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Taupo Cafe Guide

A Guide to the Best Cafes and Coffee in Taupo, North Island

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Taupo has some of the liveliest cafe culture in the North Island. There are lots of places to grab a nice lunch or a daytime coffee. Most of the cafes are located in the center of the shopping district, close to the lake. However some of the best are in less obvious locations. They're known to the locals but not to the tourists.

Here is a selection of the best cafes and coffee spots in Taupo. They are ranked in order of my personal assessment of quality of food, presentation, atmosphere and service.

For evening and more formal dining also see: Taupo Restaurant and Bar Guide

1. The French Cafe

The Frence Cafe, Taupo
Image Courtesy of Malene Holm

Like L'Epicerie in Whakatane, Taupo's French Cafe is a surprising taste of France in a provincial New Zealand town. It is wonderfully authentic with French breads, pastries and a fully French menu that includes crepes and even snails. The decor also has some French magic and charm. The owners have gone to a lot of effort with this place and it is deservedly popular. A highlight of Taupo.

The French Cafe Contact Info:

  • Address: 101 HeuHeu Street, Taupo
  • Directions: Google Map
  • Open: 7 days: 7am - 5pm
  • Phone: 07 378 9664

2. Salute Cafe and Deli

Salute Cafe, Taupo
Image Courtesy of Malene Holm

There is also a distinctly European flavor to this cafe and delicatessen. It's right in the heart of the shopping center (a couple of streets back from the lake front). In addition to excellent coffee and cabinet food you can buy a wide selection of European deli items. There's even a coolroom with some tasty European cheeses. It's nice to hear Italian opera playing the background too.

Salute Cafe and Deli Contact Info:

  • Address: 45 Horomatangi Street, Taupo
  • Directions: Google Map
  • Open: 7 Days: 8am - 3pm
  • Phone: 07 377 4478

3. Licorice Cafe

Licorice Cafe, Motouapa, Taupo
Image Courtesy of Malene Holm

About half an hour's drive from Taupo, along the main highway towards National Park at Motuoapa, Licorice is well worth a stop if you're heading south or on your way to the ski fields. This is a nice casual cafe with couches and a fire for the winter and an outside area for the summer. There is a good selection of food and great coffee. It also caters well for special dietary needs including vegetarian, dairy free and gluten free. Open all day until 5pm from Wednesday to Sunday.

Licorice Contact Info:

  • Address: 57 State Highway 1, Motuoapa
  • Directions: Google Map
  • Open: Wednesday to Sunday: 7am - 3pm
  • Phone: 07 386 5551

4. Replete Food Company

This is one of Taupo's longest established cafes, having been here since 1993. It has a great atmosphere, always busy and with notably friendly service. The cabinet food is simple and tasty, complemented by some of the best coffee in Taupo.

Replete Food Company Contact Info:

  • Address: 45 HeuHeu Street, Taupo
  • Directions: Google Map
  • Open: Monday - Friday: 7.45am - 5pm; Saturday & Sunday: 8.30am - 4pm
  • Phone: 07 377 3011
  • Website: www.replete.co.nz

5. Fine Fettle Cafe

Fine Fettle Cafe is a few streets back from the lake with good parking right outside the door. It has an interesting menu of cabinet food including an excellent range of gluten free and vegetarian dishes.

Fine Fettle Cafe Contact Info:

  • Address: 39 Paora Hapi Street, Taupo
  • Directions: Google Map
  • Open: 7 days: 9am - 3pm
  • Phone: 07 378 7674

6. L'Arte Cafe and Gallery

Situated in Acacia Bay, just ten minutes from the center of Taupo, this has one of the most unique cafe settings in the North Island. Both the cafe and the gallery are in a sculptured garden, complete with some of the best outdoor mosaics you will see. As well as the atmosphere, the cafe offers good food and coffee.

L'Arte Cafe and Gallery Contact Info:

  • Address: 255 Mapara Road, Acacia Bay, Taupo
  • Directions; Google Map
  • Open: Wednesday - Sunday: 8am - 4pm
  • Phone: 07 378 2962
  • Website: www.larte.co.nz

7. Bodyfuel Cafe

With a tasty range of cabinet food, good coffee and attentive service, Bodyfuel is deservedly one of Taupo's most popular cafes.

Bodyfuel Cafe Contact Info:

  • Address: 67 Tongariro Street, Taupo
  • Directions: Google Map
  • Open: Monday - Friday: 7am - 5pm; Saturday & Sunday: 8am - 4.30pm
  • Phone: 07 378 9555

8. Two Mile Bay Sailing Center Cafe and Bar

Two Mile Bay Sailing Center Cafe and Bar, Taupo
Image Courtesy of Malene Holm

This cute little place qualifies for a mention if for nothing else than the great location. It's a part of the Sailing Center which offers yachts, kayaks and windsurfers for hire. It's right over the lake; in fact the cafe sits over the water itself. It's a short distance from central Taupo (two miles?) and there are panoramic views across the lake. It's a nice place to relax with a coffee or even a drink (there is a licenced bar).

Two Mile Bay Sailing Center Cafe and Bar Contact Info:

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