platters are impressively large and gourmet, best washed down with one of Wild's very own brews.
From the founders of two of Auckland’s most iconic establishments, Toto’s Pizza and Non Solo Pizza, comes Poderi Crisci. The Crisci family have produced a beautifully authentic Italian vineyard, complete with a bountiful garden whose fresh crops often find their way onto your plate. To imagine the setting, think Tuscany–With large long rows of vines, and a rustic table setting with long wooden tables and wrought-iron details. Every day at Poderi Crisci is different, but equally idyllic, with a changing menu to match the freshest produce that day. A quick trip to wine-country is just a ferry ride away.
The Archive Bar & Bistro
A recent addition to the exemplary Mudbrick Vineyard empire, The Archive follows stride in excellent service, setting, and product- originally starting with grazing platters and moving onto a full a-la-carte menu, full of locally sourced and garden-to-table dishes. The great wooden dining room overlooks Oneroa and beyond, all the way out to the Auckland City skyline, with sunset being a particularly beautiful time to dine. If you’re looking for world class food and wine in a world class setting, The Archive is the place to be.
Too Fat Buns
A gourmet burger bar in the heart of Waiheke goes against the grain, but we’re here for it! Too Fat Buns sits in the most populated part of the island, leaving no need for a fast-food joint. Using free-range and house-made patties, Too Fat Buns is dedicated to bringing their customers the freshest, tastiest home-cooked burgers in a flavour to suit everyone. Take your pick between burgers such as the Moroccan cajun chicken burger or vegan beetroot and black bean burger, but be sure to add hot chips and a malk-shake on the side!
The Oyster Inn
Take a trip to the nautical-themed spot along the main street of Oneroa and see what all the fuss is about. The Oyster Inn is an institution of the Waiheke dining scene, incorporating fresh, inspiring food and one of the best views the island has to offer. There’s a seafood dish to meet every preference, served up in simple form with tried and tested flavour-combinations, as well as classic cocktails to enjoy in the sunshine. Not mad on oysters? They're widely known across Auckland for their legendary fish and chips!
Nestled into the valley of Waiheke is Stonyridge Vineyard, a place for restoration and relaxation. Especially pretty as the sun sets over the hills, the yoga deck at Stonyridge is an ideal setting for platters and wines after a busy day on the island. The friendly staff are always willing to help find the right label for your palate, and pair it with the various antipasti full of local additions. Work your way through a tasting flight in the dining room or relax with a glass of your favourite on one of the outdoor sun lounges.
Not often do you hear about pizza so good, people travel miles to taste a slice. However, Dragonfired is just that good! Tucked away at the bottom of Oneroa’s main street, sits the humble wood-fired pizza shop. Take your pick from a build-your-own pizza, mozarella calzone, or pocketbreads–In 3 different tasty flavours. The modern shack is weather-permitting, which makes it even more special when you manage to spot the 'open' banner flying high.
Island Gelato Company
A trip to Waiheke Island will never be complete without a scoop of gelato, rain or shine. There’s something about being so close to the ocean that automatically gives you summer vibes. So, while you’re strolling Oneroa, schedule a pit stop at Island Gelato to get your fix. Island Gelato has all your favourite classics, and then a little more–With more experimental flavours such as buttered popcorn, roast strawberry and pomegranate jelly, and yoghurt with lemon and thyme. There’s one both sides of the ferry, so you really can try them all.