Where to make a pit stop on your North Island road trip

Summer pit stops

Everyone knows the best part of a summer road trip: stopping for treats.

Coromandel (or on the way)

Luke’s Kitchen  

There’s no table service at this surfy shack-like pizza parlour. If you’re arriving into town late, phone ahead (07 866 4480) and get your pizza to go, then dine under the soft glow of camping lights next to your tent.

20 Black Jack Rd, Kuaotunu

Coro Pies

You’ll have to be early to nab a scallop mornay pie but if there’s none left, the steak and cheese is a sure thing, too.

41 Wharf Rd, Coromandel Town

Kaiaua Fisheries

Check out the migratory Arctic birds which flock to the area each year before eating your fish and chip meal, which comes lovingly swaddled in a newspaper blanket.

939 East Coast Rd, Kaiaua

Mt Maunganui

Funk Estate

Exciting beers brewed locally, and some of the coolest can designs out. 107 Newton St

Chidori Ramen

The paitan (white) soup at this ramen shop is simmered for nine hours. Yum. 130 Devonport Rd

Wild One Wholefoods

Fulfill all of your #fitspo and #wellness goals at Monique Hemmingson’s inclusive-eating cafe. 7 Prince Ave

New Plymouth

Social Kitchen  

Once a Salvation Army citadel, the walls in this restaurant are now lined with stag heads and other taxidermy. The menu – most of which is cooked over charcoal – is designed to share. 40 Powderham St


The on-site, ocean-facing vineyard produces pinotage and rosé, but there are a few other Marlborough-grown wines available to taste here, too.
738 Surf Highway, RD4


Airy Monica’s, with its blonde wood tables and all-day menu, is a great stop before or after a visit to the Len Lye Centre next door. On Wednesday evenings there’s BYO wine ($20 per bottle) and a weekly pasta special. Cnr King and Queen St

The Nice Hotel

The secret library in this hotel is a romantic spot to sit with an after-dinner sherry while RNZ Concert hums in the background.
71 Brougham St


Pokeno Takeaways

If you can handle the monstrosity that is Pokeno Takeaway’s signature 20-scoop ice cream, it may be the best $28 you ever spend. 57 Great South Rd


Rocket Coffee Roasters  

Small but mighty, we love Rocket’s single origin filter roasts. 302 Barton St

Duck Island

Some of the best ice cream in the country, Duck Island takes creativity to new heights with luscious swirls of fruit, generous smatterings of chocolate or biscuit crumbs, and herbal infusions. 300A Grey St; 298 Victoria St

Good George

Pick up a squealer of pilsner or a can of pale ale at this Hamilton pub and brewery. 32A Somerset St