12 Best Places to Eat in and Around Palmerston North


Palmerston North, the urban centre of the Manawatū region in the heart of New Zealand’s North Island, is a culinary haven brimming with a diverse array of eateries. Whether you’re a local foodie or a visitor eager to explore, the city and its surroundings offer a great mix of dining experiences. From cosy cafes to upscale restaurants, there’s roughly 172 places to eat in the wider Manawatū region. These are some of the top spots to wine and dine in Palmy alone. Embark on a gastronomic journey and be rewarded with top-notch food, coffee and more.

1. Haru

Nestled in the heart of Palmerston North, Haru is a hidden gem that offers an exquisite taste of Japanese cuisine. Known for its authentic dishes and serene ambience, Haru has quickly become a favourite among locals. The menu boasts a variety of sushi, sashimi, and traditional Japanese dishes, each prepared with the freshest ingredients and meticulous attention to detail. Whether you’re in the mood for a delicate piece of sushi or a hearty teppanyaki plate, Haru delivers a dining experience that’s both satisfying and memorable. The minimalist décor and friendly staff add to the restaurant’s charm, making it a perfect spot for a casual lunch or an intimate dinner.

Image Credit: Manawatū NZ

2. Munch

Munch is a delightful eatery that perfectly embodies the spirit of Palmerston North’s vibrant food scene. Known for its warm and welcoming atmosphere, Munch offers a diverse cafe menu and cabinet goodies that cater to a range of tastes and dietary preferences. From hearty breakfasts to wholesome lunches and indulgent desserts, you’ll find what you need to fuel up for a day of exploring Palmerston North. Whether you’re catching up with friends over coffee or enjoying a solo meal, Munch provides a relaxing environment where you can savour delicious food and great company.

Image Credit: Manawatū NZ

3. 4 Flames

4 Flames is a standout dining destination 20 minutes from Palmerston North in the small town of Feilding, celebrated for its bold flavours and innovative dishes. Specialising in Indian cuisine, 4 Flames offers a menu that is both eclectic and exciting. From aromatic curries and biryani to their special and highly popular goat curry, there’s something to tantalise every taste bud. Experience classic tandoori dishes and Indian favourites with quality New Zealand produce. If you’re after a tasty dinner spot that Manawatū locals love, this Feilding restaurant won’t disappoint.

Image Credit: 4 Flames

4. Āpiti Tavern & Eatery

Situated just a short drive from Palmerston North, Āpiti Tavern & Eatery is a charming country pub that offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Known for its low and slow BBQ food, this eatery provides the perfect insight into life in northern Manawatū. As you find a seat on the outdoor deck, enjoy the peaceful outlook that this classic and historic kiwi tavern offers. The menu features a range of classic pub fare, including succulent burgers, ribs and brisket. Try their smokey platter for a taste of all things ‘cooked with fire’ at this top Manawatū tavern. The tavern’s interior is complete with a roaring fireplace and welcoming staff, making it an ideal spot for a relaxed meal or a casual drink with friends. Whether you’re exploring the countryside or looking for a cosy dining spot, Āpiti Tavern & Eatery is a must-visit destination.

Image Credit: Āpiti Tavern & Eatery

5. LOCAL Cafe & Eatery

LOCAL Cafe & Eatery is a beloved spot in Palmerston North that offers a perfect blend of contemporary dining and casual comfort. This cafe is known for its delicious and innovative menu, which features a wide range of dishes made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty breakfast, a light lunch, or a delectable dessert, LOCAL has something to satisfy every craving. The cafe’s modern and stylish interior creates a welcoming and laid-back atmosphere, making it an ideal place to unwind with good company.

Image Credit: LOCAL Cafe & Eatery

6. Little Savanna

Little Savanna is a culinary gem in Palmerston North catering to meat and seafood lovers. This South African steakhouse is renowned for its incredible flame grilled cuts of meat and fresh seafood, all of which hero local New Zealand produce. Enjoy generous portions of pork ribs, T-bone steak and peri-peri chicken, lit with the glow of the indoor fireplace. Turn up hungry and indulge in small plates as well, like their pork belly flat bread with Jack Daniels BBQ sauce. With its exceptional food, elegant décor, and impeccable service, Little Savanna stands out as a top dining destination in Palmerston North.

Image Credit: Little Savanna

7. Tony’s Pizza

If you’re in the mood for a slice of heaven, look no further than Tony’s Pizza. This popular eatery in Palmerston North is a go-to spot for pizza lovers, known for its delicious, hand-tossed pizzas that are baked to perfection. Tony’s Pizza offers a wide variety of toppings, from classic combinations to inventive creations; there’s something for everyone. The dough is made fresh daily, and the ingredients are always of the highest quality, contributing to the rich and satisfying flavours. The casual and friendly atmosphere of Tony’s Pizza makes it an ideal place for family dinners, casual outings with friends, or even a quick takeaway. Whether you’re enjoying it by the slice or ordering a whole pizza, Tony’s Pizza proves to be a beloved staple in Palmerston North’s dining scene.

Image Credit: Manawatū NZ

8. Aberdeen

Aberdeen is a fine dining establishment in Palmerston North that offers a luxurious and unforgettable culinary experience. Renowned for its elegant ambience and exceptional service, Aberdeen is the perfect spot for special occasions or a special evening out. The menu features a selection of gourmet dishes, each meticulously crafted using premium ingredients. From tender steaks to exquisite seafood and delightful desserts, every plate is a work of art. The wine list is equally impressive, offering a curated selection of local and international wines to complement the meal. The sophisticated décor and attention to detail create a great atmosphere, making Aberdeen a standout destination for those seeking a truly memorable dining experience in Manawatū.

Image Credit: Aberdeen

9. Nero

Nero is a contemporary restaurant in a 1918 character building, that claimed the title of Manawatū’s ‘Restaurant of the Year’ in 2016. This Palmerston North restaurant is celebrated for its sophisticated dining experience and exceptional cuisine. Known for its contemporary European menu, Nero boasts dishes of Angus beef fillet and confit duck leg, all crafted to perfection. A combination of fine ingredients and passionate chefs ensure great flavour in every bite. Nero is an ideal venue for romantic dinners and special celebrations. The attentive and knowledgeable staff provide impeccable service, and the wine list ticks all the boxes.

Image Credit: Nero

10. Boho

Boho is a charming and eclectic cafe in Palmerston North, offering tasty food and fantastic coffee with a touch of bohemian flair. This cafe is a perfect stop-in on a day in Awapuni. Check out the local shops and stroll to the nearby Manawatū River, before feasting on a hearty brunch at Boho. This cafe caters to gluten-free and vegetarian diners, and it’s one of Palmerston North’s pup-friendly eateries. The friendly team at Boho encourage a laid-back and homely vibe, making this cafe the perfect spot for catching up with friends, enjoying a leisurely meal, or simply unwinding with a good book and a cup of coffee. Plus, you won’t want to miss the sweet treats in the cabinet!

Image Credit: Boho

11. Cafe Cuba

Cafe Cuba is a beloved institution in Palmerston North, known for its vibrant atmosphere and delectable offerings. This cafe is a go-to spot for both locals and visitors, thanks to its extensive menu that includes classic breakfasts, delicious lunches, and mouth-watering baked goods. The signature Cuban sandwich and freshly baked pastries are standout items that keep patrons coming back for more. Cafe Cuba’s interior is warm and inviting, with comfortable seating and a lively ambience that makes it a great place to relax and enjoy a meal. Whether you’re grabbing a quick coffee or settling in for a leisurely brunch, Cafe Cuba offers a great dining experience that captures the essence of Palmerston North’s cafe culture.

Image Credit: Manawatū NZ

12. Brew Union Brewing Co

Brew Union Brewing Co is where you want to head for happy hour in Palmerston North, with house beers freshly brewed on-site and an inviting brewery setting for 5 o’clock catch-ups. Guest beers and cider are on tap to keep the masses happy, though if craft beer is your love language, you’ll enjoy an evening of beer tasting here. As your appetite grows, check out the breweries’ food menu. Wood-fired pizzas and burgers are the perfect accompaniment to those fresh brews. The lively and casual atmosphere, complete with communal tables and a bustling bar, makes Brew Union an ideal place for socialising with friends in Palmerston North.

Image Credit: Manawatū NZ

This article was created in paid partnership with Manawatū NZ.

Manawatu NZ

Sarah Campbell
Sarah Campbell
Founder of one of New Zealand’s largest independent travel media brands New Zealand Guide. Sarah is based in the tourism capital of New Zealand, Queenstown. She is well travelled across all of New Zealand and loves to help people get the most out of their travel across the country.

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