Food & Drink

Top places to get food in an art gallery? It may seem strange, but art galleries are stepping up their game, and often offer much more than just a pleasant afternoon of art and culture. With many galleries offering free days or free entrance to permanent exhibitions, the money can be made up with good cafes or even beautiful restaurants offering up food and drink. There’s a real opportunity here to do more than just overcharge for an average coffee, but team up with an excellent catering service and offer some good food and its a reason for people to visit, stay, and even come back again.

Art galleries are tapping into this extra resource and are coming up as fierce competition to traditional cafes. Here is our informative round-up of some of the top-rated art gallery cafes and eateries in New Zealand, from Wellington to Auckland.

Nikau Gallery Cafe

On one of the famous main streets in Wellington, the Nikau Gallery has really stepped up its game. They serve up breakfast, lunch, and brunch with a variety of dietary options and quite an extensive menu. Check out some of its reviews on TripAdvisor, where it also earned itself a certificate of excellence from 2016 to 2018. You’ll find everything, from pasta dishes to coffee and cakes, for a relaxing morning or afternoon of art and culinary satisfaction.

The Refinery

A more modest, yet still highly regarded, cafe and gallery tucked away in Paeroa. The menu is more simplified, but if you’re looking for a quick cultural stop with a break for some light refreshment on a lovely day, there’s no nicer place than The Refinery. Guests are delighted by the “hidden gem” they find on a smaller street in a less obvious place. If you’re looking for something simple and sweet, this is the place.

Suter Art Gallery

Located in Nelson, this gallery offers art, culture, views, and top-notch coffee and light meals. With a variety of dietary options and some of the most delightful scenery in the area to add to the experience, customers are more than happy with the food here. You can find everything from coffee and cake, to larger lunchtime meals, to satisfy your appetite and your artistic appreciation.

L’Arte Cafe

This gallery and cafe is situated in Taupo and has some real prestige to its name by now. Voted by Lonely Planet as the number one cafe for the Central North Island, as well as one of the top places in New Zealand, and highly regarded by visitors, it would be a real shame to skip this place. They serve up large breakfasts, lunches, and brunches, and despite the price tag being a little higher than usual, consistently get good reviews.