For those exploring the North Island, Taupō is undeniably one of the best places to base yourself.
Being one of the most popular tourist spots in the country has its perks, and a huge variety of restaurants is just one of these.
Whether you’re looking for cheap eats, fine dining, or cosy restaurants/bars, you won’t be short of options.
This guide is going to show you the best Taupō restaurants. You’ll soon see why these have made it onto our list.
The Best Taupō Restaurants
In no particular order, these are the restaurants and eateries we suggest you pick from while in town.
1. Sorrento Italian Dining & Wine Bar
First on this list is Sorrento Italian Dining & Wine Bar. This gorgeous restaurant is located in the heart of town and uses only the freshest local ingredients.
This is the place to go for traditional pizzas or pasta dishes, along with a range of other delights too. It also has an excellent wine list that you can pair with your meals.
For a dining experience to remember, make sure you check this place out
- Shrimp cocktail – served on a bed of lettuce with a homemade cocktail sauce
- Slow-braised beef cheeks – served on a bed of mashed potatoes with carrots, caramelized onion, and a beef jus
- Warm chocolate brownie – served with ice cream, dried raspberries, chocolate sauce, and berry coulis
42 Tuwharetoa Street, Taupō, 3330
2. Plateau Bar & Eatery
Plateau is undeniably one of the best Taupō restaurants. Famous for its craft beers, boutique wines, kiwi inspired cuisine, and attentive staff, this one is a no-brainer.
Even still, the highlight there is the food. The dishes there change with the seasons, ensuring everything is made with the freshest ingredients.
No matter when you visit, you’re guaranteed to have a delicious meal.
A favourite with both locals and tourists, you don’t want to miss out on this restaurant.
- Seasame fried chicken
- Lamb Ragout – served with glio olio pappardelle pasta, wild mushrooms, and grana padano
- Vanilla buttermilk pannacotta – served with rhubarb compote, hazelnut crumb, and tuile
64 Tuwharetoa St, Taupō, 3330
3. Master of India
If you’re a fan of Indian cuisine (aren’t we all), then you need to dine at Master of India while you’re in town.
Not only will you be treated to delicious dishes, but the experience is also very authentic. The restaurant itself features traditional Indian decor and is designed beautifully.
We also love that Master of India has a variety of vegetarian and meat dishes on offer. You could also try one of the restaurant’s banquets which offer fantastic value for money.
It’s no surprise to learn that this place has been consistently voted the #1 restaurant in Taupō. So, what are you waiting for?
- Vegetarian combo – a combination of vegetable staters served with tamarind sauce.
- Goat korma – cooked with a creamy & nutty, mild sauce
- Mango kulfi
47 Ruapehu Street, Taupō, 3330
4. Malabar Nepalese & Indian Restaurant
Now, this place is one of the most popular Taupō restaurants!
Offering dishes with Nepalese and Indian influences, you can be sure that your taste buds are about to tingle.
Malabar Nepalese & Indian Restaurant offers a variety of tasty options, and there’s even a set menu available. These set menus are available for parties of two or more and offer incredible value for money.
This is the place to go in Taupō if you’re wanting to try something new. They’ve got a wide variety of dishes on offer – some of which you might not have even heard of before.
So what are you waiting for?
- Papadi chhat – crispy pastry loaded with potato, topped with tamarind sauce and crispy noodles
- Himalayan kukkad curry – homestyle chicken curry
- Chocolate samosa – flaky pastry stuffed with nuts & chocolate and served with Vanilla ice cream
2/40 Tuwharetoa Street, Taupō Town Centre
5. Pauly’s Diner
There are plenty of Taupō restaurants to choose from, but we’d recommend heading to Pauly’s Diner.
This place is home to ‘Taupōs best burgers’ and there are lots of them to choose from. They offer beef, chicken and vegetarian burgers so there’s something for everyone.
The portions are huge, the food is mouthwatering, and they even offer takeaways. This means you can grab your food to go, and admire the views of Lake Taupō whilst you eat.
We also recommend you try one of their tasty shakes!
- Kūmara loaded fries (sweet potato) – served with blue cheese sauce, bacon, and spring onion
- Southern fried chicken burger – served with cheese, slaw, and sweet chilli
- Choco lava cake
3 Pāora Hapi Street, Taupō 3330
6. Two Mile Bay Sailing Club
If you’re looking for epic views whilst you dine then Two Mile Bay Sailing Club is the place for you! This cafe and bar is situated right on the edge of Lake Taupō so the views are pretty special.
For light bites, you’ve got the choice of bagels or toasties, but it’s the woodfired pizzas here that steal the spotlight. There are eight different topping combinations to choose from!
You can also get Peroni on tap here.
Best of all though, boats can pull right up to the dock and there’s a floating trampoline in the lake. Too much fun!
This is undoubtedly the best place to watch the sun setting in town.
- Bagel burger – served with chorizo, Swiss cheese, red onion, pickle, mustard, mayo and ketchup
- DOOZA woodfired pizza – ham, chorizo, pepperoni, olives, blue cheese, red onion and mushroom
- Smoked Chicky woodfired pizza – tomato & cheese base with smoked chicken, cranberry jam and camembert cheese
331 Lake Terrace, Taupō 3330
7. Brantry Eatery
The Brantry Eatery has a fantastic reputation among both locals and tourists for its unique dining experience.
Their New Zealand-inspired menu changes with the seasons. This is to ensure that all dishes are made with the freshest ingredients possible. Even better, the chefs make sure all dishes are catered to dietary requirements.
There’s no denying that the food is delicious, but this place is also known for its extensive wine list.
If you’re after fresh, flavourful, modern fusion cuisine, be sure to check it out.
- Curried coconut prawns – served with spiced cauliflower, pappadums, and coconut labneh
- Beef eye fillet – served with salted beetroot, miso onion, broccolini, crispy pancetta, and mustard butter
- Lemon creme brulee – served with boysenberry ice cream and lemon shortbread crumbs
45 Rifle Range Road, Taupō 3330
Pro tip: Brantry Eatery is our top pick if you’re celebrating a special occasion!
8. Vine Eatery & Bar
Next up on this list, we have Vine Eatery & Bar. Focusing on Mediterranean and New Zealand cuisine, this spot has a lot to offer.
Their main focus is tapas and their dishes are designed to be shared. For those who aren’t interested in that style of dining, there’s also a full a-la-carte menu.
Aside from the food, you’ve also got plenty of craft beers, fine wines, and cocktails to choose from!
The restaurant also has a number of seating options. There are lots of tables and booths both inside and outside, and you can even dine by the fireplace.
No matter where you sit, you’ll be sure to have a tasty meal in a lovely setting.
- Cajun fried soft-shell crab – served with yuzu dressing
- NZ lamb rack marinated in thyme & rosemary – served with potato gratin, pea and feta salsa, and fresh mint jus
- Sticky date pudding – served with salted bourbon butterscotch sauce, cinnamon crumble and vanilla ice cream
37 Tuwharetoa St, Taupō 3330
9. Dixie Browns
Dixie Browns is one of the most popular restaurants in town and for good reason. For starters, its menu is extensive and there’s a variety of tasty dishes to choose from. Though this isn’t fine dining by any stretch, it serves good quality, family-friendly food.
Secondly, the location is jaw-dropping. You’ll get to enjoy lakeside views and an epic mountain background while you’re dining.
What else could you ask for?
- Baked brie – a whole brie wheel baked in pastry and served with sourdough bread
- The original Dixie Browns burger – a 100% sirloin patty with basting sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, gherkin, aioli and a peppercorn or mushroom sauce.
- Belgian waffles – served with cream/ice cream and maple syrup
38 Roberts Street, Taupō 3330
10. The Bistro
Last but certainly not least on the list of our favourite local restaurants is The Bistro.
It focuses on a European-style dining experience, making it one of the more unique options in town.
Like other restaurants in Taupō, the dishes evolve with the seasons as the local produce changes. However, no matter what you go for you’re in for a treat!
Just keep in mind that this restaurant tends to be more expensive than many of the others in this area. Because of that, it’s another great choice for special occasions.
- Calamari cooked sous vide – served with handmade lemon gnocchi, fried capers, gremolata and champagne veloute
- Golden crackled pork belly – served with kumara, orange, walnuts, pineapple, apple, pickled red cabbage and grain mustard dressing
- Hazelnut & white chocolate parfait – served with Belgian dark chocolate and espresso gel.
17 Tamamutu Street, Taupō 3330
Though we couldn’t bring ourselves to include Mcdonald’s on this list, we highly recommend swinging by while you’re in town. They have a 20-seater DC-3 aeroplane – that’s right, you can sit in a real plane while eating your big mac!
As you can see there are plenty of fantastic Taupō restaurants for you to try. After delving into some of the best things to do in this area, you’ll surely love a delicious meal!
Whether you’re looking for a tasty curry or you’d prefer a delicious pizza, you’ll find something to suit.
Have you ever visited Taupō?
If you have, we’d love to hear about your restaurant recommendations!