Breakfast at Mister D, Napier. © Jo Percival

Indulge: food and drink in Napier


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1. Mister D

Mister D is famous for doughnuts. Made fresh to order and served hot, with messy dustings of cinnamon sugar and injected with your choice of filling – custard, chocolate, jam or the adults-only options of Hennessy Cognac custard or Manuka honey vodka jelly – they have quite rightly made this Napier city bistro into an institution.

Inject-a-donut. #classic #sugaroverload #chocolatefilling #hawkesbay #summerholidays

A post shared by Jo Percival (@josephine_percival) on Jan 8, 2017 at 3:02pm PST

For those less sweet of tooth, the menu serves interesting options from breakfast through to dinner. Located in one of Napier’s many Art Deco style buildings on Tennyson Street, Mister D’s casual but innovative vibe makes it a must-visit when you’re in the Bay. 

2. Monica Loves

Adjacent to Mister D, (you can cut through the courtyard in the back), this popular addition to the Napier bar scene is a perfect spot for a tipple at the beginning or end of an evening. Look for the neon sign a the end of the alley – Who shot the barman? – and grab a perch in the courtyard at a table fashioned from an oil drum or wine barrel. Serving small plates and interesting bar snacks alongside a short but thoughtful wine list, Monica Loves is a slightly hidden gem that the locals love.

3. Hawke’s Bay Seafoods, Ahuriri

Sometimes you can forget that Napier is a seaside town when distracted by the array of pastel Art Deco architecture and neon lights. But it is. As such, you can expect to find some of the freshest seafood around. And Hawke’s Bay Seafoods, right next to the fishing boats in Ahuriri is where the catch of the day doesn’t come any fresher. Grab a feast of fish and chips for a summer picnic by Pandora Pond across the road and the kids can cool off at Pandora Splash Zone’s floating inflatable  playground. Or choose from the selection of sashimi, shellfish, or of all kinds of kaimoana to take home. 

4. Bistronomy

Splash out at Bistronomy for a truly special meal. Regularly ranked as one of the best dining experiences in Hawke’s Bay, if not New Zealand, Bistronomy is run by talented chef and owner James Beck, former protégé of celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal at the UK’s triple Michelin-starred restaurant, The Fat Duck.

Featuring local produce and global finesse, Bistronomy is simple, elegant and truly delicious.

The succinct menu evolves with the seasons and the availability of local produce. Choose a selection of dishes to share, or better, let the knowledgeable staff guide you through the chef’s choice of six courses for a remarkable dining experience. 

5. Milk & Honey

If you do like to be beside the seaside, pop in to Milk & Honey in Ahuriri. Work up an appetite with the sea breezes on Napier’s dark stony shoreline, or perhaps make your way there by bike along the wide flat waterfront, but stop Milk & Honey for a relaxed meal. Stylish but unpretentious, Milk & Honey serves great coffee, local wine and delicious food with Asian-influenced flavours, from bao bacon butties at breakfast through to slow-cooked tamarind beef cheeks or kimchi guacamole after dark.

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