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Farm to Fork: local eats in the Waikato

Waikato restaurateurs are renowned for their farm-to-table approach to food. Many of the region’s best eateries are capitalising on the bounty of fresh produce, meat and dairy on their doorstep, with countless menus boasting organic, free-range and seasonal local ingredients.

The cabinet fare at The River Kitchen, another popular place with Hamilton foodies, is driven by the seasons, using only free-range eggs, organic milk and locally-sourced herbs, greens, meats and poultry. The Local Taphouse on SkyCity Hamilton’s ground floor is another fan favourite, offering up Coromandel mussels and farm-fresh seasonal vegetable dishes.

Other eateries with a similar ethos have sprung up in the Waikato’s smaller towns.

Paddock in Cambridge, an exquisite slice of small-town charm, was named in recognition of its distinctly rural surroundings – and to signify a philosophy around connecting people with locally-grown and harvested food. Every dish at Paddock is made from scratch on premise, and the cafe prides itself on offering healthy alternatives.

In Raglan, the Conscious Kitchen at Solscape serves ‘plant-based eco-cuisine’. All of their ingredients are ethically sourced, and much of their produce is harvested from onsite permaculture gardens.

The Waikato Farmer's Markets are also a great place to source fresh local produce, with everything from baking and coffee to garden greens, cheese and honey.

These foodie spots, plus many more throughout the region pride themselves on fresh, local and healthy produce - Food doesn’t get much better than this.