Kid-friendly dining in Food and Wine Country

Hawke's Bay and delicious meals go hand-in-hand. And there's no reason why having kids in tow means you have to sacrifice your tastebuds!

These are just some of our favourite places for families to refuel, ranging from freshly made donuts to fine dining. There's bound to be something here for even the fussiest eaters!

1. Off The Track, Havelock North

Locally-famous for the playground, green space, family-friendly menu and obliging waitstaff, Off The Track is a regular go-to for families looking for a spot where the kids can go nuts outside without fear of escaping - or worse, annoying other diners.


2. Birdwoods, Havelock North

On the outskirts of Havelock North, Birdwoods is truly a one-of-a-kind. Cafe, gallery, sculpture garden and, wait for it, old fashioned sweet shop. Great food, tranquil setting, plenty of spaces to explore, and did we mention the old fashioned sweet shop?! 

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3. Paper Mulberry Cafe, Central Hawke's Bay

Opposite historic Te Aute College on the road between Hastings and Central Hawke's Bay, Paper Mulberry is like an oasis on the horizon, with it's fresh cafe food and delicious coffee. There's a small play area to entertain the kids, and there's even a resident cat. What more could you possibly want?

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4. GodsOwn Brewery, Maraekakaho

It's a little bit of a drive (depending on where you're starting from), but it is well worth the effort - for kids AND the adults. This rural brew pub has very quickly built up a loyal following, due in no small part to its family-friendly features - expansive grounds, playground, and tasty snacks for the kids. As for the adults, the beers and wood-fired pizzas are a winner.

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5. Hygge at Clifton Bay, Clifton

Learn how to pronounce it (sort of like hoo-gah), and then get yourself there - by bike is especially popular in the warmer months, as it's the end point on the popular coastal section of the Hawke's Bay Trails. An extensive menu, stunning views over Hawke Bay and out towards Cape Kidnappers, and a well-used play area make Hygge a worthy inclusion on this list.

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6. Sunset Point, Mahia

With Mahia Peninsula being in the unique position of being on the East Coast but facing west, you can catch a sunset over the water while you enjoy a meal and drink at Sunset Point. Kids can roam freely around the venue, with a great selection of classic kids meals to perfectly match the relaxed, seaside vibe.

7. Mamacita (Havelock North and Napier)

Mamacita prepares tasty Mexican cuisine night after night to locals as well as visitors in the know. The menu is super kid-friendly, the service is reliably prompt, and there's generally an activity sheet and crayons for the kids to entertain themselves. Highly recommend.

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8. The Boardwalk Beach Restaurant , Ahuriri

A cracking spot on the beach at Napier's picture-perfect seaside village of Ahuriri, The Boardwalk is also conveniently located next to a great playground where the kids can run wild. There's a quality kids menu, and you can also pop next door to Hot Chick & Cool Cat for an old school scoop ice cream.


For a full list of dining options, check out the Food Guide