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8 cosy eats & drinks in Taupō this winter

No matter the time of the year, we all need a break from the day-to-day, especially in the middle of winter when things can be a bit grey and gloomy.

So if you’re looking for an escape this winter, Taupō is just the ticket. From cosy drinks by the fireplace, to magical places and spaces to explore, we say lock it in.

Check out these fantastic locations to grab a hot (or cold) beverage and enjoy a yummy meal. And whether it’s a weekend getaway or a cheeky mid-weeky, we can guarantee you’ll return home feeling refreshed and full of delicious food and drinks.

1. Favourite places to drink by the fire

If you’re stepping out for an afternoon or evening drink, we highly recommend making a beeline for those places that have a roaring fireplace to grab a possie beside.

Check out the Crafty Trout, Mole and Chicken, Jolly Goodfellows and Vine Eatery and Bar.

But you’ll have to be quick, those ‘hot seats’ are always in demand in the wintertime.

2. Coffee with a view

Is there anything more cosy than sipping on your favourite hot beverage while soaking up a beautiful view?

With a little bit of exploring, you’ll find a few places around Taupō where you can grab a coffee (or tea or hot choccy) and see something you don’t see every day.

There’s The Steaming Bean along the lakefront, the MudCake Cafe at Orakei Korako Geothermal Park, Lil’ Something Cafe at Otumuheke Stream (Spa Park) or Espresso Cafe at The Cove.

3. A hot drink with a cruise

From getting up close and personal with the breathtaking Huka Falls, to cruising along the shoreline of Lake Taupō and out to the famous Maori Rock Carvings, you have your choice of boats to hop aboard here in Taupō.

And each of them offer a complimentary hot drink to enjoy while you take in the sights, meaning you can stay cosy and warm - even in the colder months.

You might like to take it slow and steady on the gorgeous replica steamship called Ernest Kemp, or hoist the mainsail with Sail Barbary. Chris Jolly’s luxurious catamaran leaves the marina twice daily and the Huka Falls River Cruise offers a leisurely passage to the mighty Huka Falls.

4. Hearty dishes you’ll love

We’re really spoiled for choice when it comes to dining options here in Taupō, and when you’re visiting, it means you can take your pick of the bunch!

If you’re after a hearty meal in a cosy setting, try the spelt risotto at Embra, the seafood chowder at Kefi (The Hub) or the spinach and ricotta gnudi at Lake Bistro (where you also get an uninterrupted view out to the lake).

We also know how to make a mean burger in a variety of flavours, so stop by Pauly’s, Jimmy Coops Lakehouse or The Deck if you’re craving ‘fast food’ done right.

5. Sit riverside at Huka Prawn Park

There’s only one restaurant in town that has riverside dining, and that’s Huka Prawn Park. You don’t have to go into the adventure park to dine here, so if you’re feeling peckish (and not just for prawns) you can grab a spot inside by the open fireplace and enjoy a tasty meal at Riverside Restaurant with prime views of the mighty Waikato River.

And if you time it right you might also see the Huka Falls Jet go roaring past. It’s fast, loud and spectacular to watch!

6. Enjoy a mulled wine

Nothing says winter more than mulled wine. It’s warm, comforting and absolutely delicious! So why not treat yourself to a glass when you’re in town.

There are a few restaurants where you can enjoy a mulled wine, along with a main meal or platter to share. Try Vine Eatery and Bar, Waterside Restaurant and Bar or Plateau Bar and Eatery.

7. Wood-fired pizza over the water

The Two Mile Bay Sailing Club has a reputation for making some of the best wood-fired pizza around. So if that sounds like a bit of you, then make sure you head to this super cool establishment where you can actually sit right over the water!

However it’s not just the pizza and location that draws the crowds, but the atmosphere of a fun, funky venue. Often there is a great live band or some other form of entertainment for the night too.

8. Dine out on a doughnut

Okay, so this one might be a bit confusing but you’re not actually going to eat a doughnut, because the doughnut is a boat. Doughboats Lake Taupō are round boats, shaped like a doughnut. And if you hitch a ride on a doughboat, then you can also order in a grazing platter or pizza to enjoy as you cruise at a relaxing pace along the lake shoreline.

But, if you love the idea of eating a doughnut on a doughboat (it sounds pretty amazing to us) you could pick up half a dozen or more from The Doughnut Box in the Suncourt Plaza before you set sail.

Well, we don’t know about you, but we are STARVING. And because all of the food and drinks mentioned above are just incredible, we’re not only hungry, but we’re confused too. So where to start?

For you it’s locking in some accommodation so you can get to Taupō ASAP (maybe even for a Cheeky Midweeky)

And for us, maybe we’ll have to have one of everything. See you soon!  

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