Bibimbap at Kawakawa at Salt

Best Cafes in Tauranga: 12 Picks from the Bay of Plenty

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If you’re looking for the best cafes in Tauranga, you’ve come to the right place. After spending a year living, experiencing, and eating my way through Tauranga (and surrounding suburbs), I have the inside scoop on the best places to grab a full breakfast or coffee and a pastry.

So whether you’re looking for a quick morning fix, a sprawling brunch spread, or a cosy place to sip a coffee while working on your laptop, these are the best cafes in Tauranga, Mount Maunganui, and beyond. 

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Kawakawa at Salt

Bibimbap at Kawakawa at Salt
Source: Rieko at Kawakawa at Salt

Whether you only have one day in the area or are a local looking for a new go-to spot, this Tauranga cafe is a little slice of heaven. Kawakawa is around the corner from Bayfair, tucked away at the base of an apartment complex. It’s easy to miss, but you’d be a fool to do so as the food is delightful, there’s patio seating, and the WiFi is fast. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that the staff are exceptionally warm and work with immense care and craft.

I recommend the french toast with some pasta salad from the cabinet to-go. Otherwise, try some local favourites including the Miso Creamy Mushroom, Eggs Benedict with Kawakawa Potato Cakes, and various Poke Bowls.

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Grindz Cafe

City: Tauranga

Address: 50 1st Avenue, Tauranga 3110, New Zealand (Get Directions)

Social: @grindzcafe

Grindz Breakfast, Tauranga
Source: TJ at Grindz

It’s challenging to find a list of Tauranga cafes that don’t mention Grindz, and with good reason. This cosy local hot spot has everything anyone could ever desire for breakfast in a charming and quaint atmosphere. The cabinet has plenty of options if you’re looking for a quick grab-and-go. If you’re settling in for the morning, make a beeline for the plush couch in the corner to enjoy your Tauranga cafe experience in ultimate comfort. 

Try one of the staff’s favourites – the New Styled Eggs Bene. Tip: You can swap out sourdough toast out for a homemade potato roasti and some really nice homemade hollandaise. 

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Nourish Cafe and Eatery

Suburb: Te Puna 

Address: 4 Te Puna Road, Te Puna 3174, New Zealand (Get Directions)

Social: @nourish_cafe

Cafe Nourish
Source: Management at Cafe Nourish

Conveniently located on the side of SH 2 in Te Puna, Nourish is a far cry from your typical side-of-the-highway cafe. Eat here if you’re headed in or out of Tauranga or need to get out of town for the morning. With a bright environment and large terrace, Nourish Cafe is definitely worth the drive.

They offer a wide assortment of tasty treats. Indulge in the fresh mushrooms on toast, or go the sweet route with a decadent cabinet pastry. Try their most loved dish – the kumara hash stack, with silky hollandaise and delicious bacon! It’s a must-try when visiting Te Puna.

No matter what you choose, you’ll be happy you settled on this New Zealand cafe. And before heading on your way, a swing through the on-site gift shop is essential for lovely local treasures!

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Flaveur Breads

City: Mount Maunganui

Address: 31 Totara Street, Mount Maunganui 3116, New Zealand (Get Directions)

Social: @flaveurbreads

If you’re after a quick breakfast fix, Flaveur Breads is a true local favourite when it comes to cafes in Mount Maunganui. It’s known in the area for their unrivalled sourdough bread. Flaveur is the perfect cafe to grab the best cup of coffee (seriously, it’s addicting) and an even better pastry. A word of advice: for the full experience, grab a ham sandwich to enjoy on the beach for lunch and a loaf of bread for the pantry – you won’t be sorry. 

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Elizabeth Cafe and Larder

City: Tauranga

Address: 247 Cameron Road, Tauranga 3110, New Zealand (Get Directions)

Social: @elizabethtauranga

Whether you’re uber health conscious or looking to indulge for the day, Elizabeth Cafe and Larder is the place to do it. This Tauranga cafe is the place to rub elbows with locals and visitors alike, drawn to the funky atmosphere and abundant (and unique) menu offerings. While it’s on the slightly pricier side, you can’t go wrong with any of the sweet treats, ranging from waffles to French toast. Or opt for greens with hearty portions of beets, avocados, and all other things healthy. Breakfast is available all day, but there are plenty of lunch options if you’re visiting later in the day. 

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Alimento Eatery

City: Tauranga

Address: 74 1st Avenue, Tauranga 3110, New Zealand (Get Directions)

Social: @alimentoeatery

Feeding the hungry crowds since 2002, Alimento Tauranga is one of the best cafes in the area. Expect high-quality food, excellent coffee, and a wide array of choices in the cabinet baked fresh daily. The atmosphere at this Tauranga cafe is charming, with warm interiors and a sprawling patio to enjoy on a warm day. Alimento serves up all the classics like big breakfasts and bennies, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try the smashed pea and feta on toast, the smoked mushrooms, or Turkish eggs. 

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Le Chat Noir

Suburb: Greerton

Address: 144 Chadwick Road, Greerton, Tauranga 3112, New Zealand (Get Directions)

Social: @lechatnoir_cafe

While working in Tauranga, I was craving a crepe one day, so I dug up this delectable French cafe, and I’m here to report that it did not disappoint. If you’re looking for a break from the same eggs benedict dishes typical at Tauranga cafes, you should be perfectly pleased with a sweet or savoury crepe, big brekkies, or a traditional French pastry from the cabinet. It’s right across the library, and there’s plenty of parking, perfect for a quick change of pace. 

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Marigold Cafe

Town: Te Puke

Address: 93 Jellicoe Street, Te Puke 3119, New Zealand (Get Directions)

Social: @marigold.tepuke

Living in the land of the kiwis…literally. Even if you’re passing through Te Puke on your way to or from Tauranga, Marigold Cafe is worth the stop. This place serves up seriously old-school vibes. You can tell that the older clientele has been eating there for years. It screams local joint, through and through, with some welcome modern updates like decent WiFi. There’s plenty of seating and lots of street parking, so if you’re craving a traditional plate of eggs and bacon served with a warm cup of coffee, Marigold won’t disappoint. 

Sidetrack Cafe

City: Mount Maunganui

Address: 1 Marine Parade, Mount Maunganui 3116, New Zealand (Get Directions)

Social: @cafesidetrack

Out of all the cafes in Mount Maunganui lining the beach, Sidetrack reigns supreme in my book. An ideal budget spot to grab a quick bite, the service here is no fuss or frills, but understandably so as the beach crowds are out in full force pretty much every morning. The eggs benny hits the spot if you’re after a tried and true classic, and mouthwatering sweets line the cabinet. There’s no seating inside, but there are a handful of tables out front or the entire beach to enjoy if you’d rather opt for takeaway. 

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City: Tauranga 

Address: 75 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga 3110, New Zealand (Get Directions)

Meltingpot is a sweet spot to grab bubble tea, smoothies, coffee, and special desserts if you’re looking for a new place to try. There’s plenty of seating to spread out with a group or your laptop. While you won’t find the traditional cafe fare, the Asian-style menu is a real treat. If you start to feel peckish, the generously portioned omurice loaded with gravy is a pleasant afternoon pick-me-up. The cafe is open past 2:30pm.

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Cafe 88

City: Mount Maunganui 

Address: 88 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui 3116, New Zealand (Get Directions)

Social: @eightyeight_cafe

Cafe 88, Mount Maunganui
Source: Management at Cafe 88

Quiet, cosy, and nothing short of delightful, Cafe 88 in Mount Maunganui certainly hits the spot if you’re looking for a chilled-out place to spend a morning. The real draw to this Tauranga cafe is the floral-lined covered patio. It’s tucked away in the back and is a bit of a local treasure. Sitting right in town a couple of blocks away from the beach, Cafe 88 has plenty of classic and unique dishes to try, as well as the most alluring cabinet snacks ever. Whether you’re looking for a quick pastry and a coffee before jumping in the ocean or a full breakfast in town, Cafe 88 won’t steer your astray. 

Try the staff favourite: Pulled pork egg bene with bubble and squeak, apple slaw, and house-made hollandaise sauce. 

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Me & You Cafe

City: Tauranga

Address: 48 1st Avenue, Tauranga 3110, New Zealand (Get Directions)

Social: @meandyou.eatery

This funky Tauranga cafe is cool enough to turn a night owl into an early riser. Located right on First Ave in Downtown Tauranga, Me & You is all about ambience. Settle into the plush banquet lining the wall or enjoy a large group brunch at the centre table under the sky-high ceilings. If you’d rather dine under the sun, snag a patio table quick as they go fast! The menu won’t disappoint either, with a smattering of sweet options like french toast with caramelized bananas and fun spins on classic dishes like an eggs benedict over beans. Feeling more like lunch? The afternoon menu lists mouthwatering Asian fusion dishes, including bao buns, spring rolls, tempura, and burgers. 

Final Thoughts

No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find it in Tauranga’s great cafe scene. Serving up classics, fun spins, good coffee, and all the vibes, if you’re after one of the better cafe experiences in New Zealand, you’re in the right spot.

For more information on things to do in Tauranga, read our other articles:

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