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Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas’ guide to the Hawke’s Bay

Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas’ guide to the Hawke’s Bay

Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas shares his guide to the best places to eat, drink and explore in the Hawke's Bay. 

Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas’ guide to the Hawke’s Bay

Best coffee spots

When it comes to finding your morning brew, the Hawke’s Bay region is spoilt for choice.

Head along to Hawthorne Coffee in Havelock north to pick up freshly-roasted beans to a coffee from their Espresso Bar.

thirdeye_coffee, Instagram

Bay Espresso in the heart of Hastings is full of charm and delicious, certified organic coffee, while Aurum Coffee Roasters has been a local favourite in 2007.

If you can’t make it to a cafe, support local by ordering freshly-roasted beans from Empire Coffee Roasters, Switch Coffee and Third Eye Coffee.

Best chocolates, desserts and cheese

Satisfy your sweet tooth at self-described “creative confection kitchen” La Petite Chocolat in Hastings, where chocolatier Anissa, incorporates her French chocolate-making wisdom to offer delicious treats and guided tastings.

Founded by Nia and Phil Belcher, Ola Pacifica is a local chocolate boutique that sources ingredients from Nia’s home country of Samoa. You can find their range of delicious chocolates in a range of Hawke’s Bay stockists as well as online.

Visit Chocolatier Miriam’s online shop for a mouthwatering selection of ethically and sustainably-made chocolates, including hazelnut pralines, boutique cakes and tasty bonbons.

Silky Oak Chocolates is a popular spot for chocolate-lovers and with good reason. Their chocolate shop, cafe and museum in Napier boasts a wonderful selection of handmade chocolates, fudges and artisan products.

picnichb, Instagram

Picnic in Napier is a your “go-to place for tasty eats, sweets and treats.” Their delectable chocolates, cakes and desserts are just as good to look at as they are to eat, and their chocolate boxes make the perfect gifts.

If you’re looking for Instagram-worthy cakes, head along to Flora’s Cake Studio in Napier, where you’ll find takeaway desserts, made-to-order cakes and gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options.

Pop along to the Hawke’s Bay Farmers Market on Sundays for a great selection of aristan cheeses from Origin Earth and Nieuwenhuis Farmstead Cheese‘s award-winning goat’s cheeses.

Best beers, spirits and non-alcoholics

Hastings Distillers on Heretaunga Street offer an award-winning selection of boutique gins and apertifs, while Damson Collection‘s Plum Liqueur takes the title for World’s Best Fruit Liqueur 2020.

When it comes to breweries, there’s plenty to visit in the Hawke’s Bay. Head along to the tasting room at Brave Brewing Co in Hastings, the garden bar at Three Wise Birds Cider or the taproom at Zeffer Cider Co to try the best of local craft beers and ciders.

bravebrewingco, Instagram

Located in a sunny orchard, The Filter Room in Napier is another great spot for a drink, with live music a stellar food selection.

For non-alcoholic drinkers, there’s plenty of delicious beverages to choose from. Pick up a fresh apple juice from The Apple Press at a local shop, or stop by Henry’s Juice stall at the Hawke’s Bay Farmer’s Market for freshly squeezed orange juice.

Best eateries

Make the most of your visit to the Hawke’s Bay by stopping by the best cafes, restaurants and bars in the region.

When you’re in Hastings, head over to Opera Kitchen for delicious modern fare, Sazio for the best pasta in town, and Fun Buns for tasty Asian street food. Common Room is a great bar for a casual drink while Cornucopia is the place to go for organic produce.

sazio_nz, Instagram

In Havelock North, pop into Deliciosa for fresh and seasonal food, Fiko for beautiful Mediterranean meals and Mamacita for the best Mexican in town. Diva and Loading Ramp are great bars for a evening drink, while Wright & Co is a popular cafe that offers great coffee and breakfast.

During your visit to Napier, be sure to check out Central Fire Station for rustic European fare, Bistronomy for award-winning food and Pacifica for an exceptional fine dining experience. Monica Loves and Rogue Hop are great laid-back bars for a late-night drink, while Rasoi and Sai Thai offer great takeaways.

While you visit Ahuriri, stop by Milk and Honey for an all-day eatery overlooking the harbour, The Boardwalk for delicious seafood and The Gin Trap for delicious cocktails.

Best homewares, gifts and artisan products

Tribune in Hastings is a new precinct in the heart of the city where you can find local a salon, brewery and skincare boutiques.

Grab a drink at Brave Brewing or pop into Real World to try their exquisite range of natural skincare products.

realworldnz, Instagram

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