The Bay of Plenty. Ahhh… boasting some of New Zealand’s best sun, sand and sea on offer, this holiday hot spot truly is one dog friendly destination not to be overlooked. Whilst we must admit, there are some restrictions and rules around dogs hanging out in popular areas throughout the year (yes, unfortunately we mean Mount Maunganui’s Main Beach), there are other areas that are totally dog friendly and we’re here for it!
If you’re anything like us, a real foodie at heart and can’t go past a good chocolate croissant and coffee, you’ll appreciate where this blog is going… to the eateries – the best dog friendly cafes and restaurants on offer in this beautiful beachside city. And whilst we can’t necessarily recreate Baywatch videos, running in slow-mo down the Main Beach with our dog and it’s ears flapping at our feet, we can stroll down to the local, order a hot brew and enjoy a bite to eat (we’ll take what we can get).
Are you ready? Here we have our five favourite eateries in the Bay of Plenty area where your four-legged friend is welcomed just as much as you are.
74 1st Avenue, Tauranga
Let’s kick this off with one of Tauranga’s top dog friendly spots – Alimento Eatery. Established in 2002, Alimento is a spacious eatery based in the historic, former Masonic Lodge building on 1st Avenue in Tauranga. A perfect spot to enjoy during summer, opt for a lazy breakfast in the sun or seek shade under the striking Karaka tree whilst sipping on a Mango Smoothie and devouring a plate of Turkish Eggs – yum! The patio out front is super dog friendly, offering water bowls for our furry friends and pats all round. So leash up your pup and head on down to the one and only Alimento Eatery because if you have a dog and don’t bring it with you, the team at Alimento will not be happy. Seriously. #DogObsessed.
552 Papamoa Beach Road, Papamoa
Come one, come all, it’s time to gather around the table at Papamoa’s hidden gem – Gather. This piece of paradise is a space well-known to the locals as one to sip, eat, chat and enjoy one another (four-legged friends included). With totally delectable cinnamon buns topping the menu and some of the best coffee in town, make that call, catch up with that friend and finally get around to doing that doggie + coffee date you’ve been saying you would since last year. The time is now and Gather is the place to go.
Tay Street Store
154 Marine Parade, Mount Maunganui
Tay Street Store in Mount Maunganui, sister cafe to Gather, is another dog friendly destination we’re obsessing over and we can guarantee you will too. Sporting the same beachy, mellow and wholesome vibes as Gather, Tay Street Store is perfectly located only steps away from the sand and the waves of Mount Maunganui beach. Sitting in the heart of this seaside town, this sweet eatery offers the likes of superb custom blend coffee, smoothies, ice cream, deli goods and much, much more. *Cue one times Prosciutto Toastie and slice of Banana Bread to go, please* To top things off, Tay Street Store is committed to using locally sourced, sustainable, recyclable and environmentally friendly goods whilst offering FREE treats for their furry visitors – need we say more?
82 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui
It should come as no surprise Mount Maunganui’s hippest bar out, Astrolabe, makes the cut on our list of Bay of Plenty faves. This world-famous gastro-bar extravaganza offers customers the coolest beer, best food and sweetest tunes, all whilst situated in a humble setting and being totally dog friendly. Rally the troops and park up at one of the tables in the outdoor garden with your human and canine companions, order anything from a burger, waffles or sourdough pizza to smoked baby back ribs or fried chicken – this is bar food at its BEST. And if anything tops Astrolabe’s inviting and totally cool vibe, it’s their incredible decor – shamelessly over-decorated, this bar and restaurant feels just like your home away from home.
19b Pacific Ave, Mount Maunganui
Taking the cake as Bay of Plenty’s most outstanding cafe from 2017 to 2019, The General is an eatery situated ever so slightly off the beaten track. Priding themselves on seasonal, locally sourced and innovative food offerings, the tables at The General are more often than not, packed out with friendly faces and furry friends. And whether you’ve started the year on a health kick or can’t go past a carb binge, the menu at The General has it all. Be sure to park up at this established eatery next time you’re at The Mount with your pup and enjoy all The General has to offer – we can guarantee you won’t leave disappointed!
With our fave five pup-friendly places to visit in the Bay of Plenty out in the open, our job should be done here. But, with one more sitting up our sleeve, we couldn’t not, add it to our list.
The Little Big Markets
Coronation Park, Mount Maunganui & Papamoa Pony Club, Papamoa
Launched in the summer of 2009, The Little Big Markets have done nothing but make a big impact on this beachside community. A place for people to hang out, enjoy great music, experience good food and have the opportunity to buy only the best products from a range of artisans and producers, these humbling markets pack a huge punch.
Held at Mount Maunganui’s Coronation Park on the first Saturday of every month and the Papamoa Pony Club on the third Saturday of every month, the markets run from 9am to 2pm and are a must-visit for humans and their fur children alike.
With vendors and creative entrepreneurs on display expressing their talents, expect to be treated to only the best in market stall goodies. Hungry? Check out Golden Balls for traditional Takoyaki Osaka Japanese food or Hashtag Streetfood for a plate of crispy fried chicken. Better Bread is also on site selling pillowy, organic soft oat sourdough to takeaway for later with Cat’s Whiskers offering sweet baking mixes in a jar – the perfect wee gift or after dinner treat. So sit in the sunshine, stuff your face and when the main event is over, treat yourself to an ice-cream scooped at Appleby Farms ice-cream stall or a crepe folded and filled from Petite Crepe – YUM!
By now you might be under the impression The Little Big Markets are one of a foodie hotspot. Whilst they most definitely are, we’re pleased to disclose lunch isn’t the only thing here to feast your eyes on. Featuring boutique stalls and crafty creations, expect the unexpected with each striped gazebo offering something different and unique. From beach towels to surf supplies, handmade earrings to customised chopping boards, it’s the way a market should be!
Whether you’re a Bay of Plenty local or planning a trip to the beachy estate, be sure to bring along your pup and experience all the city has to offer. There really is plenty to do.