We are heading to Hawkes Bay this week to celebrate a special 21st birthday, so it was time to polish off our Hawkes Bay 'Black Book'.
Dean has lived in this region most of his life so this is an area he knows very well and we spend a great deal of time here. Hawkes Bay is must for anyone with a love of great food, world-class wine and beautiful scenery.
In no particular order (because they are all worth visiting and all exceptional)...
#1 Deliciosa - Tapas and Wine Room
A great venue for catching up with friends. Deliciosa has an excellent wine list and a beautiful menu full of tapas - which is always the best way to eat when conversation is the goal of your meal! Our absolute favourite is the pork belly.
Open Monday & Tuesday from 4pm and Wednesday to Saturday 11am till late. Closed Sundays.
21 Napier Road, Havelock North. deliciosa.co.nz
#2 Black Barn Bistro
This is where I have caught up for several business lunches, but any occasion suits this divine eatery, with views over the valley in a picturesque setting. This is a consistently great restaurant, with superb service, and thoughtful seasonal menus that celebrate fresh local produce.
Open for lunch Wednesday to Sunday, as well as dinner on Friday. Bookings are essential. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Black Barn Road, Havelock North. Phone: +64 6 877 7985 blackbarn.com
Mamacita is a delicious and dynamic Mexican eatery in the heart of Havelock North village. They have an excellent menu of margaritas, and food for all ages.
Open for dinner seven days a week from 5pm.
12 Havelock Road, Havelock North. Phone: +64 6 877 6200 mamacita.co.nz
#4 Terrôir at Craggy Range
One of the most awarded wineries in the country and one of our personal favourites. Delicious French cuisine, heroic architecture, perfectly crafted wines all set underneath the stunning Te Mata Peaks… this should be a destination on everyone’s travel plans.
Open five days a week for lunch and dinner, Wednesday - Sunday.
253 Waimarama Road, Havelock North. Phone: (06) 873 0143 craggyrange.com
#5 Milk and Honey
A great spot for brunch with the family. The food is consistent, with an interesting take on Italian cuisine. They have great espresso coffee and takeaway cakes if you are on the run. It is set in the lovely portside village of Ahuriri and near some wonderful shopping and family activities.
Open seven days from 7am – 10pm, except Sunday 7am-4pm.
22 Waghorne Street, Ahuriri, Napier. Phone: +64 6 833 6099 themilkandhoney.co.nz
#6 Mister D
I still remember the first time I ate here - I instantly fell in love with the food, the interiors and the overall design story of the eating concept. A very cool place to come to. Set in the heart of Napier, in a gloriously restored building, leave your diet plan at the door and enjoy. They are famous for their homemade doughnuts with a syringe of cream or syrup.
Open seven days for breakfast and lunch, and dinner from Thursday to Saturday.
47 Tennyson St, Napier. Phone +64 6835 5022 misterd.co.nz
#7 Indigo Napier
Indigo is the combination of culture and passion, a fine dining Indian restaurant with a love of whiskey. The food was really exceptional, with an enormous range of whiskeys to choose from.
Open daily for dinner from 5-11pm, and lunch Thursday-Sunday.
24a Hastings St, Napier. Phone: +64 6 834 4085 indigonapier.co.nz
Award winning, innovative and fun, this is a definite stop off in Napier. Food that is locally foraged and enjoyable to eat with family and friends. The proprietors know how to have a good time and so will you.
We also love the contemporary interior design.
Open for lunch and dinner Wednesday – Sunday, 11am till late. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
40 Hastings Street, Napier. Phone. +64 6 834 4309 bistronomy.co.nz
One of Napier’s most well known restaurants, loved for its ever-changing menu that pushes boundaries for New Zealand inspired cuisine. The wine list is extensive, but we always recommend the wine-matched degustation menu.
Open for dinner Tuesday – Saturday from 6pm.
209 Marine Parade, Napier. Phone: +64 6 833 6335 pacificarestaurant.co.nz
#10 Pipi Cafe
Last but certainly not the least, Pipis is a wonderful place for family dining, especially with kids. Great pizzas, pastas and food to share for all. It can be very crowded as its a favourite with families attending the local schools, but you can usually find a table or put your name down, grab a wine and catch up on the news of the day.
Open Tuesday Sunday for dinner, 4pm – 10pm. Closed Mondays.
16 Joll Road, Havelock North. Phone: +64 6 877 8993 pipicafe.co.nz