The 10 Best Coffee Shops and Cafes in Rotorua, New Zealand

Coffee and dessert
Coffee and dessert | © StephanieAlbert / Pixabay
Photo of Thalita Alves
5 April 2018

Rotorua has plenty of cool cafes and coffee shops to check out. If you’re venturing into this culturally-rich corner of New Zealand, these 10 local favourites will provide all visitors with a good caffeine fix and a nice meal to match.

Capers Epicurean

Cafe, Contemporary, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
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Coffee and dessert | Coffee and dessert

Capers Epicurean is one of Rotorua’s most popular cafes. It’s been wowing its patrons with great food and coffee for over a decade and even won the Best Regional Cafe category at the 2017 New Zealand Cafe of the Year Award. Part of Capers’ appeal is that it’s open until 9 p.m. making it an ideal pit-stop for the famished night owls who are yearning for a late caffeine fix.

Fat Dog Cafe & Bar

Bar, Cafe, Contemporary, European, Vegetarian, $$$
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Lunch at the Fat Dog Cafe & Bar | Lunch at the Fat Dog Cafe & Bar

Fat Dog Cafe & Bar has been open since 1995 and is a bit of a local institution. A quirky atmosphere and massive food offerings ensure its customers keep coming back time and again. If you’re popping by for breakfast, the pancakes and waffles are definite must-tries; for savoury meals, the burgers are popular too. There’s also a kids’ menu available if you happen to be travelling with the family.

Meal service:

Brunch, Lunch, Dinner


Casual, Family Friendly, Quirky

Picnic Cafe

Cafe, Contemporary, European, $$$
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Picnic Cafe is a charming little cafe near Rotorua’s War Memorial Park. It’s an ideal choice for a low-key brunch or coffee date. The eggs Benedict is a hit among locals and visitors alike; there’s also a varied selection of sweet treats for those craving something sugary, and you’ll have plenty of cabinet food options to choose from if you prefer to stick to the cafe classics.

Third Place Cafe

Cafe, Contemporary, European, $$$
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Third Place Cafe’s features tick all the right boxes: a children’s play area that makes the spot family friendly, expansive views of Lake Rotorua that enhance the cafe’s ambiance and substantial meal offerings that please all palates. If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat, try some of the baked goodies; the cafe’s custard slices are meant to be some of the best in town.

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Custard slice 🍽👍😊

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Meal service:

Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch


Family Friendly, Modern, Stylish

Zippy Central Bar & Cafe

Cafe, Bar, Contemporary, European, Vegetarian, $$$
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Cafe brunch | Cafe brunch

City-bound locals from all walks of life regularly flock to Zippy’s to grab some coffee on the run, or just to settle in for a leisurely meal. The menu here is quite expansive; there’s a wide selection of cabinet treats, vegetarian meals and all your brunch essentials at your disposal. A cosy, relaxed atmosphere is an added bonus.

Market Kitchen Cafe - Skyline Rotorua

Cafe, Contemporary, European, Oceanian, $$$
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A meal at Skyline Rotorua's Market Kitchen Cafe | A meal at Skyline Rotorua's Market Kitchen Cafe

Skyline Rotorua is a scenic adventure hub consisting of a gondola, luge tracks, zip lines, rope swings and cafe and dining facilities to help you unwind after a fun-filled day. Its Market Kitchen Cafe offers a great selection of affordably priced meals and treats that are nicely complemented by the surrounding vistas. There’s a mix of international and local cuisine on show, with cafe lunch mains ranging from fish and chips, to gourmet pies, crepes and pizzas.

Artisan Cafe

Cafe, Contemporary, European, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
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The Artisan Cafe is an independent coffee shop that aptly caters to those with a big appetite. The breakfast/brunch/lunch menu is composed of an array of hearty, freshly-made meals, suited for sweet-toothed foodies, meat-eaters and vegans alike. Coffee here is free trade and organic, and the cafe also has a daily selection of board specials you can browse.

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breakfast #newzealand #rotorua

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Urbano Bistro

Cafe, Restaurant, Contemporary, European, Vegetarian, $$$
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French toast with syrup | French toast with syrup

Urbano Bistro is a trendy cafe by day and a modern restaurant by night. Contemporary cuisine is the constant that ties everything together, no matter what time you visit. For the cafe brunch crowds, you’ve got a selection of tried-and-true classics, like French toast and maple toasted muesli, or you could opt for a selection of signature mains like the Urbano Open Steak Sandwich, or a Vegetarian dish composed of moussaka, eggplant, spiced chickpeas and a vegetable salad.

Ciabatta Cafe and Bakery

Bakery, Cafe, European, Contemporary, $$$
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Ciabatta Cafe and Bakery is a bit of a local secret: you need to stray out of Rotorua’s touristy areas to find it, but the detour will be worth it. Freshly baked breads and sandwiches are the obvious draw card here, but the coffee, cakes and pastries are also known to make a lasting impression.

Sequoia Eatery

Cafe, Contemporary, European, $$$
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Breakfast bagel | Breakfast bagel

Sequoia Eatery has a reputation for offering a wide range of delicious house-made meals and raw baking. If you like the idea of the latter, the raw mint slices are the definite must-try here; for those coming by for a substantial meal, you’ve got a selection of pancakes, bagels, french toast, pulled pork baguettes and an array of contemporary brunch options that aptly cater for gluten-free diners and vegetarian tastes.