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Scenic bites: where to lunch with Taupō's picturesque backdrops

Stopping for a bite to eat at midday doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the beauty of Taupō. Dotted around the township, you’ll find some fantastic places to enjoy a delicious meal, all while taking in the scenic vistas of the mountains and lake.

In other words, you can have your cake and eat it too (if that’s what you want for lunch, do it! We’re certainly not judging).

Skip ahead to: 

1. Two Mile Bay Sailing Club

On a beautiful day, it’s pretty darn hard to beat the prime lakefront location of the Two Mile Bay Sailing Club. Even when it’s a bit chilly outside, you’ll love the cosy interior and quirky character of this ‘floating’ bar/restaurant. Sip on a craft beer, warm yourself by the gas fires and watch the waves lap below your feet.


In the warmer months, it’s easy to see why locals and visitors alike flock here, where the kids can paddle and play on the lake’s edge as you enjoy a bevvy. And you’d also be hard-pressed to find anywhere that does a wood-fired pizza quite like this place.

2. Beach 243

Tucked down the back of the Millenium Hotel and Resort Manuels Taupō is Beach 243, offering uninterrupted lake and mountain views. Their boutique lunch menu allows for everything to be prepared and cooked to perfection, made from fresh New Zealand produce.

They cover all the classics, like fish and chips, burgers and fries (as well as chocolate brownie for dessert), but in an elegant yet relaxed setting, you’ll find the food is next-level delicious.

It’s easy to spend a couple of hours here, savouring your meal as people move back and forth along the Great Lake Walkway and boats fizz about on the water. Bliss.

3. Jolly Goodfellows 

At Jolly Goodfellows, you’ll find a classic ye olde English pub, serving up all the favourites - like Bangers and Mash, and Beef and Guinness Pasties. All meals also come with a side of incredible lake views, and if that doesn’t whet your appetite, we’re not sure what would!

The vibe is friendly and relaxed, and their beer garden is a splendid place to enjoy a delicious, hearty lunch before resuming your day of activities.

4. Bistro Lago 

Perched at the top of a hill is Bistro Lago, housed inside the beautiful Hilton Lake Taupō. And as you can imagine, the panoramic views from up here are amazing. In fact, it’s standard practice that you’ll often find yourself distracted from your meal as you glance out to the ever-changing lake and mountains.

If you’re looking to enjoy an overall experience at lunch, then Bistro Lago is sure to please. Their all-day a la carte menu offers a decadent array of options, from the ever-popular salt and pepper squid to Taupō beef scotch and chicken saltimbocca.

5. Waterside Restaurant & The Deck 

Whether you like your views elevated or ground level, the combo of Waterside and The Deck is sure to be a winner.

Upstairs at The Deck, you can enjoy yummy burgers, tasty pizzas and a selection of fries that come almost any which way. There’s also outdoor seating so you can take in the beautiful lake vista.

And downstairs at Waterside Restaurant, you can make the most of their generous menu (which includes two incredible platter options, perfect for having a taste of everything). You also need to try their infamous Freakshakes. They are amazing!

6. Dixie Browns

Dixie Browns not only has an extensive lunch menu, but it also has a front-row seat to the beautiful Te Ātea - Tapuaeharuru. A hop, step and jump to the lake edge, you’re well-placed to check out those ever-present mountains in the distance.

A family-friendly restaurant, there’s something for every age (and taste) at Dixie Browns, and their seating booths are perfect for a large group. Just make sure you save room for dessert from their wonderful rotating cabinet of treats!

7. Riverside Restaurant

As Taupō’s only riverside restaurant, Riverside Restaurant at Huka Prawn Park provides an amazing vantage point overlooking the mighty Waikato River. Here you can dine on a feast of prawns or choose from many other delicious items on the menu and listen out for the loud roar of jet boats as they zoom by.

In the cooler months, find yourself a cosy spot indoors by the open fire. But when the sun is shining, almost nothing can beat dining alfresco on their large deck. As a destination itself, the Huka Prawn Park fun park offers a bunch of family-friendly activities to enjoy while working up an appetite. It’s easy to come, play and stay all day here or just stop by for lunch.

8. Kefi at The Hub

While Kefi at The Hub may not have water views, it does have a gorgeous native bush and forest outlook. And with the scenic helicopter taking off and landing right next door, there’s even entertainment to keep you occupied throughout your lunch.

Kefi is all about serving food that is not only tasty, but fuels you too, so there are plenty of healthy items on the menu (as well as a few sweet treats too). You’ll also find a number of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options, making it the ideal place to feed a crowd who has a range of dietary requirements.

There's heaps more of lunch options to fuel your day of adventures. Check out more options here

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  4. Scenic bites: where to lunch with Taupō's picturesque backdrops