Pit Stops


JAM , 33 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna, North Shore. Auckland P: 09 486 1600
This coastal cafe in the middle of retail Takapuna is a little gem. Serves a delicious breakfast, brunches and counter food. The coffees are consistently great and always served with a smile.It's a very popular cafe with locals and people over the bridge. A favorite is the old fashioned mince.
Coffee 5 - Food 5 - Ambience 4 - Service 5

SLOWFISH CAFE , Shop 5, Twin Towers, Marine Parade, Mt Maunganui, P: 07 574 2949 - New Zealand 2011 Best Cafe Award

Deck Chair Cafe, 2 Marine Parade, (Oceanside Twin Towers) Mt Maunganui, 07 572 0942
Monday to Friday 6:30am to 4pm and Saturday & Sunday 6am to 4:30pm
Tay Street Cafe, 154 Marine Parade, Mt Maunganui, P: 07 572 0691
Monday to Saturday 8am to 10pm Sunday 8am to 4pm

These cafes are always full to capacity on Saturday and Sunday mornings and offer great coffee, muffins to die for and also platters to share with a glass of wine should one wish it later in the day. A great watching the people place and just opposite Main Beach.
Coffee 5 - Food 5 - Service and Ambience are taken as a given.

A not to be missed cafe in ROTORUA is Capers Epicurean, 1181 Eruera Street P: 348 8818 or www.capers.co.nz .  A favourite for breakfast during the rally over Easter. Open from 7:30am to dinner 7 nights a week. Impressively it has a dedicated barista pass. Coffee 5 - Food 5 - Service 5 - Ambience 5

ALLEY CATS CAFE - 50 Main Road - SH1 in the middle of TIRAU Open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm - Phone (07) 883-1107 This is a popular and convenient place to stop for a quick coffee and a bite to eat on the Auckland to Taupo journey. It is a 'garden shed' style cafe at the north end of town, across the road from the iconic 'corrugated iron sheep' Visitor Information Centre. To get to the cafe at the back - with indoor and outdoor seating - you must negotiate your way through a shop full of funky merchandise. Coffee 5 - Food 4 - Ambience 3 - Service 4 8/10/16

This has to be a best kept secret. If you are in WHITIANGA make a booking for dinner at Motu Kitchen , 2 Mill Road or P: 07 866 0053 or E: dine@motukitchen.co.nz or -36 49' 59", +175 42' 21" (if you're all at sea) The seafood was fantastic, as was the dessert. Coffee 5 - Food 5+ - Service 5+ - Ambience 5 10/04/13

BROWN SUGAR CAFE - Cnr SH1 and Huia Street, in the centre of TAIHAPE Open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm - Phone: (06) 388-1880 Whether you are travelling north or travelling south on SH1, many of us stop at TAIHAPE for a break and something to eat. For over 20 years BROWN SUGAR has been a favourite cafe. And it is licensed, so you can enjoy a glass of wine with your meal. It is cool and shady in summer and warm and inviting in winter with a log fire, homemade soup, and a tasty range of meals and snacks. Coffee 4 - Food 4 - Ambience 4 - Service 3 4/10/16

Sugar Plum Cafe, 1813 SH1 Marton, Tel: 06-327-8855 Depending on the time of day recommend a stop at SUGAR PLUM CAFE on SH1 north of Marton. They have 'restaurant quality' food, a big pot-belly stove going in winter, and interesting art for sale on the walls Coffee 5  -  Food 5 plus  -  Ambience 4  -  Service 5 http://www.thesugarplumcafe.com/ 26/09/16

Church Cafe Sanson near the corner of State Highway 1 & 3 - the speed camera centre of NZ. P: 06 329 3150 or M: 021 929 870 if you wish to phone ahead and have your order ready waiting for you. It appears to be a popular stopping place for cars and bikes. Coffee 4 - Food 4 - Service 3 - Ambience 3 11/04/13


Columbus Coffee Nelson, Signora Cafe Ltd, Shop 21, Fashion Island, 244 Hardy Street, Nelson, a favourite with the locals and surrounded by fashion shops. Coffee 4 - Food 4 - Service 4 - Ambience 3 25/11/14

Joanna Dudson Scott award winning landscape artist with an interest in Healeys. www. dudsonscottgallery.co.nz or 1494 State Highway 6, Renwick, Marlborough P: 03 572 8755 - it is so worth a stop 21/06/15 Verde Cafe Deli, 45C Talbot Street, Geraldine - almost alongside the Police Station. This has to be currently the best stop in Geraldine. Coffee 5 - Food 5 - Ambience 4 - Service 4 5/7/13 and 21/06/15

Susan Badcock Studio including John Badcock paintings within a stone's throw of the Verdi Cafe above. Back of the Old Post Office, 47 Talbot Street, Geraldine. susanbadcockstudio@gmail.com and john@badcock.co.nz Well worth a visit. 21/06/15

Reid's Store Cafe, SH65, Maruia, SI, 20kms north of Springs Junction in the middle of nowhere. Becoming a very popular stop, swing in off the road and enjoy. Coffee 5 - Food 5 - Ambience 4 - Service 4 4/5/12 and 05/07/13

Encounter Kaikoura, 96 Esplanade, KAIKOURA, www.encounterkaikoura.co.nz, cafe, albatross tours, dolphin tours, conference venue, gallery and retail. A new building south of the main shopping area on the Esplanade overlooking the sea. Worth a visit. Coffee 5 - Food 5 - Ambience 4 - Service 4 4/5/12

Powerhouse Caf'e & Restaurant, 8 Jacks Pass Road, Hanmer Springs P: 03 315 5252 a well known breakfast/brunch cafe so we tried it for lunch and we were not disappointed with a great chicken pie. Coffee 5 - Food 5 - Ambience 5 - Service 5 www connect@powerhouse,co.nz 10/09/13

You must try the Highland Fling for breakfast/brunch - porridge like no other. Delicious 22/03/14 Marble Point Winery, 2254 Mouse Point Road, State Highway 7, Hanmer Springs . A relaxed lunch with excellent food and wine. Coffee 5 - Food 5 - Ambience 4 - Service 5 19/04/14

The Clinker Cafe, 15 Beechnest Drive, St Arnaud, Nelson Lakes. When we woke the morning after a great meal at the CLINKER we counted 16 rabbits on the lawn and they said they had run out of rabbit stew! The bunnies are back with a vengeance. Coffee 5 - Food 5 - Ambience 4.5 - Service 5 22/03/14

Brick Mill Cafe (SH1) 1473 Main North Rd, Waikuku, Waimakariri a favourite stop on a weekend run often on our way to lunch. Excellent coffee and friendly service. Regular Stop for Canterburians 2013, 2014, 2015

The Station, cafe and restaurant, Rangiora, is exactly that, a cafe in an old railway station, so look for the railway line. Closed on Mondays. Coffee (had a wine instead) - Food 5 - Ambience 4 - Service 5 Luciano Espresso Bar, 76 Moorhouse Ave, Christchurch has an award winning barista style. A favourite with well known Christchurch Club members. Coffee 5 - Food 5 - Ambience 3.5 - Service 5 16/5/12

Addington Coffee Co-op,  297 Lincoln Road, Addington, Christchurch   Food 4 - Coffee 4 - Ambience 4 - Service 4 28/6/12 Beach, Licensed Cafe, Cnr Beach and Broadpark Roads, Waimairi, Christchurch P: 03 382 8599 Great selection of food and the brunches looked magnificent. Coffee 5 - Food 4 - Ambience 4 - Service 5 19/8/12

Joe's Garage 7 Leslie Street, Upper Riccarton, Christchurch (off Wairaki Rd opp. Bush Inn) Plenty of parking Coffee 4 - Food 4 - Ambience 4 - Service 4 28/6/12 Ray K's Cafe 102 Sawyers Arms Road, Northcote, Christchurch P: 03 352 5382 or Coffee Pre order 021 083 43430 or E: www.facebook.com/raykscafe Open 7 days, Friday nights happy hour or breakfast to high tea Coffee 5 - Food 5 - Ambience 5 - Service 5 (obviously a hot favourite of our reviewer) 17/09/14

Jagz of Styx Mill, 158 Hussey Road, Christchurch Ph: 03 323 5455 for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A full a la Carte dining offering top quality locally sourced food and premium selection of wines Coffee 4 - Food 4 - Ambience 4 - Service 4 9/7/12

Soda Cafe and Bar, 305 Lehmans Road, Fernside from the people that brought you The Little River Store and Cafe and Browns Espresso their new venture is Soda. Soda Cafe is just a few minutes from High St Rangiora in North Canterbury. You’ll find them in a rural setting with beautiful outlook and gardens. Serving up Coffee Supreme and starting with cabinet fare and all day breakfasts with a full menu to follow later in the day. Coffee 4 - Food 4 - Ambience 4 - Service 4 9/7/12

The Tea House, 6 Robert Street, Lincoln Ph: 03 325 7242 "enjoy the vintage glam of yesteryear" from BLAT to cakes and deserts, from china to wine glasses. Coffee 5 - Food 4 - Ambience 5 - Service 5 9/7/12

Dragonfly Cafe & Gifts, Rolleston Shopping Centre, ROLLESTON A weekly haunt of Rolleston members! Coffee 4 - Food 4 - Ambience 4 - Service 4 18/5/12 Cafe Izone, 15 Radius Loop, Rolleston and not the easiest award winning cafe to find but worth the trouble. Really enjoyed the attentive service and delicious lunch. Coffee 5 - Food 5 - Ambience 4 - Service 5 22/05/14

Cafe Mes Amis, State Hightway 1, Orari, Ph 03 693 7981 We were forever driving past but this time we stopped. If you are an early bird this would be a great stop for breakfast from around 7:30am. Some craft and art for sale. Coffee 4 - Food 4 - Ambience 4 - Service 3.5 3/9/12

Elegantly Waisted , Old Post Office, Temuka which is an interesting stop for Vintage Clothing, a passion for owner Laurie Copland, Austin Healey driver and ex club member Ph 027 615 7588 21/06/15 From the summer tour of the south of the south 2014 Best lunch cabinet food goes to Nosh Cafe at the Waimate turnoff Best dinner/accommodation goes to The Moorings Restaurant & Bar, Pisa Moorings, Cromwell Ph 03 445 4211 www.pisangelakeresort.co.nz and Best Coffee goes to Kissing Gate Cafe, Middlemarch (Thanks Sue) 03/03/14

The Wrinkly Rams, Rapid 10 Omarama-Twizel Hwy,Omarama this is a cafe, a winebar, has gifts and art and not that I saw it, sheep shearing. It was a cold day and the well seasoned pumpkin soup was fabulous and we would stop again. Coffee (not this time we had tea!) - Food 5 - Service 5 - Ambience 4 5/7/13 and 2/06/15

Country Cottage Cafe, Homestyle Hospitality, 87 Main Street, Mataura Ph: 03 203 3683 or 027 203 8495. No pepper grinder here, just a salt and pepper shaker and the most delicious home made food. Coffee 5 - Food 5 - Service 4 - Ambience 4 21/06/15

Tarras is a popular stop heading south but take another look at The Merino Shop before or after your coffee. It is not the same and the luxurious clothes by Christina Perriam will make your eyes shine. Check it out before you get there on www.themerinoshop.co.nz 23/05/14 and shopped extensively (sigh) 21/06/15

McGregors Bakery (1988) Ltd, 126 Ronaldsay Street, Palmerston, Otago, Ph:03 465 1124 Recommended by the locals for the generous fresh food which is very reasonably priced and very popular with travellers. The All Day Breakfast is just that - it will last you all day. Coffee 4 - Food 4 - Ambience 1 - Service 3 3/9/12

Queenstown has many good restaurants and a couple tested over a weekend were Sasso for Italian food 14/16 Church Street www.sasso.co.nz and then for a real treat, Botswana Butchery, in Archers Cottage, 17 Marine Parade. www. botswanabutchery.co.nz 5/7/13 and 24/5/14

Queenstown for Rata (Josh Emett) for a fabulous dinner but you must book in advance. P: 00 64 3 442 9393 or E: bookings@ratadining.co.nz - 43 Ballarat St, Te Nuku, Queenstown it will be so worth it 23/05/14

Ivan Clarke Gallery, 35 Camp Street, Queenstown P: 03 442 5232 Stumbled over this by accident and it is a Queenstown's top 10 must do. If you have heard of The Lonely Dog or not, call in, you will not be disappointed. 21/06/15

For great food try The Courthouse Cafe & Bar, 8 Centennial Ave, Alexandra We stopped on a frosty cold day for brunch and even though the fire struggled to keep us warm it rated well Coffee 5 - Food 5+ - Ambience 4 - Service 5 24/05/14

Vanessa's Cottage Cafe, 24 London Street, (Main Road), Hampden P: 03 439 4839 another small town cafe with incredible value for money and delicious cooked breakfasts. Well known by truck drivers so you may have to jostle for a parking space on the roadside Coffee 5 - Food 5 - Ambience 5 - Service 5 21/06/15

The good oil, 314 George Street, Dunedin, P: 03 479 9900 and good it is too. Well placed in Dunedin's downtown shopping area and a stone's throw from the Octagon. Refresh and then get back out there! Coffee 5 - Food 5 - Ambience 4 - Service 4 3/9/12 and 21/06/15

The Batch Cafe on Spey Street, InvercargillL P: 03 214 6357 The only problem with The Batch is that it is very popular. Tucked under a modern building "Crowe Howarth" it had a queue before lunch time. Coffee 5 - Food 5 - Ambience 5 - Service 5 21/06/15

The Saucy Chef on St Andrew, Cnr St Andrew and Sydney Sts, Invercargill Dinner this time and didn't get to the coffee but an enjoyable evening on a cold night. P: 03 217 1980 E: thesaucychef@ilt.co.nz Food 5 - Ambience 5 - Service 5 The Whistling Frog Café, Catlins Located in the heart of the Catlins Coastal Conservation Park but unfortunately closed for the winter season from May to September. Featured is a choice of local dishes with excellent desserts.  The chefs tempt all tastes with homemade baking, soups, chowders, breads, snacks and entrees including farm-raised lamb and beef, local seafood and excellent vegetarian  and gluten – free dishes. Sample the organic local cheese board! Our select but discerning group of revellers didn't try the coffee! Food 4 - Ambience 4 - Service 4 18/5/12