When it comes to fine dining, the Hawke's Bay region will exceed your expectations. No two days are the same at multi-award winning Pacifica Restaurant(opens in new window) - the five-course degustation menu changes daily and with an intimate setting of just 30 seats, you need to book in advance. Focusing on a 'paddock to plate' philosophy, The Mangapapa Kitchen(opens in new window) create gourmet dishes - the Trust the Chef five-course dining experience is a creative feast not to be missed. Inspired by local seasonal delicacies, the exquisite menu at Craggy Range Restaurant(opens in new window) is paired with the finest Craggy Range wines, and matched with serene vineyard views.
Fresh berry ice-creams, fruit picking and truffle foraging
Known as ''The Fruit Bowl of New Zealand", Hawke's Bay is one of the main producers of stone fruit. During summer, Golden Queen peaches, yellow fleshed nectarines, apricots and Black Doris plums can be found for sale at road-side stalls. Try a real berry ice-cream or fruit picking (PYO) in summer, specialties are raspberries(opens in new window), strawberries(opens in new window) and blueberries(opens in new window) straight from the farm. Delicious Hawke's Bay apples and pears are harvested in autumn. Foraging for truffles and mushrooms is a highlight during the winter months and loads of fun.
"F.A.W.C", Food and Wine Classic event
It's 'all hands on deck' for the months of June and November, as Hawke's Bay locals come together to accommodate the masses! The annual Food and Wine Classic event(opens in new window) (better known as F.A.W.C), showcases the very best of Hawke's Bay food and drink. Restaurants, food trucks and eateries set the bar high, serving gourmet cuisine affectionately prepared by established chefs. Breweries, cideries and wineries tease your taste buds with superb liquid creations. Book early, experiences sell out fast!
Hawke's Bay Farmers Markets
Open every Sunday morning, the Hawke's Bay Farmers Market(opens in new window) in Hastings is the ultimate place to stock up on locally grown produce. Seasonal goods include creamy Hass avocados, berries, grapes, watermelons, asparagus, feijoas, walnuts, and nashi pears. Saturday mornings in central Napier are bustling with the Napier Urban Farmers Market(opens in new window). Available at the markets year-round, you can find olive oils, honeycomb, breads, herbal teas and coffee. Also, chocolate, kombucha, freshly squeezed fruit juices, organic meat and cheeses. Open every Saturday morning during summer, The Growers Market at Black Barn Vineyard(opens in new window) is a relaxed market experience with loads of summer produce and the chance to meet the local growers. So, take your reusable shopping bags and head to the markets!
Eat and drink like a local at the many unique eateries in the Napier area. Known for their quirky donut creation, Mister D Dining(opens in new window) bake fresh donuts which you can inject with your chosen flavours. With vibrant decor and quirky furniture, The Lounge(opens in new window) at Emporium Eatery & Bar is a welcoming room within the Art Deco Masonic Hotel, complete with an extensive drinks list. At Bistronomy(opens in new window), the menu's change seasonally to feature the finest local produce set in a relaxed, homely atmosphere.